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-   -   Man arrested afterposting anti-cycling videos (http://www.bikeforums.net/advocacy-safety/949729-man-arrested-afterposting-anti-cycling-videos.html)

Fernk 05-23-14 09:54 AM

Man arrested afterposting anti-cycling videos
 
'Run 'em in a ditch': Piedmont man arrested for reckless endangerment following anti-cycling videos | AL.com

Ex Pres 05-23-14 10:00 AM

this has been all over local FB postings the last couple of days. Nice to have local law enforcement seemingly on our side for once.

FBinNY 05-23-14 10:13 AM

I hate to say this. The man is definitely an idiot (being polite) but our free speech protections extend to idiots too.

IMO the police acted wrongfully, and should have referred to the DA to see if there was anything prosecutable, but not arrested on a bogus charge.

I don't see evidence of "reckless endangerment" and expect the charges to be dismissed.

MMACH 5 05-23-14 10:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FBinNY (Post 16785030)
I hate to say this. The man is definitely an idiot (being polite) but our free speech protections extend to idiots too.

IMO the police acted wrongfully, and should have referred to the DA to see if there was anything prosecutable, but not arrested on a bogus charge.

I don't see evidence of "reckless endangerment" and expect the charges to be dismissed.

This.

I kept waiting to see the reckless endangerment.
Charges should be dropped, unless there are more incriminating videos that were not shared with the public.

350htrr 05-23-14 10:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FBinNY (Post 16785030)
I hate to say this. The man is definitely an idiot (being polite) but our free speech protections extend to idiots too.

IMO the police acted wrongfully, and should have referred to the DA to see if there was anything prosecutable, but not arrested on a bogus charge.

I don't see evidence of "reckless endangerment" and expect the charges to be dismissed.

Really? Well I'm not an expert on the law, but I don't think "freedom of speech" includes inciting people to commit crimes... But maybe that's just me...

mr_bill 05-23-14 10:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FBinNY (Post 16785030)
I hate to say this. The man is definitely an idiot (being polite) but our free speech protections extend to idiots too.

IMO the police acted wrongfully, and should have referred to the DA to see if there was anything prosecutable[emphasis mine], but not arrested on a bogus charge.

I don't see evidence of "reckless endangerment" and expect the charges to be dismissed.

"Calhoun County Sheriff's Office While we knew this would be controversial. We have the duty to investigate all complaints brought to us. Knowing the nature of this case we presented it to the District Attorney's Office for review. Which resulted in the issuance of a warrant. [emphasis mine] It's a tough job that has to be done."

-mr. bill

FBinNY 05-23-14 10:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 350htrr (Post 16785082)
Really? Well I'm not an expert on the law, but I don't think "freedom of speech" includes inciting people to commit crimes... But maybe that's just me...

There's a difference between expressing an opinion, or even suggesting violence, and incitement. There's nothing here that in any way approaches incitement. If there were, half (idiom, not numbers) the people on this forum could charged the same way for their anti "cager" comments.

There's nothing here that comes anywhere near the threshold of incitement, and certainly no reckless endangerment (might have been if the video actually caught a close and dangerous pass). This is PC at it's worst, and meets the standards for false arrest in most states.

bikemig 05-23-14 10:42 AM

He made it pretty clear that he wanted to hurt a cyclist with his automobile and made it clear that it was only a matter of time before he actually did what he said he would do. You have intent and you have actions taken to help further that intent (he videotaped himself getting ready to do the action and posted his ideas all over the internet). A jury will decide whether this is evidence of the crime charged beyond a reasonable doubt. Nonetheless the first amendment is not a defense to saying you are going to do a crime and then taking some steps to further it.

From US legal definitions, http://definitions.uslegal.com/r/rec...endangerment/:

"Reckless endangerment is a crime consisting of acts that create a substantial risk of serious physical injury to another person. The accused person isn't required to intend the resulting or potential harm, but must have acted in a way that showed a disregard for the foreseeable consequences of the actions. The charge may occur in various contexts, such as, among others, domestic cases, car accidents, construction site accidents, testing sites, domestic/child abuse situations, and hospital abuse. State laws and penalties vary, so local laws should be consulted."

