Sex on the Beach isn’t a Drink in Bradenton

Video of Sex on the Beach

Video of Sex on the Beach

A couple was arrested in Bradenton for Lewd Exhibition for having sex on the beach in full view of dozens of beachgoers, including children, and a grandmother who taped them. Their brazenness is impressive, apparently they were doing it for 25 minutes, passed out for a while, then woke up and started at it again before someone stopped them, and called police. It was the second session that granny recorded.  Just another day in Florida…

via Fox 13: http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/story/26073588/pair-charged-for-sex-on-bradenton-beach

Mug Shots, via Fox13 Tampa

Another Big Drug Bust by LCSO

The Lee County Sheriff has conducted several large-scale drug stings in hte last several months, and announced the completion of another one today, this time in the Suncoast Estates area of North Fort Myers. So far, 31 people have been arrested in the sting.

http://www.sheriffleefl.org/main/index.php?r=news/index&id=12468

Cape Coral Police Face Excessive Force Allegations, Again

Travis Robey Mug Shot

Travis Robey Mug Shot

According to CCPD reports, 20-year-old Travis Robey was intoxicated and sitting in a parking lot when he was approached by officers. He got combative, struck officers, and tried to run away, and during his detention, got roughed up a bit and tased. His behavior sounds pretty outrageous, especially if you consider that at only 20, he wasn’t allowed to be drinking in the first place. Officers say they found marijuana in the vehicle as well.

Now, after some national press and a YouTube video, allegations have come out that officers continued to use force against Robey after her was subdued. Witnesses who happened to be in the area used their phone to record footage, which is not easy to see, due to darkness, that they say was the officers using excessive force, and then threatening the innocent bystanders themselves. Robey’s father says that officers broke Robey’s leg, then made him walk on it and laughed at his injuries. Troubling allegations, to be sure.

The biggest surprise for me was discovering that Georgeann Lytle is still a Cape Police Officer. She was involved in this incident, and has had previous professional complaints, at least one involving excessive force, and another regarding a false detention that led to her demotion. Here’s the irony, even if she was acting properly, her personnel record makes it that mush more likely that Cape Coral will be interested in settling for a monetary settlement. That’s more taxpayer money likely to be spent because the department let a known trouble cop stay on the force.

Robey could be facing more than ten years in prison, for two felonies and a couple more misdemeanors. He is innocent until proven guilty… as are the cops.

The FBI Can Still Call the Juggalos a ‘Gang’

The Insane Clown Posse (ICP)

In a lawsuit that’s been going on since the FBI described the Juggalos – a looseknit fanbase of the music group Insane Clown Posse, as a hybrid gang. By listing them in their 2011 report, law enforcement agencies are more likely to scrutinize fans of the band, who are called juggalos even if they are not involved in criminal activity, which the vast majority are not. The court has dismissed the case, which means that the FBI can continue to use their descriptive term, which apparently they are not trying to even do anymore: though some agencies still refer to the 2011 report.

http://news.yahoo.com/insane-clown-posse-loses-fbi-lawsuit-juggalos-gang-164721342.html;_ylt=AwrBEiRTWLxTpiEAe.fQtDMD

Don’t Make Judgment in the Child in Hot Car Case Until the Facts are Known

Justin Harris Mug Shot

Justin Harris Mug Shot

I have been busy and haven’t gotten to update the blog regarding Justin Harris, the man charged with murder for allegedly intentionally leaving his child in a car, who then died from the heat. The facts that have been released so far sound damning: apparently Harris did searches on his computer related to dying from heat, he ignored calls from the child’s day care, and he was sexting with women other than his wife on the day of the incident. He also had life insurance on the child that he is now seeking to collect. However, for as terrible as the facts sound so far, the case is far from proven. Attorney Mark O’Mara, who impressively defended George Zimmerman, filed an Op Ed encouraging people to reserve their judgment. Give it a read, O’Mara is frequently a well-spoken voice of resrevation. http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/01/opinion/omara-hot-car-dad-harris/index.html

Negligence happens, and unless malice or intent can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, the case is substantially different. Just recently in Southwest Florida, Melissa Smith was acquitted of Aggravated Manslaughter when the jury did not find that her negligence rose to that level of criminality. She was found guilty of a lesser charge of Child Neglect and three counts of Culpable Negligence. She was sentenced to eight months in jail and 5 years of probation.

Dane Eagle’s DUI Reduced to Reckless Driving

Dane Eagle Mugshot

Dane Eagle Mugshot

State Legistlator Dane Eagle pled out to a reduced charge of reckless driving from his DUI arrest in Tallahassee. That’s not an unusual result on this type of first-time offense, that did not have any egregiously bad facts. Tune in to NBC-2 this evening, as they may run some of my comments on the case. Generally, when a DUI is reduced, there are similar sanctions to a DUI charge, just with a different conviction.

http://www.nbc-2.com/story/25888130/link#.U63MS_ldXVU

The Dirtiest Trick, Revisited

A few weeks ago, I posted about what I believe to be the dirtiest trick utilized by law enforcement in their poorly-run internet sting operations: using pictures of OLDER decoys to supposedly catch pedophiles. I have personally seen cases where decoys of legal age were used to entice would-be consenting adults. I got an email yesterday that in another sting operation, in Orange County, agents were using images of decoys as old as 25 to entice their targets. I wish I could say that I was surprised. The sad truth is they claim to be chasing pedophiles, but they are using adults to lure people. There’s nothing wrong with meeting a 25-year-old on the internet, it’s the lie they slip in claiming the decoy is much younger that they use to arrest the sucker. While we don’t want adults traveling to meet underage children, our law enforcement resources are being misspent if we are pursuing people who are not actually looking to meet underage partners. The reality is even more harsh, as Florida’s draconian sentencing laws often don’t fit the crime. (See Marissa Alexander re: 10/20/Life)

Here’s a link to the image of the 25-year-old decoy: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BzLomEB8bi2PTjZra3gtSFRyc0E/edit

Commentors have pointed me to the governingus.com blog that specifically follows these cases. It’s worth checking and they recently linked to a story out of Tampa by a reporter who really does some journalism and challenges the authorities. Noah Pransky used to work in the Fort Myers market, before moving on to a bigger market. We’ve linked to his stories on before on crimcourts, when he did a great expose on misuse of red light ticketing. Imagine that, the Fourth Estate keeping an eye on government intrusion.

Pransky, who is not on the defense side, unlike the author of this blog, says it perfectly, “Law enforcement may have crossed the line in going after some men who weren’t breaking the law at all.” He continues, “While many of those arrested will ultimately get well-deserved time behind bars, even if a few men were wrongly targeted by officers who were abusing their power, that’s too many victims. Those men will never be able to fully clear their names, even if their found not guilty, which is why we’re fighting for transparency, and your right to know that police aren’t engaging in entrapment.”

That reporting is especially important as the government goes further and further to invade our lives, and to keep secrets from our citizens: http://www.wired.com/2014/06/feds-seize-stingray-documents/

http://www.wtsp.com/story/news/investigations/2014/04/15/pinellas-polk-sex-stings-public-record-refusal/7749057/