The Frog

Staff member
Administrator
Further information on the shooting of Furry Potato has become available. The LA County District Attorney charge evaluation worksheet indicates that the School Guard was authorized to demand that Furry Potato move from the side walk adjacent to the school under California Penal code 626.8.
Just because it’s a sidewalk doesn’t mean you can be there!
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Ocean Of Light

Registered User
I like how Furry uses silence to frustrate others that try to amp up a encounter. While it is not always a 100% successful outcome, her videos do tend to bring more public knowledge to those that have little awareness of what our Contitutional rights are.
 

Taoron

Registered User
I've seen other cases where being silent ends in total fail. Remember James Freeman at Fort Huachuca? He was silent there and then arrested and charged, and he wasn't even on property, he was on public property. Being 100% silent makes people do dumb crap.
 

FattMatt

Registered User
California has set a precedent that any church security guard can now discharge a weapon if they feel threatened by someone's appearance. Be careful at the church of scientology!
 

Danyell

Registered User
Assuming, without agreeing that the California law is constitutional, the law does not authorize lethal force against a nonagressive person. Asking someone to move is a whole heap of different than shooting or even arresting someone for not moving. It's similar to a cop asking you if the cop can make a warrantless search. The cop can lawfully ask to search, but he can't legally shoot the person merely for failure to agree to allow the search.

The statute is of doubtful constitutionality under the First Amendment.
 

Danyell

Registered User
[The First Amendment protects the right to not speak. Silence can also be symbolic speech. In the criminal context, the Fifth Amendment protects silence. The United States Constitution was also ratified in part by people who were anonymous while arguing in the Federalist Papers for ratification of the Constitution. Finally, the courts have ruled that anonymous political speech is protected by the First Amendment.]
I like how Furry uses silence to frustrate others that try to amp up a encounter. While it is not always a 100% successful outcome, her videos do tend to bring more public knowledge to those that have little awareness of what our Contitutional rights are.
[/QUOTE]
 

RagingScorpion

Registered User
Despite what some people think, I myself had looked that incident over. Watched the video and even seen her wound. First, let me point out that the guy did warn her multiple time and despite his warnings she kept on antagonizing the guard. Secondly, if you would look at where he aimed the gun, you can see that it was aimed down towards the sidewalk. When he discharged his firearm, the bullet hit the sidewalk and ricocheted hitting her in the shin. After viewing the footage and seeing the whole story for myself, then finding out that another synagogue was attacked before that day, I said to myself that she was really lucky that was a warning shot and not a kill shot.
 

Cassano

Registered User
Yelling FIRE in a crowded theater. For decades, the courts in this country, including the U.S. Supreme Court, have ruled that free speech is not necessarily free. In the more recent rulings throughout the U.S. District Courts, justices have acknowledged the importance of free speech and have, for the most part, upheld that basic Constitutional right. The take-away is that it has been repeatedly said that free speech is subject to "reasonable time, place, and manner" restrictions. This is the issue with Furry Potato. The question becomes "was the time (school in sesssion), place (outside an active school with children present) and manner (physical appearance causing alarm) REASONABLE? In the context of things, and considering the totality of the circumstances, I would submit that this situation was not befitting the concept of a "reasonable time, place, and manner".

All auditors need to realize that, despite it not being illegal, their activity, to most, does appear to be somewhat suspicious. One has to take that into account and be aware that reactions can, and often will, be ratcheted up a bit. Is reaction to a "suspicious person" taken too far? Yes, quite often it is, and it is used by authorities to both force cessation of the activity and to punish it. With that potential outcome in mind, it would behoove auditors to ease off under those circumstances, and achieve change through other avenues and approaches (i.e., information and training).

As the article says, just because you're on a public sidewalk, it doesn't mean you are legally allowed to be there. That being said, just because you're not required to identify yourself, doesn't mean you shouldn't to diffuse a situation and dash those "suspicions", potentially avoiding an unnecessary arrest (or worse).
 

