"Totally coup, yo."

Murphy’s Law: “Camera out, dildo in” edition

Jul

17

by

Previously in this seemingly endless legal saga, which began over two years ago when I was arrested for videotaping a cop at a National Organization for Marriage (NOM) anti-gay marriage rally in Buffalo, NY, my lawyer Paul Fallon successfully stayed my jail sentence pending the outcome of our appeal.

Murphy on the lam?

I’ve already done four days of the fifteen-day sentence. If you behave, I hear, they let you out after ten. So all this effort just to save me from six days in prison. All this fucking hassle—the parking costs alone!—hardly seems worth it. But that’s what you get for having principles, repeatedly bashing your head against a brick wall.

Anyway, Fallon submitted the appeal brief some time ago, the DA submitted their response (which I couldn’t read without wanting to stab someone), and last Thursday were the oral arguments before Erie County Judge Kenneth F. Case. He’s a devastatingly handsome man—a virile, ageless figure whose calm, deliberative manner is that of a wise, older man. And he’s probably really good at golf. And, um, sailing. And doing pushups with cheerleaders on his back. And he’s strong enough to wrestle bears. And if justice weren’t his calling, he’d no-doubt have a promising career in rocket science, brain surgery, or high political office. Clearly, Judge Case is a God among men. Totally true.

Daire Irwin, Esq, has decided to tag along, for “closure,” he says. He’s currently representing several others who’ve been unlawfully arrested by the BPD’s premiere Brownshirt, officer Donna Donovan. She’s one fucked up lil’ fascist, with a well-established record of arresting folks, for no apparent reason.

Libertarian America wants union teachers hired and fired based solely on “merit,” some kind of performance-based system, but police are beyond reproach—first responders, heroes, a class of public employee we’ve chosen to worship, place on a pedestal. We fictionalize and romanticize them. Their main job is to carry out the tragic War on Drugs, to incarcerate the superfluous population—the black, brown, the supposed dregs of society. But I digress.

Mulling my chance of victory, I peer over at Daire’s tattered, overstuffed composition notebook, barely held together with duct tape and a rubber band, adorned with a circular, bright orange sticker which reads: “Free Bradley Manning”. That’s the kind of hopelessly sincere advocate of justice who’s on my side. I’m fucking doomed.

Manning might never see the light of day. He’s been held in conditions that amount to torture. If apprehended, Edward Snowden will face the same. Barret Brown, a journalist who was on my congressional campaign, is facing 100 years in jail for posting a link to hacked documents. It’s perfectly legal to hunt down and murder black teenagers—while a black woman who literally stood her ground against her abuser was sentenced to twenty years for firing a warning shot into a wall. And, of course, all the white-collar, mostly white-skinned bankers who wrecked the global economy, and continue to blatantly rig the system for profit (see: Libor and ISDAfix), will never see a courtroom. Ever. The Fourth Amendment’s been ground into meaningless dust, from the NSA to Stop and Frisk. Obama’s prosecuted more whistle-blowers than all other presidents combined. We have more people in jail than any other nation on Earth.

I’m not totally delusional. My case doesn’t rank among the above injustice. But it is indicative of this mad, mad system. What can you do? What you can: Bang your head against a brick wall.

“Was justice served in this case?” Fallon rhetorically asks Case, citing the precedent codified in People vs. Romero. “Because the weight of evidence does not support that it was.”

“Camera out, dildo in!” Fallon growls, describing how seventy-four days after I was charged with harassment, for following officers around with a video camera, it was dropped and replaced with a charge of disorderly conduct for public obscenity—based entirely on this photo:

I was found guilty of performance art

Between Fallon and Irwin, “Camera out, dildo in!” (our more honest version of “If the glove does not fit, you must acquit!”) was uttered nearly a dozen times. “Camera out, dildo in!” It became funnier with each iteration. “Camera out, dildo in!” By the last time Fallon said it, I had to put my head down on the table and hide my face. “Camera in, dildo out!” I could barely contain my laughter.

Fallon went over all the inconsistencies in the People’s case—how the lies of the lying piece of shit Roland Cercone contradict the police testimony, the video evidence, and common sense. That lying piece of shit liar says I was on one side of the street, going dildo-crazy, at the same time video shows me on the other, at the same time Donovan says I was calling her an “asshole.” During the trial, remember, she said that’s why she arrested me. (I’d like to think that’s the obvious “smoking gun” in our pending suit against the City of Buffalo, but this whole experience has taught me that the obvious ain’t always that obvious.)

The “People” were represented by Nicholas Texido—scare quotes because I’d like to think that actual people of New York believe in the importance of the First Amendment, the freedom of the press, freedom of expression, art, rights, and all that patriotic American stuff. Texido’s case rests mainly on the precedent of People vs. Weaver which states that, in order to satisfy the definition of disorderly conduct, one need only to create the “mere risk” of public disturbance, so the jury was right to convict me.

