Feb 172017
 

Here is the police incident report: https://thebluepaper.com/wp-content/uploads/17000704-1.pdf

 

 

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Arnaud and Naja Girard
Arnaud and Naja Girard, publishers and editors of the new, digital, Key West the Newspaper (The Blue Paper) previously reported for the former Key West The Newspaper, Key West’s longest running independent weekly, published by Dennis Reeves Cooper, Ph.D., from January 1994 until November 2012. The Girards are perhaps best known for their discovery of and extensive research surrounding the US Navy’s 1951 claim of ownership of Wisteria Island but are also responsible for top investigative stories including breaking news coverage of the highly controversial in-custody-death of Charles Eimers on Thanksgiving Day 2013, the catastrophic police tasing of Matthew Shawn Murphy, and the property tax scandal involving Balfour Beatty to name a few. Additionally the Girards have become well known for their in-depth investigations into local governments' sometimes questionable dealings with high dollar developers. Arnaud and Naja have lived in Key West since 1986.

  51 Responses to “Rough Arrest Part II”

  1. Those “mother fucker” cops should be off the police force. They are much too macho for Key West. Looked like Berlin in I940. Will appreciate your paper pursueing this incident.

  2. Interesting…but not unusual. You will note that this is the 13th arrest for Mr. Knight, for similar offenses, over the last 2-1/2 years.

    Cops are babysitters?

    Dickford

  3. Obvious excessive physical force in retaliation for.a drunken comment. Subject was leaving the property as instructed immediately after the trespass warning, so trespass was not a valid violation. Therefore, we have a falsified police report. Very clear violation of body cam use requirements. Disciplinary action against officers involved is clearly warranted, but is unlikely in the police state that is Key West, where homeless are targeted for abuse. May at least one of these cops one day find himself homeless through some misfortune that he does not now envision. It does not take much..

    Plead guilty or do jail time? Where is “innocent until proven guilty”? Where is the right to fair and speedy trial?

    Does it take angry mob riots to get really basic Constitutional rights respected? Shame again on the KWPD- giving cops the world over a bad reputation and placing them at risk from a public that feels threatened. That’s just plain stupid. Honorable cops need to come out against the dishonorable for their own protection if nothing else.

  4. Mr Knight is always Acting like a Fool when I see him in that parking lot or by circle k on Duval. Maybe he should have thought before he ran his mouth. When he was walking and cursing if people were affected in his proximity he was guilty of disturbing peace and public nuisance. Chris Rock has a great tutorial on this subject Maybe He should have watched it Its called HOW NOT TO GET YOUR ASS BEAT BY THE POLICE he broke at least 3 of the guidelines! Play stupid games win stupid prizes .If you gonna be dumb you better be tough!

  5. Looked like the kid asked for it!!! Was he high or intoxicated? I would not want that bum out front of my store nor would I want to see that bum in front of Publix when I go shopping there. Check out his past arrests. The cops probably knew him. I bet they turned of the cameras after the first time they put the kid in the car thinking it was done and over with. Then the cops had to pull him back out and forgot to turn the cameras back on. Definitely watch the “How to not get your ass kicked by the police” video on youtube. It is funny as heck, but so true. Maybe the cops twisted his wrist a little far?I don’t think so, I would have twisted it a lot farther. But where do you draw the line? Kudos to the cops for having plenty of restraint. The kid asked for what he got.

  6. The lack of body cam video should cause the officers to be disciplined.

    Further, their actions should be reviewed by the review board for possible further disciplinary action.

    I was willing to give them the benefit of doubt but the body cam footage I saw in no way justifies their actions. Deliberately stopping the video and lack of footage is tantamount to them showing intent to aggressive and possible illegal force.

    The Chief should be disciplined for the officers shutting off their video while he is responsible for them. This type of behavior is unacceptable.

    Rather than everyone complaining about this what positive action can be taken to prevent it from happening in the future?

