Walking While Black: Analysis Finds Racial Slant in FL Tickets

African Americans got 55 percent of all tickets issued for pedestrian violations in Jacksonville over the past five years. Nearly all such tickets were written in the city’s poorest sections. “There is not an active effort to be in black neighborhoods writing pedestrian tickets,” says the local sheriff.

ProPublica and the Florida Times-Union report that blacks received 55 percent of all pedestrian tickets issued over the past five years in Jacksonville, Fla., where African Americans account for 29 percent of the population. Almost all of the tickets, typically costing $65, were issued in the city’s poorest neighborhoods. Blacks were nearly three times as likely as whites to be ticketed for a pedestrian violation. And residents of the city’s three poorest zip codes were about six times as likely to receive a pedestrian citation as those living in the city’s other, more affluent 34 zip codes. Seventy-eight percent of all tickets written for “walking in the roadway where sidewalks are provided” were issued to blacks. And blacks got 68 percent of tickets issued for “failing to cross the road at a right angle or shortest route.”

Sheriff Mike Williams said, “Let me tell you this: There is not an active effort to be in black neighborhoods writing pedestrian tickets.” The sheriff’s department’s second-in-command, Patrick Ivey, said any racial disparities could only be explained by the fact that blacks were simply violating the statutes more often than others in Jacksonville. Ivey said stopping people for pedestrian violations as a means for establishing probable cause to search them was also fully justified. “Shame on him that gives me a legal reason to stop him,” Ivey said.

from https://thecrimereport.org

FL Tech Firm, Lawyers Lock Horns Over Traffic Ticket Biz

TIKD alleges in a lawsuit that it is being blocked from consulting on traffic-ticket cases by the Florida Bar Association and The Ticket Clinic, a law practice with 28 offices in Florida. Its legal foes counter that TIKD is practicing law without a license.

A Florida tech startup that allows drivers to fight their traffic tickets from their smartphones says the Florida Bar and The Ticket Clinic are conspiring to drive it out of business, reports the Miami Herald. The startup, TIKD, has taken its fight to federal court, filing suit against both the Florida Bar Association and The Ticket Clinic, a private ticket-defense law firm. Earlier this year, TIKD launched its tech-enabled service and says it has served more than 5,000 people. TIKD is not a law firm, but instead uses independent lawyers to resolve the tickets at a cost that is 15 to 20 percent less than the ticket fee. Since then, founder and CEO Christopher Riley said, The Ticket Clinic has been thwarting its efforts to build a business at every turn.

The Ticket Clinic has filed complaints with the Florida Bar, claiming that TIKD is practicing law without a license, and has filed grievances against lawyers who have represented a TIKD customer. The stakes are high: The Ticket Clinic has 28 offices in Florida and 15 in California, and its 40 full-time attorneys have resolved more than 5 million cases. TIKD alleges in its lawsuit that the Florida Bar has abetted the conflict by dragging out an investigation for 10 months. It says the bar association has “engaged in a concerted effort to exclude TIKD…by enabling and reinforcing the Ticket Clinic’s anti-competitive propaganda campaign.”

from https://thecrimereport.org

FL Court: Cops Protected Under ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law

The case centers on whether a Broward County sheriff’s deputy can be prosecuted in the 2013 fatal shooting of a man who was carrying a realistic-looking air rifle.

A Florida appeals court ruled Wednesday that police officers are entitled to the same immunity under the state’s “stand your ground” law as private citizens, reports the Sun Sentinel. Earlier, another appeals court reached the opposite conclusion, and the conflict likely is headed to the Florida Supreme Court. The case involves Broward County Sheriff’s Deputy Peter Peraza, who was charged with manslaughter in the July 31, 2013, shooting death of Jermaine McBean, 33, a computer engineer who was walking home after having just purchased a realistic-looking air rifle at a pawn shop.

Peraza was one of several deputies who responded to reports of an armed man. He opened fire when McBean failed to follow orders to put the weapon down. Peraza testified that he fired his gun when McBean appeared to begin raising the weapon as if to fire it. Family members said McBean likely did not hear the deputies’ orders because he was listening to music through earbuds at the time. Peraza was the first officer in 35 years charged in an on-duty fatal shooting in Broward County.

from https://thecrimereport.org

FL, KY to Pay Legal Fees in Gun, Gay Marriage Fights

Florida has agreed to pay $1.1 million in legal fees for the failed 2011 “Docs vs. Glocks” law, which barred doctors from talking to patients about gun ownership. And a federal judge in Kentucky has awarded $223,000 in fees to attorneys for same-sex couples who were denied marriage licenses in 2015 by Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis.

Florida has agreed to pay $1.1 million in legal fees to lawyers who sued the state over a 2011 law that barred doctors from talking to patients about gun ownership, reports the New York Times. The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence said Florida Gov. Rick Scott had approved the reimbursement to lawyers who represented doctors and medical organizations in the case, known as “Docs v. Glocks.” Scott and the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature pushed the restrictions through, becoming the first state to try to restrict the First Amendment rights of doctors to discuss guns and gun safety with their patients. In February, a federal appeals court overturned the law, siding with medical providers over the state’s powerful gun lobby.

Meanwhile, a federal judge in Kentucky has awarded $223,000 in fees to attorneys for same-sex couples who were denied marriage licenses in 2015 by Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, reports the Louisville Courier-Journal. U.S. District Judge David Bunning ordered the state to pay the fees, rather than Davis or Rowan County. The ACLU of Kentucky hailed the ruling, saying it should serve as a reminder to public officials in Kentucky of the cost of violating civil liberties.

from https://thecrimereport.org

FL Pol Seeks State Takeover of Troubled Women’s Prison

A Democratic state representative sent a letter urging Republican Gov. Rick Scott to use his emergency powers to replace the top officers and take state control of the privately managed Gadsden Correctional Facility, which houses 1,500 female inmates.

