That was a classic 1st Amendment activity that was not subject to any punishment from the government.
Yet, the government wanted to punish the protestor.
The way to do that was to lie to the criminal jury that the protestor was trespassing on private property rather than that he was on public property and, as a taxpayer and co-owner of public property, could not possibly be "trespassing" on it.
But, that the protestor was on private and not public property would have been perjury.
And, to introduce such perjury in court would have been a crime.
And, a criminal defendant who knew he was on public property would have been entitled to point out that crime of perjury by stating to the jury - "I was on public property, and the People's witness is lying", and offer documentary proof, and witness accounts that the location where the protestor was peacefully standing with a sign was public property.
So - what was the government to do to still introduce perjurous testimony and still get the conviction for trespass on public property?
The government needed a corrupt judge.
And the government got two such judges - one who the criminal defendant from introducing the truthful statements that he was standing on public property with the protest sign when arrested, and the second one who added to the corruption of the first by issuing an administrative order threatening to arrest anybody who would stand, again, on public property holding signs accusing the first one of corruption.
Here are the names of the heroes of this story that happened recently in Florida.
The protestor's name is Michale Hoffman, member of a group called "Photography is Not a Crime" (PINAC).
The name of the first corrupt judge is Duval County judge Brent Shore who granted prosecution's "motion in limine" (motion to exclude) truthful testimony of criminal defendant that he was on public property, peacefully holding a protest sign and that his activity is fully protected by the 1st Amendment.
Here is the motion to exclude of the prosecution.
Two public prosecutors, State Attorney Angela B. Corey and her deputy attorney Elizabeth Kathleen Hernandez signed this plea to the court to allow perjurous testimony and to block the truth from being heard by the jury.
They requested the court to block the truth because that truth could be "highly prejudicial to the State in the minds of the jury".
Attorneys Corey and Hernandez acknowledged in a sworn statement to the court that the defendant will be seeking to introduce at trial evidence on three issues:
1/ that his protest was protected by the 1st Amendment;
2/ that "the property Defendant was located on and trespassed was a public forum" ;
3/ that the Aviation Authority trespass warning violated Florida public records law.
In other words, attorneys Corey and Hernandez asked the judge to prevent the criminal defendant from countering perjurous evidence that attorneys Corey and Hernandez were seeking to introduce at trial to establish "trespassing" to a criminal jury.
The motion could be plainly worded like that: judge, why wouldn't you allow us to introduce perjury by blocking defendant from introducing the truth - because we will not be able to prove our case if the jury hears the truth.
The judge said - ok, of course, and blocked Michael Hoffman from introducing evidence that he was on public property and that his protest was protected by the 1st Amendment.
Of course, blocking a criminal defendant from effectively confronting a perjurous witness would be a violation of the criminal defendant's due process of law and his 6th Amendment right to effectively confront a perjurous witness.
Even then, the jury was initially deadlocked, and a juror sent a note to the judge asking whether it was illegal to protest on public property.
Judge Shore whose duty was to give all applicable laws to the jury, refused to do his duty and refused to answer that question.
Moreover, after Judge Shore obtained unlawful conviction by:
- unlawfully refusing to grant a motion to dismiss;
- unlawfully granting a motion in limine;
- unlawfully blocking truthful evidence at trial and
- refusing to do his duty by refusing to give the law to the juror as to whether it was illegal to remain on public property with a protest sign
Were judge Shore's actions corrupt?
Clearly appears that way.
Here is Judge Shore's picture, so that you can see our self-complacent and very likely corrupt hero.
Attorney professor Alan Dershowitz called for Corey's disbarment in 2013 when she submitted what he called a false affidavit in the famous Zimmerman case.
Corey was also reported to have overcharge people in order to drum up guilty pleas, to obtain 20-year sentences for self-defense in what was called a case fraught with instititutional racism, in charging a 12-year-old child as an adult on a "felony-murder" theory (a theory that he was present as part of the team when another member of the team committed murder).
