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Arrested for playing Star-Spangled Banner on July 4, man reject plea deal

Fascists: A man who was arrested on July 4 for playing the Star-Spangled Banner on the street, has refused a plea deal.

What can I say? That the police even considered arresting him is beyond reasonable, no matter what excuses they give. That they did it anyway, and that the state has proceeded to press charges, illustrates again the madness that is taking over our society.

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  • Cotour

    Lucky he was not shot, the officer may have felt his life was in jeopardy by the playing of the song.

    Madness? When an individual is able to objectify another individual that is when things like these are able to happen. Disturbing.

  • Edward

    What a double standard. Pittman is arrested for the actions of others, who blocked the street and sidewalk, but when liberal demonstrations get out of hand and property is damaged or people are injured, the liberal organizers are allowed to claim that the perpetrators were outsiders, not part of their group.

    Liberal demonstrations are allowed to march down the middle of streets, unfettered by police arrests, and sometimes to damage shop windows or even to loot the stores. The organizers are not arrested or blamed, only mysterious “outsiders” are blamed.

    Unlike the liberal organizers, Pittman organized nothing; the crowd spontaneously gathered around him to appreciate his music.

    The difference? The police are more afraid of the violent liberals than of the peaceful Pittman or his peaceful crowd. It is much easier to arrest a peaceful person than a violent one. Rather than explain to the peaceful — although lawbreaking — audience that they could not block the street or the sidewalk and bring the crowd into compliance with the law, they arrested the popular musician who was obeying the law.

    Yet another example of how success is punished in today’s America.

    I especially like the part of the article that points out that this arrest is what “white privilege” looks like.

  • pzatchok

    Your forgetting one thing.

    In both cases laws were being broken.

    The only difference is the police and local authorities. In this case they decided to arrest and prosecute.

    Bitch at the ones who routinely do not prosecute for causing real trouble. Like letting riots happen.
    Its the laws you don’t enforce that people learn to not respect.

    I for one have been given a ticket for leaving my truck hanging out over the sidewalk. It impeded traffic. I could not fight it. It was the law and I did it, albeit accidentally. I through myself on the mercy of the court and ended up paying nothing in the end.

    He stopped traffic. Vehicular or foot makes no difference.

    He should have taken the public service and then politely asked the judge if his unpaid coaching of a sports team might count. Think of the offer as a face saving measure for both the court and him.
    No charges filed no plea of guilt and everything dropped in the end plus he really doesn’t end up doing anything he is not already doing.

  • Edward

    Pzatchok wrote, “In this case they decided to arrest and prosecute.”

    Yes, but my point was that they arrested and prosecuted the innocent musician, not scofflaw crowd. Nor did they try to coax the crowd into compliance; they did not try to solve the actual problem.

    Pzatchok wrote, “Its the laws you don’t enforce that people learn to not respect.”

    So the crowd learned to stand in the street and that obeying the law gets you arrested?

    Pzatchok wrote, “He stopped traffic. Vehicular or foot makes no difference.”

    No. The scofflaw crowd stopped traffic. As one person in the first video noted, the police were stopping traffic as though they were “helping us out.” That was the lesson learned by at least that person.

    Pzatchok wrote, “Think of the offer as a face saving measure for both the court and him.”

    His face does not need saving. He did no wrong. The court’s face needs saving for not throwing out the unfounded case in the first place. The police’s collective face also needs saving, but it seems far too late to do that. They have managed to arrest the wrong person(s) and to teach the wrong lessons.

    Their argument that they didn’t tell him he could continue to play loses some merit when we consider that the videos show a small crowd when the police ask him to go to the sidewalk and a significantly larger crowd when he starts playing the “Star Spangled Banner” that they said they let him finish before arresting him. It suggests strongly that there were tunes in between that attracted the large crowd. Their argument makes their collective face that much more in need of saving.

    They arrested the innocent and let the scofflaws go free without even so much as a warning or a clarification that they shouldn’t be blocking the streets and can they get up on the lawns and sidewalks thank you very much. Had they asked, the crowd may have surprised them by doing the right thing. (Didn’t Mark Twain say something about that? “Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest.”)

