I will not repeat my previous objections to the crime of nonviolent resistance to arrest, but it is written to allow even slight movements to facilitate a criminal charge. Here is the determination:
843.02Resistance to an officer without violence against him or her.– –Anyone who should oppose, hinder or oppose an officer in the sense of s. 943.10 (1), (2), (3), (6), (7), (8) or (9); Member of the Florida Commission on Offender Review or any administrative assistant or manager employed by the commission; District probation officer; Probation officers and probation officers; Law enforcement officials or agents; or any other person authorized by law to carry out proceedings for the conduct of a judicial process or the lawful performance of a legal obligation without offering or practicing violence on the person of the official is found guilty of a first degree offense which is punished as intended in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
Resistance, or resistance without violence, is incredibly vague and allows prosecutors to bring additional charges (which increases pressure on defendants to accept objection agreements). What resistance means apparently can be as little as stretching an arm or moving while shackles are being put on. This creates a dangerously fluid and subjective basis for criminal charges, even for an offense.
The most serious charge is the third degree crime, which can lead to up to five years in prison. However, the police charges are ambiguously referring to “officers watched the accused lure the crowd with music from loudspeakers”.
Seduce with music? That seems like a pretty dangerous basis for a serious riot crime. Washington made this clear, although he appeared to admit that he broke his curfew in an interview in which he stated, “I’m sorry I broke the curfew. I didn’t start a riot. In the end, I feel like someone had to get into trouble and since I had the speaker and the big problems were gone, they locked me up. “
I must agree with Washington on the riot charge. If the police have evidence of Washington’s riots, they should provide that evidence. Playing music can surely break the peace and gather a crowd. In my opinion it is not an element of the riot crime.
Here are the provisions:
870.01Affrays and riots.– –
(1)All persons who are guilty of an affair are guilty of a first degree misdemeanor according to s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(2)Any person who is guilty of rioting or inciting or promoting rioting is guilty of a third degree crime punished under s. 775.082, s. 775.083 or s. 775.084.
870.02Illegal Gatherings.– –If three or more people meet to break the peace or to commit some other illegal act, each of them is guilty of a second degree offense punishable under s. 775.082 or see 775.083.
870.03Riots and flight.– –When persons who have gathered unlawfully demolish, demolish or destroy, or begin to demolish, demolish or destroy an apartment building or other building or ship or ship, each of them will be convicted of a third degree crime, which is punishable by law as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083 or s. 775.084.
In section 870.03, active verbs are used to destroy, tear down, or destroy property – without creating circumstances that may or may not lead to riot.
A similar problem could also be raised in the cases prepared by the federal government during the January 6th uprising in Congress. Federal prosecutors have already brought lesser charges, such as violations, to many of those arrested, although some have indicated that a number of sedition charges are pending.