And, that Corey enhanced without authority her own pension and gave illegal bonuses to her staff - I wonder whether the bonuses were for drumming up wrongful convictions.
Quite a history.
The second attorney who obtained permission to commit perjury under Angela Corey's authority, Elizabeth Kathleen Hernandez, was not even supposed to prosecute cases at the time she prosecuted Michael Hoffman's case, because she herself was under investigation for "domestic battery", from which her boss Angela Corey recused. To allow a person under criminal investigation to prosecute crimes is something else.
According to her personal LinkedIn profile, Elizabeth Kathleen Hernandez graduated from law school in 2013, just 2 years before she tried Michale Hoffman's case:
Kathleen Hernandez was admitted to practice law in September of 2014 and had less than a year of experience as a lawyer when she prosecuted Michale Hoffman.
And, with a charge for domestic battery and the history of obtaining permission from the court to prove a criminal case by fabricated evidence - and actually fabricating the case at trial - Kathleen Hernandez has no record of public discipline.
So, this was the "dream team" that drummed up the wrongful conviction of Michale Hoffman by blocking the jury from knowing the relevant evidence and the relevant law.
The "dream team" had a higher protector, Chief administrative judge of Florida's 4th Judicial Circuit judge Mark Mahon.
To quash protests against corruption in Michale Hoffman's case, and in continuation of the circus that the State Attorney Corey started by charging and prosecuting Michale Hoffman for trespassing on public property by peacefully holding a protest sign, Judge Mahon issued two administrative orders, one in March of 2015 and another in July of 2015.
Here is the March 5, 2015 order of Judge Mahon where Judge Mahon defines what is and what is not news media and introduces paid "Media Authorization Cards" and a burdensome procedure to prove that those who want to videotape a public trial (which is allowed by Florida law) are, indeed, "media" in Judge Mahon's understanding.
Here is the order of July 1, 2015.
In his July 1, 2015 order, Judge Mahon clearly brands speech criticizing judges as "unprotected" speech and proclaims his purpose of protecting "integrity" of the judiciary - by arresting critics of judicial corruption.
Really, sometimes you need to give people enough rope to hang themselves.
For a self-important tyrant which is what the majority of judges become with years of impunity for malicious and corrupt acts and no discipline and accountability whatsoever, you only need to give him a forum to make a complete idiot of himself - which is what Judge Mahon did with his July 1, 2015 order.
And, being a "third generation attorney", apparently filled Judge Mahon with a huge sense of entitlement, but did not prevent Judge Mahon from making, once again, a complete idiot of himself in his profusely worded order that had little sense.
Judge Mahon even advertised in his order of July 1, 2015 the youtube videos that he did not want people to see.
Here they are:
Interview with the "main media" posted on YouTube.
This footage includes videotaping of the "main media" attending a press conference of what appears to be the prosecutors where reporters walk right by a person who tells them he is a 15-year fraud investigator and who offers them evidence of corruption in the courthouse. Actually, one female reporter told the person with evidence of judicial corruption to talk to her manager. It appears that the reporters had a directive from their managers not to gather certain types of materials for their news coverage.
Also, the footage shows that court security officers allowed reporters with video-cameras to videotape state attorney's press-conference right in front of the courthouse's door, but ordered the person videotaping that conference to leave and requiring him to provide a "press pass".
The security officer who required the video reporter to leave is arrogantly chewing gum, open-mouthed (disgusting!) right into the camera and refuses to reveal his name and badge number as required by law.
Three other officers who formed a wall before the video reporter gave their names and badge numbers. The gum-chewing officer gave his name, separately, and badge number, separately, only after being threatened to be turned into Internal Affairs for discipline.
Here is the video of the "secure parking garage" that allegedly posed security concerns. It is still publicly available on YouTube and not ordered pulled from it. Had it presented security concerns, it would not have been allowed to stay in the public domain.
