A Tufts University history professor was knocked down and arrested for jaywalking while in the city for a convention.
Felipe Fernandez-Armesto was attending the American Historical Association’s convention in Atlanta last week when he was stopped by a plainclothes police officer after crossing a street in downtown Atlanta.
“Where I come from, jaywalking is not a crime,” said Fernandez-Armesto, who is British. “It did not occur to me that there was anything wrong with what I was doing.”
And the former Oxford professor, who has written 19 books, said the situation grew more tense when he did not immediately realize it was a police officer who was questioning him.
“When I questioned who he was he said something to the effect of ‘When I give you an order, you obey it,’” Fernandez-Armesto said. “I asked him what his authority was because I didn’t see a badge. Where I’m from, you don’t associate young gentlemen in bomber jackets with the police. But he was extremely upset I had questioned his bona fides.”
Fernandez-Armesto, 56, said he was unable to produce proper identification because he had left his green card in his hotel room.
At that point, he says the officer lost patience, kicked his legs from under him and held him down. Two other officers helped hold him down as he was arrested.
Fernandez-Armesto said he suffered a gash on his forehead and a bruise on his wrist as he tried to break his fall.
“It was the most violence I’ve ever experienced in my life,” he said. “And I was mugged once while at Oxford.”
Police confirmed the professor was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.
Remember, this is the city where 92-year-old ladies have to worry about their doors being busted in by police.
Not that the rest of the country is much better. Remember, foreigners are more afraid to come to the U.S. than anywhere else.
Jailed Jaywalker. Charges were eventually dropped.