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posted by janrinok on Friday July 10 2015, @10:07AM   Printer-friendly
from the land-of-the-almost-free dept.

Photography Is Not A Crime (PINAC) correspondent Michale Hoffman has been found guilty of trespassing on public property. He was arrested in August 2014 for holding up signs saying "Police State," "Liars Investigating Liars," "F??K THE TSA" and "IRS = Terrorist" on a public road leading to the Jacksonville International Airport (JAX). Hoffman was barred from invoking a First Amendment defense at his trial. "While we are disappointed in the jury's verdict we look forward to appealing the judge's rulings on the First Amendment issues that the jury was not allowed to hear or consider," said attorney Eric Friday. Furthermore:

Duval County Judge Brent Shore also refused to answer the jury's question about whether or not holding up signs on public property is illegal. It's not, of course, but prosecutors convinced the jury that all the cops had to do was order him to leave, even if he was not breaking any law, to give them the right to arrest him for trespassing. "The state convinced the jury that I didn't have to break any law to be trespassed," Hoffman said.

Judge Brent Shore created arbitrary "credentialed media" rules that prevented PINAC from filming the court case, but allowed photographers from The Florida Times-Union and News4Jax to cover the trial at the last moment.

In an order issued after Michale Hoffman recorded himself hurling insults at journalists and cops [length: 5:36] on the court steps, Chief Fourth Circuit Judge Mark Mahon threatened to arrest anyone who recorded the Duval County Courthouse, even from across the street, for contempt of court. Additionally, Judge Mahon's order banned calling into question the integrity of the court or its judges, or calling them "corrupt." In response, another PINAC correspondent demonstrated what would happen if you tried to film the courthouse [length: 4:18] (the same user also engaged in the same conduct as Hoffman [length: 10:22] in front of JAX, and was not arrested). PINAC also filed a lawsuit in federal court against Mahon on Tuesday.

Eugene Volokh of the Washington Post's Volokh Conspiracy legal blog called Mahon's order unconstitutional. The order is also discussed at the Popehat legal blog. From the order:

[T]he proper procedure for challenging a court's decision is to file an appeal with the appropriate appellate court. Shouting out on the Courthouse grounds that the Court and judges are "corrupt" during business hours while people are entering the Courthouse is entirely inappropriate and disruptive and is analogous to falsely shouting "fire" in a crowded theater...

3. Demonstrations or dissemination of materials that degrade or call into question the integrity of the Court or any of its judges (e.g., claiming the Courts, Court personnel or judges are "corrupt," biased, dishonest, partial, or prejudiced), thereby tending to influence individuals appearing before the Courts, including jurors, witnesses, and litigants, shall be prohibited on the Duval County Courthouse grounds....


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  • (Score: 2) by edIII on Friday July 10 2015, @10:55PM

    by edIII (791) on Friday July 10 2015, @10:55PM (#207683)

    blow away the illusion of authority, especially moral authority, of the police and courts and politicians and bankers and CEOs.

    Police? Check. They're moral authority has been obliterated for years. Aside from the fact that most often they're nothing more than glorified tax collectors for the state, they've been faced with scandal after scandal that shows an endemic state of corruption. Cops do, and have, regularly abused the law to prevent recording and transparency. All of it under the guise of either operational security, resisting arrest, or basically anything a cop can come up with just to book somebody. If we bring in the War on Drugs, then you have cops and law enforcement greatly motivated to violate civil rights as they can seize entire properties with Federal assistance . Stuff like that was only quite recently prevented by law in California. When you become a state sponsored and licensed highwayman, it's not shocking that you would act like a highwayman. Why not? You have the guns, and obviously anybody that has drugs has completely forfeited all of their assets to the state without due process. Obviously.

    Courts? Double and triple check. This article is a good example, but in general many judges have abdicated their responsibilities. Courts have simply become a vehicle for corruption.

    Politicians? CHECK. I don't think we need to look any further than Net Neutrality, the unPatriot Act, etc. to see government wildly out of control and disconnected for the will of the people. I would say at this point, it's completely flagrant.

    Bankers? Definitely checked. These are the same people who refused to work with home loan modifications to keep people in their homes. Bankers colluded with rich friends to negotiate all modifications in bad faith enabling the friends to pick up property on the cheap, then flip it on an already depressed market for less than market value. They're part of what keeps fucking up the market. If the home loan mods went through, there would be far less properties on the market at all. The people really buying everything up are *LARGE* investors working with 100 properties at a time, and foreign interests. If you look up the little miracle of the Deed of Trust, many properties were outright stolen since you can't argue about the Deed of Trust in the same venue that the foreclosure process takes. You need to lose your house first, *then* sue them.

    CEOs? Check. They've already escaped all accountability and responsibility, even when they kill people, since corporations can now be persons. Through shortsightedness and greed, American CEOs have destroyed the country in many ways from H1B nonsense, to only allowing 29 hours to employees to "put up the good fight" against Obamacare. Are we talking pharmaceutical? Some of those CEOs I directly liken to the "Doctors" helping the Nazis, since medical and humanitarian concerns are the *last* things on their minds.

    It must be made abundantly clear, not simply based on supposition and suspicion because nearly everyone is already there, but through mountains of facts and data.

    This occurs more or less on a weekly basis. I honestly think most people are completely aware of the situation, but feel like they have less choice than a guy in prison wearing lipstick. We know unequivocally at this point just how corrupt our country really is. The question really is, just how much longer till America snaps?

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 11 2015, @12:23AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 11 2015, @12:23AM (#207712)

    Yeah, those two or three police cases ("scandal after scandal") you obsess over out of the millions of police-public interactions per year. I don't think you understand what "endemic" means.

    Tl;dr. Yes, I'm sorry the rest of us aren't as obviously smart and insightful as you. I pity you that has to live every day so obviously smarter than everyone else. The sky really is falling, I know. I'm impressed you didn't work in "circuses" and "bread" because a few douches have recently been adding that because I guess they think it makes them sound smart. Try some Plutarch quotes too, like every fucking intellectual hipster has every decade for hundreds of years. It is amazing how the conditions in THIS COUNTRY (user to fill in their own country name) are EXACTLY like it was for the Romans before they fell, and we've been like that for a thousand years. Must be a very long fall.