Watch Florida Cops Arrest a Legally Blind Man After Confusing His Walking Stick for a Gun
Two Florida sheriff’s deputies have been disciplined after a video of them arresting a legally blind man for refusing to show his ID went viral this week.
The Washington Post reports Columbia County Sheriff Mark Hunter apologized to James Hodges, 61, calling his arrest for resisting an officer without violence “unacceptable.” Hunter also said both officers involved in Hodges’ arrest have been disciplined. One was demoted, both were suspended without pay for several days, and both will be required to go through remedial civil rights training.
Hodges posted body camera footage of his arrest to YouTube last week. The footage shows Columbia County Sheriff’s Deputy Jayme Gohde approaching Hodges and asking about the folded walking stick tucked into his back pocket.
“It’s a navigational aid,” Hodges says. “What’s the problem? Are you a tyrant?”
“Yeah, I am, actually,” Gohde responds. “What’s your name and date of birth?”
The two then start talking over each other, Hodges arguing that he’s not required to show his ID and Gohde saying that she suspects he’s carrying a gun. Hodges whips out his walking stick and shows it to Gohde, who responds, “You don’t have to be a dick to me.”
“Well you’re being a dick to me,” Hodges shoots back. Hodges asks if he’s being detained. Gohde says he is and again demands his name and date of birth.
“I don’t need [to give] ID unless there’s a reasonable, articulated suspicion that I have committed a crime or am about to commit a crime,” Hodges says. He then asks to see Gohde’s supervisor. That happened to be Sgt. Randy Har
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