Being arrested for walking while Black, commonly referred to as “WWB”, was thought to be a myth, if not a rarity. However, new video footage suggests that it happens far more often than suspected.
The now viral video shows Officer J.S. Bolen detaining Devonte Shipman and threatening to put him in jail for jaywalking and not having his driver’s license, according to Jacksonville.com. Shipman told local media that the arrest happened within walking distance from his home.
Shipman’s friend started recording the video because he feared it may turn violent due to Bolen’s body language.
“If you look at the video, if you pay attention to his body language, he’s grabbing his hands like he wanted to do something to me,” Shipman said. “I didn’t escalate the situation. I was trying to figure out what I did wrong.”
Initially, Shipman was hesitant to approach Bolen’s car because he had no idea why he was being stopped. Which is understandable because he was just walking across the street.
The Sheriff’s Office is looking into the incident, but isn’t investigating Bolen as of yet. It also cited a Florida statute to explain Bolen’s actions, but the statute only refers to people driving vehicles, not pedestrians.
“Three cop cars, all because we crossed the mother——ing street though,” Shipman said. “We crossed the street, that’s all we did.”
Shipman continued to argue with the officer and said he wouldn’t pay the ticket and would take it to court.
He was like, ‘I hope you take that option to take it to court,’” Shipman said, “‘Because I promise you I’m going to be there.’”