Wearing a “Fuck the Police” t-shirt, Michael Burns entered a Broward courtroom with a videographer in tow, preparing to fight the obstructed license plate citation he received earlier this year after he was pulled over for video recording deputies.
Yes, those same deputies that Broward County Sheriff’s attorney Ron Gunzburger claimed in a panel discussion in January that are all trained to respect the rights of citizens to record because of a memo he issued last year.
In fact, Broward deputies tried to stop Burn’s friend from recording, but Florida has very liberal laws when it comes to recording hearings, which I outlined in this article and had sent to Burns the prior afternoon. He said he had it ready to pull up on his phone in case it went that far, but it didn’t.
Not only was his friend allowed to video record the trial, he won the trial after arguing his case pro se against deputy Paul Sada, who was claiming he could not make out Burns’ license plate after first ordering him away from video recording an investigation on the side of the road.
The audio on the recording is not the clearest, but Judge Brenda Di Ioia stated the following after hearing both sides and seeing the license plate:
If there is any questions I think it can go both ways and we would never find out. so on that basis I am going to find that the state has not made their burden of proof.
It doesn’t appear that she saw the “Fuck the Police” statement on the back of Burns’ shirt until after the ruling when he was walking out, but all the deputies in the courtroom surely saw it.
Below is a picture of his plate. The Fraternal Order of Police badge was given to him by a friend years earlier.