Talk Back to a Cop–Get Punched

punch2.jpgOk, nobody likes a smart ass. And, even freedom loving folks like me cringe when citizens disrespect government officials–even when we have a right to do so. Well, let me tell you about one kid that told a cop to “lower his voice”, and got punched in the face. Here’s how it went down.

Wait, first I should tell you something. If you’ve been charged with resisting an officer with violence, that’s a fancy way of saying a cop beat your ass. Sort of like the word “organic” is a grocery term for “overpriced” (yes, a cheap Jim Gaffigan theft) . So, armed with this knowledge, let’s proceed to a real life example.

In the case of M.M. v. State, 72 So.3d 328 (Fla. 4th DCA 2011), officers responded to a call regarding a potential battery / street fight. When officers arrived, there was no fight, and only four people around. One officer stopped two persons, and the other two persons walked away. As the other officer arrived, he ordered those two to stop, but M.M. refused and told the officer not to raise his voice to him. The officer punched him, and arrested him for resisting an officer with violence. M.M. was convicted of the lesser included offense of resisting an officer without violence.

Was this legal? Heck no. The appeals court overturned the conviction. In order to be convicted of resisting, the officer must be “engaged in the lawful execution of a legal duty”. The officer here had no reasonable suspicion that M.M. was engaged in any unlawful activity. He had no right to demand that M.M. stop, so the entire case was thrown out. Too bad it had to go all the way up to the appeals court to get corrected….and now you know the rest of the story.