DELTONA, FL – A black man was out for a jog last month in Deltona when he was stopped by Sheriff’s Deputies because he matched the description of a burglary suspect in the area. The man was calm and professional during the encounter, so much so that the Sheriff offered him a job in law enforcement. (Video below.)
The situation started when the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a burglary which had just occurred. They were given a description of a suspect: a black male with a beard, white tank top and dark shorts.
Unfortunately for Joseph Griffin, that is the clothing he decided to go for a jog in on that morning, and he had a beard. Griffin, who is a registered nurse and former military police officer, knew what to do when he was stopped.
He complied, as he had nothing to fear since he had done nothing wrong.
Griffin began livestreaming the incident on Facebook with the deputies. In the video, the deputy explains why he stopped Griffin, saying:
“Just bear with me because you fit the description. I’m not saying you’re guilty, my sergeant’s telling me to detain you.”
Griffin puts his cell phone down as the deputy handcuffs him since he was being detained for a witness show up. This is when the victim or witness of a crime is transported to the scene where a possible suspect is detained, in order to determine if this is the person who committed the crime.
The police take great care in ensuring that the suspect cannot see the victim/witness and tell them that the person stopped may or may not be the person involved in the crime. Then, officers will ask the victim/witness to give a positive identification only if they are 100% positive that it is the suspect.
As the deputy is handcuffing Griffin, he assures him that he is only being detained and not under arrest. The deputy, instead of shutting the phone off or moving it out of sight, picks up the phone so that the recording can continue.
Griffin notes that he is nervous with the encounter, saying:
“With everything going on, it’s just a little bit scary.”
The Deputy then adds:
“See it through our eyes. We appreciate you being very cooperative.”
Griffin says as he starts to laugh:
“I’m not trying to get shot over this.”
The Deputy responds:
“Let’s avoid that race card cuz’ it ain’t here, I promise you that.”
After a few minutes, the witness is brought to the scene who informs the deputies that Griffin is not the suspect in the burglary. And just like that, he is released without incident. Griffin says to his phone:
“Wrong place, wrong time.”
Check out this update on a burglary call in Deltona. We detained a guy who was just out jogging, but who unfortunately fit the initial suspect description. Mr. Griffin is going to come out and join us during implicit bias training, and tell this story from his perspective. https://t.co/Uxt9WHjio9
— Mike Chitwood (@SheriffChitwood) September 5, 2020
Griffin seemed to know what those in law enforcement have been telling people for years. If you are being stopped by the police, there is most likely a legitimate reason for the stop. You may not agree with it at the time, but there is a proper venue to argue it, and that is in court, not in the streets.
In this situation, Griffin completely complied with all the directions given by the deputy and this amazing thing happened.
No one was hurt, no one went to jail.
Griffin’s attitude, given the current state of events throughout the country, caught the attention of Volusia County Sheriff Michael Chitwood. Chitwood said that he praised both sides, both Griffin and his deputies.
“These deputies did an outstanding job given the limited information they had about a call-in progress. Likewise, Mr. Griffin was calm and cooperative even though he had reason to be frustrated with the inconvenience…
“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. Everyone involved in this deserves recognition for a job well done.”
Griffin told the West Volusia Beacon:
“I don’t want this to be a bashing of the sheriff’s office, I want it to be an enlightening thing. Anybody can be profiled.
“On the law-enforcement-compliance side, it’s a good example of how to handle yourself. If I wasn’t calm and respectful, it could have turned into something different. There are multiple instances of the same thing that ends up with someone going to jail, getting a felony for assault, because they fight back.”
Today, while jogging in my neighborhood; I “fit the description”… “watch full video—> https://youtu.be/-YJz5E0aJAg @nursej504
Posted by Joseph Griffin on Thursday, August 27, 2020
This incident should serve as example for other law enforcement agencies and the community members, that respect is a two-way street and that all benefit from mutual respect and understanding. In this case, both Griffin and the deputies went home safely.
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Readers of Law Enforcement Today will remember Sheriff Michael Chitwood from Volusia County, Florida from a prior story we ran concerning his desire to honor those law enforcement officers making the ultimate sacrifice, nationwide. Here’s that story again.
VOLUSIA COUNTY, FL – Monday, Florida Sheriff Mike Chitwood posted a notice on Facebook.
“Effective immediately, when a Law Enforcement Officer is killed in the line of duty anywhere in this great country, we will wear our mourning crepes over our badges for five consecutive days.”
The immediate inspiration for the post were the deaths of police officers Edelmiro Garza and Ismael Chavez in McAllen, Texas. Authorities described the incident as an “ambush shooting” perpetrated by 23 year-old Audon Ignacio Camarillo.
