An excellent precedent

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by joe2, Mar 18, 2007.

  1. joe2

    joe2 New Member

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    Homeowner had 'a right to resist'

    John Coffin won't spend any more time in jail for beating up two sheriff's deputies inside his house, striking one in the head with a Taser gun he took from the other.

    Circuit Judge Rick De Furia said at Coffin's trial Tuesday that he doesn't condone the violence against the deputies.

    But Coffin, 56, had a right to defend his family and property because the deputies had no right to be in Coffin's house in the first place, De Furia said.

    "Law enforcement was responsible for the chain of events here," De Furia said. "I think in situations like this, officers become so frustrated they go beyond what the law allows them to do."

    The fight started when Coffin heard his wife screaming in pain, went into the garage and saw two deputies arresting her on the floor.

    The deputies were trying to serve Coffin with civil papers that had been given five days earlier. They had entered the garage even though they did not have a search warrant or arrest warrant.

    And they arrested Coffin's wife, Cynthia, 50, on obstruction charges even though she had no obligation to follow their orders to bring her husband outside.

    "The most critical is the fact the officers broke the law by stopping the garage door from going down," and then entering the garage, De Furia said.

    A jury was picked for the trial Monday. But the judge granted a motion by Coffin's attorneys, Derek Byrd and Brett McIntosh, and acquitted John Coffin on five of six felony charges Tuesday morning.

    Coffin pleaded no contest to the remaining charge of taking a Taser gun from one of the deputies during the fight.

    Before handing down the sentence, De Furia asked how long Coffin spent in jail after his initial arrest.

    "You spent eight days in the Sarasota County jail," De Furia said. "That's your sentence. No probation."

    Relatives applauded, and Coffin walked out of the courthouse with only a $358 bill for court costs. The sentence surprised even defense attorneys, who had suggested De Furia sentence Coffin to probation.

    Prosecutors had asked for more than a year of prison time because of "the totality of the case" and the injuries to deputies James Lutz and Stacy Ferris, whose name is now Stacy Brandau.

    The two deputies testified about their injuries Tuesday -- three blows to the head with the butt of the Taser gun knocked Lutz unconscious.

    "I just ask that he doesn't get away with this," Brandau told the judge.

    Assistant State Attorney Jeff Young told the judge the case "could have been over in five seconds" if the Coffins "had simply come out and cooperated."

    "That is a man who took it upon himself to beat up two police officers," Young said.

    De Furia said that while he believed the deputies' mistakes were not intentional, the Coffins had every right to lock doors, try to close their garage door and not cooperate.

    "What took place in the house was unfortunate," De Furia said, "but Mr. Coffin ... had a right to resist."
     
  2. DC_DEEP

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    Excellent. Perhaps the law enforcement community will go back to 3rd grade and review the text of the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution.

    I can guarantee that if any law enforcement officers EVER try to enter my home under similar circumstances, I won't treat them nearly as nicely as did Mr. Coffin.
     
  3. B_big dirigible

    B_big dirigible New Member

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    Odd that the judge still called this "frustration" on the part of officers. Abuse of the powers delegated to an office, or a badge, is corruption.
     
  4. DC_DEEP

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    They almost always use the excuse "We didn't have time for due process," and the sheeple usually blink their glassy little eyes, nod their empty little heads, and say "well, if there was no time for due process, then it's ok."

    The corrupt police will continue to be corrupt as long as they are allowed to. If every single incident of (obvious) abuse of power were dealt with swiftly and decisively, these types of events would not continue.

    I don't know what type of papers they were trying to serve, but crashing in through the garage, and knocking down the guys wife, handcuffing and arresting her because she "obstructed" them... these guys need to be fired from the force, charged with "assault with intent to cause bodily injury", fined heavily, and spend some time in jail.

    Don't get me wrong, I understand that cops have a tough and necessary job. But they need to do it right, or not at all.
     
  5. Heather LouAnna

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    Trust me when I say that once you're in the system, they'll try to fuck you any way they can. It's wonderful to hear when a judge is actually using their judgement wisely.

    *golf clap*
     
  6. DC_DEEP

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    I'm not in the system, but still, I don't want to be in ANY of the databases. People look at me like I'm from the moon when I say "No, you may not have my social security number, not for identification, not for any reason."

    And yes, it is wonderful to hear a judge (I'm sure Al Gonzales would call him an activist judge) use the US Constitution as a Basic Guide to Judicial Procedure.
     
  7. Lex

    Lex
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    This is what SHOULD happen when the people with power ignore the Constitution.

