A Black man was stopped by sheriff’s deputies while jogging in a predominately white neighborhood. The sheriff later offered him a job.

  • Joseph Griffin was stopped by deputies from the Volusia County Sheriff's Office while jogging through Deltona, Florida, on August 27.
  • Deputies said Griffin resembled the description of a burglary suspect, and detained him until they confirmed he was not the suspect.
  • Griffin told viewers on a Facebook Live: "If something happens to me, you all better raise hell."
  • In a statement on Facebook, Volusia Sheriff Mike Chitwood said the incident was a teacheable moment, and offered Griffin, who has experience as a military police officer, a job. 
  • Griffin turned down the job, but said he'd help with implicit bias training in the department.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

A Black man was stopped by authorities while jogging in a predominately white neighborhood after officers said he fit the description of a burglary suspect, and the town's sheriff later offered the man a job.

Body camera footage shared by the Volusia County Sheriff's Office on Facebook showed deputies stopping Joseph Griffin on August 27, in Deltona, Florida, a town that's 78% white.

In the footage, deputies handcuffed Griffin and told him he matched a burglary suspect in the area.

"Hey Buddy, you're not in any trouble or anything. There's a burglary that happened — you kind of fit the description," one deputy can be heard saying. "Let me just make sure that you're not him."

Griffin started his own Facebook Live, in which he can be heard telling viewers: "If something happens to me, you all better raise hell."

Griffin was eventually released by the deputies, who said he had been detained in error.

Deputies later arrested a suspect in the burglary, and Griffin shared side-by-side photos of him and the suspect on Facebook. 

"I didn't deserve to be cuffed on the side of the road on display with my future in the hands of this 100% accurate description," he said. 

In a statement on Facebook, Volusia Sheriff Mike Chitwood praised his deputies and Griffin for how the interaction played out, and told the local CBS affiliate WKMG-TV that he saw the incident as a teachable moment.

"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," Chitwood said. "Nobody is saying that anybody did anything wrong, but there is a way here to look at life from both sides of the coin."

Andrew Gant, a spokesman for the Volusia Sheriff's Department, told Insider that Griffin is a former military police officer and has agreed to help the department with its implicit bias training, 

"He's going to share his story and explain how this situation felt from his perspective," Gant said.

Chitwood told CNN that trainings will start in October, and due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, each session will only be able to hold 2o people.

"I also offered him a job. We have 40 openings now. But he declined that offer saying he had a job in healthcare," Chitwood said.

Gant told Insider that Griffin would be "a quality candidate" because of his military police background.

Griffin did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Source: Read Full Article