FattMatt

Registered User
'As the article says, just because you're on a public sidewalk, it doesn't mean you are legally allowed to be there. That being said, just because you're not required to identify yourself, doesn't mean you shouldn't to diffuse a situation and dash those "suspicions", potentially avoiding an unnecessary arrest (or worse).'

This last paragraph does take away your personal rights. A member of the public (the security guard) has no authority to move you on from a public place, and your right to privacy by not volunteering your name, if not committing an offence. You are right about not escalating the situation, but you cannot just be passive because the other person is demanding something that they know they should not ask.
 

RogueRivered

Registered User
"We have decided that your First Amendment rights make us feel uncomfortable. Therefore, your rights are hereby revoked. Thank you for your cooperation."
 

RogueRivered

Registered User
I would submit that this situation was not befitting the concept of a "reasonable time, place, and manner".
Time, Place, and Manner is not for deciding if an expressive activity is protected under the First Amendment. It's the opposite. It's for the courts to decide whether the government's restrictions withstand scrutiny.
 

RogueRivered

Registered User
. . . School Guard was authorized to demand that Furry Potato move from the side walk adjacent to the school under California Penal code 626.8.
That code section does not apply to constitutionally-protected rights.

(e) This section shall not be utilized to impinge upon the lawful exercise of constitutionally protected rights of speech or assembly.
 

Chargeback

Registered User
Read charging document, Do I have this right? Guard suspects bomb and says he sees Furry squeezing something in the pocket. Guard then fires warning shot. Appropriate SOP for imminent suicide bomb attack?
 

Cassano

Registered User
Time, Place, and Manner is not for deciding if an expressive activity is protected under the First Amendment. It's the opposite. It's for the courts to decide whether the government's restrictions withstand scrutiny.
It is not the opposite. It is mutually inclusive. You're talking nonsense, since the government DID decide that this activity violated the time, place, and manner restrictions, which is why the DA found no violation of law on the part of the security guard. Whether or not the courts agree later, which I submit they would, is yet another step in the process.
 

observer

Staff member
Curator
Did the security guard and subsequently the school administration, know all the details of what had been recorded prior to the shooting or was it all obtained after the shooting and was used to justify their actions? At what point did they become aware of the comments being made by FP in the recording regarding the girls, cameras etc? How did they become aware?
 

RogueRivered

Registered User
. . . since the government DID decide that this activity violated the time, place, and manner restrictions,
And which statute is that? I'm not aware of any statutes that restrict someone from filming on a public sidewalk, except maybe the California Penal code 626.8, which does not apply to constitutionally-protected rights of speech and assembly.
 

Cassano

Registered User
And which statute is that? I'm not aware of any statutes that restrict someone from filming on a public sidewalk, except maybe the California Penal code 626.8, which does not apply to constitutionally-protected rights of speech and assembly.
You probably need to stop practicing law, because you're not very good at it.
 

Cassano

Registered User
'As the article says, just because you're on a public sidewalk, it doesn't mean you are legally allowed to be there. That being said, just because you're not required to identify yourself, doesn't mean you shouldn't to diffuse a situation and dash those "suspicions", potentially avoiding an unnecessary arrest (or worse).'

This last paragraph does take away your personal rights. A member of the public (the security guard) has no authority to move you on from a public place, and your right to privacy by not volunteering your name, if not committing an offence. You are right about not escalating the situation, but you cannot just be passive because the other person is demanding something that they know they should not ask.
You have no conceptual understanding of the law. Law considers the totality of the circumstances, not just the letter of the law. Maybe you shouldn't be practicing law, since you're horrible at it.
 

observer

Staff member
Curator
"Law considers the totality of the circumstances, not just the letter of the law." Cassano

Do any of us have access to all the reports, interviews, etc. to make a truly informed opinion on the totality of the circumstances? Or are we second guessing decisions based upon our own biases and opinions? IMO no one has access to make a fully informed decision as to the validity of any decisions that have been made or will be made in the future. Even after discovery in the civil suit, I would speculate there will remain unanswered questions and speculation as to why certain decisions were made.
 

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