Protective Mothers' Alliance International

family court abuse/corruption

With chalk arrest, Orlando is again the joke/ Orlando Sentinel

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PMA INTL. and N.O.R.M ; Occupy Family and Juvenile Dependency Courts



Scott MaxwellTAKING NAMES9:58 p.m. EST, January 12, 2012

Most people already knew Orlando’s decision to arrest someone for using sidewalk chalk was ridiculous.
Turns out, it was also hypocritical.
Here’s a line from a chamber of commerce newsletter back in 2009, when the Magic were in the Eastern Conference finals: “Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyersuggested that area business show their support by ‘chalking up’ their sidewalks and entryways.”
A Sentinel story said the same thing.
So please, Buddy, spare me the indignation about how sacred our sidewalks are.
The city hoped this story would end by dropping the charges against 25-year-old Timothy Osmar on Wednesday.

Unfortunately, Buddy and Co. couldn’t admit they made a mistake and walk away.

Instead, they decided to double down on foolishness. And injustice.

First, the city continues to defend the arrest of this protester who wrote things such as “Justice Equals Liberty” — even though the city produced no evidence that it has ever arrested hopscotchers, Magic fans or anyone else for the same chalk-related “crime.”

Just as troubling was part of the city’s explanation for the release: that 18 days in jail — without bond — was an appropriate punishment.

Except it wasn’t. Osmar’s attorney, Dick Wilson, described it as laughable to think that a judge would sentence someone to 2 1/2 weeks in jail for violating a misdemeanor municipal ordinance.

People get convicted of felonies and don’t spend a single day in prison.

More important: Osmar wasn’t convicted of anything.

So it’s awfully rich for Buddy or anyone else to declare Osmar as having served his penance … when he wasn’t ever declared guilty.

Forget how you feel about Dyer or Occupy Orlando. Imagine what you would think if you read that rulers in Cuba were imprisoning citizens for writing on the sidewalk?

The ordinance Osmar supposedly violated was a ban on “advertising matter.” If common sense doesn’t tell you that political speech isn’t “advertising,” the Supreme Court does.

If City Hall — which called the cops on Osmar in the first place — didn’t like what he was writing, this was a problem for a garden hose, not the Orange County Jail.

The strangest thing: Buddy is smarter than this.

He’s a savvy political veteran who desperately wants Orlando to be a big-league city. Yet once again we look like Yeehaw Junction.

Plus, because the city still defends this bad arrest, Buddy all but guaranteed more headlines when the protesters chalk again — and taxpayer money is again used to arrest, jail, house, defend and prosecute the so-called offenders.

Buddy argues that Osmar wanted to go jail. Fine. Then wait until he has done something that’s actually illegal, and arrest him.

As I said Sunday: You may not care for Osmar or Occupy Orlando. But you darn well better care about government selectively or creatively enforcing its laws.

A few hours after Osmar was freed Wednesday, my wife and I were discussing the story at the dinner table.

Her take was similar to many readers: not completely sympathetic to Osmar, since he seemed to be plenty willing to be arrested — but convinced the arrest was foolish nonetheless. (She also reminded our kids to always do what police officers say and to do so with respect, no matter what you think — a point I echoed.)

Still, my son started thinking about how he and Owen, the 5-year-old next door to our old house, used to chalk up the sidewalks in front of our old house.

“So Owen could’ve been taken to jail?” he asked innocently.

No, I responded. He could not.

Owen didn’t irritate City Hall. or 407-420-6141

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