Fresh from having his wiretapping charges dismissed and by filing a notice to sue the North Port Police Department for $200,000 over his unlawful arrest, Florida resident Steve Horrigan had another run-in with cops over his camera.
This time he was recording a man who had pulled into a handicapped spot in front of a government building but did not visibly appear to be handicapped.
That, of course, doesn’t necessarily mean he acquired the handicapped parking permit illegally.
But recording a man in a public parking lot does not necessarily constitute harassment.
Yet that is what the man accused Horrigan of doing when he beckoned a couple of Sarasota County Sheriff’s deputies from inside the building.
The deputies stepped outside and accused him of harassment when in reality, they were the ones doing the harassing.
Horrigan walked away without any further confrontation, writing the following in an email to me Wednesday.
let me narrate the scene, I took the bus down to the govt center in venice florida from north port. I took care of my business at the tax collector because my son junked a car and I turned in the plate. I went out to the back of the govt center and sat down in the public area. Of course, I always have my camera at the ready in case I need it.
A SUV drove up into the handicapped space.A guy bounded out. There was a story in the local paper about “bounders” (people who use handicap spaces who aren’t handicapped) so I immediately started recording and was lawfully present. The “bounder” called the sheriff’s deputies which you can see in the presentation and I retreated. You are going to probably say Damn, Horrigan, you P**sy, you didn’t stand your ground. I’ll take the abuse that comes with this but I’ll be ready tomorrow for some more recording. I’m going to keep up on this “bounder” thing. It’s pretty interesting. F*** the cops, Look I’m lawfully present, take your ID crap and cram it.
This is a quicky, I just couldn’t f with the cops today, sorry.
Horrigan also sent me a copy of the harassment law in Florida, which states that Constitutionally protected behavior is not considered harassment.
But, of course, we really can’t expect cops to know that law when they fail to know the more obvious laws.
Section 784.048. STALKING; DEFINITIONS; PENALTIES. 1997.
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Harass” means to engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that causes substantial emotional distress in such person and serves no legitimate purpose.
(b) “Course of conduct” means a pattern a conduct composed of series of acts over a period of time, however short, evidencing a continuity of purpose. Constitutionally protected activity is not included within the meaning of “course of conduct.” Such constitutionally protected activity includes picketing or other organized protests.
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CARLOS MILLER’S LEGAL DEFENSE FUND
I am immersed in a legal case where I not only want to clear my criminal charges stemming from my arrest in January, but I want to sue the Miami-Dade Police Department for deleting my footage, which I was able to recover.
My goal is to set some type of precedent to ensure this does not happen as often as it does today where cops simply get away with it.
So if you would like to contribute, please click on the “donate” button below and contribute whatever you can afford.
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