— Danielle Knox FOX 35 (@Fox35Danielle) July 13, 2020
The officers were lured to an address in the 3500 block of Queta Street at 3:30 pm. After speaking briefly to two men who reported assaults in a nearby home, Camarillo opened fire on both officers. Shortly thereafter, Camarillo fatally shot himself.
Audacious and despicable events such as the murders of Garza and Chavez are becoming too common. Protesters and rioters alike encourage others to assault, injure, and kill police officers.
Worse, elected officials have encouraged others to treat police officers badly by reinforcing false stereotypes about police brutality, officer-involved shootings, and so-called “systemic racism” in American police departments.
One can only hope that these officials realize that they are exacerbating the damage done by criminals when they support anti-police movements.
Olympia, Washington Mayor Cheryl Selby had such a wakeup call recently. She had been supporting the Marxist group Black Lives Matter (BLM), and had even kneeled before some of their representatives in a public gathering.
At the time, she said that “the city of Olympia supports the peaceful protests that highlight the racial injustices black people continue to endure at the hands of police in the United States.”
Effective immediately, @VolusiaSheriff deputies will wear mourning crepes for 5 days & fly the American flag at half staff at all VSO locations anytime a law enforcement officer is killed in the line of duty in America
RIP McAllen Police Officers Ismael Chavez and Edelmiro Garza pic.twitter.com/KlzZYEr1Y4
— Mike Chitwood (@SheriffChitwood) July 13, 2020
A few weeks later, Selby’s home was vandalized with BLM slogans painted all over it. Looking at the paint on her house, she realized that the very same group she had supported earlier, before whose members she had kneeled in deference, were “domestic terrorists.”
Mayor Selby was lucky. She is still alive. Her house can be repainted. Officers who have fallen due to permissive official policies toward crime masked as political expression are not coming back.
Mike Chitwood, it seems, has decided he has had enough. Like police officers around the country, he has seen their hands tied by politicians, their voices ignored by the media, the good and true servants of the people maligned by malcontents with their own evil agendas, and whole communities destroyed and demoralized by increasing attacks on law and order.
Chitwood says that his officers are going to pay attention to what is happening.
They are going to acknowledge that fellow officers have been felled in the line of duty.
He wants people to know the numbers. How many police have fallen? His officers will wear mourning for the fallen. Perhaps the craven, dishonest media will see their crepe-covered badges and be motivated to ask, “what is that?” or, “For whom do you mourn?”
The police are fighting for their own lives while on the job but they are fighting for our lives also. Without them and their protection, many cities in America have already devolved into lawlessness, as we have seen over the past six weeks.
The war, however, is not being fought on the streets, it is fought on television, the press, social media, and entertainment. Real harm is done to law enforcement every day as the people of the United States and the world see a libelous, slanderous, and demonstrably false portrait of our police community portrayed in the media, encouraged by craven or ambitious politicians.
By creating a visible sign on the uniforms of his officers, Chitwood may have hit on a way to force the media to pay attention to them. His salute to the fallen will hopefully spread to every police force in the country.
Maybe then, with every police badge perpetually covered in mourning crepe, and every police station flag at half mast, the media might be forced to at least ask the question, why?
And then, maybe, America will hear the answer: Law enforcement does not suffer from systemic racism.
Police misconduct is rare. And sadly, while we have been forced to answer false charges, innocent members of the public have suffered grievous harm (Johnson, Tress, Burkel, Taylor, & Cesario, 2019).
While domestic terrorists attack our police, they also attack our families, as we’ve recently seen on social media regarding the aforementioned Officer Chavez.
Law Enforcement Today reported on Officer Ismael Chavez, who was murdered this week in McAllen. Savannah Chavez is Officer Chavez’ daughter. Yesterday, she posted on Twitter about mourning the recent loss of her father.
i miss you dad https://t.co/s5Yl89GTmB
— Sav 🐍 (@sweeetsav) July 12, 2020
Grieving the tragic and untimely death of her father, Savannah tweeted another heart-felt post, this time saying that her father died a hero and that she loved him.
What happened next was not what she or anyone else would have ever expected.
This is Savannah, the daughter of Ismael Chavez, one of the cops that was shot yesterday. She seems to have deleted her posts grieving her father due to the amount of hate she was getting from “anti-police” accounts.
