Florida cop threatens jail for ‘walking while Black’; video goes viral

Devonte Shipman (Photo source: Facebook/Vonte Shipman)

You may find this hard to believe but a Black man simply walking across the street resulted in a three-car police response and threats of arrest.

Devonte Shipman, 21,  and a friend were confronted by Jacksonville Sheriff’s  Officer J.S. Bolen after allegedly crossing against a light. Shipman was calm, polite and recording an agitated police officer seemed intent on escalating a minor situation. The video of the encounter was uploaded to Facebook and has been viewed several million times.

Shipman kept his cool during the encounter even after officer Bolen threatened him with arrest. Bolen stated to Shipman, “In the state of Florida you have to have an ID card on you identifying who you are. I can detain you up to seven hours until I figure out who you are.”

Shipman was cited by police for being in violation of Florida Statute 322.15, which requires all drivers to present a valid license should law enforcement request it. But since Shipman was walking, a driver’s license was not required. He was also given another citation for crossing against the traffic signal. The encounter can be viewed below.

He said "you did do something illegal , you crossed the crosswalk !" 😂😂😂 since when has that became illegal 🤔🤷🏽‍♂️ ?? This is ridiculous he was tryna really take me to jail for crossing the street 🤦🏽‍♂️ smh ….

Posted by Vonte Shipman on Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Mo Barnes
Mo Barnes

Maurice "Mo" Barnes is a graduate of Morehouse College and Political Scientist based in Atlanta. Mo is also a Blues musician. He has been writing for Rolling Out since 2014. Whether it means walking through a bloody police shooting to help a family find justice or showing the multifaceted talent of the Black Diaspora I write the news.

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required