    The person being violated goes free and the idiots that abuse power get theirs.

    Conservative and Republican apologists, please take note.

    And learn to READ.

    "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader" comes to mind.
     
  8. B_big dirigible

    B_big dirigible New Member

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    Quite a stretch there. I saw nothing in that article about how Republicans and conservatives were gathered around the courthouse, singing the praises of the police state.

    Perhaps you READ something there that I missed.
     
  9. Lex

    Lex
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    Hahaha.

    For as much as we talk about the Powers that be skirting and spitting on the Constitution here, I figured you would have gotten that point (as it was an overarching one that goes beyond this thread).

    Instead you just got defensive. A guilty conscience needs no accuser, BD.
     
  10. madame_zora

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    Well, I sure wish that would happen in Ohio, we have some seriously corrupt cops here.

    I mention this, because I'm helping my landlord rehab some apartments in a pretty rough area. I have a guy who also lives in my building helping me. He's in his 20s, a little hippie guy with white-boy dreads. I sent him out to get us a sandwich for lunch and he never came back.

    Since he had driven us there, I was stranded. I called everyone I could think of and no one had heard from him, his wife was distraught. I was hoping he hadn't been knifed in an alley, but I scrounged up some change and took the bus home. When I got there, he had finally called- he had been HANDCUFFED, BEAT UP, and arrested- for jaywalking! He also had a few Bugler cigarette papers in his breast pocket- the tobacco was still at the job. The cops listed it as paraphernalia becase the tobacco wasn't on his person, even though that company ONLY sells papers with tobacco!

    He got 30 days. 30 days, for crossing the street in the wrong place, in the highest crime area in my city. I have no doubt that at that exact same time, crack was being sold to kids, women were being slapped around and someplace was being robbed, but this kid was an easy target. Hippies rarely carry guns, and I'm sure the cops assumed he was in the 'hood to buy drugs.

    It's been five days, and he's been beat up twice already in jail. For crossing the street and leaving his tobacco on the jobsite. I hate this fucking city, and the whole repressive atmosphere of our government that makes the cops feel they have carte blanche to do what they please. DC said it best- if you're not mad, you're just not paying attention.

    All around the city this weekend, they set up random checkpoints to catch drunk drivers. However, in addition to sobriety checks, they were running people's driver's licenses and car tags and searching cars. No probable cause, just random searches. People couldn't protest because cops no longer need PC. They also no longer need to identify themselves before entering your house if they feel they have PC, thanks to an addendum to the Patriot Act. This is fascism folks, welcome home.

    My guess is we're not too far from having troops in the streets here. It sure won't surprise me, at any rate.
     
  11. B_big dirigible

    B_big dirigible New Member

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    You're just ranting. I have no idea what the hell you're on about. You see evil Republicans lurking under every rock. How exactly is that my problem?

    Nobody gets a free pass from me just because of party affiliation. Anyone who sings the praises of the police state is despicable. There's been a lot of that lately with the US Court of Appeals smackdown of the Wash DC gun control laws. See the HuffPo or the WaPo for an eyeful. The Stalinists are out in force, and they ain't coming from the right.



     
  12. SpeedoGuy

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    I believe in strong, effective law enforcement but I also believe in even stronger elected civilian oversight of law enforecment.

    Never let the cops in your door without a warrant. Never.
     
  13. davidjh7

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    Talk to any cop, and he will admit, if he is honest, there are two classes of people:
    1) Cops
    2) everybody else

    Everybody else is the enemy. And they are treated as such. I acknowledge there are good, honest, hardworking cops out there, just trying to do the best job they can in a shitty system. I wish I could say I had personally met one, but not yet--maybe someday. They are NOT your friends or protectors, unles it is in THEIR best interests.....be careful, and mostly do everything you can to avoid them---you see a cop, leave, go somewhere else. THey get bored and like to harass and fuck with people out of boredom...I will likely get flamed for this, but have seen it too many times. Stay out of trouble, because, boys and girls, we DO live in a police state!!! I we have for many many years---regardless of politics, religion, or economy. THose in power use power to remain in power, and this is true at any level of power. Be careful!
     
  14. Onslow

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    Never had any real problem with police officers myself. Yes, I have been arrested and manhandled to points which some may feel were excessive; however, in each case I had done something which created the need for arrest and subsequent body search. Is it fun? No; but, if I have done something which is wrong then I need to face the consequences.