It’s so sad that she can’t even mourn in peace. pic.twitter.com/tQNTskSdnp
— Roy (@rowjelli) July 12, 2020
Instead of receiving heart-warming responses from others sympathizing with her loss, a large portion of the replies and quote-tweets were from antagonistic Antifa and Black Lives Matter-aligned accounts mocking her and celebrating the death of her father.
Some even lectured her on how her father wasn’t really a good person.
The tweet became so overwhelmingly hostile that Savannah has since deleted it.
Savannah used the hashtag #bluelivesmatter, which angered some. Aside from saying things like “blue lives do NOT matter,” and “fuck blue lives” to this poor grieving girl, “ACAB,” or, All Cops are Bastards, were also found in many users’ responses to her tweet.
Others responded by saying they were glad to know that her dad had finally become a “good” cop, stating that only good law enforcement officers are the dead ones.
Images, videos, and tweet replies came pouring in.
Shut your effing mouth. This poor girl is grieving. Have some mother effing respect.
— LeahAnaya (@LeahMSAnaya) July 12, 2020
Some users commented to Savannah that this was “not the time” to post on her father’s death.
“not the right time?” Are you kidding me? When is the “right time” to post a tribute to your murdered father?
— Scott Warren (@scottthewarren) July 12, 2020
Savannah was simply mourning the death of her beloved father, the same way many other human beings would do if they were in the same situation.
Instead of respecting that, these commenters made it seem like she had some other choice, as if she should mourn the loss of her father at a later date, when it was more convenient to those protesting against her father’s profession.
Officer Chavez served two and a half years with the McAllen Police department and was 39-years-old when he was shot and killed serving and protecting his community. He was a former economics and chemistry teacher and a loving father.
Today, 2 McAllen Police officers were killed in the line of duty. Our City extends its deepest condolences to McAllen PD & to the families of OFC Edelmiro Garza & OFC Ismael Chavez. McAllen is hurting & our hearts & prayers go out to them during this difficult time#McAllenStrong pic.twitter.com/SpwHe9yxii
— City of McAllen, TX (@CityofMcAllen) July 12, 2020
Here is what the tweet originally said:
“Words cannot describe the pain I’m in, but I’m glad my dad is at peace. You were an amazing man and anyone who ever came across you knew that. I’m going to miss you so much. You died doing what you loved most, you died a hero. I love you daddy. See you soon. #bluelivesmatter”
Officer Chavez and his partner officer Garza were killed while answering a domestic disturbance call Saturday afternoon.
During a press conference, McAllen Police Chief Victor Rodriguez said:
“The officers were shot by a suspect as they approached the door of a home. The officers never had a chance to suspect a deadly assault on them, much less death, at that moment in time.”
“These are difficult moments. The officers came here to maintain peace. Instead, they were taken down by gunfire.”
Two of our finest were killed in the line of duty while working to protect residents in their community.
I've spoken with McAllen Police Chief Victor Rodriguez and offered the full support of the State of Texas.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) July 11, 2020
As Savannah, Chavez’s daughter said, her father is a hero. It is disheartening, disturbing, and unimaginable that she received the heartless and soul-less comments that she did. Below are just a few of the horrible things people tweeted in response to her tweet, and some responses to the hurful ignorance.
How sick in the head do you have to be to talk like this to a girl whose father has just been murdered?
Get help. You are behaving like garbage.
— Frank James ⚒ (@silentd78909988) July 12, 2020
#BlueLivesMatter #BlueLivesMatter #BlueLivesMatter #BlueLivesMatter #BlueLivesMatter #BlueLivesMatter #BlueLivesMatter #BlueLivesMatter #BlueLivesMatter #BlueLivesMatter #BlueLivesMatter #BlueLivesMatter #BlueLivesMatter #BlueLivesMatter #BlueLivesMatter
— Karla Tanner (@lizabetty89) July 12, 2020
Karma's gonna be a bitch someday….
— Your #Resistance is futile – but FUNNY🇺🇸 (@DMR0514) July 12, 2020
Savannah’s cousin wrote on Twitter:
“For literally ANYONE that is giving MY cousin sh*t for grieving her FATHER, can literally go to f*cking hell. This man was the most loving and caring person anyone could ever meet! It’s pathetic how people can be so unsympathetic to a girl that is trying to commemorate her father.”
Another person defended Savannah by saying:
“She never said it in response to Black Lives Matter. She said it to honor one man. Her dad. Show some f*cking compassion.”
And again from another person:
“What is wrong with people…sorry for your loss sweetheart. Thank you for your dad’s service, may he rest in peace.”
Due to original tweet being removed, the many other hundreds of comments, even the kind-hearted ones from normal people, can no longer be viewed on Twitter.
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