A video posted to Facebook by a 21-year-old in Jacksonville, Florida, showed a sheriff’s officer detaining and threatening a young Black man with jail time because he crossed the street without a walk signal.
Devonte Shipman told the Florida Times-Union he and his friend were not paying attention when the signal stopped blinking and turned red. Once they made it across the street, Officer J.S. Bolen approached the young men and asked them to go over to his car because they were being detained.
During the back and forth, Shipman questioned why he needed to go to the police car when he did a minor infraction. Bolen then asked for Shipman’s ID, and when he admitted he didn’t have it, the officer threatened to jail him for “disobeying a direct order” and “resisting without violence.”
Bolen cited Shipman for failing to obey a walk signal and not having a license. Shipman’s friend, who was also detained, was not cited or threatened.
“You act like I really just committed a serious crime that’s worth this time right now,” Shipman said in the video.
Bolen responded: “It is worth the time.”
“There was two cars that were coming through the intersection that had to slow down,” Bolen says in the video. “They had the right of way, not you.”
Then Bolen went back to his car to look up Shipman's information. During this time, another person crossed the street without issue.
Diallo Sekou, a grassroots Black activist who is running for Katrina Brown’s seat on the City Council, said these types of stops are quite routine when it comes to Black people.
“It’s walking while Black,” Sekou told the Times-Union. “This is Jim Crow when it comes to these laws and ordinances in the city.”
When it comes to the two citations Shipman received, he said he has no intention of paying them and that he and the officer already spoke about meeting again in court.
“He was like, ‘I hope you take that option to take it to court,’ ” Shipman said, “ ‘because I promise you I’m going to be there.’ ”
(Photo: Color Day Production/Getty Images)
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