Partner of arrested visually impaired veteran speaks

TV 20 spoke exclusively with her on her emotions about the arrest
Published: Nov. 7, 2022 at 8:25 PM EST
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LAKE CITY, Fla. (WCJB) - After seeing the video of her partner’s arrest, Rutha M. Jenkins could not hold back the tears.

“You can’t help it when somebody you love got caught up and it wasn’t necessary,” said Jenkins.

Jenkins is talking about 61-year-old Jim Hodges, her visually impaired partner who is a veteran.

Hodges was arrested last week after crossing the street coming back from jury duty. He was stopped by a police officer who thought he had a gun in his back pocket.

It turned out to be the cane that he uses as a visual guide.

Hodges refused to give Columbia County Sheriff’s Deputies his identification, saying they did not have proper suspicion to investigate him. After showing the cane to the Deputies, he was handcuffed.

He was later arrested after discussion with deputies when they claimed he was resisting arrest.

“He captured it on his phone and he showed it to me, and that’s when I cried,” said Jenkins, “because the man don’t do no wrong...I mean he did speak out for himself but he didn’t throw no punches or nothing like that. It just wasn’t fair.”

“It’s disturbing, and it don’t just bother me it bother him too. And he [was] telling me ‘don’t let it upset you baby,’ but I can’t help it.”

The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office released a statement but declined to be interviewed. They say there is an ongoing investigation into the incident.

“Sheriff Hunter is troubled by what he has seen in the video and the matter is being addressed...If policy violations are sustained at the conclusion of that investigation, appropriate action will be taken.”

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