Detroit, MI (TFC)— Scott Boman, a professor at Wayne County Community College that was recently charged with trespass while on the campus that employed him, is appealing the Court’s decision to accept the charges. The incident, previously reported here on The Fifth Column News, seemingly occurred as a direct result of Boman, a then Libertarian Party candidate for office, approaching and photographing voting areas on the campus with signage he suspected to be in violation of law. What he detailed afterward could only be described as outrageous.
In his account, Boman claims he was approached by Officer Olivia Moss-Fort, who shouted him down, asking what he was doing. He responded stating that he was taking pictures, and proceeded into the building to ask some questions. He exited, to be approached by the election worker who’d answered his questions, after he’d begun filming the area. He was again approached by Moss-Fort. She was verbally aggressive, demanding he stop photography immediately, and refused his request for any legal documentation or faculty rules regarding the action. He then began to comply with her requests, and proceeded in the direction of his vehicle, stopping only briefly on the way to hand some personal election materials to interested people he was passing.
In his attempts, he claims he was assaulted by having his hand with the materials slapped down, to which he verbally objected. He was then surrounded, tackled, cuffed, and escorted to another area. His recording devices were seized, and he was locked in a darkened room he described as “closet sized”, where he was denied the opportunity to leave, and any requests for water, or communication with anyone, while officers laughed at his inability to attend meetings vital to his campaign. He was even slammed once in the room for getting too close to the door, and put in a “pretzel lock”, while the cuffs were made yet more uncomfortable, which would result in limb weakness requiring him to undergo months of physical therapy to regain full use of his arm. None of this would be on record, however, since the cameras in the building were allegedly not attached to recording devices, and the majority of the footage on Boman’s devices was mysteriously deleted when he got them back, leading him to suspect they’d been scrubbed. He was escorted to his car like a prisoner, admonished that deviation would be on pain of subsequent arrest.
The court case for this obvious abuse of power was grim. Prosecution played consistent games at getting false information, using absolute terms such as “never” to attempt to corner Boman, and outright failing to provide evidence of wrongdoing on his part. Boman brought up evidence of all the wrongdoing, and even that his records had been scrubbed while he was in custody. The ordinance cited against him involved language indicative of applicability to K-12 schools only, and only barred parties unauthorized to be on premises at the time, thus clearly exonerating him. After hearing all the evidence, the Court threw out all of Boman’s statements, deeming the actions of involved officers and all charges legitimate, adjourning the case. Since no information providing any substantiation to the provided claims on the part of officers involved, it seems clear that the decision was made out of hand, and should incite anyone’s rage.
Boman recently submitted his appeal, and rightly so. Reversible errors submitted included the Court’s decision to deem it unlawful to disobey an unlawful command, deny him a direct verdict, accept without penalty Moss-Fort’s decision to illegally seize his property with no legal cause, and accept the language of the cited “infraction” as applicable to his actions.In defense of these claims, several cases are cited.
The first case is People v. Moreno, a Michigan case in which officers who entered a home without a warrant, to “secure the house” until one was issued were in breach of law. This establishes, in Michigan courts, a precedent allowing for people to resist unlawful orders. Moss-Fort provided seventeen different reasons that he was guilty of legal violations, but none of them were actually determined to be related to any specific law, so he could still resist them, and be fully within his legal rights.
Second is People v. Couzens, a case in which a denial of directed verdict was found to have been caused by the Court considering only the evidence of the prosecution. Another case provided in the same statement, People v. Goulding, is cited, quoting:
It is a well-settled rule of law that no one can be punished for doing an act unless it clearly appears the act sought to be punished comes clearly within both the spirit and letter of the law prohibiting it. Defendant ought not to be convicted unless he is clearly and unequivocally within the language of a statute which by its terms covers his case.
Fourth cited was nothing less than a clear violation of his constitutional protection against unlawful seizure of property, as no applicable law had yet been cited. Welch Foods, Inc v. Attorney General was additionally submitted, stating “A fundamental rule of statutory construction is that courts must ascertain and give effect to the intent of the Legislature.” The final citation was to People v Kirstein, stating that his “violation” met neither the letter nor the spirit of law, and that it, and the rest of the charges by proxy, was wholly inapplicable at its present application.
He respectfully requested the decision to be reversed, and for any relief the Court deems appropriate to be provided. The civil case has been served, and Hon. Cynthia Hathaway will give a decision on this matter soon.
An update to this piece will be published with any new information as soon as we have it. One thing is sure, justice needs to be served. We can only hope it actually is this time.