I am finally going to trial, even though it’s been more than a year since I was arrested after photographing police against their wishes.
Much has happened during the 15 months since my arrest, including the slaying of one of the officers; the firing of the prosecutor in my case; and the resignation of the original judge in my case, who is taking on a new TV gig where she will be known as “Judge Karen.”
It also included me switching attorneys to a former public defender named Arnaldo Trevilla, who is very confident about this case. Judge Jose Fernandez, another former public defender, will oversee my case in place of Judge Karen.
The trial begins Monday at 9:45 a.m. in room 2-11 of the Richard E. Gerstein Justice Building, 1351 N.W. 12th Street. If anybody is scheduled for Jury Duty Monday, you might get this case.
The charges I am facing are obstructing traffic, disobeying a police officer, disorderly conducting and resisting arrest without violence. And that’s that they already threw out five other misdemeanors I was initially charged with.
Police are claiming that I was standing on the road the entire time I was interacting with them. They claim I was standing in the street even after I was escorted across the street. They claim they arrested me in the street.
One look at the photo in the blog banner shows that the street was behind the cops when they arrested me. Some people have pointed out that there is no way of knowing the photo was taken right before my arrest.
Perhaps not, but then that would mean that I snapped the photo, then bolted through the line of cops with my two cameras in my hands like a running back in order to reach the middle of the street.
That little detail would surely have been mentioned in the arrest report, which is nothing but a two-page contradiction.
The truth is, I was never standing in the street. That area of Biscayne Blvd was going through intense road construction at the time. Traffic was reduced to two single lanes. There was no median nor bike path. It was 7 p.m. at night.
I would have been struck by a car.
The truth is, I was arrested while standing on the east sidewalk of Biscayne Blvd. The cops were ordering me to continue walking north. They were ordering me to leave an area where I had every right to be.
They had already completed their investigation into the traffic accident they were working when I first came across them. I was standing on a public sidewalk. I was not breaking the law. They had no legitimate reason to order me to leave the area.
The truth is, they arrested me after I snapped their photo.
The main argument on Monday will be whether they can prove beyond reasonable doubt that I was standing in the street when they arrested me.
If they are unable to prove this, then it will be hard for them to prove that I defied a lawful order because ordering me to leave the sidewalk where I was standing would be an unlawful order.
The cops also believe that I committed “disorderly conduct” by snapping a photo of the sergeant as he was escorting me across the street. Any judge with any Constitutional knowledge should laugh this charge out of court.
And finally, they claim I was resisting arrest by not allowing them to place my hands behind my back.
The truth is, they already had my hands behind my back. But because they were so angry with me, they kept kicking my shin in order to trip me forward. I held my ground for a few seconds until they finally brought me down.
If they had been able to contain their volatile tempers, they would have been able to simply handcuff me without knocking me down.
But if they had been able to contain their volatile tempers, they would have never arrested me in the first place.