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Thread: Florida Carry Sues Citrus Sheriff and Deputy Andy Cox

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    Campaign Veteran StogieC's Avatar
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    Florida Carry Sues Citrus Sheriff and Deputy Andy Cox

    Smith & Florida Carry v. Deputy Cox et al



    FEDERAL SUIT FILED OVER DEPUTY TIRADE AND ILLEGAL ARREST OF GUN OWNER DEPICTED IN VIRAL VIDEO
    Today Florida Carry has filed a federal complaint alleging deprivation of civil rights under color of law with the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida over an incident which was captured on dashcam video, which subsequently went viral on the internet.

    In July of 2009, Citrus County resident Joel Smith and his wife were detained at a traffic stop for non-criminal traffic code violation. During the stop, Mr. Smith exited his vehicle to speak with Citrus County deputy Andy Cox, who asked Mr. Smith for proof of insurance for the vehicle. Mr. Smith turned with his back toward the officer and leaned into the vehicle to retrieve the document at which time his lawfully carried and holstered firearm peeked out from under his shirt.

    Upon seeing the tip of Smith's holster, Deputy Cox immediately launched into an unwarranted verbal assault on Mr. Smith, first asking why he was carrying a firearm. Within seconds, the officer drew his own firearm and pointed it at the befuddled Mr. Smith, threatening to shoot him "in the (expletive deleted) back" if he didn't immediately put his hands on the vehicle. Mr. Smith offered no resistance, complying fully with the officer's orders, and informing the officer that he was a lawfully licensed concealed carrier. Ignoring Mr. Smith's statement, Deputy Cox continued shouting at Mr. Smith, ordering him face down on the ground and cuffing him. Mr. Smith was arrested and charged with open carry of a firearm, a misdemeanor violation of Florida Statutes, however charges were later dropped. A complaint was filed with the Citrus County Sheriff's Department against Deputy Cox, however due to a technicality, the complaint was dismissed and no disciplinary action against the deputy was taken.

    Florida Carry consulting attorney J. Patrick Buckley III who is also representing Mr. Smith in the case summed up the case:
    "Improper law enforcement training coupled with an emotional overreaction is detrimental to the civil rights of Floridians. When a Constitutional officer then delays the resulting internal investigation to permit the untrained officer to walk away without so much as a slap on the wrist, it illustrates a systematic absence of accountability in those we trust to protect us."

    Joining Mr. Smith as plaintiff, Florida Carry is representing its membership and millions of Florida gun owners in the lawsuit. Named as defendants are Deputy Andy Cox, Sergeant Dave Fields, Sheriff Jeffrey Dawsy, and Citrus County. The plaintiffs are represented by the Law Offices of J. Patrick Buckley III, located in Fort Myers, FL.

    The dashcam video can be viewed on YouTube

    The case docket is available by clicking HERE

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    "[D]ue to a technicality, the complaint was dismissed."

    What technicality? Glossing over an important detail like that sets off my radar.

    Good luck on the case. Is immunity going to present a problem?

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    Regular Member 77zach's Avatar
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    Excellent. I hope the defendants are punished to the fullest extent of the law. This is one of the most corrupt jurisdictions in the south, with an anti-gun lunatic from New Jersey as sheriff.
    “If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind? ” -Bastiat

    I don't "need" to openly carry a handgun or own an "assault weapon" any more than Rosa Parks needed a seat on the bus.

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    "[D]ue to a technicality, the complaint was dismissed."

    What technicality? Glossing over an important detail like that sets off my radar.

    Good luck on the case. Is immunity going to present a problem?
    If something is law or case law immunity is not supposed to be granted. And we have this case out of Florida.....State vs Regalado.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Accomplished Advocate BB62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    "[D]ue to a technicality, the complaint was dismissed."

    What technicality? Glossing over an important detail like that sets off my radar.

    Good luck on the case. Is immunity going to present a problem?
    I'd like to know the same thing.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    "[D]ue to a technicality, the complaint was dismissed."

    What technicality? Glossing over an important detail like that sets off my radar.

    Good luck on the case. Is immunity going to present a problem?
    They either spelled the name of the cop or the department wrong - therefor no valid complaint.

    Come on, folks, this stuff is easy.

    stay safe.

    srsly - I have no more idea than the rest of you what the technicality may be.
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    There are technicalities and then there are technicalities.

    Someone gets a confession beaten out of them and gets the case dismissed on the technicality that the confession was coerced.

    Police ask for a warrant for 333 South Broad Street. Some clerk types 333 Broad Street. Everyone knows that target is on South Broad. The cops go there. They serve the warrant and find the murder weapon--which gets tossed because of the technicality of a defective warrant.

    First technicality is handled correctly.

    Second technicality is a bunch of hooey.

    So, again, what was the technicality?

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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    There are technicalities and then there are technicalities.

    Someone gets a confession beaten out of them and gets the case dismissed on the technicality that the confession was coerced.

    Police ask for a warrant for 333 South Broad Street. Some clerk types 333 Broad Street. Everyone knows that target is on South Broad. The cops go there. They serve the warrant and find the murder weapon--which gets tossed because of the technicality of a defective warrant.