    • Well, we did ask the Chief of Police to go on camera with us and tell us his thoughts about this incident and another involving 2 of the same officers and the same homeless person. We wanted to look at the videos with the Chief and be able to ask questions to gain a better understanding. Does the Chief believe these officers behaved professionally and according to policy? We also asked that he speak on camera specifically about the KWPD’s use of force policy and bodycam policy and about homeless issues and what the City is asking of its police when it comes to dealing with homeless issues. Unfortunately, the Chief did not accept our invitation to express his views on camera.

      From what we have seen on social media it looks like there are MANY outspoken residents that feel these officers were PROFESSIONAL in their response to this incident involving a homeless man sleeping in public who, while leaving the scene, exclaimed his distaste for the police in vulgar terms. These residents [and there are MANY] continue to express their opinion that the officers involved should be COMMENDED for a job well done.

      In other words, for many of our outspoken residents, including some of those who were at the scene, this incident and the video footage provided is an example of EXACTLY what they WANT our police to do when it comes to homeless persons, who are found sleeping in public and who leave the area when asked to do so, but insult the police on their way out. These residents are VERY happy to have their tax dollars used for this very purpose. They appear to have no apparent interest in what the U.S. Supreme Court has to say about the constitutional concept or theory of “freedom of speech” nor have those that commend the performance of the officers who responded to this call about a man sleeping in front of Publix been inspired to debate the subtle differences between “reasonable” vs. “excessive” force.

      Those with a different point of view, like you, have come forth as well, but they are far and few between… What was it that Martin Luther King said again?

      ~ Naja Girard

      • Dear Editor,

        Yes, most sane citizens here DO firmly believe that this fellow Knight crossed the line with his anti-social behavior and deservedly drew the heightened attention of the police. While I’m sure he was stressed, he was not injured. This, apparently, is his pattern of behavior…common among the “homeless” among us.

        In your opinion, what would be/should be the acceptable way for the responding officers to treat this quite valid citizen/owner complaint?

        You speak of 1st Amendment rights: I have news for you…your Constitutional rights end at my nose. While you always retain your rights, they come with responsibilities. This shopping center is PRIVATE property…attendant with ALL applicable Constitutional rights due to the owner thereof. Mr. Knight “invaded” this property…and the police were “invited” to remove this unwanted guest. That Mr. Knight created a disturbance is unquestionable.

        Let me ask: If Mr. Knight had invaded your home or business, acting in this manner…what would you have done, or expected the police to do?
        Would you have merely laxed back and sipped your latte while Mr. Knight exercised his “Constitutional rights”?

        Dickford

        • Are you asking, Dickford, whether I would have approached this homeless man in the way Officer Chaustit did? With instant profanity in my speech? And whether I would then have, after the homeless man returned my insults on his way out of my “private property”, chased him down and blindly thrown him into a wall in an area without regard to the children who could have seen my actions or worse been trampled upon by one or another of our heavy bodies, then fiercely thrown him to the ground very near a pillar that, had his head made contact with it, could have caused him great harm or even death, then applied “pain compliance” by twisting his arms and wrists until he cried like a baby [or gotten my “strong man” to do it for me] while I required him to come to my car and be transported to my jail and then pull him back out of my car and apply some more “pain compliance”? No Dickford. I would not have done that. And I would have objected with all my force had police officers done so on my behalf. And – you know what Dickford? There are thousands upon thousands of police officers in this great country of ours who would not have done that either. And there are hundreds upon hundreds of Judges who have declared it illegal. Those officers that I speak of have time and time again shown the great patience and professionalism that is required of the job of policing, despite the fact that some residents, apparently you are included in this group, call for them to ignore the U.S. Constitution and the U.S Supreme Court rulings and to inflict punishment on the street for their “heinous” crimes consisting of “sleeping” and “cursing”. And do you know what else Dickford? I thank those police officers for their great work — with all my heart. Some of them live and work here in the Keys. Thank you to all of the police officers out there that could have and would have handled this without the violence. ~ Naja Girard

          • Great reply, Naja! I appreciate it. Your ardor on the subject is commendable.

            Yet…methinks you tend to exaggerate just a wee bit.

