PINAC correspondent Michale Hoffman was found guilty today for trespassing on public property, a decision our attorney plans to appeal immediately.
He faces up to a year in jail. He will be sentenced Thursday, which is tomorrow.
“While we are disappointed in the jury’s verdict we look forward to appealing the judge’s rulings on the First Amendment issues that the jury was not allowed to hear or consider,” said attorney Eric Friday.
Hoffman was arrested in August while standing on the property of Jacksonville International Airport holding up signs that were critical of the government, including TSA and the IRS.
However, the judge did not permit Hoffman or our Friday to use the First Amendment as a defense.
Duval County Judge Brent Shore also refused to answer the jury’s question about whether or not holding up signs on public property is illegal.
Photo By Bob Self/Florida Times-Union
It’s not, of course, but prosecutors convinced the jury that all the cops had to do was order him to leave, even if he was not breaking any law, to give them the right to arrest him for trespassing.
“The state convinced the jury that I didn’t have to break any law to be trespassed,” Hoffman said.
“That they had the authority to trespass me even if I did not do anything wrong.”
While PINAC was not allowed to video record the trial, as we’ve written about before, the Florida Times-Union and News4Jax.com, were allowed to photograph and video record, so we will be obtaining the video from the news station as pool footage.
Click on those links to read their coverage or click on the video below to see the news report of the conviction.
The second video below is of his arrest.
Hoffman entered the courtroom with a sticker on his suit saying, “Freedom,” but the judge ordered him to remove it, stating he was “not comfortable” with it.
And judging by their behavior these last few weeks, that is very obvious.
We are planning a protest on July 20 over the unconstitutional order by Chief Judge Mark Mahon that citizens are not allowed to video record the courthouse, which will probably make them even more uncomfortable.
Click here to RSVP.
More details to come on the protest and the conviction. Here is some background articles that explainsthe other legal battles we are fighting in Jacksonville in addition to this one.