By Matt Agorist
Lake City, FL — On the morning of October 31, James Hodges, 61, a legally blind veteran, was doing nothing wrong, had harmed no one, and was minding his own business when two people — who claim to “protect society” — approached him, accosted him, and then kidnapped him.
Had a regular citizen done what these two armed agents of the state did on that day, rest assured that they would be in prison right now for kidnapping. However, because Hodges’ kidnappers wear badges, they didn’t even lose their jobs.
Hodges requested the body-camera footage from that day to release publicly and it is nothing short of infuriating. The video shows Columbia County Sheriff’s Deputy Jayme Gohde and Sergeant Randy Harrison detaining Hodges without probable cause and subsequently fabricating charges to justify their actions which led to the kidnapping and caging of an innocent man.
According to Gohde’s account of the situation, she saw Hodges’ collapsible walking cane in his back pocket and claimed it was a gun. She then proceeded to detain Hodges, who told her that it was his collapsible walking stick because he is legally blind and needs it after dark.
In her report, Gohde claimed that Hodges never showed her a clear view of his walking stick but the body-camera video proves this was a lie. As the clip tweeted out by Ford Fischer illustrates below, Hodges clearly showed Gohde the walking stick before he was arrested or even detained.
Indicating her intentions, when Hodges asked Gohde if she is a tyrant, Gohde responded, “yeah. I am actually.”
When Hodges removes the cane from his back pocket, he “clearly” holds it up, spins it around, and presents it to Gohde in a fashion that would remove all doubt that the item in his pocket is a “pistol.”
Deputy Gohde, in a signed statement, says that she believed this object was a gun until *after* arresting the blind man for his cane.
Before that, she says he "would not provide a clear view of the object."
See her bodycam before the arrest.
Do you believe she told the truth? pic.twitter.com/kv3odWUmC6
— Ford Fischer (@FordFischer) November 9, 2022
While unlawfully detaining the blind veteran for having a walking cane, Gohde calls in a supervisor and then demands Hodges present his ID. Because Florida does not have a stop and ID law on the books, a person is only expected to identify themselves to law enforcement officers only when they are stopped on suspicion of a crime or a traffic violation.
Hodges had done neither yet he was detained nonetheless.
When Sgt. Harrison shows up, he takes the unlawful detainment to a whole new level when he fabricated a charge of resisting arrest so he could “legally” kidnap Hodges.
This is the arrest itself.
Deputy Gohde says she was *then* able to identify the object as a cane rather than a gun after they arrested the blind man.
Watch for yourself, does it look like a gun until then to you?
He was ultimately imprisoned for 26 hours. pic.twitter.com/VO6kqh05SV
— Ford Fischer (@FordFischer) November 9, 2022
Hodges spent more than 24 hours locked in a cage thanks to the work of these two officers. And only after he released the body camera footage publicly did Sheriff Mark Hunter hold a press conference to claim the officers were being disciplined.
“The administrative investigation concluded the afternoon of 11/7 allegations of policy violations against these two deputies were sustained. As a result of these findings, Sergeant Harrison will be demoted immediately, suspended without pay for seven days, and will not be eligible for any favorable action for two years. Deputy Gohde will be suspended without pay for two days. Both deputies will be required to undergo remedial training pertaining to civil rights,” Hunter said during the presser.
“As sheriff, I take full responsibility for this event and I want to extend my sincere apologies to Mr. Hodges for the actions of my deputies. I do not feel like these deputies’ actions were guided by ill intent, but rather by frustration and failure to rely on their training. Nevertheless, this conduct is unacceptable. We will continue to work hard and train to ensure these incidents do not reoccur,” Hunter said.
Source: The Free Thought Project
Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world. Agorist is also the Editor at Large at the Free Thought Project. Follow @MattAgorist on Twitter, Steemit, and now on Minds.
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