Jogger detained in Florida for fitting suspect description offered job by sheriff

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DELTONA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Black man detained by Florida deputies while out on a jog has been offered a job with the sheriff’s office.

Former military policeman Joseph Griffin already has a job as a registered nurse, but Volusia Sheriff Mike Chitwood said he’ll be joining them anyway for a day of implicit bias training.

Griffin was out for a jog last week when deputies stopped him for fitting the description of a burglary suspect they were searching for. The deputies said they were looking for a black male with a white tank top, dark shorts, and a beard — which Griffin matched.

After the initial shock wore off, Griffin took out his cell phone and began live streaming the incident on his Facebook page.

“Just bare with me, because you fit the description,” the first deputy on scene said. “I’m not saying you’re guilty, but my sergeant is telling me to detain you.”

Griffin put down his phone as the deputy placed handcuffs on him.

“If something happens to me, y’all better raise hell,” Griffin said to the viewers on his Facebook live.

“Again, buddy, you’re not under arrest, it’s just that you fit the description,” the deputy reiterated.

The deputy then offered to hold Griffin’s cell phone for him to continue live streaming their interaction.

“It’s just a lot goin’ on today,” Griffin said, alluding to the national uproar over the death of George Floyd and shooting of Jacob Blake at hands of police officers.

Griffin stood there with deputies of the next 13 or so minutes until he was cleared to go. The deputies expressed their gratitude toward Griffin for keeping a calm demeanor, and apologized for the inconvenience.

“These deputies did an outstanding job given the limited information they had about a call in progress,” Sheriff Chitwood said. “Likewise, Mr. Griffin was calm and cooperative even though he had reason to be frustrated with the inconvenience.”

Chitwood even offered Griffin a job with the sheriff’s office.

“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,” he said.

“Everyone involved in this deserves recognition for a job well done.”

The body cam footage concludes with the deputies arresting the actual suspect involved in the burglary.

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