Florida cops investigated for viral video of arrest of blind man: report
James “Jim” Hodges / screengrabs from police body cam footage

Columbia County Sheriff Mark Hunter has opened an investigation after a blind man spent 26 hours in jail after being hassled by deputies for jaywalking with a white cane walking stick in his pocket.

James “Jim” Hodges, 61, was arrested for resisting arrest without violence and received a $1,000 bail, The Daily Beast reported.

"According to an arrest affidavit, the incident began on Halloween morning when Deputy Jayme Gohde watched Hodges cross the street despite a crosswalk beacon indicating he should wait. Gohde tells Hodges she stopped him because she thought he was carrying a weapon in his back pocket," The Beast reported. "Hostility between Gohde and Hodges is present from early in the exchange. The deputy asked Hodges what was in his back pocket and the 61-year-old shot back that it was his walking stick, along with some choice words."

The body cam footage captured the interaction.

“It’s a navigational aid, what’s the problem, are you a tyrant?” Hodges asked.

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“Yeah, I am, actually,” Gohde replied.

The deputy says she believed he was carrying a gun.

"Have you ensured it's not a firearm? Hodges asked.

"No, you keep turning so I can't see it," the deputy replied. "You don't have to be a dick to me."

At that point, Hodges pulled out his white walking stick with red marking clearly identifying it was a navigational aid for the vision impaired.

"Well you're being one to me," Hodges replied.

"No sir, I'm doing my job," the deputy claimed.

"Do you have a crime?" Hodges asked. "Call your supervisor, please."

He's right here, the deputy replied as the department escalated its response to the situation.

The video then shows a deputy with stripes on the sleeves of his uniform.

Later in the video, Hodges said told the supervisor, "I want your name and badge number.”

The Beast reported, "Hodges’ request appears to strike a nerve with the unnamed deputy and he tells Gohde to arrest Hodges on a resisting arrest charge. Gohde then escorts the man to her cruiser and places him in the back."

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