            Please…consider the circumstances here: This fellow was “sleeping” on private property…uninvited. He could easily have complied with the officer’s request to remove himself. In an inebriated state, he obviously decided to make a “nuisance” of himself, instead. So, yes…as a complainant, I would expect the police to do whatever they considered necessary to remove this person from the premises immediately: He is obviously breaching the peace I have every right to expect. That is not only the law but the requirement of a civil society. Mr. Knight, in effect, threatened the social order. He exacerbated the incident with his resistance: That resistance is patently obvious in the video(s) you published.

            Simply put: That behavior in public is simply not tolerated by society-at-large. Nor, should it be. Mr. Knight was NOT “deprived” of his rights. But, the equal rights of other citizens were also upheld.

            See how this works? And, seriously…you probably don’t want to know what I would have done with this sorry idiot.;-)

            Dickford

      • I don’t think this is about “freedom of speech”. It looks like the kid was trespassing, even while he was leaving, he was trespassing. It seems as though the cops were nice and didn’t arrest him, they let him leave. Then the kid was rude to the cops and everybody else with in shouting distance so the cops changed their mind and arrested the kid for trespassing anyway. Why should they be nice to him and not arrest him for trespassing when he has an attitude like that?

        • You nailed it, Aaron! Thanks.

          I think the cops acted appropriately in this incident…from what I viewed on the video(s) offered. Mr. Knight was indeed trespassing. But, he didn’t stop there. He subsequently engaged in creating a “public nuisance” of his presence.

          I have personally witnessed dozens of similar incidents here…all resulting in arrest of the participant(s) by whatever means. In virtually every case, the arrestees EARNED their plight.

          Dickford

          • Now. Now. The officers stated they were issuing a trespassing warning and that they would arrest him if he refused to leave. Let’s have a look at the trespassing statute. This would have been trespassing in other than a structure or conveyance:

            810.09 Trespass on property other than structure or conveyance.—
            (1)(a) A person who, without being authorized, licensed, or invited, willfully enters upon or remains in any property other than a structure or conveyance:
            1. As to which notice against entering or remaining is given, either by actual communication to the offender or by posting, fencing, or cultivation as described in s. 810.011; or
            2. If the property is the unenclosed curtilage of a dwelling and the offender enters or remains with the intent to commit an offense thereon, other than the offense of trespass,
            commits the offense of trespass on property other than a structure or conveyance.
            (b) As used in this section, the term “unenclosed curtilage” means the unenclosed land or grounds, and any outbuildings, that are directly and intimately adjacent to and connected with the dwelling and necessary, convenient, and habitually used in connection with that dwelling.
            (2)(a) Except as provided in this subsection, trespass on property other than a structure or conveyance is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
            (b) If the offender defies an order to leave, personally communicated to the offender by the owner of the premises or by an authorized person, or if the offender willfully opens any door, fence, or gate or does any act that exposes animals, crops, or other property to waste, destruction, or freedom; unlawfully dumps litter on property; or trespasses on property other than a structure or conveyance, the offender commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

  7. Oops! It seems that your message, Naja….was interrupted by the limitations of your site.

    Doesn’t matter, really. You’re trying to be a lawyer here. Please…don’t go there…

    Here’s the deal: The nanosecond that that trespass order was issued clearly means that the “offender” is immediately required to leave the premises without subsequent action(s)..Obviously…he did not. End of story.

    Dickford

    • Wow. I am amazed at how differently people see the same video footage. Thank you for your comments Dickford!

      • My pleasure, Naja.

        Facts are that I have been stopped…frisked and even arrested by the local gendarmerie. I knew the drill…and readily complied with LEO requests. Every contact I’ve ever had in the Keys with law enforcement personnel has been courteous, respectful and professional. I can’t say enough good words about the intelligence and perception these folks employed in regard to safeguarding my personal rights. They were exceptional.

        What was witnessed on your tape(s) is a livid example of the common reality these cops encounter every day…sadly. How would you like to spend the better part of your day…figuring out what some idiot could/should do with his/her life? I have spent MANY hours/days in this endeavor and have yet to see any serious, positive results.