350htrr 05-23-14 10:43 AM

Well I couldn't watch the whole video because my PC stopped it saying there was some melware happening on that site but it sure seemed to me that he was telling people that it was OK to run cyclists off the road... Would it be OK to make a video basically saying lets get rid of the president? And not meaning voting him out...? That's "free speech" too... :innocent:

bikemig 05-23-14 10:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 350htrr (Post 16785161)
Well I couldn't watch the whole video because my PC stopped it saying there was some melware happening on that site but it sure seemed to me that he was telling people that it was OK to run cyclists off the road... Would it be OK to make a video basically saying lets get rid of the president? And not meaning voting him out...? That's "free speech" too... :innocent:

Well there are special laws dealing with the President as Ted Nugent found out, Secret Service To Visit Ted Nugent Over Potential Presidential Threat | Radar Online

FoulHooked 05-23-14 10:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mr_bill (Post 16785132)
"Calhoun County Sheriff's Office While we knew this would be controversial. We have the duty to investigate all complaints brought to us. Knowing the nature of this case we presented it to the District Attorney's Office for review. Which resulted in the issuance of a warrant. [emphasis mine] It's a tough job that has to be done."

-mr. bill

^^^this

It was vetted; if the DA is willing to go after him, there must be something to it. There may be more to the videos too. There are other potential considerations than just what he says on the video; distracted driving (if unlawful there), passing on double solid (may not be exceptions in AL?). Reckless endangerment is not a free speech issue; it may have multiple definitions, but one is "a crime consisting of acts that create a substantial risk of serious physical injury to another person." I don't see how video commentary can possibly meet this threshold, so they must be pursuing it for other reasons.

02Giant 05-23-14 10:49 AM

The portion of the video where he intentionally speeds up as he is passing the two cyclist, has been edited to show only a very narrow view. There is very likely video evidence (not included in the link) that shows him making an unsafe pass.

FBinNY 05-23-14 10:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 350htrr (Post 16785161)
....saying lets get rid of the president? And not meaning voting him out...? That's "free speech" too... :innocent:

Actually it is. It wouldn't be if there was a clear and real threat, and acts in furtherance of the threat. It would also be illegal if he were to say it in front of an armed mob where the president were present.

The man in this video hates cyclists, which is his right. He's saying he'd like to run them off the road, but passed up that opportunity 3 times, so it's more of a wish than a statement of intent. He's sort of wishing someone else would do what he's clearly afraid to do, but if every time some died because someone wished them dead, the mother-in-law population of the USA would be decimated.

It might be different if the person were a passenger and was egging a driver on, "come on, there's no one around...let's get this guy here..." but that's not what's happening here.

Free spech is a meaningless concept it it only protects popular, PC speech, but not stuff like this.

FBinNY 05-23-14 11:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mr_bill (Post 16785132)
"Calhoun County Sheriff's Office While we knew this would be controversial. We have the duty to investigate all complaints brought to us. Knowing the nature of this case we presented it to the District Attorney's Office for review. Which resulted in the issuance of a warrant. [emphasis mine] It's a tough job that has to be done."

-mr. bill

You're right, I misread, and thought they arrested, then presented. So the cops were enforcing a warrant and so are blameless. OTOH I'd like to hear what the DA has to say on this. I expect the charges will be dropped (or maybe were based on the public apology) or will be dismissed by a judge.

FBinNY 05-23-14 11:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FoulHooked (Post 16785176)
^^^this

It was vetted; if the DA is willing to go after him, there must be something to it. .... I don't see how video commentary can possibly meet this threshold, so they must be pursuing it for other reasons.

DA bullying isn't unheard of. I don't know if this would have required a grand jury indictment or was within the DA's discretion, but DA bullying happens. Charge, arrest, extort a settlement of some kind (defending a charge is expensive), then quietly drop the charges, or accept a plea to something trivial.

