First Amendment hero William Rosenstock looks on as prosecutor Joshua Bird, County Court Judge Charles Tinlin and defense attorney Thomas Elijah Cushman (concealed by podium) discuss case.
First Amendment victory over misguided or mean-spirited official oppressors in St. Augustine Beach city government, police and putative "civic association."
On Friday, July 22, 2016, a date that will live in local history, County Court Judge Charles Tinlin dismissed the "stalking" charge against First Amendment hero William Rosenstock of St. Augustine Beach today, effective today, subject to no contact for a year with the barbecue vendor about whom Mr. Rosenstock raised concerns. No fine. No probation. No classes. No guilty plea. The agreement was personally typed up by Judge Tinlin in his chambers (after Assistant State's Attorney Joshua Bird refused to type it after opposing the judge's order, saying he had already offered a plea bargain).
After Judge Tinlin personally typed it, the dismissal agreement was signed by the prosecution and defense counsel.
In a hearing earlier this year, Judge Tinlin had earlier declined to dismiss the case on a First Amendment motion, based on Mr. Rosenstock's concerns about a farmer's market vendor. Judge Tinlin's order did not address First Amendment issues. But today (July 22, 2016), he dismissed the bogus charge against Mr. Rosenstock, brought at the behest of the St. Augustine Beach Civic Association (SABCA), SABCA President, WILLIAM JONES, a Sheriff's department employee, St. Augustine Beach Commissioner ANDREA SAMUELS et ux, ROBERT SAMUELS.
Three cheers for Judge Tinlin.
Three cheers for criminal defense lawyer Thomas Elijah Cushman, our own Atticus Finch.
And three cheers for St. Augustine Beach First Amendment hero William Rosenstock, former Chair of the St. Augustine Beach Code Enforcement Board, outspoken advocate for beach access and the public interest --- now empowered to continue speaking out.
What's next: A new birth of freedom in our community, where rampant civil rights violations are no longer tolerated by the people, bench and bar.
As my mother said, "Time wounds all heels."
Let freedom ring!
Thanks to everyone for supporting free speech.
Keep on speaking truth to power!
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