        It has long been my contention (based on personal experience) that there are certain people who are literally committed to this lifestyle that we loosely term as “homeless”. In effect, they are quite content with their lot. I know many of them. Do you? If you do, just go to the Sheriff’s website to see how many times these characters have been arrested. There is no excuse for these incidents. The cops are only doing what we ask of them.

        Further…it is unfair to compare this incident to the “Eimers affair”. There is no comparison.

        Dickford

        • Did someone compare this to the Eimers affair? I must have missed that comment.

          • Ulp! No…there was no outright comparison to the “Eimers affair”. My error.

            The “Eimers incident” particularly sticks in my craw: Due, in no small part, to your diligence and tenacity in digging out the truth. Your efforts went way beyond being just commendable. It was a crime. No other way to say it. The Eimers case is/was our “Freddie Gray moment”…and a monumental disgrace to the many, many fine efforts exhibited every day by Key West’s “finest”…large and small.

            Mr. Knight’s “adventure” falls into the latter category. Despite clearly being confrontational and combative, he was treated (and charged) with due compassion and respect: His charges are all misdemeanors. Kid stuff. HE brought the “rough treatment” on himself.

            Ask yourself: How…precisely…would you have proceeded differently. Please…I open the floor to your comments.

            Dickford

  8. Had they used body cams and kept a copy then we would all see what actually happened. This seems to be about insulting the cops as he was attempting to leave. Had they just tolerated a few insults the man would have left and saved tax dollars. Without the cams all we have is the cops word and they are biased.
    And yes it was Eimers style of handling it. Surprised ? KWPD = Key West PIG Department.

    • Whoa, Jim! You’re right with regard to “KWPD=Key West PIG Department” to a certain degree: We have placed KWPD in the responsible position of ridding our social environment of the “pigs” around us…and of their threats to our “peace”. It’s a thankless task. Live a few hours on their side of the badge and you’ll come to realize what it takes to be a “babysitter”. We all have our limits. And…many of these moments are NEVER captured on video.

      Simply put: I would never tolerate a fool like Mr. Knight within my view. Neither would you.

      Dickford

  9. The question remains: Is the Key West police chief a man or a mouse? I have been a resident of Key West for over six decades. I was arrested by Key West’s finest -at my own childhood home -for trespassing. To make matters worse, my public defender acted more like a prosecutor, than a public defender. I am so happy the Monroe County State Attorney and the former assistant public defender, were not elected. Cheers! The new state attorney should now reopen the Public Corruption Unit. I remember when former Sheriff Billy Freeman made his deputies take drug lie detector tests and submit financial statements, 60% of the officers had to quit. And I don’t think it’s a good idea for vision-impaired police officers to work off-duty for the liquor interests. I believe the Key West police department is being run as a criminal enterprise and that the Key West Police Community Review Board is nothing but a protection racket for police misconduct.

  10. Along with too many of my Brothers, I returned home disabled from combat wounds. Shortly thereafter, I went Homeless in NYC for 4 years. During cold winter nights, a heated subway car was sought for warmth. Sweltering summer heat in the concrete jungle, brought me to the roof tops of buildings in the South Bronx.

    Throughout my travails, never once was I accosted, harassed or abused by any type of law-enforcement officer. I never had any conflict with the police. In fact, I instinctively felt that in their own way, they were keeping an eye on me. This distinct premonition was in fact a reality. During those 4 years, unbeknownst to me at the time, I was often steered towards safer locales and randomly checked upon by patrol officers and other members of the police department.

    Upon my admission to New York University, myself and a large number of New York’s Finest gathered and celebrated this success. Rehabilitation & Assimilation had finally taken hold and I was on my way towards Self-Actualization and Self-Realization.

    Throughout my years of living on the streets, I avoided being a nuisance and didn’t create any public disturbances. I did not call police officers or anybody else for that matter; “mother fuckers”.