    First technicality is handled correctly.

    Second technicality is a bunch of hooey.

    So, again, what was the technicality?
    Your attempt at differentiating a "technicality" is unsuccessful. The second scenario you portend is part of due process. Depriving someone of due process is no 'hooey' of a technicality. It is the responsibility of the state to get the information on the warrant correct. A defective warrant is a violation of due process. Who wants to give the courts the authority to decide which violations of due process are a bunch of hooey?

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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    "[D]ue to a technicality, the complaint was dismissed."

    What technicality? Glossing over an important detail like that sets off my radar.

    Good luck on the case. Is immunity going to present a problem?
    Read the OP first post again ... the technicality was one of time; where they delayed any disciplinary decision past the point in time that was required....basically & very loosely similar to a SOL issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by georg jetson View Post
    Your attempt at differentiating a "technicality" is unsuccessful. The second scenario you portend is part of due process. Depriving someone of due process is no 'hooey' of a technicality. It is the responsibility of the state to get the information on the warrant correct. A defective warrant is a violation of due process. Who wants to give the courts the authority to decide which violations of due process are a bunch of hooey?
    +1

    I suppose if a warrant is issued for 333 North Thin Blue Lane rather than the correct address, 333 South Thin Blue Lane, which results in a law-abiding citizen mistakenly being shot and killed by police for defending his home and family, that should be dismissed as merely a technicality? It's nothing but a "bunch of hooey"? I don't think so.

    Maybe one reason these botched raids happen at such an alarming rate is because people think of the violation of due process that causes them to go south as being merely a technicality - when in reality, innocent lives are at stake. I believe the clerks who type up those (occasionally defective) warrants should keep that in mind at all times, as they literally hold many citizens' lives in their hands.
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    Read the OP first post again ... the technicality was one of time; where they delayed any disciplinary decision past the point in time that was required....basically & very loosely similar to a SOL issue.
    Read the OP again. It says no such thing--and I don't do the conclusion-jumping thing that you do.

    Moving on, looking for real responses to my query from rational posters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Have Gun - Will Carry View Post
    +1

    I suppose if a warrant is issued for 333 North Thin Blue Lane rather than the correct address, 333 South Thin Blue Lane, which results in a law-abiding citizen mistakenly being shot and killed by police for defending his home and family, that should be dismissed as merely a technicality? It's nothing but a "bunch of hooey"? I don't think so.

    Maybe one reason these botched raids happen at such an alarming rate is because people think of the violation of due process that causes them to go south as being merely a technicality - when in reality, innocent lives are at stake. I believe the clerks who type up those (occasionally defective) warrants should keep that in mind at all times, as they literally hold many citizens' lives in their hands.
    In my example, a typo was properly ignored, resulting in the correct house being searched. So your analogy, and your logic, fails miserably.

    The point remains, although I will now state it in a more simple way to overcome some density, there are technicalities that should stop official action cold, and there are technicalities that are BS and should not even slow official action down.

    So, again, what technicality??? It matters and should not be glossed over.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StogieC View Post
    <snip> A complaint was filed with the Citrus County Sheriff's Department against Deputy Cox, however due to a technicality, the complaint was dismissed and no disciplinary action against the deputy was taken.

    <snip> When a Constitutional officer then delays the resulting internal investigation to permit the untrained officer to walk away without so much as a slap on the wrist, it illustrates a systematic absence of accountability in those we trust to protect us."

    <snip>
    It seems to me that there is a declaration of fact, "a" technicality, then a declaration of a opinion "then delays..."

    I can understand how it could be perceived that the technicality was the delay, but the delay is not clearly stated as the technicality. Also, how is a internal investigation by the SD apart of the judicial proceeding?

    What is the law in FL regarding the time allotted to conduct a internal investigation before a judge dismisses the case? Or, did a judicial proceeding occur before the internal investigation was completed? Not enough facts in the OP regarding the technicality. The links do not lead to a judges decision as to why he/she dismissed the case.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    It seems to me that there is a declaration of fact, "a" technicality, then a declaration of a opinion "then delays..."

    I can understand how it could be perceived that the technicality was the delay, but the delay is not clearly stated as the technicality. Also, how is a internal investigation by the SD apart of the judicial proceeding?

    What is the law in FL regarding the time allotted to conduct a internal investigation before a judge dismisses the case? Or, did a judicial proceeding occur before the internal investigation was completed? Not enough facts in the OP regarding the technicality. The links do not lead to a judges decision as to why he/she dismissed the case.
    A man facing child pornography charges may reportedly walk free after a New York judge threw out more than 100 pornographic videos seized from his home computer because the search warrant listed the wrong address.

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/07/23...est=latestnews

    Attorney Gary Farrell said he would seek removal of the electronic bracelet confining Bershchansky to his home.

    “It sounds corny, but the constitutional prohibition against unreasonable search and seizures has to mean something,” Farrell told the newspaper.

