Black man detained by deputies while jogging in mostly White neighborhood

Black man detained by deputies while jogging in mostly White neighborhood
Joseph Griffin (Photo credit: Volusia County Sheriff’s Office)

A Black jogger was stopped by officers who said he fit the description of a burglary suspect in the predominantly White neighborhood of Deltona, Florida.

According to CNN, the suspect stole a weed eater from the shed of a nearby home and Joseph Griffin, who was sweating profusely while jogging down the sidewalk, matched the description – white top, black shorts. Griffin did not, however, have a weed eater in his possession.

“Hey buddy, you’re not in any trouble or anything. There’s a burglary that happened — you kind of fit the description,” said an officer who initiated the stop. The officer repeatedly assures Griffin that he is not in trouble, but must be detained while he and his cohorts ascertain whether he is the neighborhood thief they’ve been instructed to capture.

“Let me just make sure that you’re not him,” says the officer.

Griffin complies, offering he is a vet, before voluntarily turning over his identification.

“Literally they said, white tank top, black shorts and they said that you had a beard,” the officer explains further. “So, I’m not saying it’s you, but it was a Black male — again — not saying it’s you, buddy.”

Before he is physically detained, Griffin starts a Facebook Live recording, looks into the camera and says, “If something happens to me, y’all better raise hell.”

Ultimately, Griffin is cleared and the real suspect was identified, then arrested.

Griffin told CNN, “I did understand the fact they had to do their jobs, but nobody likes being put in cuffs.

“I don’t believe they just stopped me because I’m Black. There was a description. The scary thing is that witness descriptions are just never 100% accurate. And to have your future and life of that not accurate witness description is very scary.”

Sheriff Mike Chitwood was so impressed with the way Griffin responded to the officers that he offered him a job, given his background as a military police officer.

“I asked if he would come in and do trainings with our entire staff,” Chitwood told CNN. “He was surprised about it and agreed. … I also offered him a job. We have 40 openings now. But he declined that offer, saying he had a job in health care.”

View the incident from Griffin’s vantage point after the jump.

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