Here are the Probable Cause Affidavits police filled out:
Here is a brief/motion on prior restraint: will work to get your camera/phone back prior restraint
“I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him”, said Marc Anthony. This is the classic example of praeteritio. The practice of praeteritio is heard much in politics and the courtroom. Basically, this figure of speech is an allusion to something by denying that it will be mentioned. So, I’m not here to say that the North Port Sun Editors know nothing about the First Amendment, no I wouldn’t say that. However, what the police did to me on Jan 25, was the most serious transgression against the First Amendment and it’s called Prior Restraint.
In 1668, the King of England made a law that all printers and publishers of any book, newspaper, pamphlet or notice had to buy licenses from the King. If the publishers wrote anything derogatory of the English government, they lost their license and had their printing press burnt down. These English licensing laws lasted nearly 200 years. During the discussions about the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, the Founding Fathers were all in agreement on this one issue, that no citizen should ever be stopped from publishing speech, having the right to assemble on public property, or that the press should ever be restrained prior to the publication of information that might put the government in a bad light. This is a Constitutional principle known as Prior Restraint. The Government doesn’t want the publisher to publish a story. The government takes the story, hides the story and jails the writer. The government is restraining this story prior to it’s publication. The Supreme Court of the United States has never upheld a Prior Restraint in the history of our country and even when it was alleged that the material was a clear and present danger to national security or even when the material was obtained illegally.
This is exactly what happened in my case. Actually, the NPPD wouldn’t give me back my smartphone for nearly 7 weeks and I had to write a brief on Prior Restraint, I filed it in the form of a motion to the court and in two days, a NPPD detective came to my door at 7:30am and said that I could have my phone back. Surprise, surprise. And after I published the story, immediately to Youtube, six days later, The State Attorney’s office in a scathing memo to the NPPD, refused to file formal charges of eavesdropping and obstruction against me. Why, because I was lawfully present on a public forum exercising my right to assemble. Two, I was exercising my right of free speech because many courts have said that recording police activities is a form of free speech. Three, I was exercising the right of the free press because courts have said that the “Press” extends to all people and not just to the salaried and credentialed folks who have newspapers and television stations.
There is a reason why the First Amendment is First.
Two of the most famous amateur videographers, Abraham Zapruder and George Holliday, didn’t know that they were about to record history Such it is when citizen journalists pull out a cellphone camera and shoot a scene, sometimes you never know what’s going to happen.
Mr. Zapruder was standing on a pedestal in Dealey Plaza with a Bell and Howell, Super 8 pointing it toward the corner of Houston Street and Elm Street the day Lee Harvey Oswald shot and killed JFK. The chilling photo still of Jackie Kennedy climbing out of the back seat of the limousine to retrieve her husband’s brains is forever etched in my mind and the minds of all those who have watched the 25 seconds or so of the clip that Abraham Zapruder filmed.
George Holliday just happened to be on his porch with his new video rig, when a traffic stop occurred across from his house. He taped a savage beating of a black man by the name of Rodney King by several Los Angeles police officers in 1991. He even offered to give the tape, first, to the LAPD who turned him down. Later, this clip caused 43 million dollars or so damage to property during the Rodney King riots.
Police can’t stop us from recording and they shouldn’t. You never know what’s going to happen, so a scene that at first appears to be enough to make you fall asleep, suddenly becomes history.
George Zimmerman would have been better served carrying a camera, rather than a gun.
Here’s the scenario:
GZ: (While recording encounter): Hi, how you doing. My name’s George, I live here and work on the neighborhood watch committee. No, offense meant, but I haven’t seen you before, do you live here?
TM: I’m visiting my aunt.
GZ: Oh, ok, I’m not trying to get in your face or anything, but we’ve had lots of breakins and stuff and we’re trying to cut down on that. I’m not accusing you of anything, we’re just trying to stay safe around here.
TM: Ok, bye.
Now if this is the way the conversation went, then GZ would have that recorded and if a fight broke out after that he would be completely exonerated. But if the recording showed lots of in your face, cop crap, GZ doesn’t have much to stand on. Always record.
GZ stands on the sidewalk while TM goes on his way and GZ backs up to his car, rather than turning his back on a guy he has never seen before, recording his departure. TM sees the camera, so he knows he can’t get away with jumping the guy, so he goes back to his apartment. GM has a picture now of the “intruder”, so he can give it to the cops (which I wouldn’t do anyway). GZ has no right to ask TM for his ID or where he is staying unless TM volunteers the information, but if there are any incidents or if there had been any incidents, now the authorities have a face and a voice to go with it.
Plus GZ can record from his car, not getting out and here he has a natural barrier to fists and knives, not necessarily a gunshot, but it’s more likely he’ll be attacked with a fist or a knife, so don’t get out of the car. TM is 6’3″ and pretty thin, but I know that when I was 17, I was pretty bad ass and a champion high school wrestler, so taking on a guy that is only 5’9″ (and when they say 5’9″, subtract 2 inches) isn’t much of a fight for somebody that tall. But if GZ is getting in his face, with the cop BS, give me your ID, where do live, where are you going, this is going to get GZ into a situation that he doesn’t want to be in.
Let the cops use the guns, You use a camera. It’s a much more effective weapon.
Here’s a guy who made it here from some mid-west state by stealing someone else s car. People who have lived in Florida for a while like me, say that God picks up the US every once in a while and shakes it, then all the garbage falls into Florida.
This guy got arrested for stealing the car in the other state. Served a little while in county. Got out and promptly stole a car from a dealership, and got caught again and got six months, but only served 2. Got out in the morning and stole a Range Rover from a dealership and got caught 8 hours later on Siesta Key.
See here, we are too concerned with crimes like video recording police, chalk writing on the sidewalks, trespassing in public parks and public sidewalks, getting a little head once in a while from consenting adults and hitting on a blunt once in a while to worry about real criminals.