    It seems that at least one judge does not take too kindly to errors on search warrants.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StogieC View Post
    ......... however charges were later dropped. A complaint was filed with the Citrus County Sheriff's Department against Deputy Cox, however due to a technicality, the complaint was dismissed and no disciplinary action against the deputy was taken..............When a Constitutional officer then delays the resulting internal investigation to permit the untrained officer to walk away without so much as a slap on the wrist, it illustrates a systematic absence of accountability in those we trust to protect us."
    Did someone on the "force" protect him?? Say it ain't so!
    "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the people's liberty teeth (and) keystone... the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable... more than 99% of them by their silence indicate that they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference .When firearms go, all goes, we need them every hour." -- George Washington

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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    In my example, a typo was properly ignored, resulting in the correct house being searched. So your analogy, and your logic, fails miserably.

    The point remains, although I will now state it in a more simple way to overcome some density, there are technicalities that should stop official action cold, and there are technicalities that are BS and should not even slow official action down.

    So, again, what technicality??? It matters and should not be glossed over.
    In your example a typo was IMPROPERLY ignored. The warrant should have been corrected. There is no part of due process that is a bunch of hooey.

    All violations of due process should stop official action. You're attempt at minimizing certain aspects of due process is symptomatic of a lack of understanding of the importance of guarding the right to due process without compromise

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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    In my example, a typo was properly ignored, resulting in the correct house being searched. So your analogy, and your logic, fails miserably.

    The point remains, although I will now state it in a more simple way to overcome some density, there are technicalities that should stop official action cold, and there are technicalities that are BS and should not even slow official action down.

    So, again, what technicality??? It matters and should not be glossed over.
    No, there's no miserable failure in my logic, only in the ability of certain posters to comprehend it. In both scenarios, due process has been violated. Anyone who can't see the connection between court clerks filling out warrants incorrectly, which result in mistakes that could have (and should have) been avoided, is either being disingenuous or is simply dense and not worth my time to try to explain it.

    Eye95ing on...
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshaul View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    It seems to me that there is a declaration of fact, "a" technicality, then a declaration of a opinion "then delays..."

    I can understand how it could be perceived that the technicality was the delay, but the delay is not clearly stated as the technicality. Also, how is a internal investigation by the SD apart of the judicial proceeding?

    What is the law in FL regarding the time allotted to conduct a internal investigation before a judge dismisses the case? Or, did a judicial proceeding occur before the internal investigation was completed? Not enough facts in the OP regarding the technicality. The links do not lead to a judges decision as to why he/she dismissed the case.

    After re-reading the OP and associated link, I do not see anything that indicates that this has ever been handled by a court, rather it looks like it was solely a complaint filed and "handled" by the Citrus County Sheriff.

    A complaint was filed with the Citrus County Sheriff's Department against Deputy Cox, however due to a technicality, the complaint was dismissed and no disciplinary action against the deputy was taken.
    My only question is why has it taken this long to file in Federal Court, and what is the SOL for this type of case?
    If something is wrong for ONE person to do to another, it is still wrong if a BILLION people do it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by georg jetson View Post
    Who wants to give the courts the authority to decide which violations of due process are a bunch of hooey?
    They already do that, all the time. An appeal of a criminal conviction is made on the basis of irregularities in the trial, the appeals court upholds the conviction because the irregularities were supposedly "harmless". I think in a lot of cases that's just the appeals court covering the DA's ass, but there it is.

    The judge-created doctrine of absolute prosecutorial immunity is another way the courts have decided that some violations of due process are A-OK.
    Last edited by randian; 07-23-2013 at 02:54 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    What technicality? Glossing over an important detail like that sets off my radar.
    My bet, given the allegations of improper delays in the investigation, is that the department used those delays to protect the officer.
    Last edited by randian; 07-23-2013 at 09:19 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by randian View Post
    They already do that, all the time. An appeal of a criminal conviction is made on the basis of irregularities in the trial, the appeals court upholds the conviction because the irregularities were supposedly "harmless". I think in a lot of cases that's just the appeals court covering the DA's ass, but there it is.

    The judge-created doctrine of absolute prosecutorial immunity is another way the courts have decided that some violations of due process are A-OK.
    Very true. I was addressing the attitude of considering some violations of due process as minor technicalities. It is unfortunately the case, as with every other right, that the courts have eroded it unacceptably.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carolina guy View Post



    My only question is why has it taken this long to file in Federal Court, and what is the SOL for this type of case?
    I believe it took some time for the plaintiff to get the dashcam from the sheriff's office. Once the dashcam footage was recovered there has been a public outcry and support for the plaintiff. This event took place several years past.
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    Quote Originally Posted by StogieC View Post
    ...[H]owever due to a technicality, the complaint was dismissed and no disciplinary action against the deputy was taken...
    OK, I will try this one more time.

    What technicality?

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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    OK, I will try this one more time.

    What technicality?
    THIS: http://www.chronicleonline.com/conte...t-caught-video

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    I want to set expectations about our communications on this case. Florida Carry is a party to the case pursuant to our charter to advance RKBA and self-defense protections for the law-abiding. Board Members of Florida Carry will generally not be commenting on any specifics of the case in public forums while it is in litigation at the request of counsel. We will make official statements through the website from time-to-time as warranted and disseminate those statements widely.

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