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Occupy Orlando-To Be Continued

By Jerry Waxman

 

Chapter Three-

Curley, Larry or Moe?

Prologue

On

 November 5

early morning the

Police arrested three

people for trespassing in

Senator Beth Johnson Park,

the site of Occupy Orlando. All

three were charged with the violation

of Statute 810.09(2)(A) a first degree mis-

demeanor. Wm. Ezell was hosting a teach-in

about First Amendment rights to a small group of

die hards when several squad cars pulled up and

warned everyone to vacate the park. Many did but a

reluctant few wanted to finish the teach-in. The police did

not wait and moved in. After his arraignment his trial date was

set for January 25. Ezell’s lawyer, Shayan Elahi was part of

Occupy Orlando’s legal team associated with the National Law-

yer’s Guild and ready to defend any Occupier against what he felt

were “frivolous” charges. Elahi is no stranger to controversy. Two years

ago he embarrassed the Right Wing establishment by successfully having

the Courts return Rifka Bary to Ohio for adjudication, Bary, having been lured

to Orlando via the internet by an evangelical church. Last year he was success-

ful in having all charges dropped against Orlando Food Not Bombs and leaving the

city with egg on its face. Since these were state charges a State Attorney had to be the

prosecutor, The State Attorney declined to prosecute. The city, still smarting from a chalking

charge fiasco was not to be deterred. They still pressed for a trial that day. The only problem was

that city prosecutors cannot prosecute state charges. You could see Elahi sharpening his

fangs for the kill. But wait! The city’s alternate prosecutor asked for a continuance in order to

amend the charges so that the city can prosecute. After all, this is an election year , So,………

The city’s prosecutor had a family emergency on the morning of the 25th and was not there.  Judge Bell said that there was another prosecutor in the courtroom and that the trial should proceed. That wasn’t the case. The city asked for a continuance because they had not been aware that the charges could not be prosecuted by them, and that they needed time to amend the state charges to reflect city ordinances. They also at that time asked for a non-jury trial. Ezell stood on his constitutional rights to a speedy trial by his peers. The city countered with a plea bargain but Ezell would have none of it. The judge granted the continuance and a jury trial and set a late February date.

Outside the courthouse, Ezell and Elahi held a brief conference for all of the interested supporters. Will the City of Orlando continue its dogged desire to convict someone? Will the city wind up with dirt on its face in addition to the egg? Nyuk, Nyuk Nyuk! Will anyone else have to go to court and waste taxpayer money? Woo, Woo Woo! Will William Ezell get his day in court? Maybe the Shadow knows but we don’t, so stay tuned for the next exciting chapter……coming soon!

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