Florida Justice or Incompetence - Another Blackman's Encounter With the System
This individual called my office today. His case is closed. He was sentenced. His name is Kenton. Interesting story. The man was alleged to commit a crime at age 58. Kenton has no criminal history. Although there are some questions about that, he insists this is his first arrest. I have no reason to doubt him. Allegedly he hit a police car, drove at the police officer, the cop jumps out of the way, cop runs him down on foot, orders the Kenton out at gunpoint. A struggle ensues when he is being handcuffed. A taser is displayed and Kenton is handcuffed. The police officer is African American and so is Kenton.
Kenton hires a private attorney. An attorney recommended by a bondsman. The bondman says this attorney is a Pitbull. Kenton says that he meets with the attorney often and is promised the case will go away. (nobody can read the future and its unethical to promise future results). Discovery is forwarded but client never sees the video. He is given police report. The case is transferred among divisions and at least three judges presided over at least one hearing. Kenton's attorney had a concern with his competency.
The judge ordered competency tests. Kenton was ruled incompetent and he was ordered to receive competency restoration. Kenton says he went three times but the location did not know who he was. He returned to court. The judge then revoked his bond and put him in jail. Kenton says his attorney did not fight. ( I am tempted to order the audio recordings). He stayed in jail for a while until he plead guilty to the charges.
Kenton maintains that he is innocent of the charges. This is only part of the story. This is Kenton's version but if this is true it raises serious concerns. Was he guilty? Did the police officer lie? How does a defendant plead guilty to a charge when he has not reviewed discovery ( the videos, pictures, and supplemental reports) with his attorney? How does the court imprison an incompetent man for not following directions? Kenton shared this story. He did a zoom meeting with me and allowed me to share it on my youtube channel. I'm hoping that his passenger contacts me to give her version of what she witnessed. Is this another case of the criminal justice system failing? Is this a case of another black man railroaded by the system? Did the private attorney represent Kenton's best interests? Kenton's story makes me wonder? I, of course, don't know what is true and what can be substantiated but it is a teaching moment. No Defendant should be lost in the criminal justice system. A Defendant should always see the evidence against him and given the option of how to proceed. A moment that others can learn from.
Something the criminal system can examine. I'm not sure who will watch it. It's long and unedited. Tell me what you want to know, what do you want to see? I know, I am curious about these videos. I'm tempted to pull the audio hearings from the court. I hope Kenton acquires the video and shares it with me. Without the video and courtroom hearings, testimony from his passenger, and an interview with his wife, we may never know the whole story. What are your thoughts? Share your comments