Warning that inmate health and safety is at risk at Florida’s largest privately run women’s prison, Rep. David Richardson on Thursday asked Gov. Rick Scott to use his emergency powers to replace the top officers and take state control of Gadsden Correctional Facility, reports the Tampa Bay Times. In a letter, the Miami Beach Democrat asked Scott “to direct the Florida Department of Corrections to install a temporary warden, chief of security, and other resources you deem necessary to restore order and reverse what I can only describe as a loss of institutional control.”

Richardson has been on a one-man mission to force change in Florida’s troubled prison system. After several surprise inspections in the last month with investigators from the Department of Corrections and the state’s Office of Chief Inspector General, he concluded the Gadsden prison faces “significant inmate health and safety concerns” and management has repeatedly retaliated “against inmates for discussing matters with me.” Gadsden is a medium-security prison that houses 1,544 female inmates and is one of the seven privately facilities in the state. It is managed by Management Training Corp. of Centerville, Utah. Scott, whose staff was briefed by Richardson on Wednesday about his concerns, said he had not seen the letter and would not comment.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Miami Judge Rules Against Immigrant-Detention Policy

Circuit Judge Milton Hirsch wrote, “We must protect our country from a great many things; but from nothing so much so much as from the loss of our historic rights and liberties.”

A Miami-Dade County policy to keep immigrants facing deportation in jail on behalf of the federal government violates the Constitution, a judge ruled on Friday. The Miami Herald reports that The Miami Herald reports Circuit Judge Milton Hirsch’s ruling was a rebuke of Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s decision – in the face of potential cuts in federal funding – to allow county jails to hold immigrants awaiting deportation by federal agents. The measure has sparked protests and anger by many immigration advocates in South Florida.

Hirsch wrote that the policy, adopted in response to an executive order by President Trump, violated the Tenth Amendment, which limits the reach of the federal government over states. The immediate impact of the ruling was unclear. The judge did not explicitly order Miami-Dade jailers to stop honoring requests by the federal government to hold people slated for deportation. Hirsch’s ruling could be delayed by an appeal, which the mayor’s office said would be filed immediately.

from http://thecrimereport.org

FL GOP Pols Seek to End ‘Failure’ of Gun-Free Zones

A legislative proposal by two conservative Republican lawmakers would do away with gun-free zones, which means firearms would be allowed in police stations, courthouses, airport terminals, polling places, government and legislative meetings, schools, athletic events and bars.

from http://thecrimereport.org

Jonathan Edward Hagans: Missing from Florida since 1968

Three-year-old Jonathan Edward Hagans disappeared June 11, 1968 while at the beach with his family. He has never been found. About the Case On June 11, 1968, the Hagans family, Joe and Marjean Hagans and their three children, including three-year-old Jonathan, decided to spend the warm summer day at the beach in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. … Continue reading “Jonathan Edward Hagans: Missing from Florida since 1968”

The post Jonathan Edward Hagans: Missing from Florida since 1968 appeared first on True Crime Diva.

Three-year-old Jonathan Edward Hagans disappeared June 11, 1968 while at the beach with his family. He has never been found. About the Case On June 11, 1968, the Hagans family, Joe and Marjean Hagans and their three children, including three-year-old Jonathan, decided to spend the warm summer day at the beach in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. … Continue reading “Jonathan Edward Hagans: Missing from Florida since 1968”

The post Jonathan Edward Hagans: Missing from Florida since 1968 appeared first on True Crime Diva.

Jonathan Edward Hagans: Missing from Florida since 1968

Three-year-old Jonathan Edward Hagans disappeared June 11, 1968 while at the beach with his family. He has never been found. About the Case On June 11, 1968, the Hagans family, Joe and Marjean Hagans and their three children, including three-year-old Jonathan, decided to spend the warm summer day at the beach in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. … Continue reading “Jonathan Edward Hagans: Missing from Florida since 1968”

The post Jonathan Edward Hagans: Missing from Florida since 1968 appeared first on True Crime Diva.

Three-year-old Jonathan Edward Hagans disappeared June 11, 1968 while at the beach with his family. He has never been found. About the Case On June 11, 1968, the Hagans family, Joe and Marjean Hagans and their three children, including three-year-old Jonathan, decided to spend the warm summer day at the beach in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. … Continue reading “Jonathan Edward Hagans: Missing from Florida since 1968”

The post Jonathan Edward Hagans: Missing from Florida since 1968 appeared first on True Crime Diva.

Jonathan Edward Hagans: Missing from Florida since 1968

Three-year-old Jonathan Edward Hagans disappeared June 11, 1968 while at the beach with his family. He has never been found. About the Case On June 11, 1968, the Hagans family, Joe and Marjean Hagans and their three children, including three-year-old Jonathan, decided to spend the warm summer day at the beach in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. … Continue reading “Jonathan Edward Hagans: Missing from Florida since 1968”

The post Jonathan Edward Hagans: Missing from Florida since 1968 appeared first on True Crime Diva.

Three-year-old Jonathan Edward Hagans disappeared June 11, 1968 while at the beach with his family. He has never been found. About the Case On June 11, 1968, the Hagans family, Joe and Marjean Hagans and their three children, including three-year-old Jonathan, decided to spend the warm summer day at the beach in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. … Continue reading “Jonathan Edward Hagans: Missing from Florida since 1968”

The post Jonathan Edward Hagans: Missing from Florida since 1968 appeared first on True Crime Diva.