Dear Members and Advocates,
If you live in Volusia or Polk Counties, chances are you were recently the target of “Operation Neptune”, “Operation Karma”, or some other creatively named law enforcement effort that spanned months, involved assistance of multiple agencies, and yielded crumbs.
It’s the same template… Headlines read “Operation [INSERT OBTUSE NAME] nets [INSERT NUMBER] sex offenders”, you scroll down to see a sheriff standing in front of poster boards containing pictures of a lot of puzzled-looking people and thanking the multiple state and federal agencies that participated in the investigation. You begin reading, expecting to learn about all the missing children recovered or gory details of the heinous crimes being committed, but as you make it past the paragraphs of puffery and fear mongering, you begin to realize that these operations and the showboating that go along with them are BS. They are the products of a terrorizing game of “gotcha”, where brutish law enforcement heads try to trap the uninformed in a confusing technical violation that they probably were not even aware of and that would not be a felony (or even a crime), but for the fact that they were registered.
Barely any of the arrests are for sexual offenses. Many are for extremely petty reasons. Among them, one registrant who “was found with a wild raccoon in a cage inside his small apartment. XXXXX was charged with violating a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission order not to keep captive wildlife.” Essentially he had a pet racoon. One particularly disturbing recent arrest was in Brevard County, where a man was arrested for violating their 1000 foot proximity ordinance. His arrest form reads, “On Saturday, 03 August 2019, at approximately 0832 hours, I received a call from Deputy Ouellette, who informed me that Mr. XXXX XXXX XXXX (Arrestee) was eating breakfast at the Burger King located at 380 East Merritt Island Causeway, Merritt Island, Brevard County, Florida, and this property is within 1,000 feet of a tennis court.” Essentially he was eating breakfast too close to a tennis court located inside the Fitness Club Merritt Island.
It’s these types of arrests that make it blatantly obvious that the registry is punishment – cruel punishment at that! The fact is that MOST of the people targeted in these operations are discovered to be completely compliant and of those who are deemed not to be, MOST are arrested for some technical violation and not another sexual offense. These operations only support the findings of most studies that persons labeled sexual offenders have an extremely LOW rate of recidivism.
It’s these types of arrests that should be questioned by taxpayers, who not only have to foot the bill for Operation Sillyname, but for the resulting prosecutions, incarcerations, GPS monitoring, etc. that inevitably come from it. It’s these types of arrests that should cause lawmakers to question whether eating breakfast too close to a tennis court housed inside a private gym is really the type of behavior that we should be criminalizing. It’s these types of arrests that should trigger all of us to send a copy of Steven Williams’ arrest form to our local newspapers and tell them enough is enough!
The Florida Action Committee
Aug 15- Meet and Greet in Tallahassee at 6pm.
Aug 17-Meet and Greet in Pensacola -NEW TIME 4pm-6pm
Aug 23- Family Support Session in Hillsborough County at 7pm. Family/loved ones only.
Aug 24-Meet and Greet in Orange County 11am-1pm followed by a viewing of “Untouchable” from 1-3pm. Welcome to attend one or both sessions.
Sep 7- Family Support Session in Central Broward County (flyer) from 11am-1pm. Family/loved ones only. ONLY A FEW SEATS LEFT.
For more information about these events, or to RSVP email [email protected] or call 904-452-8322.
SOME HEADLINES FROM THIS WEEK
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