    As to police officers, sure there are bad ones (and sorry Lex, they also come in Democratic uniforms, not just Republican), I have also had some very helpful situations involving the police. And why wouldn't they keep non-officers at arms length? Do any of you imbeciles seriously think they have an easy time out there? They risk their lives every moment that they are out on the street, and many carry that job into their off-duty hours as well, continuing in the mode of serve and protect. Look at facts and figures and read the news accounts of the number of off-duty police officers who sacrifice their lives while coming to the aid of the civillians.

    The majority of police arrests are legitimate--although I am sure the wishywashy nervous nellies here will deny that. The majority of police officers, although not perhaps looking to be your best pal, will be decent and frinedly towards you. When do they turn? When you as the civillian screw up. You don't screw up then they do not have to turn on you and tell you to behave or risk being arrested. Without them, the entire world can and will devolve into a chaotic nightmare. Your possessions and life will truly be worthless. Anyone who wants to will be allowed to enter your home and take what they want--including liberties with your loved ones and your bog screen television along with your food, money and sofa. But, then again, maybe that's what you really want--then you can whine that the police aren't keeping you safe.
     
  15. joe2

    joe2 New Member

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    It seems like the worst cops are always in Democratic controlled areas, that is, big cities, while suburban and rural cops aren't as bad. Why do you think that is?
     
  16. Onslow

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    To prove that they are tough on grime? Er, I mean Crime--

    (Don't expect the nellies to admit to it though.)
     
  17. Adrian69702006

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    As I understand it, in the UK the law does allow people to use 'reasonable force' to defend their property if necessary but I think it's rather vague on the subject of what's considered reasonable. I think a certain amount depends on the circumstances. However case history has tended to favour the rights of the intruder or thief over those of the homeowner. The Tony Martin case was, in my view, should never have got to court let alone resulted in the poor man being imprisoned.
     
  18. DC_DEEP

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    There's been a bit of accusations of partisanship in conjunction with cops who don't follow due process. Let's clear it up just a little, shall we? It rarely has anything to do with the personal political leanings of the cop involved, but more to do with the tendency of a republican-leaning judiciary to minimize a citizen's 4th Amendment rights.

    I don't envy the job a good cop has to do, but it is his choice to be in that occupation, and he has an obligation to do it right. I understand that a police force is necessary to protect the many from the few. Tackling a jay-walker and handcuffing him is not the best PR tactic.

    About 10 years ago, a friend of mine was on his way to work. He had a good job in a very conservative company. He was pulled over by the police, handcuffed on the side of the road, and hauled off to jail. His crime? Mistaken identity. Apparently, there was another guy with the same first and last name, who had a few warrants out on him; when the warrants were issued, much attention was paid to his name, but not his auto license or driver's license number. The police wanted him, contacted DMV, who didn't check to see if there were more than one "John Smith", and they gave the police a tag number. The cops saw the tag number in question, pulled over my friend, (not the felon), checked his name on his license, and arrested him. He lost his job (they had a very strict attendance policy, and he obviously didn't call while he was being in-processed.) He was later released when he finally convinced them that they had made a mistake, but even though it was not his fault, he lost his job for spending the night in jail. The whole ordeal cost him a lot of money, he almost lost his house, and not even an apology was issued.

    Consequences be damned. If anyone tries to enter my house without my pemission, they will regret that decision.

    I'm not in favor of anarchy, but neither am I in favor of being one of the sheeple. I generally do my best to be a law-abiding citizen, but I won't be a doormat. Due process is a right of every citizen - and not just when it is convenient.
     
  19. dong20

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    The Martin case was something of a catalyst for change in that regard. It's ironic because it's quite likely he overreacted and as likely he acted with at least some premeditation, his comments and behaviour in this regard were well known locally.

    Was he a victim and had mental issues? Certainly but I wouldn't categorise him as 'poor man', I sure he knew what he was doing. I think the fact the Fearnon was granted legal aid to sue for compensation was quite incredible though.

    I believe that when someone enters another's property with the express intent to commit crime, especially if armed and are met with force by the occupant that person should forgo to some degree the protections and defence under the law they would have if they were attacked on the street.

    The definition of reasonable force should be skewed toward to victim but that doesn't mean an open license to 'blow away' intruders on sight.
     
  20. Lex

    Lex
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    My comment was not about the officers.

    I have theories. There is some research in this regard. I grew up in an urban area and now live in a suburban area. I can not attest to differential officer quality personally as I do not have lots of police interactions and the ones I HAVE had, have not be different.

    Most officers treat me the same (like a nigger) no matters where I am when I interact with them (also--regardless of my being dressed to the nines or not).
     
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