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Thread: Not OC or CC related but more Hampton PD stupidity concerning obstruction

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    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
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    The innocent citizen who is victimized by bad police will often not cooperate in the future with any police officers as a result.



    Edit:

    after reading more(BayBoys post)maybe he had temporay hearing lose due to the loud Music
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    Now try the whole story and see if that changes your opinion at all.....

    HAMPTON - Even after Phoebus High School beat rival Hampton High School on the football field late Friday night, the bands were still going at it.

    But as people filed out of Darling Stadium by the thousands at about 9:30 p.m., several fights broke out. Police, trying to quell the disturbances, were having a hard time hearing each other on their radios. So they asked both bands — on opposite sides of the stands, going back and forth in a traditional, competitive duel — to stop the music.

    While the Phoebus band eventually stopped playing, police say, Hampton High School's band played on — to the point that officers at the game arrested Hampton High's band director, Tory F. Smart, on an obstruction charge. Police said he ignored "at least four" demands to stop.

    Smart, 31, a band teacher at the school in addition to his director role, is on paid administrative leave as school investigators try to piece together what happened in the bizarre twist capping the greatly anticipated game between two undefeated rivals.

    A few officers, police say, asked Smart to cut his band's music.

    "He was asked directly to stop playing, and disregarded the officers' orders," said Hampton police spokeswoman Paula Ensley.

    "The last time, he was told, 'If you don't stop you'll be arrested for obstruction.' And he continued to play, after which time he was taken into custody."

    But Alfred L. Davis Jr., the band director at Hampton University who has worked closely with Smart in the past, said he thinks the incident was the result of miscommunication between Smart and the police.

    "I've known Tory for a long time," Davis said. "He was great as my assistant. This comes as a shock to me ... He is an outstanding person."

    Though Davis did not witness the arrest, he said police must have simply overreacted to the misunderstanding. "I'm very sure that's what happened," Davis said.

    Ensley said there were 40 officers assigned to the game, which had 10,000 spectators. "We needed to get everyone out safely," she said, saying Smart understood the police orders, but decided to keep his band playing.

    Sam McGill, who provided some security services at the game, said he was on the Phoebus side of the stadium, so didn't see Smart get arrested. But when he drove his truck out of the stadium, he said, he saw Smart seated on a chair, surrounded by police officers, with his band gone.

    Smart was transported away in a police car, but released on a summons to appear in court at a later date.

    He did not return several phone calls left on his home and cell phone Monday morning and afternoon.

    He is on administrative leave with pay from Hampton High School pending the outcome of the investigation, said School Department spokeswoman Ann Stephens. Obstruction is a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.

    Smart, who was hired at Hampton High School in July 2006 as both band director and a teacher of band classes, is the son of former Hampton University band director Barney E. Smart, who died in 2004 after leading the university's band for 14 years.

    The younger Smart, a percussionist by expertise, worked as the assistant band director at Delaware State University under Davis. Smart was also a graduate assistant for Hampton University's band, also under Davis.

    In an interview before a game this month against Heritage High School at Darling Stadium, Smart said he has tried to bring some pizazz to the band since he arrived at Hampton High School just over two years ago.

    "The main thing I wanted to do was add a little excitement," he said Oct. 5. "When I first got here morale was a little low. And music seems to make the world go 'round, and makes everybody feel good ... so we wanted to give the kids an opportunity to play the songs they wanted to do and add a little music education into it at the same time."

    He likened the band's combination to a "home-cooked meal ... Everybody likes what we're cooking. Right now it smells good, but you can always add a little spice with it."

    As for his philosophy about the battle of the bands between schools, he said: "We're going to give everybody a run for their money ... As long as they do it with respect and making it fun, that's what it's all about."

    Asked what was in store for the game against Phoebus, Smart said: "A surprise."


    What happened
    When a fight broke out after Friday night's football game between Phoebus and Hampton, police asked both bands to stop playing. Hampton's band continued to play on despite repeated demands, police said, and the director, Tory F. Smart, was arrested and charged with obstruction. He is on paid administrative leave.
    If it went down as the article said it did, the band director would have a hard tiem suing the city for anything.

    And for those rusty on their VA laws, here is the definition of obstruction:

    § 18.2-460. Obstructing justice; penalty.

