You might not agree with Cara Jennings’ politics or even the way she demonstrates these politics, but you should still wonder how she could have been arrested on a sole charge of resisting arrest without violence.
After all, wouldn’t police need to have some sort of probable cause to arrest her in the first place?
That would be the case if you’re abiding by Florida law which states the following:
Resisting without violence is governed by Florida Statutes 843.02 and requires proof of resisting, obstructing, or opposing a law enforcement officer performing a “lawful execution of any legal duty”. Therefore, lawful arrest is an element that the State must prove in order to establish that the defendant resisted arrest without violence.
But Miami Police obviously has its own laws they abide by, which are not stated in any law book.
Jennings, a Lake Worth City Commissioner, was arrested Monday along with two other people as they stood on a sidewalk protesting in front of the Israeli consulate in downtown Miami.
Jennings was standing on stilts while trying to call attention to an attack on Tristan Anderson, a human rights observer in Palestine who was left in critical condition after Israeli troops hit him in the head with a tear gas canister.
“The police requested that we not stand in front of the consulate and we asserted it was a very wide sidewalk and we were allowed to be there but that was the basis of the arrest,” she said.
The protesters included members of the South Florida Palestinian Solidarity Network, South Florida Jews for Justice and Lake Worth Global Justice Group. The other two activists arrested were Mohammed Malik and Rich Morales.
Malik is the pro-Palestinian activist in my Lone Jew video who guided the two other pro-Palestinian activists back across the street after they tried to intimidate the Lone Jew from exercising his First Amendment rights, as vulgar as his words may have been.
He obviously knows that standing on a public sidewalk exercising your First Amendment rights is not illegal no matter how unpopular your opinion may be.
Which explains why police could not find a more concrete charge than resisting arrest without violence.