Youtube Screenshot: Volusia County Sheriff’s Office
A Black jogger in Deltona, Fla. is stopped for matching the description of a burglary suspect. He is the wrong guy, but police do not know that at first. The jogger is visibly nervous, but so are the police officers. If you expect a violent outcome, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
The detained jogger, Joseph Griffin, is a registered nurse and former military policeman. He must have gotten ‘the talk’ (about how to interact with police) at some point in life and taken it to heart. Griffin, and the officers, provide a textbook example of how to diffuse tension and prevent escalation.
“Everyone involved in this deserves recognition for a job well done,” said Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood. “These deputies did an outstanding job given the limited information they had about a call in progress,” he said. “Likewise, Mr. Griffin was calm and cooperative even though he had reason to be frustrated with the inconvenience.”
“Mr. Griffin is a military veteran and a medical professional, and I told him we’d train and hire him as a deputy in a second if he ever wants a new job,” Chitwood said.
The entire video is worth watching, but at least catch the parts with conversation:
Whether you believe today’s exaggerated fear of the police by Black people is due mainly to inaccurate media hype, as many of us do, or due to real historical experiences, this suspect clearly is fearful. All the more reason to handle himself in the respectful, cooperative way that he does.
You have to wonder if this inspiring incident could be used to train citizens and police on how to interact safely. Could showing this video to urban youth–if they ever get back to school–be more effective than all the misguided efforts to restructure, defund, or dismantle so-called white systemic racism as a solution to police encounters gone wrong?
What are your thoughts on this?