The Jacksonville Sheriff’s office clearly has a lot of crime to address when its officers are arresting people for “walking on the wrong side of the road.” That is what Bobby Wingate says happened to him. He says that the officer punched him and threatened to taser him for the heinous offense.
Wingate says that he was on his way to an appointment in Arlington when an officer pulled up alongside Wingate and told him to stop. Wingate says that he said he was late for his appointment and the officer told him that he was breaking the law by “walking down the wrong side of the road.” He says that the officer punched him in the face and threatened to use his taser.
It is then that Wingate called for help . . . the police. In his 911 call, Wingate told the dispatcher “He said do I really want to fight him? I haven’t done anything wrong.”
The State Attorney’s office actually prosecuted him for resisting arrest without violence and walking down the wrong side of the road. That’s right. The State Attorney fought to convict him of walking on the wrong side of the street until a judge threw the charges out of court. He says that the officer actually could not recall what side of the road was the wrong side of the road. Then there is the always flexible theory of “resisting arrest without violence” — the perfect bookend charge to “walking on the wrong side of the street.” It is not clear if calling the police is one such criminal act of resistance without violence.
Wingate is now suing. However, the deputy is still with the Sheriff’s Office and there is no indication of any discipline. He is still presumably policing to keep people on the right side of the road . . . whatever that might be.
Kudos: Michael Blott