Man pardoned by NJ governor aims to be Baltimore police officer

Posted at 8:34 PM, Nov 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-29 07:26:12-05

One of Baltimore city police's newest recruits is ready to begin his road to redemption after he was arrested and charged with a felony in New Jersey.

Steffon Josey-Davis would've given anything to become a police officer, but couldn't because of an arrest and what he calls a misunderstanding. 

"I just want to show people in the city that anything is possible, you still have hope. There's still hope for you out here," he said, minutes after filling out paperwork to sign up for the police academy. 

It's a word he clung to for years after his own dreams were dashed. 

"I was in the process to becoming part of the North Brunswick PD and was No.1 on their list and I had to withdraw from the process due to the fact that I had a second-degree felony pending," Josey-Davis said. 
He worked as an armed security guard in New Jersey -- owning a Smith & Wesson handgun himself. 
On a September day in 2013, Josey-Davis says he'll never forget, he left his gun in his car's glove compartment. 
"I meant to take it back out when I had put it back upstairs, but I had rushed out," he said. 
He didn't remember until he was pulled over that night for an expired registration -- he didn't yet have his permit, so the officers took his gun. 
"When I went down there to go claim the firearm, that's when the placed me under arrest and charged with me with a second degree felony," Josey-Davis said. 
Unlawful possession of a firearm -- a felony where offenders can face up to ten years in prison in New Jersey. 
"That running through my mind, I didn't know what to do," Josey-Davis said. 
He ended up taking a deal, putting him on probation for a year -- but he was still considered a felon. 
 "I lost everything. I was really a wreck at one point," he said, remembering moments during his probation. 
Going from job to job and gaining a groundswell of support on social media, Josey-Davis was pardoned by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie two years after he was arrested. 
He went back to chasing his dream of becoming an officer applying to departments across the country. 
He finally got a call from Baltimore city. 
"Baltimore is a city, they're a big department. It's a diverse department. If you're passionate about this profession, you should go wherever you can and wherever they need the help," Josey-Davis said. 
And some help towards redemption for Josey-Davis on his road to finally becoming an officer. 
"I just feel as though my story should be something that should motivate people, especially the ones that are doing the wrong thing to do the right thing because it just shows you, even when doing the right thing, if you mess up, you only have one chance," he said. 
Josey-Davis begins his first day with the Baltimore city police academy on Thursday. 
If he passes and gets through all the training, he'll be an officer in Baltimore city by next summer.

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