BLACK VOICES
06/27/2017 12:51 pm ET

Florida Cop Threatens Black Man With Jail For Walking Without ID

One crime and safety expert says the officer's behavior was "just way over the top."

The problems of “driving while black” are so well known as to be a sad cliché.

Now, a video in Jacksonville, Florida, shows walking while black can be just as big a challenge.

Devonte Shipman filmed his encounter with Jacksonville Sheriff’s Officer J.S. Bolen after the deputy stopped him for jaywalking last Tuesday.

The above video begins with Shipman asking what he did wrong. The officer then explains Shipman and his friend had crossed against the light.

“My bad,” Shipman says. Bolen responds by explaining jaywalking is a $65 fine and orders Shipman to the police car.

He calmly refuses because he’s not sure why the officer is asking him to go there. Bolen seems to get agitated and threatens him with jail for resisting an officer without violence.

Shipman then walks toward the car.

At that point, Bolen asks Shipman for identification, but Shipman says he doesn’t have it. “That’s another infraction,” Bolen then says. “In the state of Florida, you have to have an ID card on you identifying who you are or I can detain you for seven hours until I figure out who you are.”

However, the law is not on Bolen’s side in this case.

The Sheriff’s Office told Jacksonville.com that Shipman was given a citation for violating Florida statute 322.15(1). However, that statute only applies to people “when operating a motor vehicle.”

Shipman believes Bolen’s actions didn’t exactly fit the alleged crime, especially when three cop cars arrived as backup.

“All because we crossed the motherf**king street though,” Shipman says at the end of the video. “We crossed the street, that’s all we did.”

Shipman told FirstCoastNews he wishes the officer would have just informed him on the law and let him off with a warning, “but instead it was more of him taunting me.”

Ken Jefferson, a crime and safety expert, told WJAX TV the officer’s behavior was “just way over the top.”

“Let [Shipman] go, give him a warning and let him go,” Jefferson added. “You’re most needed where the crime is occurring, more serious crimes are occurring.”

Shipman was cited for failing to obey a pedestrian control signal, a $62.50 fine, and drivers license not carried/exhibited on demand (322.15), a $136 fine.

He plans to plead his case in court, something Bolen hopes he does, according to his comment in the video.

“You can take it to court,” he told Shipman in the video. “Since you have such a strong grasp, I really hope you pick that option because I promise you I’ll be there.”

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office told Jacksonville.com that it is reviewing the video but that Bolen is not under investigation at the time. 

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