I met Chris LeRoux around 8:30AM and I ventured inside to talk to the JSI, Mr. Hilton Marquette. Mr Marquette was not in the office, so I asked for someone that could make a decision. The gentleman in the reception told me that Gary Scevola would be out shortly to talk to me. Within five minutes Mr. Scevola (Criminal Investigator, Deputy United States Marshal) came out, I introduced myself and shook his hand. Just like all the contacts that I have had with Federal Marshals in other city’s I asked him “Do you have any objections to me handing out educational materials outside this Federal Court House?” Mr. Scevola asked me what the educational materials were about and I explained that they were about information for jury duty. I explained that I had left them downstairs but I could go down and get them and bring them back up for him to look at. He told me thats okay he would come down, look at the materials and then explain where I can stand.
When we got outside I showed him all the materials which he looked at and said “Okay you can hand these out, but you must stay on the sidewalk as that is city property.” He explained that we can not come up the steps as that is Federal property and we are not allowed to hand out information there. I asked Mr. Scevola for a card which he gave me and I thanked him for taking the time out of his schedule to come down stairs, look at the material and then giving us the go ahead to educate people on the sidewalk in front of the court house.
Later that day we did have a little rain and we were also questioned by some of the Federal Marshals, who tried to tell us that we can not hand out the info until we told them that Mr. Scevola had given us permission.
Today Chris and I handed out 206 brochures to the general public that passed by.
I would like to thank Chris LeRoux and I would also like to thank once again Mr. Scevola for being understanding and taking his time to show us where we can stand so that we would not be arrested.
It was a beautiful day, the sun was beaming down, and it was hot.
Let me make this clear to the people reading this. I have no intention to cause trouble, I have no intention to harass people, I have every intention to follow the law, and I have certainly NO intention of being arrested.
So, as always, I find a person of authority and ask if they have any objection to me handing out information outside the court house.
This time the person that I need to talk to was William Berry, Judicial Security Inspector (JSI) who is located on the 6th floor across the street at: 400 N. Miami Avenue, Miami, Florida. I take a walk over, after leaving all my electronics in the car.
When I enter the building I am asked by the Federal Marshal for identification, I gave him a business card and he tells me that is no good. I am thinking nice try, but no cigar = ) I hand him my state drivers license, which he swipes through a card reader, then he asks me to step back to the line. The Marshal asks me to remove my hat and sunglass’s which I do, and he takes a photo of me and compares it to my state drivers license. After having my mugshot taken I take the elevator to the 6th floor and find the reception area for William Berry’s office. There is a black lady behind a bullet proof piece of glass. I tell her that I am here to speak with William Berry. She picks up the phone, after replacing the receiver, tells me that he is out of town and does not know when he will be back. I explain that this important as it could result in my arrest, and I need to speak to whoever that he has left in charge. Approximately ten minutes later a gentleman by the name of Candido Almanzar comes through the door at the side of the bullet proof glass. I explain who I am and hand him a business card. I ask him his name and his position, he explains that he is an acting supervisor. I explain that I need to talk with someone in charge to see if they have any objections to me handing out information outside the Federal Court House. Mr. Almanzar tells me that he does not have the authority. I asked him who did have the authority? Mr. Almanzar asked me to wait a moment. He came back within a few minutes and told me that William Berry will be out to see me soon. Thats strange, the receptionist told me he was out of town, how did he get back so quickly? does the Federal Government have a secret teliporter that we don’t know about?
About five minutes later, William Berry arrives I shake his hand and introduce myself, I asked him if he has any objections to me handing out educational material outside the Federal Court House. He tells me that I can not hand out information on any Federal Property. I ask him why, and as he starts to speak I start to write. At this point he becomes very stand-offish and he said “You can’t quote me.” I said “why not?” It was clear at this point he did not want me taking any notes. I told him that I am not here to cause trouble, that I am here to do this the correct way and follow the law. He said “You will have to write to the Department of Homeland Security and the Judges in the court house.” I told him that all I want to know is where I can stand to hand out this information, so that I am not arrested and thrown in jail. He said “The city of Miami controls the sidewalks.” I asked if he would come down stairs so that there is no misunderstanding and no miscommunication so that I am not arrested. He would not do that. I explained again, that all that I want to do is find out where I can and cannot stand. His reply was this “If you don’t know where the public sidewalks are, then you don’t have the mental capacity to think.” With this he walked away.
My thoughts on this are that William Berry is not doing his duty as a public servant. By not explaining the law to me and making it clear where I can stand without being arrested. If William Berry does not know the law then how can he serve the people?
I went and gathered my things and headed to the opposite side of the road and stood outside a shop that was closed. I handed out 34 brochures to passers by.
I decided to call Chris Goldthorpe who runs The Libertarian Party of Broward County meetup group. I had met Chris the night before at the LP meeting, to which only four people showed up. Chris had mentioned that he did not have anything to do today and wanted to hand out info outside the Federal Court House in Fort Lauderdale. So with that in mind I made arrangements to meet him.
I arrived at the parking lot, gathered up some brochures, met with Chris and we headed to the Federal Court House at: 299 E. Broward Blvd, Fort Lauderdale.
Later we were joined by Greg who had volunteered and had helped me on several previous days.
Between us, we handed out 69 brochures to the general public that were passing by.
Chris agreed that he would help FIJA by volunteering at least four hours a week at the Federal Court House here in Fort Lauderdale. Anyone else willing to help educate the public on the right of a juror to veto bad laws, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 727.386.9192.