Thursday, March 22, 2012

PROHIBITED!

Via Mr. Atrios:
“Zimmerman provided a statement claiming he acted in self defense, which at the time was supported by physical evidence and testimony,” the letter, signed by Sanford City Manager Norton Bonaparte Jr., says. “By Florida Statute, law enforcement was PROHIBITED from making an arrest based on the facts and circumstances they had at the time.” (Caps are theirs.)
Officer #1: You can't arrest that guy! He hasn't done anything!
Officer #2: The hell I can't! Let's book him for...oh wait, you're right, we are prohibited from making an arrest.

Clearly the solution is to declare a tiny out-of-the-way corner in Florida a Free Speech Zone and outside that all bets are off.

15 comments:

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

And yet they arrest people all the time, and sometimes even convict them.

For nothing.
~

Sirius Lunacy said...

Next time they try to give me a speeding ticket here in Florida I'm going to tell them it was self-defense.

Aunt Snow said...

"Supported by physical evidence and testimony."

Um, "testimony?" Is that the thing where someone swears on a bible and makes statements in front of a judge or officer of the court?

When did that happen? AFAIK, the only information taken down were what most folks call "witness statements," including that of Zimmerman himself.

Smut Clyde said...

I read that the relevant clause of the Florida legal code (776.032 -- "Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force") does indeed specifically prohibit police from even *making an arrest* unless they can prove -- there on the spot -- that the guy with the smoking gun and all the blood did *not* believe that he was trying to prevent some manner of naughtiness.

It may not use the word PROHIBITED in caps.

Of course without making an arrest, they can't ask the questions or collect the evidence that might disprove the guy's claim about his motivation. Feature not bug.

Substance McGravitas said...

Here I think the ability of cops to do things they are not actually allowed to do comes into play.

Smut Clyde said...

Oh yes. But this way no-one can accuse them of negligence on the occasion when they do *not* break the law.

mikey said...

Hmm.

And yet, there were a simply remarkable number of times when they tore everything including the seats out of my car to find the drugs and the guns, only to write in the police report that the contraband was lying in plain sight when they looked through the car windows, giving them probable cause to, of course, search the car. Perfect recursive law enforcement.

But they were PROHIBITED, you see, from arresting that white fellow. Little known fact: The fourth amendment starts out "The following are just suggestions, guidelines to be used when convenient or when the subject of the search might be white, and as such may be disregarded at any time"...

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Supported by physical evidence

yeah, the evidence of the dead black kid. What more do you want?

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

But they were PROHIBITED, you see, from arresting that white fellow. Little known fact: The fourth amendment starts out "The following are just suggestions, guidelines to be used when convenient or when the subject of the search might be white, and as such may be disregarded at any time"...

Exactly, mikey. Meanwhile, like in Chicago back int he sixties, the same clause allows them to beat, taser, and arrest anybody who is not sufficiently corporately attired in the vicinity of any Occupy protest....

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Next time they try to give me a speeding ticket here in Florida I'm going to tell them it was self-defense

THIS IS AN AWESOME IDEA.

"officer, I was smoking this joint in self-defense."

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

"Officer, this neighbor's dog was going to pee on my lawn; I am shitting on his car in self-defense."

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Why has it taken us this long to think of applying the Bush Doctrine to our own laws?

Jeffrey Dahmer could have said "Officer, I cut his head off because he worried me in his comatose drugged state".

Of course, that was kind of pretty much the line he used when one of his victims made it out of the door, so it looks like we are already there in Milwaukee. I mean, as long as your talking about gays and minorities.

Substance McGravitas said...

I guess this is the end of fistfights, right? I mean, beating someone half to death is only halfway to a get-out-of-jail-free card.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

“Zimmerman provided a statement claiming he acted in self defense, which at the time was supported by physical evidence and testimony”

"Guy says he was justified."
"That's good enough for me."

With any luck, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Mitt Romney will engage in a heated gun battle at the GOP convention in Tampa... self defense, folks.

mikey said...

With any luck, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Mitt Romney will engage in a heated gun battle...

I was going to examine, at great length as is my wont, the concept of a non-heated (cool? casual? friendly?) gun battle here, but then I remembered one night in Whitey's in San Rafael. There were four of us who worked for Whitey sitting at a table in the back, and five Outlaws came in and walked up to the bar. It was the middle of the week, nobody was into it, everybody was kind of laid back and even the hookers weren't feeling it - they shrugged at each other and went back to their lines.

Well, shit, y'gotta keep up appearance, so my man Doug yelled something insulting at the Outlaws, but he kind of garbled it, and they were confuzzled and uncertain if they had been insulted by one of Witey's guys or by a retard. I suggested Doug take the marbles out of his mouth and try again. Andrew reached under the table for the side-by-side and fumbled it and the goddam thing clattered to the floor. Ok, NOW the Outlaws were pretty clear on what was coming down.

But we were all laughing at each other and everybody kind of hesitantly hauled out whatever they were carrying (Doug and I were both carrying Smith 66s at that point, in these cool leather small-of-the-back rigs with a velcro flap that some friend of his made for us) and started banging away - we actually flipped over the table (as if that might protect you from anything but Hollywood fire) and something on the order of 100 shots were exchanged at about 4 meters range, the Outlaws ran out the door and NOBODY was hit. I personally fired 18 rounds - one full cylinder and two Safariland combat speedloaders, all I had on me - without even looking - we were still laughing at each other and yelling garbled insults at the Outlaws.

I'm pretty sure that sort of thing doesn't happen very much anymore, but that's what the Bald Bastard had in mind...