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Two Florida police officers are under investigation after footage emerged of them arresting a legally blind man who’s navigational cane they briefly thought was a weapon.

October 31 bodycam footage from Columbia County Sheriff’s Deputy Jayme Gohde showed her and Sergeant  arresting 61-year-old James Hodges for ‘resisting arrest without violence’ after he refused to provide them with his identification.

The cops had stopped Hodges because they thought the white cane folded up and tucked in his back pocket might have been a gun.  Even though he immediately showed officers that it was not a weapon, they insisted that he give them his ID.

Insisting he hadn’t committed a crime and did not need to comply, Hodges refused to provide his ID, at which point the officers cuffed him and decided to arrest him.

Hodges spent 26 hours in prison before he was released, then later released the bodycam footage on YouTube himself.   

Columbia County Sheriff Mark Hunter told the Daily Beast he was ‘troubled’ by the incident, and insisted an investigation was underway.

James Hodges, 61, was arrested for 'resisting arrest without violence' after he refused to provide them with his identification

James Hodges, 61, was arrested for ‘resisting arrest without violence’ after he refused to provide them with his identification

Hodges’ arrest affidavit said the altercation started after Gohde saw him cross the street despite the light showing a don’t walk signal.

In the video she could be heard telling Hodges she stopped him because she thought he had a weapon in his back pocket.

He immediately told her it was a ‘navigational aid,’ then voiced his frustration at the stop. 

‘What’s the problem, are you a tyrant?’ he said.

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‘Yeah, I am, actually,’ Gohde said. ‘What’s your name and date of birth?’

'What's the problem, are you a tyrant?' Hodges asked Columbia County Sheriff's Deputy Jayme Gohde

‘What’s the problem, are you a tyrant?’ Hodges asked Columbia County Sheriff’s Deputy Jayme Gohde 

Hodges then held up his cane for Gohde to see as she said 'you don't have to be a d*** to me'

Hodges then held up his cane for Gohde to see as she said ‘you don’t have to be a d*** to me’

Another officer arrived on the scene and also asked Hodges for his identification. The officer was unnamed in the arrest affidavit

Another officer arrived on the scene and also asked Hodges for his identification. The officer was unnamed in the arrest affidavit

Hodges then refused to provide his information, telling her he did not need to give her anything because he hadn’t committed a crime.

She insisted she was investigating him for suspicion of carrying a weapon illegally, at which point she added ‘do you want me to put you in handcuffs right now?’

Hodges then held up his cane for her to see as she said ‘you don’t have to be a d*** to me.’

‘Well you’re being one to me,’ Hodges responded, before asking if he was being detained.

Gohde said he was, and after insisting she had no right to detain him he asked to speak with her supervisor.

‘He’s right here,’ she said, as the second officer arrived on the scene.

Hodges explained to both officers he did not need to give them his ID as he had clearly shown them that he did not have a weapon

Hodges explained to both officers he did not need to give them his ID as he had clearly shown them that he did not have a weapon

The officers quickly cuffed Hodges after he refused to provide them with his identification

The officers quickly cuffed Hodges after he refused to provide them with his identification

Hodges explained the incident to the officer, who then also asked him if he had an ID. 

‘I do have an ID but you don’t need it,’ he said.

The cops then suddenly put Hodges in cuffs while he asks for their names and badge numbers.

The officer then asked Hodges if he was legally blind, to which Hodges replied that he was and that he’d used the cane to help him walk through the dark to jury duty that morning.

Hodges stands in silence with the officer for a few moments while Gohde appears to do some paperwork. 

She finally said  ‘Alright, Mr. Hodges, was that that hard?’ 

Hodges responded, ‘It’s gonna be. I want your name and badge number.’

At that point the officer seemed to lose his temper, saying ‘You know what? Put him in jail for resisting’ while shrugging his shoulders.

Hodges stands in silence with the officer for a few moments while Gohde appears to do some paperwork

Hodges stands in silence with the officer for a few moments while Gohde appears to do some paperwork

Officer Mark Harrison throws up his arms and says to throw Hodges in jail for resisting arrest

Officer Mark Harrison throws up his arms and says to throw Hodges in jail for resisting arrest

Hodges is placed in the squad car after officers flippantly decide to arrest him for resisting

Hodges is placed in the squad car after officers flippantly decide to arrest him for resisting

 The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office released a statement on its Facebook page saying it was conducting an internal investigation.

‘We are aware of the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office body camera video involving the arrest of Mr. James Hodges on October 31, 2022. Sheriff Hunter is troubled by what he has seen in the video and the matter is being addressed,’ police office said.

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‘An administrative investigation was initiated on November 3, 2022 when the incident was brought to our attention. If policy violations are sustained at the conclusion of that investigation, appropriate action will be taken. While we understand the frustration and concern associated with this event, please know we are working to resolve this matter as quickly as possible.’

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