    If I wanted to created a problem, make a scene or verbally assault anyone; I could have. However, I chose not to. I wanted to be left alone and provided with some time to heal. Not only did I get my wish, as I alluded to before, law-enforcement protected and aided me during this regenerative process.

    Lessons come and lessons can be learned, by any willing student. As we all know, life can be a little bumpy at times. Individuals in positions of responsibility, departing from the letter of the law, have caused my world to come crashing down upon me, on far too many occasions.

    What they did wasn’t fair or just; and perhaps illegal. However, it was the correction I needed at the time. It brought about awakenings within me, to a reality that I refused to face. It brought the best out in me and prepared me for better things to come. These individuals, allegedly committing these injustices, were in fact “Instruments of God”; surgically repairing and improving my lot; body, mind and spirit.

    That being said. I’m intuitively cognizant and aware when somebody or something isn’t “right”. I don’t remember being wrong with this type of assessment. I’m imperfect and make many mistakes, however, this intrinsic gift has never betrayed me. I’m not afraid to stand on the firing line of life and fight unto death, for the just and humane treatment of all people. I’m kept busy with innocent individuals who’ve been scheduled to be executed.

    Naja & Arnaud I love you. I love “The Blue Paper”, along with each and every story that you’ve investigated, researched and written brilliantly about. Your cutting edge newspaper, keeps my blood flowing and brain firing. I’ve witnessed your integrity, ethics and fairness; concerning these sensitive stories, never waiver. You’re always willing to provide law-enforcement with the opportunity to present the facts, as they know them to be. Perhaps, parameters for a general discussion addressing the increased fears and stressors facing law-enforcement, could lead into a more detailed conversation describing the routine calls, that are sometimes not so routine.

    With Love, Blessings & Respect…Always…

  11. The fact remains that this young man was complying and leaving the premises. He chose to hurl some insults back at the police which is not an arrestable offence. The cops did more things wrong here and “not by the book” than the arrested guy did.

    • I beg to differ. This “young man” (arrested 12 times previously over 2-1/2 years for similar offenses) was NOT “complying”. Look at the video(s). That is what is nominally called “disturbing the peace”…an infraction subject to arrest on its face:
      Simple verbal abuse can be termed as an “assault”. Deal with it, eh?

      Dickford

  12. To Dickford who wrote: “Ask yourself: How…precisely…would you have proceeded differently. Please…I open the floor to your comments.”

    Thank you for discussing this in such a civil manner.

    What would I have done?:

    I hope I would have had what the Supreme Court called “the training and professionalism” required to react exactly as the other two officers at the scene did. Officer Gomez is heard talking civilly to Mr. Knight, saying, “Do as he says, please” and he got immediate compliance.

    I am sorry to say I do not approve of the immediate swearing – “Sit down. Don’t make me FUCKING tell you again! Sit back down!” and the confrontational attitude of Officer Chaustit, which not surprisingly provoked a rebellious reaction.

    When Knight leaves and makes the rude comments only Chaustit loses his “professional ability to absorb a certain amount of abuse” for the sake of free speech. (Supreme Court) He is heard saying, “Nope! O.K…” Gomez asks Chaustit: “You want to take him.” and Chaustit says, “Yep.” Chaustit is also the only one inflicting continuous “pain compliance” techniques throughout the arrest.

    I totally understand the frustrations that hard working people feel when it comes to some homeless people, especially when they display their drunkenness in public. However, police officers are not above the law. Two officers acted with proper restraint while the other let his blood boil up. I hope I would be able to behave like Officer Gomez and so many of the other officers out there.

    • Dear Naja,

      An excellent, detailed reply! Thank you. Yes, I agree…one officer acted in a possibly uncivil manner. He should be counseled…and likely will be.

      That said, this miscreant wasn’t exactly acting like a gentleman, either: He created a “situation” where none existed. This officer reacted in a manner consistent with that of any “untrained civilian” involved in a similar confrontation. Excusable, if not tolerable: No harm – no foul.

