Orlando Activist Faces 6-Yrs in Prison for Videotaping Police Brutality

Please join us in letting others know that we will not condone innocent people being sent to prison as political targets.

If you’re within driving distance of Orlando please consider supporting activist John Kurtz next Monday at Orange County Courthouse. If you’re outside the area please take a moment to call the Orlando PD (321) 235.5300. Ask to speak to officer Adam Gruler and tell him that he’s in the wrong – that badges don’t grant him extra rights nor exonerate his actions.

When: Monday May 16th, 2011 8:30 AM
Where: Orange County Court House: 415 North Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32801
What: Please stand in unity as Liberty activist John Kurtz stands Trial. Facing a maximum sentence of 6 years in Prison on the allegations of battery on a LEO, Obstruction of a Police officer, and resisting arrest without violence, Kurtz adamantly proclaims his innocence and that he is a political target because of his involvement with OrlandoCopwatch.com and other activism. Please bring signs, hand outs, alert the media, tell your friends. The people must know about this persecution of a political dissident.
Facebook Event: Trial of john Kurtz, Facing 6 Years in Prison for Video Taping Police

Ademo and I had the pleasure of meeting John last fall just after Liberty On Tour: 2010 concluded – he’s stand-up guy who does excellent work and someone we both consider a friend. John hasn’t harmed any person nor property yet he’s being threatened with six years in a cage due to the double-standards and unaccountability of one person who happens to wear a badge – Adam Gruler.

John founded OrlandoCopwatch.com and is very active with Fully Informed Jury Association outreach. The threats levied on John stem from an incident in which John was filming an individual being aggressed upon by someone wearing a badge. He was trying to help someone else and he himself became the latest to witness the violence of those who claim a “legitimate” right to use force.

Text below from OrlandoCopwatch.com

The Facts:
Just before 2 AM on January 1st, 2011 John Kurtz left a private party on Orange Avenue and Church Street, downtown Orlando to investigate some apparent police activity on Church Street.

Kurtz approached the scene and videotaped the incident, which included the use of tasers, a violent take down, and a pepper spraying AFTER the suspect was subdued and in handcuffs.

Officer Adam Gruler repeatedly told Kurtz to go away and turn off the camera. When Kurtz informed Gruler that he knew his rights and wasn’t going anywhere, Gruler violently took Kurtz to the ground and arrested him.

After multiple attempts to deny Kurtz bond, relentless efforts by Kurtz’s friends, family, attorney and other privately contracted help, Kurtz was finally released from Orange County Jail after a full seven days behind bars.

Kurtz’s video camera with the evidence on it that would easily clear or condemn him of these charges mysteriously went missing. It was not in Kurtz’s personal effects when he was released from jail, nor was it entered into evidence. It is unknown what happened to Kurtz’s camera.  However, at best it reflects negligence on the Orlando Police Department for failure to secure evidence; at worst it shows absolute corruption and evidence tampering.

John Kurtz is a peaceful person who adheres and promotes the non aggression principle. Kurtz is known by his friends as a pacifist who is much more likely to turn the other cheek, than to retaliate with violence.

The Evidence:

  • The evidence against Kurtz is nothing more than the word of a few Police officers.
  • The evidence defending Kurtz includes multiple third party eye witnesses and video evidence from the street camera on Church Street. All who show Officer Gruler as the aggressor, and Kurtz simply video taping.

About Officer Gruler:

  • Officer Adam Gruler was named by the Orlando Sentinel as a ‘Hunter’ and one of the top Taser users on the force. Gruler is notorious in the poverty stricken area of Orlando known as Parramore for taserings, verbal abuse, violence and questionable conduct. Gruler’s Internal Affairs profile includes dozens of civilian complaints.
  • Officer Adam Gruler is the same out-of-control cop who was recently caught on video unlawfully arresting a local Orlando News photographer!

About John Kurtz:

  • Kurtz is known locally for not only his work with OrlandoCopwatch.com, but also for a variety of civil disobedience and street theater, geared at pointing out the injustice and absurdity of some of the laws and ordinances in Orlando.
  • Kurtz made national headlines when he refused to comply with a city ordinance in Orlando banning the feeding of the homeless within two miles of city hall, Kurtz and others repeatedly held food sharings at city hall.
  • Kurtz is an active Jurors Rights activist who spends many mornings at the Orange county Court House informing Jurors of their rights.
  • Kurtz has been a political activist as well, formerly a Precinct Chair for the Orange County Republican Executive Committee, and currently a District Coordinator with the Florida Campaign for Liberty, Kurtz has spent countless hours campaigning for local candidates and lobbying politicians for fiscally conservative and socially liberal practices.
  • Kurtz has been a successful Real Estate Broker for 6 Years in Central Florida, and considers friends, family and liberty the most important things in his life.

More:

John Kurtz on Free Talk Live May 11, 2011
Copwatch Member Facing 6 Years In Prison After Videotaping Police by Carlos Miller on Pixiq.com
Police: Cop watchdog group founder among 19 New Year’s Eve arrests in downtown Orlando by the Orlando Sentinel
Justice Without the State video interview of Bruce Benson by CopBlock.org

This post made possible by FreeExistence.org, which provides tips on filing complaints against cops, fighting speeding tickets, libertarian plumbing, and more!



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Pete Eyre

Pete Eyre is co-founder of CopBlock.org. As an advocate of peaceful, consensual interactions, he seeks to inject a message of complete liberty and self-government into the conversation of police accountability. Eyre went to undergrad and grad school for law enforcement, then spent time in DC as an intern at the Cato Institute, a Koch Fellow at the Drug Policy Alliance, Directer of Campus Outreach at the Institute for Humane Studies, Crasher-in-Chief at Bureaucrash, and as a contractor for the Future of Freedom Foundation. In 2009 he left the belly of the beast and hit the road with Motorhome Diaries and later co-founded Liberty On Tour. He spent time in New Hampshire home, and was involved with Free Keene, the Free State Project and The Daily Decrypt.