By the way, note in the order that representatives of mainstream media were, for some reason, packed in the secure parking area reserved for the State Attorney (prosecution). So much for the "independent" media coverage.
Please, note also that in his July 1, 2015 order Judge Mahon lumped prosecutors and law enforcement officers together with judges in his reference to the Florida record access statute which made an exemption to the judiciary.
Actually, Judge Mahon should know as a lawyer and a jurist that prosecutors and law enforcement officers are part of an executive branch.
Yet, advocacy of the judge for the prosecutor and law enforcement officers who were insuring that criminal trial will be held on perjurous evidence inside the courthouse, has nothing to do with ensuring the defendant's right to a fair trial.
Judge Mahon quickly rescinded his order on July 7, 2015, but only after he was sued, see docket report of the federal civil rights lawsuit against Judge Mahon based on the order.
In rescinding the order directing to arrest any person engaged in constitutionally protected activity on public grounds outside the courthouse, Judge Mahon stated that the reason for the unconstitutional July 1, 2015 order (for which he was sued and which was rescinded as soon as he was sued) was to allegedly protect the unnamed defendants' right to a fair trial.
Yet, if that was the reason, Judge Mahon shouldn't have been swayed by a lawsuit, shouldn't have rescinded the order and should have stood his ground.
In reality, his order was doing the opposite - trying to protect the prosecution's permission received from Judge Shore to an unfair trial based on fabricated evidence against defendant Michale Hoffman, and protests actually enhanced Michale Hoffman's chance to a fair trial.
Moreover, the text of the July 1, 2015 order (above) plainly speaks for itself and has nothing to do with fairness of trial for defendants, but has everything to do with protection of judges and court personnel from criticism for corruption.
Prohibition to photograph judges and their cars was laughable since the same buildings, vehicles and individuals whose photographing was prohibited could be videotaped and photographed and seen through Google Maps photography, without any restrictions.
And, defendant Michale Hoffman would only benefit by the videotaping, as it would be evidence of judicial, prosecutorial and police corruption.
The bottom line.
Judge Mahon was not publicly disciplined.
Judge Shore was not publicly disciplined.
Attorney Corey was not publicly disciplined.
Attorney Hernandez was not publicly disciplined.
Michale Hoffman was publicly convicted of a crime of trespass on public property (!!) as a result of corrupt efforts of the four above mentioned "public servants" highly paid by the taxpayers of the State of Florida, and now Mr. Hoffman must fight and pay his way through appellate courts to have the fabricated conviction reversed.
Coincidentally, on April 29, 2015 the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed a judgment of discipline against a Florida attorney who solicited funds for her judicial election campaign.
In affirming the judgment of discipline, the U.S. Supreme Court has stated the following:
"Florida's interest in preserving public confidence in the integrity of its judiciary is compelling".
Here is some additional information from the Florida Bar's website about the case.
So, the same state of Florida whose State Attorney asked Judge Shore and received permission from him to fabricate a criminal case, and who did fabricate a criminal case with Judge Shore's help, had apparently a compelling interest in maintaining public confidence in the integrity of its judiciary.
And, in order to maintain that public confidence, Judge Mahon issued an "administrative order" threatening to arrest anyone who would say that a judge is corrupt, even if that statement is made during a peaceful 1st Amendment protest on public property and was based on clear evidence of such corruption.
I wonder whether people in the State of Florida will actually demand and insist on discipline for judges Shore and Mahon and for prosecutors Corey and Hernandez.
"Photography Is Not A Crime" has already held a rally in front of Judge Mahon's courthouse chaning "Judge Mahon has to go", and they are right.
Because, if these four people, Judges Mahon and Shore, and prosecutors Corey and Hernandez, are not disciplined and if Michale Hoffman's fabricated conviction is not voided without any appeals, the public will have absolutely no reason to have confidence in the integrity of the Florida judiciary - or its legal profession.