02Giant 05-23-14 11:23 AM

Without seeing the entire video, it is impossible to say one way or the other if charges were warranted. IF the video shows him aggressively passing after the the other encounters, he is intentionally escalating his hostility toward the cyclist. How far does it have to go before action is warranted? In the times we live in, does the shooting have to start before someone intervenes?

RPK79 05-23-14 11:26 AM

Well, we can't predict the future so, unfortunately, a crime has to be committed prior to someone being convicted of it.

FBinNY 05-23-14 11:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RPK79 (Post 16785313)
Well, we can't predict the future so, unfortunately, a crime has to be committed prior to someone being convicted of it.

You may consider this unfortunate. I don't, because I don't like the alternative.

RPK79 05-23-14 11:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FBinNY (Post 16785349)
You may consider this unfortunate. I don't, because I don't like the alternative.

It was sarcasm. I agree with you.

FBinNY 05-23-14 11:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 02Giant (Post 16785296)
....In the times we live in, does the shooting have to start before someone intervenes?

No, but there has to be clear evidence of intent and acts in furtherance. Talking about getting a ***** and going to a tower to kill folks is one thing. Getting the *****, loading it and heading up the stairs another.

The video is clearly expressing a wish -- or it could just be redneck boasting -- but it doesn't show any evidence of intent to fulfill the wish anytime in the near future.

BTW- talk about PC, I can't believe that the auto censor blocks the word for a deer hunting weapon.

FBinNY 05-23-14 11:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RPK79 (Post 16785373)
It was sarcasm. I agree with you.

Sorry, it's sometimes hard to tell here.

mconlonx 05-23-14 11:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FBinNY (Post 16785030)
IMO the police acted wrongfully, and should have referred to the DA to see if there was anything prosecutable, but not arrested on a bogus charge.

I know this has been further clarified, but don't the police arrest all the time on charges which don't stand up in court, sometimes don't even make it to court because the DA tosses it out?

It ain't right, but it happens all the time. "Tell it to the judge!"

FBinNY 05-23-14 11:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mconlonx (Post 16785392)
I know this has been further clarified, but don't the police arrest all the time on charges which don't stand up in court, sometimes don't even make it to court because the DA tosses it out?

It ain't right, but it happens all the time. "Tell it to the judge!"

It may or may not be right depending on the details and police intent. If there's some basis for an arrest, it may be appropriate. However if it's just to annoy on intimidate, and the police arrest without a legitimate bases it harassment. Lots of cities and towns have found out how expensive police street justice can be.

FenderTL5 05-23-14 12:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FBinNY (Post 16785377)
The video is clearly expressing a wish -- or it could just be redneck boasting -- but it doesn't show any evidence of intent to fulfill the wish anytime in the near future.

"Did'at scare you boys.." would imply he did something that was intended to scare/threat, wouldn't it?

FBinNY 05-23-14 03:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FenderTL5 (Post 16785479)
"Did'at scare you boys.." would imply he did something that was intended to scare/threat, wouldn't it?

I'd expect that a jury would insist on much better evidence than the implication of that phrase. Then entire video looks more like wish fantasy than any serious threat. But regardless of what it really is, the law is clear. If this is introduced in court, and the defense argues that it's simply the musings and wish fantasies of a frustrated bike hater, the jury has to accept that explanation unless there's compelling evidence otherwise.

I'm sure the DA knows the law and the odds of conviction, so this is either harassment based on political pressure (not unheard of) or the DA is holding some hole cards we don't know about.

BTW- it seems that the concept of free speech is under assault, an more people than ever believe that free speech protection should only apply to speech that doesn't offend. IMO- that's pointless, since non-offensive speech doesn't need protection. Given the number of examples of people being pilloried for utterances secretly recorded then broadcast, I think we need to remind people that we can't protect any speech unless we protect all speech. (yes, there are exceptions, so all doesn't mean all).


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