Media coverage of Florida melee with police shows how truth is suppressed
Written by Allen West on January 2, 2015
As y’all probably know by now, I grew up in the inner city, Old Fourth Ward, in Atlanta. As I have written here previously, there was a respect and regard for law enforcement officers and police — as reinforced by our parents. But something has broken down, especially in inner city communities — the family, and with that, a lack of respect and regard for authority. Accompanying that is the rise of criminal behavior — sometimes very abhorrent behavior – which too many seem able to carelessly dismiss.
I’m no longer living in Florida, but a recent story out of my ol’ stomping grounds of Palm Beach County is yet another testament to the crumbling inner city.
As reported by both BizPac Reivew and also covered by the Sun-Sentinel, “A Delray Beach, Florida man was stopped Tuesday while walking down the street for suspicion of smoking marijuana in public. Rather than talk to police, the man ran into a nearby home — where it seems a party was being held.”
However, the left-leaning South Florida Sun-Sentinel took a different approach based on the words and video of one Cory Provost, a New York City resident who was visiting Delray Beach over the holidays. As the Sun-Sentinel writes, “A witness to a melee that broke out in Delray Beach on Saturday said the situation became heated when police officers approached a birthday party at a house in the Southwest neighborhood. “Provost said two officers wearing uniforms got out of the car, walked onto the lawn and accused the partygoers of smoking marijuana. Provost said that wasn’t true. There was a lot of shouting back and forth, he said. The residents were asking the cops to leave the yard and they didn’t do so.”
You can watch the raw footage here — and remember that’s only part of the story. (Z; I’m not sure it’s your worth watching for the full ten minutes I watched; check out the first 3-4 minutes and see the fear in the young cops’ eyes, and hear the partiers yelling “It’s all on camera!” “Don’t you touch me!” “We’re recording this!” “Don’t you do it”…all references to the fact that cops are all bad now and anything they do is on tape and it doesn’t matter that what the people smoking pot at the party is illegal, of course…the article continues:)
There was a different depiction reported by law enforcement officers. “Police Sgt. Nicole Guerriero late Wednesday said the footage doesn’t show the entire incident. And because only a portion is being shown, police said, it’s not a fully accurate depiction of what happened. Officers smelled marijuana in the area, saw someone who they thought was smoking and followed him into the yard, Guerriero said Tuesday. In an arrest report, officers said the man they saw was a known drug user with whom they’ve had contact in the past.”
But for some reason, the Sun-Sentinel preferred to offer credibility to Mr. Provost who states according to their reporting of their story, “Provost said the situation did get out of hand — for both the partygoers and the police. He said at first, people formed a semi-circle around police questioning them as to why they were there. When police started yelling at them, he said, the people became more agitated and began shuffling around. “Then, a little later on, something was thrown,” he said. “You heard a glass crack, I think a bottle or something was thrown, and I believe it hit the police vehicle.”
Hmm, why would people form a semi-circle around law enforcement officers? That certainly could be deemed a threatening posture. And so it ended up being exactly as Sgt. Guerriero stated, “They formed this shield and started getting aggressive. “Someone hit the officer and pushed him away, they were throwing bottles, they were cursing and screaming at them.” A police cruiser’s windshield was damaged during the skirmish but fortunately no injuries were reported. “The next thing they know, there’s 70 to 75 people out there,” Guerriero said “The officers had to use pepper spray to get the people back.”
The officers had probable cause — open consumption of marijuana in Florida is still illegal — and they investigated. The entire situation could have been diffused but instead a confrontation ensued — seemingly in the face of guilt. Perhaps these officers would have seen this differently if they hadn’t been encircled, blows hadn’t been thrown or their vehicle hadn’t been damaged. As I stated at the beginning, where is the regard and respect not just for law enforcement officers, but for the law, period?
Z: What do you think about the way things went down and how the media presented it? And if you watched the video, do you see that fear in their eyes? These are cops, well trained, but with families at home and amid 75 loaded partiers all yelling and defensive because they’re trying to resist arrest while they blame it all on the cops for having been there at all. Will cops now just ignore THE LAW in efforts to keep people calm, not to get hurt themselves? Could we blame them? You all have heard how much arrests are down in NYC since the protests…something like 85% down! Can we BLAME THEM?