      I’m sure that Mr. Knight had no overtly harmful intentions here: I’m also sure that these officers bore no ill will towards Mr. Knight. But, unlike “civilians”, these officers are trained to anticipate any possibly harmful activities and to minimize any such potential. Officers, offenders and civilians all have been injured, even killed in just such encounters. Hence…the forceful constraint(s). It’s not pretty…but, neither are the alternatives. They are quite effective in quelling whatever disturbance they discover when responding to a call. That’s a vital factor in resolving the issue(s). We, as a society, wouldn’t have it any other way.

      Thank you for your compliment with regard to civility. You have responded likewise. I appreciate that very much.

      Dickford

  13. I differ with dickford cohn on this guy walking away. I watched the video a couple of times and he was slowly walking away when he yelled the insults. I think cops are far too thin-skinned and too easily provoked. If their temperament is so volatile they should not be cops and should seek other employment. There are far too many cops who are on a power trip and expect everyone to kiss their a**. The reason Charles Eimers was murdered was because he dared to drive away after pulled over. The cops were intent on teaching him a lesson because the bystander video showed no resistance by him despite KWPD’s fabricated story of him collapsing while trying to run away.

    • Dear Desertcogo…

      I might actually agree with your assessment that the cops were “thin-skinned” in this imbroglio. The problem here is that this miscreant started this mess. He got what he deserved in response. You can’t ignore that.

      I also agree with your basic contention that Charles Eimers was “murdered”…except perhaps as to degree. He did die at the hands of the KWPD. Nobody can dispute/refute that…and nobody has to this day.

      But, contrary to your beliefs, the KWPD was not focusing on “teaching Mr. Knight a lesson”. They were merely securing the peace. In other words, they did exactly what we would expect…

      Dickford

      • If a cop can not handle being called names then the reality is they should not be a cop. Fact is the man was leaving. Yes likely called the cop some undeserved choice words but this is where it went south. Had he been a big boy about this he would just swallow the insults. What he chose to do was actually stop the man from doing what he was ordered to do and that was to leave. I see a potential law suit in the making here and it could involve not only wrong use of power from the cop but also Puplix being named in law suit. Even if case is lost it will be costly to defend. This all got out of control simply because of a cop that can’t deal with being insulted. And yes that is part of the job.

        As to the chief, he is a runt that reminds me of Barney Fife on Mayberry TV show. He is to scared to reprimand any of his officers. He knows they will write false reports and commit perjury in court.

        NO the Eimers case will never go away and should be a reminder for the next 100 years. This case could have ended the same way.

        The lack of body cam for the entire case should been available and likely was but erased for reasons we all know/

        As to the remark about the number of cases on this man , they mean nothing. Each and ever case must be handled as his first. Each and every trespass must start with a warning first.

        • Jim, I’ve always enjoyed reading your comments here. Good stuff — keep it coming.

          That said, I think you’re a bit overboard on this case: Yes, Mr. Knight was in the process of leaving the premises as ordered by the cops. Yet, that does not allow for him to commit additional infractions along the way…namely assault. Look it up for yourself…this is an infraction committed in front of law enforcement officers. It is up to their discretion as to how to proceed beyond that point…as sworn officers of the court.

          Please note that Publix is NOT “public property”: That store and its curtilage is PRIVATE property. They reserve the absolute right to govern access to that property. The KWPD was responding to a legitimate request from the property owner/agent.

          As can be seen on the video(s), Mr. Knight was duly apprised of his “trespass”. His only option was to vacate the premises post haste. He chose another course…

          Your claim that Mr. Knight’s previous history with law enforcement “means nothing” is totally without merit. Try getting a job with his “history”. It’s widely-available PUBLIC information…as is yours or mine.

          Remember that “rights” come with commensurate responsibilities. If a person refuses to wrap their heads around that singular truth, they will suffer due consequences.

          My hope here is that Mr. Knight comes to realize his foolishness and amends his views on life around him. He’ll be glad he did. He is a young man…with a full life ahead of him. I truly envy his position…given that I am near the “other end” of the life-cycle.

          Dickford

          • No when running it as a business it is not exactly private property. Do believe a sign would be required here saying KWPD is managing it.

