In Florida, a police officer was caught on camera lying to a black man that he detained for jaywalking, citing a non-existent identification law after the man revealed that he wasn’t carrying ID.
21-year old Devonte Shipman posted a video on June 20 showing his strange encounter with Jacksonville Sheriff’s Deputy J.S. Bolen.
At the beginning of the video, Shipman asks Deputy Bolen what he did wrong. That’s when the officer informs him that he and his friend jaywalked.
“My Bad,” Shipman replies. Bolen then explains that jaywalking carries a $65 fine and orders Shipman and his friend to the police cruiser.
Apprehensive of the officer’s motives, Shipman calmly refuses. Bolen then becomes agitated and threatens to charge him with resisting an officer without violence.
Shipman and his friend decide to comply with the officer’s command and follow him to his vehicle.
When they arrive, Bolen demands that Shipman produces identification. However, the pedestrian tells the cop that he’s not carrying any.
“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 Bolen cites, Florida Statute 322.15(1), only applies to drivers “operating a motor vehicle” and not pedestrians.
Towards the end of the video, Shipman expresses his frustration with Robocop’s insane hardline attitude.
“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 believes that the officer should have just educated he and his friend about the law and let them go with a warning. But as he told FirstCoastNews, “instead it was more of him taunting me.”
Crime and Safety Expert, Ken Jefferson, told WJAX TV that Bolen’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 ultimately cited for failing to obey a pedestrian control signal, a $62.50 fine. But he was also cited for drivers license not carried/exhibited on demand (322.15), which at $136 is more than double the jaywalking fine.
At the end of the video, Bolen continues to taunt Shipman telling him that he hopes to see him in court.
“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.”
Now Bolen was dead ass wrong about the law, but guess what kids? It doesn’t matter. Because according to the U.S Supreme Court, Bolen is legally protected.
On December 15, 2014, the U.S Supreme Court ruled in the case of Heien vs. North Carolina that police officers can be factually wrong about the laws they are paid to enforce and still have their actions be considered “reasonable” under the eyes of the law.
However, for everyday citizens, ignorance of the law is still not a valid legal defense.
And just in case lying cops didn’t have enough legal cover for their asses, in 1969 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Frazier v. Cupp, 394 U.S. 731 that officers can lie to the public.
Now no sane person will argue that cops shouldn’t be allowed to trick murder suspects and child molesters into incriminating themselves. However, over the years police departments have turned an inch into Interstate 20 (It’s really really long).
As a result, public trust, particularly within minority communities continues to erode every day. And as demonstrated in Shipman’s video, it doesn’t appear police officers give much of a damn about the public’s trust.
And there are sure to be people out there who will brush this incident off as no big deal stating that at least the cop didn’t arrest, beat, or kill Shipman. It’s a sad day when this becomes the new golden standard for judging acceptable behavior from police officers.
Understand that this is a big fucking deal. Year after year police become more and more isolated from the public they serve, believing that they hold a special privilege above the people they are sworn to protect and serve. Soon, they will no longer distinguish law abiding citizens from criminals, that is if that hasn’t already happened.
So always remember, whenever you respectfully engage with an officer, that he or she can is under no obligation to tell you the truth if it means satisfying their agenda.
Source: Huffington Post
Featured image via YouTube.