The video shared by the Volusia County Sheriff’s office showed how the incident played out.
On August 27, Volusia County Sheriff officials were looking for a man suspected of stealing a weed eater / leaf blower from a shed behind a house, according to the sheriff’s report of the incident. One MP came across 28-year-old Joseph Griffin, who was jogging and matching the description of the burglar suspect.
“Hey Buddy, you have no problems or anything. A break-in happened – you kind of fit the description,” said an officer on body cam footage released by VSO as he got out of his vehicle and a sweaty Griffin approached. “Let me just make sure you̵
Griffin looks surprised when he answers and says, “Really?” and says he has his ID.
When Griffin pulls out his ID, the officer points to Griffin’s clothes and says, “They literally said white tank top, black shorts and they said you had a beard.”
“Well, I’m not saying it’s you, but it was a black man again who doesn’t say it’s you, mate,” the officer repeats.
The officer steps back and radiates his colleagues, while Griffin can be seen on a camera repeatedly looking at his phone. He started a Facebook Live and recorded the encounter.
He can be seen breathing hard in what appears to be an edited video from Facebook Live posted on Griffin’s Facebook timeline and the officer can tell him, “Look, are you just okay with me? Because you’re as described – me . ” I am not saying that you are guilty. “
Griffin replies, “I know,” then watches the Facebook livestream.
“But my sergeant tells me to hold you. This is my sergeant,” the officer says.
Griffin holds his phone up and says, “I just had a daughter who was born two days ago, so just have her on Live.”
“Is it live?” asks the officer. On the officer’s bodycam video, he says, “Do you mind putting it here?” point to the ground.
Griffin then tries to put his phone on the floor when the officer interrupts him and says he will put it on the floor for him.
“At the moment I will hold you. But you are not arrested – I am currently locking you up because you correspond to the description,” said the officer on body cameras.
Police sirens can be heard in the background as Griffin is handcuffed and then repeatedly looks at his cell phone on the floor and says, “If something happens to me, you better get all hell up.”
“By the way, I’m also live, I even have a recording,” says the detention officer.
Griffin was eventually released when officers exempted him from any involvement in the crime. Police eventually discovered that Griffin was mistakenly arrested and the real burglar suspect was later identified and arrested. However, according to VSO, this case could still lead to a positive outcome.
“We knew we were going to get a bit beaten up and criticized because there were several officers there. It never looks good. But then I was shown the video with the body camera,” Sheriff Mike Chitwood told CNN. “I saw the video. Mr. Griffin was great with my deputies. And my deputies were extremely professional. I called each and every one of them to thank them for their professionalism. I also called Mr. Griffin and thanked him for doing this. how He dealt with the situation. If you are stopped by the police, this is the course of action. This is really a teachable moment. We can learn from each other. “
“I learned that Mr. Griffin was a former MP. I asked if he would come in and train with all of our staff. He was surprised and agreed. Due to Covid-19, we can only train 20 people at a time.” We will start and continue training in early October, “added Sheriff Chitwood.” I also offered him a job. We now have 40 vacancies. But he turned the offer down, saying he had a job in healthcare. “
Sheriff Chitwood is no stranger to policing controversial racial issues. He has participated in several round tables, discussions and meetings aimed at easing tension in Volusia County and resolving racist tension.
CNN made several attempts to reach Griffin but was unable to establish contact.