The Weavers in question were a newlywed couple whose marital bliss didn’t last very long. Still dressed in tuxedo and gown, they had quite the knock-down, drag-out argument in their hotel parking lot at three in the morning. No one in the hotel heard them, but according to the law—our so very arbitrary law—they satisfied the definition of disorderly conduct by creating the “mere risk,” the potential for public disturbance.

Texido claims my testimony alone, that I interviewed one guy with the dildo-phone, is enough to justify the jury’s decision.

Irwin countered with a point we tried making during the trial: It’s dangerous for the state or a jury to be in the business of deciding what’s “obscene,” what’s prurient to the point of public disturbance. If all that’s needed is to create the “mere risk” of public disturbance, why isn’t the National Organization for Marriage on trial? There they were, the first day that gay marriage was legal in the New York State, putting on a rally, voicing their opinion that gays are evil, that they’re going to burn in hell for all eternity, that they don’t deserve the right to marry, praying, and waving around a book that condones the brutal murder of homosexuals by stoning. Surely they’d created the “mere risk” of public disturbance with their hate-rally, their worship of a book in which “God” orders his followers to kill any man who lies with another man.

Their behavior—these God-fearing assholes—and their beliefs are morally repugnant, obscene in the eyes of many. Should they be charged with a crime? Of course not. We have something called the First Amendment—freedom of press, religion, expression, and all that patriotic American stuff.

But Texido says I was reckless because the NOM-tards “never want to see a dildo in their lives.” Yeah, OK.

Although appeal decisions are written, I half expected Case to rule right there on the spot, and to be hauled off to serve my remaining six days—which if my luck holds out will probably be eleven, the entire fifteen-day sentence. ‘Murphy’s Law” has turned out to be more prophetic than pun. But, much to my nervous surprise, Case said he’d give it some thought, and we’d have to return on July 29.

I wasn’t obligated to attend this hearing. Texido asked Case to make my presence mandatory at the next one, so they can cuff me on the spot. “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it,” replied Case. I haven’t decided if I’m going. I dunno, but if I’m going to be jailed, again, for exercising my First Amendment rights, I don’t want to make it easy for the pig-fuckers.

Obviously, I’ll have to check in on my disabled mother, bring her food and medicine, mow the lawn, etc. from time-to-time, but I’m headed to Lamsville, USA. The State of New York has already wasted so much time and money prosecuting this farce. They can waste a little more hunting me down. Disorderly conduct isn’t even a misdemeanor. It’s a violation. Will they really come to my house? Stake out the local grocery store? My mother’s dermatologist? It seems impossible—an unrealistic joke, paranoia, obvious madness.

But if I’ve learned anything from this mess…

Meh, see! You’ll never get me, coppers! Meh!

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  • Christopher Riordan

    Maybe the funniest thing you’ve ever written. I feel your pain because I’ve been the victim of the city of buffalo’s corrupt DA office as well. Remember back when even you were under the impression I “stalked” a girl who was writing about how much she loved me in her private journal? I don’t feel bad for you at all, but I do share your frustrations and think you are handling this the right way. Let em spend as much money as possible protecting themselves from a future lawsuit. That city needs to completely crumble and start over.

    • Ian Murphy

      Right. The proof that you’re not a stalker is in the girl-you-weren’t-stalking’s private journal. That may be the funniest thing you’ve ever written.

      • Christopher Riordan

        Well, this was according to her boyfriend who was constantly AIM messaging me. I didn’t see this journal first-hand, Nicholas DiGesare did.

        See, Ian, whether or not you want to swallow – I’m a stud. Girls go crazy over me. They won’t leave me alone if I want some space, and some of them are kind of psycho.

        I don’t wave dildos in women’s faces to prove how manly I am, or talk about how badly I want to grudge fuck S.E. Cupp like you do. Your misery is yours alone, and no one feels bad for you or gives a shit you “take care of a disabled family member.”

        I try to give you a compliment and stand by the fact that the Buffalo DA’s office is corrupt. (Nicholas DiGersare’s cousin was an assistant district attorney, hence MY shafting) but you have to try and find a way to be a prick.

        That’s why people just laugh about your hard luck story – you might be intelligent, but you’re an obnoxious prick and it’s enjoyable to watch you suffer. Oh, and you’re a meglomaniac. And a bipolar internet troll.

        And no one cares.

        Just you and your website which was once a newspaper.

        In my case, I was just a run of the mill guy who got shafted by a spolied, overly dramatic drunk girl and her douchebag emo rapping ex boyfriend who hacked into her laptop. I get the sympathy, you get the jeers. And that’s the way the world works.

        Suck it!

        (you gonna delete this and lock comments while you cry?)

  • Biff Squatthrust

    HAHAhahahahahahahhhhh!! This was great!

  • blue cheddar

    National Organization for Marriage “never want to see a dildo in their lives”?? Pfffft. That device you waved around has been called a “marital aid” for decades in the south.

    • Rey Fox

      Maybe if they did see a dildo in their lives, they wouldn’t be out protesting.

  • matt

    well, best of luck with what i assume is going to be a large civil suit

  • kaydenpat

    Unbelievable. Land of the free indeed.

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