Viral Video Of Black Man Detained By Police, And Later Offered A Job, Offers Valuable Lesson
Video went viral of a black man, Joseph Griffin, who was detained by police for fitting a suspect's description and later offered a job.
A Black man out for a jog was detained by police because he fit the description of a burglary suspect. The man, Joseph Griffin, began streaming the interaction on Facebook given today’s political climate. Griffin was so professional with police during the incident that the local Sheriff later offered him a job.
Police Detain Joseph Griffin, A Black Man Who Matches Suspect’s Description
Joseph Griffin was out for his customary jog. However, this time was different. Unfortunately, this former military policeman’s attire – a white tank top and black shorts – matched what a nearby burglar was wearing.
To add insult to injury, Grifin’s physical characteristics also aligned with the burglar. They both are bearded Black men.
It was an unfortunate similarity but one that both parties believe can benefit the community thanks to the fact that Griffin’s livestream went viral.
From Click Orlando:
“African American male, with a white tank top and black shorts, initially,” said Joseph Griffin. “Of course, it was pretty scary. I didn’t know what was going on at first when he approached me.”
Griffin started a Facebook Live video as one deputy put him in handcuffs.
“I figured if there were eyes on, then nothing bad would have happened,” he said.
In the video, the deputy told Griffin that he was not under arrest but was being detained because he fit the description. Another deputy held Griffin’s phone so it could still record.
“We’ll take care of you buddy, promise not going to let anything happen,” a deputy said.
The father of two said it took about 15 minutes before authorities cleared and released him. He said they also apologized for the inconvenience and thanked him for being understanding and respectful.
Remain Calm And In Control When Approached By Police
Being detained by police can be terrifying. Imagine being out for a jog and ending up in handcuffs because you are dressed like a recent burglar. But, Griffin remained in control by cooperating.
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“No one will say you’re wrong for being frustrated because it’s scary and frustrating. But, I will say if you remain calm, at least 85% of the time the situation will go your way,” the father of two recalls. “Yes, the officer has authority, but in the end, you have control.”
The police officers were incredibly respectful of the military veteran who is an ICU nurse, explaining everything to him each step of the way.
Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood believes this interaction is one that other officers can learn from. He asked Griffin to attend a implicit bias training class and share the experience.
They both discussed the situation with Headline News in the tweeted video below.
“If you remain compliant, usually things will turn out your way.” Advice from Joseph Griffin who was wrongly detained by police after matching the description of a burglary suspect. He and @SheriffChitwood of the @VolusiaSheriff department joined me live this morning. pic.twitter.com/p741BkhsIp
— Robin Meade (@RobinMeade) September 9, 2020
“The way we stopped Mr. Griffin is the way we would have stopped a white guy, a Black guy, a Hispanic guy or a purple guy,” the Sheriff stated. “Nobody is saying that anybody did anything wrong, but there is a way here to look at life from both sides of the coin.”
Police Offer Joseph Griffin Job As A Deputy
Sheriff Chitwood also tweeted that he would offer Griffin a job if the military veteran is ever interested in becoming a deputy.
I think we can all learn from his point of view, just like he has listened to ours. 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.
— Mike Chitwood (@SheriffChitwood) September 5, 2020
Sometimes things happen for a reason. This situation was unfortunate, but both Joseph Griffin and the police believe it can make these interactions better for all parties.
There is a lot to learn here from the livestream of Joseph Griffin’s police encounter, which you can watch below.