The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office is so financially strapped that it has had to layoff three of its top prosecutors; talented lawyers who had gone after cop killers, child molesters, serial rapists, wife beaters, gangbangers, sex offenders, con artists, bank robbers and drug dealers over the last few decades in which the county became one of the most crime-ridden in the country.
In fact, the State Attorney’s Office has lost $6 million in state funding this year, according to the Miami New Times. And this at a time when felonies are on the rise because of a staggering economy.
Yet the State Attorney’s Office has insisted on pressing forward with my unlawful arrest, paying two prosecutors to spend countless hours building a case against me. Three if you count the guy who got fired.
These two prosecutors, including the lead prosecutor Ignacio J. Vazquez Jr., spent hours perusing through my blog to find evidence that I have a “history of hating police” as well as listening to my internal affairs interview tape in the hopes that they would catch me in a lie.
Last June, these two prosecutors entered the courtroom with oversized photos, videos and tape recordings as part of their evidence against me. Then they spent two entire days trying to convince a jury that I had been standing in the middle of the street taking photos.
This despite the fact that the photograph I took before my arrest, the one in the banner of this blog, shows the street behind the officers.
And although they were successful in convicting me of resisting arrest without violence while failing to convict me of refusing a lawful order and disorderly conduct, the State Attorney’s Office must now spend another multitude of hours trying to make that conviction stick as I appeal it.
Yet unlike many cases they prosecute, there was never any indication of violence in this case. There was never a victim as you have in other cases (well except for me and the First Amendment).
Despite what they have been trying to prove for the last two years, I am not a criminal.
But now that they can’t even afford to keep their best talent, we have to ask ourselves: just where are the State Attorney’s priorities?
I am a multimedia journalist who has been fighting a lengthy legal battle after having photographed Miami police against their wishes in Feb. 2007. Please help the fight by donating to my Legal Defense Fund in the top left sidebar. And join my Facebook blog network to keep updated on the latest articles.