A Jacksonville, FL, cop detained, cited, and threatened a young black man with jail time last week for allegedly jaywalking.
The man, 21-year-old Jacksonville resident Devonte Shipman, posted a video of the encounter on Facebook. The video has been viewed over 461,000 times.
Shipman told the Florida Times-Union that he recorded the video “out of fear it might turn violent.”
When the video begins, Officer J.S. Bolen—identified by his nametag in the video—explains to Shipman and a friend that he is citing Shipman for crossing the street when the signal told him not to.
“One: You weren’t in the crosswalk. Two: there was a red sign you both crossed. That’s a $65 ticket,” Bolen says in the video. “You are being legally detained. If you don’t, you are disobeying a direct order, and we’ll put you in jail. So go to my car.”
Shipman tries to respond, but is cut off.
“You look at me. If you don’t walk to that car, I’ll put you in jail,” the cop continues.
“Since when has that became illegal,” Shipman wrote when he posted the video on Facebook. “This is ridiculous he was tryna really take me to jail for crossing the street,” he added. “Smh.”
In the video, the two go back and forth, with the cop telling Shipman he did something illegal, and Shipman insisting he did not, Bolen sounding increasingly agitated (Shipman is not visible in the video).
Bolen also tells Shipman he is breaking the law by not having a form of ID with him. As the Times-Union reported, the law he seems to be referring to only applies to drivers, not pedestrians.
“I wasn’t paying no attention,” Shipman said in the video. “You act like I really just committed a serious crime that’s worth this time right now.”
Ironically, Shipman later posted a screenshot from the video on Facebook that shows that while Bolen is in his car—presumably preparing to write Shipman a ticket—another person is seen jaywalking across the street, without any apparent action from the cops.
“We got three cop cars just because we crossed the motherfucking street,” Shipman says before ending the video. “We crossed the street. That’s all we did.”
The Times-Union reported that Bolen gave Shipman two citations, “for failing to obey a walk signal and not having a license.” According to the newspaper, the Sheriff’s Office is looking into the video, but Bolen is not currently under an investigation for its contents.
Shipman told the newspaper he does not plan to pay for either citation.
I’ve reached out to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office about the video and the citations, and will update the post if I hear back.