"Walking while black" is every bit as real as "driving while black," and the outcome can be just as potentially violent. Bobby Wingate of Jacksonville, Fla. said that last December, he was beaten, Tasered and arrested for allegedly walking on the wrong side of the road.
He was on his way to an apartment in the Arlington neighborhood when he was pulled over while walking by a police officer. When Wingate attempted to explain that he was in a rush, the officer reportedly issued him a citation for "walking on the wrong side of the road."
According to court documents, the officer punched Wingate in the face. When Wingate saw him reach for his Taser, he called 911. In audio clip, he can be heard telling the dispatcher "He said do I really want to fight him?" adding "I haven't done anything wrong." In addition to the charge for walking on the wrong side of the road, he was also charged for resisting arrest without violence.
The case went to trial, but a judge dismissed it when Wingate's arresting officer testified that he did not know which side of the road he was walking on. In response, Wingate filed a civil suit against the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. His attorney, Andrew Bonderud, is convinced that his client was a victim of blatant racial discrimination.
Gawker reports that the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office did not launch an internal investigation and that the officer is still employed.