    So, if he did no wrong, why should Pittman put up with any type of punishment, especially if he would be doing the court a favor by saving his face? There’s no fairness in that. The president likes to unfairly tax people for “a sense of fairness,” so are we now to punish the innocent and the successful out of a similar sense of fairness?

  • pzatchok

    Ever hear of the charge Disorderly conduct? Utah law just for an example.

    “According to the 2010 Utah Criminal Code, 76-9-102, disorderly conduct is considered many different things. In essence, it is a broad net in which many different criminal acts can be caught – it is a general term that prosecutors and law enforcement can use to help with disruptive behavior.

    Specifically speaking, the statute outlines several different behaviors that would fall under this term. They include the refusal to abide by the requests made by law enforcement to move or cease making a dangerous situation for the surrounding persons, as well as knowingly and willfully creating an inconvenient, alarming or annoying risk for the public which can include behaving in a violent or threatening manner, making loud and distracting levels of noise and obstructing the flow of traffic for pedestrians or vehicles.”

    If anyone in the crowd became violent for any reason the charge could have been changed to ‘inciting a riot’.

  • Edward

    Pzatchok wrote, “In essence, it is a broad net in which many different criminal acts can be caught”

    Hmm. So now playing music is a criminal act.

    I am sticking with my original assessment that the crowd was breaking laws, but the innocent musician was the one punished for the crowd’s peaceful, though scofflaw, behavior.

    The videos make it clear that he did as he was told, and only as they were arresting him did they tell him that they wanted him to stop playing. They changed the rules in the middle of the arrest.

    Pzatchok wrote, “If anyone in the crowd became violent for any reason the charge could have been changed to ‘inciting a riot’.”

    Which falls back into my original point that liberal crowds can be as violent as they wish without their organizers (who actually organized the event, which this musician did not do) being charged with anything at all. One person is punished for being lawful, the others get away with inciting riots.

    The police wanted to arrest him for inciting a riot when there clearly was no riot. Making up crimes in order to arrest someone sounds more like the officers were being vengeful, at this point, as does the prosecutor and the judge who did not throw the case out of court.

  • pzatchok

    Ever hear the phrase “Ignorance of the law is no excuse.”?

    Its not the police officers job to inform you of what you are allowed to do.

    All he had to do was get on to his own private property.

    That’s right, he was afoot away from playing all day and having the full responsibility of the crowd being fully on the members of the crowd.

  • “That’s right, he was afoot away from playing all day and having the full responsibility of the crowd being fully on the members of the crowd.”

    Wanna bet? These police would have arrested him anyway, even if he was on his own property. They would have claimed the arrest was for disturbing the peace and causing a crowd to form.

    The truth is they didn’t like what he was doing and wanted it to stop. They might not have minded the Star Spangled Banner, but they decided that after that no more, and they were then going to demonstrate their power to decide what could be played, by whom.

    They were fascists, pure and simple.

  • pzatchok

    Did you watch the news video?

    The guy started his concert in the street intending to draw a crowd.

    The cops told him to stop and get out of the street.

    He must have been playing for quite a while because there were more than three patrol cars at the scene.

    All he did was run off to the sidewalk and start playing again. This time a song he thought they would not stop.

    Basically a thumb in their eye.

    Then the crowd start spitting on the cop cars. See where this is going now?

    He is a dope smoking slacker. His greatest ambition in life is to be a mascot for a sports team.

    This was all a publicity stunt and you fell for it.

    I used to know and work with a few local bands and we would put on public concerts drawing several hundred people at a time.
    And never once in 5 or more years did we ever have the cops come by and tell us to stop. But then again they never played in the middle of the street.
    Cops always showed up and only once did they ask if we had a permit for playing in the local city park. Which I did actually manage to get that morning. They just told me to make sure it was visibly posted and left.

    This was a drunken stunt.

    Basically he did not handle things like an adult from the beginning.

    Stunts like this are how the lefties get in the news.

  • Edward

    Pzatchok wrote, “All he did was run off to the sidewalk and start playing again.”

