Acura Amanda is a YouTube personality who films police interactions with public. Sometimes that involves traffic stops, crime scenes and government functions in the nonenforcement side. You can view her channel here ACURA AMANDA YOUTUBE. She was arrested by Officer Johnston of the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department.
During encounters with her and others, law enforcement egos seem to get the best of them and on many occasions they lose their cool. This usually ends up with a police officers’ feelings hurt, ego bruised and a reaction from solely filming an interaction while in the official capacity of their duties. As a first amendment auditor myself (James Madison Audits), I generally have the rule of don’t speak unless spoken to. Acura Amanda does the same in nearly all of her videos. She keeps it calm, professional and assertive. This instance she did exactly that and paid the price with an arrest.
During a police interaction in Palm Beach Gardens, Acura Amanda was seen walking down a sidewalk toward what appeared to be a crash. Acura Amanda mentioned a Richard Pearce, a police officer, who she had an issue with in the past. He later showed up as the acting supervisor.
Acura Amanda decided not to
cross where the crash was and seeing that the sidewalk was temporarily closed
she went out of her way to cross at the next available area. She filmed the
loading up of the crashed vehicle onto the tow truck. She was filming from the
sidewalk at this time and narrating the video.
Amanda left the scene of the crash and walked from them without incident. She approached a barricade citing “SIDEWALK CLOSED” over 600 feet from the previous intersection. She stated in her video that this was a setup, and sure enough her premonition was spot on. Where she ultimately made the decision to cross was an unmarked crosswalk, where to the common person this would be permitted in crossing the road. With all indications making it appear you could cross there, the sidewalk turns and leads you to a 90 degree intersection of the sidewalk and roadway. On the opposite side of the road the same sidewalk design mirrors an approach to the roadway.
Florida Statute 316.130 (Pedestrian Traffic Regulations) states what is legal and lawful and restricted. Lets explore paragraph 10. It states the following in the two paragraphs: FSS: 316.130
(10) Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.
(11) Between adjacent
intersections at which traffic control signals are in operation, pedestrians
shall not cross at any place except in a marked crosswalk.
Amanda performed this crossing perfectly to the statute requirements.
Now according to Subsection 11, at first glance you might think she is in
violation, but in fact, she is not. The officer made a report that she was “approximately
200 feet from the nearest crosswalk.” That was a false statement included in
the report. Now a days in EVERY car is a computer with google maps. The unmarked
crosswalk she was at was 613 feet away from the nearest, and 1300 feet away
from her origin of travel. Between those two marked crosswalks with signals functioning
was THREE adjacent intersections (see diagram below).
Officer Johnston unlawfully stopped her for “Jaywalking”.
Jaywalking is not a legal term in Florida and has no meaning in the Florida
Statutes. Crossing midblock in almost all occasions is legal due to those
intersections as mentioned above. Officer Johnston demands ID from Amanda and
she refuses with authority and is in the right. He threatens, unlawfully, to
arrest her for obstruction without a valid law violation. Amanda states to him
that she can’t walk all the way back there and officer Johnston incorrectly
states, “That doesn’t mean you can cross across the street.” In fact, it does.
Since there are SEVERAL intersections between the two intersections it is
permittable. Even the CDC, DOT and Pedestrian Safety Central Florida indicate crossing
in this area is legal. She attempts to point out all of the indicators that
show that this is a permittable spot. But Officer Johnston, with a clear retaliatory
decision for filming the previous crash, wants to press this issue very hard
with her. During her video the officer stated “the sidewalk is closed”. Amanda’s
quick thinking gets him to repeat this but Officer Johnston is still too oblivious
to understand how this is playing out. He states that she has to turn back and
go to a crosswalk; that is definitely incorrect. Sergeant Pearce arrived on the
scene and they both realized who each other was. She again refused the unlawful
demand for ID and was arrested. The officers state “do not fight” which is typical
of their tactics when they want to start up a justification of resisting on
you. The live stream ends with her arrested.
Amanda was taken into custody, and was injured, receiving bruises that lasted for weeks if not months for them squeezing her so hard. She ultimately was also ROR, or Released on her Own Recognizance, which means a notice to appear was given or was it an arrest then they realized they screwed up. From my experience you “cut them loose” if it’s a questionable arrest. In fact, this was an unlawful stop, arrest, detention, and citation. This officer and sergeant are bad cops, this was a punishment and retaliation directly for filming.
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