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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Well deserved ridicule for Portland city attorney

The city's kung fu movie defense has them in stitches on Boing Boing.

Comments (9)

Make sure to hide your collection of Dexter DVDs ...

Open secret: The guy with the massive kung fu movie collection is also the curator of the "Grindhouse Movie" series that runs at the Hollywood Theater.

As someone else pointed out, if the gangs of flash robbers don't beat you up, the cops will.
He should have demanded more money, maybe then this would get somebody's attention.
....oh, never mind.... No one is home at city hall.

Hey man, they were scared for their safety! That dude was almost as fast as (taser) lightning!

Everybody was kung foo fighting...

I'm sitting here sort of bemused....and wondering a bit about the Federal Rules of Evidence.

The good officer had no idea when he tasered the victim that the victim had any movie collection what ever, much less a Kung Foo collection.

So why was any evidence as to the movie collection admissible at all? What was the relevance to any issue at trial?

Benjamin Davidson's state of mind, whatever it was, was formed without any knowledge of the movie collection. Strikes me that a "relevance" objection at trial should have been sustained, and that a motion in limine should have been filed pre trial by the plaintiff's lawyer and granted by the trial court.

What was the judge thinking?

I know. only the JD impaired on here will be interested. Still, its not only stupid on the part of the city attorney's office, its peculiar that the trial judge allowed any evidence of the collection.

Gee, with my collection of Clint Eastwood Dirty Harry movies, I'd better not run afoul of the PPB.

Would my VHS copy of Lumet's 12 Angry Men be sufficient to get me excused from jury duty?

Well the relevance rules are pretty wide open. But still! I can't imagine what could have persuaded the judge that the value of this 'evidence' was higher than the obvious prejudicial effect.

The state would argue it goes to the victim's state of mind and propensity to violence. Violence the police are claiming he engaged in, so thus deserved a good tazing.

Obviously the REAL value to the state was to induce undue prejudice. Generally if you make the guy look like an asshole juries will latch on to any line of bull crap you throw at them.

Gosh...I almost miss practicing...

Jo -

This was a civil case in federal district court.

This needs to go right up there with the "Twinkie Defense". At least, in this case, the jury wasn't stupid enough to fall for it.

Just to be sure everybody is clear: Sam Adams and the City Atty, at least, had to have knowingly said, "yes," to this tactic.

City of Portland official policy = thought crimes, such as liking Kung Fu movies, justify summary punishment such as Tasering of otherwise innocent citizens.

But, hey, we recycle our food scraps, so it is all good, right?

Nonny Mouse - I was scratching my head on this one as well from a rules of evidence standpoint. Even if the guy was an actual kung fu blackbelt I don't see how it relates to the fact that the cops engaged in a wrongful arrest. Maybe they were arguing that his injuries wouldn't have been so bad if he hadn't resisted arrest, and they claimed that he was pulling kung fu moves on the cops so they "had" to taser him so many times. If he denied doing the kung fu moves, or knowing how to do martial arts or whatever, then possibly the questions about the movie collection came in for purposes of impeaching his credibility somehow? A totally bone headed move on the part of the city attorney because liking to watch kung fu and doing kung fu are two totally different things, but a judge could potentially allow something into evidence that would be otherwise be irrelevant or inadmissable if it tends to show that a witness is not telling the truth on the stand. Obviously the fact that this guy was a kung fu movie geek didn't hold much sway with the jury.

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