    Other than the police account, I saw no evidence that they told him to stop or that he could not play on the sidewalk. The evidence is that they told him to get onto the sidewalk. The evidence is that he played for a while on the sidewalk, without police interference, and drew a larger crowd than he had in the street. The evidence is that the police arrested him after quite a while of playing without any notice that they wanted him to stop playing on the sidewalk. The evidence is that the police allowed a large crowd to form in the street without guiding them to locations that they deemed safer or more legal. The evidence is that the crowd was led to believe, by the police behavior, that they were allowed to be on the street and that the police were protecting the crowd by blocking traffic. The evidence indicates that all in the public were being orderly and were obeying the police’s instructions — even to the point of dispersing when told. The evidence is that the police arrested Pitmann without a warning or a notice that if he continued that was what they would do.

    The evidence is that the police allow progressive demonstrations to become riotous without arresting the organizers and that they stopped this spontaneous demonstration of patriotism.

    Had the crowd become violent or riotous, it would have been because of the behavior of the police themselves, not the behavior of the patriot. To punish him for a riot started due to police action would have been yet another example of the unfairness that the police perpetrated onto this patriot. Once again, the patriot would have been punished for something that he did not do.

  • pzatchok


    As long as the crowd was moving they were fine.

    But as soon as he started his concert and stopped the crowd he was the one at fault.

    Even their own videos show he started in the street and the cops told him to get out of the street.
    The sidewalk counts as a public thoroughfare.
    The video proves he himself was blocking the sidewalk with his equipment and himself.

    By removing him the crowd left.

    By the letter of the law he was at fault. No arguments.
    The cops are NOT a source of legal information. Their advice is NOT legally binding.
    Think of it this way. If your buddy told you to drive faster, who would be getting the ticket for speeding?

    The argument that other people get away with something is NOT an legal argument in any court.

    Blaming the cops for allowing the crowd to form is like blaming the cops for letting you speed.And then when your caught, bitching about other people speeding.

  • Edward

    Pzatchok wrote, “As long as the crowd was moving they were fine.
    “But as soon as he started his concert and stopped the crowd he was the one at fault.”

    So it was OK for the crowd to be on the street as long as they kept moving? Why do you think that?

    Pzatchok wrote, “By removing him the crowd left.”

    They dispersed the crowd before they arrested him.

    Pzatchok wrote, “The cops are NOT a source of legal information. Their advice is NOT legally binding.”

    The cops are the ones saying why they made the arrest. If you didn’t notice, I am disagreeing with their legal interpretation of whatever reason they used to arrest the guy who was doing nothing wrong (the police had better know the laws that they are enforcing, otherwise they are likely to let rioters go free and to arrest the innocent, and — oh! — that’s just what I am complaining about). The police failed to explain why they allowed a ruly crowd to gather (even to the point of giving the crowd the impression that the police were intentionally closing off the street for the music) and then blamed the innocent person that they arrested for their own action of allowing the crowd to gather. The more we discuss this, the more it seems that the police were actually entrapping their victim. “Come into my parlor, said the spider to the fly.” (From a poem by Mary Howitt)

    Pzatchok wrote, “If your buddy told you to drive faster …”

    If my buddy were an on-duty police officer, as in the case of the musician and the crowd, then I would be obligated to obey, just as everyone playing and listening were doing. Everyone was under the impression that they were doing as the police intended. Why do you suppose that is?

    Pzatchok wrote, “The argument that other people get away with something is NOT an legal argument in any court.”

    This is not court, and the double standards argument, that progressives are allowed to get away with rioting, is my original comment. You are the one who distracted this thread with the legalities of everyone’s actions.

    I also pointed out that the police could have enforced the laws by explaining them to the crowd and the musician without need of any arrests. Everyone seemed exceedingly cooperative and patriotic and even seemed appreciative of the police protecting the crowd. Right up until the surprise arrest.

    Pzatchok wrote, “Blaming the cops for allowing the crowd to form is like blaming the cops for letting you speed.”

    Well, if the cops let me get away with speeding, as you pointed out before, “Its the laws you don’t enforce that people learn to not respect.” In this case, the police did not enforce the ‘blocking the street’ law that they used as an excuse to arrest their fly — er — victim. They stood by and let it happen as though the intent was to protect the crowd from traffic, as one of the audience stated. Obviously, the crowd was not respecting that law — and specifically because the police were not enforcing it.

    The best case scenario is that the police poorly communicated their intent to the patriots. A more-likely case scenario is that the police intended to allow the patriotic display but were told by their boss to put an end to it, and they botched the job. The worst case scenario is that the police were malicious.

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