    A. If any person without just cause knowingly obstructs a judge, magistrate, justice, juror, attorney for the Commonwealth, witness or any law-enforcement officer in the performance of his duties as such or fails or refuses without just cause to cease such obstruction when requested to do so by such judge, magistrate, justice, juror, attorney for the Commonwealth, witness, or law-enforcement officer, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

    B. Except as provided in subsection C, any person who, by threats or force, knowingly attempts to intimidate or impede a judge, magistrate, justice, juror, attorney for the Commonwealth, witness, or any law-enforcement officer, lawfully engaged in his duties as such, or to obstruct or impede the administration of justice in any court, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

    C. If any person by threats of bodily harm or force knowingly attempts to intimidate or impede a judge, magistrate, justice, juror, attorney for the Commonwealth, witness, or any law-enforcement officer, lawfully engaged in the discharge of his duty, or to obstruct or impede the administration of justice in any court relating to a violation of or conspiracy to violate § 18.2-248 or subdivision (a) (3), (b) or (c) of § 18.2-248.1, or § 18.2-46.2 or § 18.2-46.3, or relating to the violation of or conspiracy to violate any violent felony offense listed in subsection C of § 17.1-805, he shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony.

    D. Any person who knowingly and willfully makes any materially false statement or representation to a law-enforcement officer who is in the course of conducting an investigation of a crime by another is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

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    LRS76251 wrote:
    In order for an obstruction charge to stick, there has to be a crime committed.
    Do fights count as crimes?

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    The article says the police were trying to stop several fights that had broke out. They couldn't hear on their radios and had asked the band director 4 times to quit playing.

    I agree with the police.... officer's might have needed help at different parts of the stadium and if they can't hear a call for help go out someone could have gotten hurt.

    The band director was wrong.

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    Fighting was done by people in the crowd exiting the stadium, not the bands themselves. Police would have to prove the bands caused the fights and not something random such as people being stupid after being crowded trying to get out of the stadium. CA is going to have a hell of a time trying to prove band is responsible for random fights from crowds trying to get out of a stadium. I wouldn't want to be that CA. It'll get thrown out.

    ""[O]bstruction of justice does not occur when a person fails to cooperate fully with an officer or when the person's conduct merely renders the officer's task more difficult" or "frustrate[s] [his or her] investigation." Rogers v. Pendleton, 249 F.3d 279, 285 (4th Cir. 2001).

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    LRS76251 wrote:
    Fighting was done by people in the crowd exiting the stadium, not the bands themselves. Police would have to prove the bands caused the fights and not something random such as people being stupid after being crowded trying to get out of the stadium. CA is going to have a hell of a time trying to prove band is responsible for random fights from crowds trying to get out of a stadium. I wouldn't want to be that CA. It'll get thrown out.

    "[O]bstruction of justice does not occur when a person fails to cooperate fully with an officer or when the person's conduct merely renders the officer's task more difficult" or "frustrate[s] [his or her] investigation." Rogers v. Pendleton, 249 F.3d 279, 285 (4th Cir. 2001).
    The letter of the statute and that case cite are in direct conflict with each other... that needs to get sorted out.

    A. If any person without just cause knowingly obstructs a judge, magistrate, justice, juror, attorney for the Commonwealth, witness or any law-enforcement officer in the performance of his duties as such or fails or refuses without just cause to cease such obstruction when requested to do so by such judge, magistrate, justice, juror, attorney for the Commonwealth, witness, or law-enforcement officer, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.


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    LRS76251 wrote:
    In order for an obstruction charge to stick, there has to be a crime committed.
    Says who.........case law..........if so, cite it please.

    Based on the legal definition of obstruction that I posted above (the italicized section), it seems pretty cut and dry to me.....

    . If any personwithout just cause knowingly obstructs a judge, magistrate, justice, juror, attorney for the Commonwealth, witness or any law-enforcement officer in the performance of his duties as such or fails or refuses without just cause to cease such obstruction when requested to do so by such judge, magistrate, justice, juror, attorney for the Commonwealth, witness, or law-enforcement officer, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.


    Hampton Band director knowlingly obstructed Hampton LEOs in the performance of their duties as such or you can look at it as Hampton Band director refused without just cause to cease such obstruction when requested to do so by Hampton LEOs.
    Police would have to prove the bands caused the fights and not something random such as people being stupid after being crowded trying to get out of the stadium. CA is going to have a hell of a time trying to prove band is responsible for random fights from crowds trying to get out of a stadium. I wouldn't want to be that CA. It'll get thrown out.
    Again, why would police have to prove the bands caused the fights?



    EDIT: i see one piece of case law has been referenced while I was typing.


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