            Now let’s deal with this one charge at a time
            First charge was trespassing and only trespassing. And fine with how that part went down. And he complied.

            He did create a second offence of disturbing the piece as he was walking away. But was not ordered to stop .

          • Have a look at this http://media.ca11.uscourts.gov/opinions/pub/files/19954996.MAN.pdf This is a dissenting opinion by an Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judge. That is the federal appeals court for our area. The Court was deciding on whether or not the officer had something called “qualified immunity” and could block being sued because he was a police officer doing his job and was not to be expected to know that his actions violated a clearly established right. That technical aspect aside, his paper gives some very good information on the subject matter of our piece – the arrest of Kristopher Knight after he cursed at the police. It refers to both U.S. Supreme Court and Florida Supreme Court case law in similar situations.

  14. Ahem, Naja! Unless these old eyes are faiiing me, this is the dissenting opinion of a judge on the 11th Circuit. IOW, he was overruled…

    What am I missing?

    Dickford

    • Hi Dickford, you are correct. I removed that link. I linked to the wrong case… I will find the one I meant to link to. Thank you so much for pointing that out!!

      Naja

      • Actually, I put it back up. While you are correct that it is a dissenting opinion by one Judge – the dissent is about whether or not the officer should be found to have qualified immunity from suit. He thought no – the majority thought yes. The rest of his paper, however, is very instructive on the jurisprudence – both US Supreme Court and Florida Supreme Court – that applies to situations similar to that of the arrest of Knight. I thought it was very interesting and a better read for non-lawyers than the other individual cases.

        http://media.ca11.uscourts.gov/opinions/pub/files/19954996.MAN.pdf

        • Yes, Naja. I’m with you in that regard: Many dissents ARE more instructive than the court’s final ruling(s). This dissent is particularly interesting in it’s own right. Thank you for that link.

          Still…it failed. There is good reason for that. As I always say, there is a time and place for everything. Please note that there is no bar that prevents Mr. Knight from asserting his 1st Amendment rights in his defense. That said, also note that he was not arrested for asserting those rights. See how this legal stuff works? 😉

          Let’s be frank: Mr. Knight made a pluperfect ass of himself in public. He knows that…and we know that. It’s up to him to set things right. I am confident that he can and will do just that.

          This, most certainly, is NOT a 1st Amendment case…

          Dickford

          • Of course this is a first amendment case.

            Now one could argue that the “fuck y’all motherfuckers” vulgar insult (and yes that was stupid and disrespectful to everyone in the Plaza within earshot) constituted “fighting words” and thus was not protected speech. But I, personally, don’t see any evidence that the words and actions of Knight were threatening to anyone. Of course that would be up to a jury. There have been several cases, apparently, where simply hurling profanity at police officers has been upheld as protected speech.

            They may have charged him with trespass and obstruction but in truth they arrested him because of his speech.

            About the trespass: Knight got his warning (the signs near Publix say KWPD has their permission to ask persons to leave and to arrest them if they refuse to leave). The manager of Publix was standing there – clearly the plan was to ask Knight to leave and issue a formal trespass warning for the Plaza for the future. Knight did not refuse to leave. He was in fact leaving when the officer decided to chase after him – because of his speech. Certainly you are not claiming the officer did not run after Knight and commence his violent arrest because of Knight’s speech?

  15. Jim, now we’re getting closer to the nub of the matter. No matter what you believe, Publix IS a private property in every respect: Their agent enlisted the KWPD to aid in removing a nuisance. Perfectly legal.

    And yes, Mr. Knight did create a disturbance that required attention. That is why he was ultimately arrested. Sure! He did have rights to voice his opinion. But, what we always seem to forget…is that other people have the equal right NOT to be subjected to his abuse.

    Try these same antics in virtually any venue you dare…and see what happens. You just might be thankful that the cops arrive to bail you out of a sticky situation, 😉

    There is a time and place for everything. I really don’t think that Mr. Knight was even cognizant of his “First Amendment rights” here. Nor, did he care. Let’s quit making a mountain out of a molehill.

    Dickford

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