Tuber of the Week: Unpopular Law Enforcement

To incorporate some structure into my weekly postings, I removed the “You Tuber of the Week” side link that was on the blog, and will now select a video of the week as a regular post.

As a result, my posts will primarily be organized in this fashion:

--Missing Person Monday
--You Tuber of the Week on Wednesday
--Off the Beaten Path on Friday

Also, I was happy to figure out the Java component that allowed me to add the gadget showing images of books on my current and recent read list-—I swiped that idea from another blogger.

Of course, the structure is subject to change due to sleep deprivation, whim, or too much caffeine.

This Tuber of the Week relates to a serious police incident that occurred in 2007.* Eric Montanez was arrested after police conducted a surveillance-based investigation of him for being in violation of a new (in 2007 it was new) Orlando city ordinance that placed restrictions on feeding more than 25 homeless persons at one time. The news articles stated that Montanez was arrested for trying to conceal his identity and bonded out of jail on the same day.

Later, the same article says that he was charged also with violating the homeless ordinance. I assume that means that he was booked on the false information charge and received a citation for violating the ordinance.

In my opinion, the officers did what the government had assigned them to do—-enforce what officials felt was a necessary ordinance. Officers regularly get stuck doing lousy jobs and trying to enforce unpopular laws (the ordinance was being challenged in the courts at the time of the incident) that they may not personally like. This would not be an assignment that I would have enjoyed: surveillance on picnics for street residents? I can understand why anti-police sites had a field day with this one.

Also, I think Mr. Montanez got what he wanted. He seemed very proud to have been arrested, and the little bit about him tossing his identification may have been part of the stunt to ensure that he was taken to jail (especially after learning that the initial offense would only result in a citation with a court date). Finally, it does not look like the ordinance provided many more criminal cases there-—so hopefully police surveillance equipment and personnel can now be used more effectively.

*Note: I always try to link to the original blog where I find posting information, but I felt the source site for this story contained too much foul language and was unreasonably anti-police for the plug.


mappchik said...

I'm a fan of civil disobedience. I think his original protest act - feeding 25+ - was a great thing. Montanez loses me on the false name/tossed ID, though.

Yes, getting arrested got the attention of the press, which is what Montanez wanted. It also makes it less likely that other ordinary citizens will engage in their own peaceful acts of civil disobedience.

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