State Attorney Campbell Explains Outcome of Protest Altercation

State Attorney Campbell Explains Outcome of Protest Altercation

In a letter to TPD Chief Lawrence Revell, shown below, State Attorney Jack Campbell explained the rationale for no charges being filed in an incident that took place during a protest on August 29, 2020.

Campbell concluded that there was no “clear evidence” indicating who started the altercation which escalated quickly.

Campbell stated that the man that brandished a hand gun during an altercation, Jon Pickett, did so legally because he reasonably believed he was in danger of death or bodily harm as he was shoved to the ground and kicked.

With respect to those attacking Pickett, Campbell concluded that James Kirkpatrick and Adam Ferguson would have had reasonable self-defense arguments and therefore were not charged.

7 Responses to "State Attorney Campbell Explains Outcome of Protest Altercation"

  1. Avatar
    Bryan Handyside   September 19, 2020 at 5:28 am

    This analysis of the situation by the State Attorney Campbell was exactness within the law. Nobody is going to be happy with his decision, which probably means it was the closest to right as anyone could get.

    Let me tell you what little I know of our State Attorney, through a anecdotal story.

    I have four degrees and worked as a statistician for 20 years. Currently, my life is on the rocks, and I am on probation for a first offense for a cannabis-related drug charge.

    The Leon County Assistant State Attorney threw the law book at me, then the shelf, then her chair and her desk. Then the judge hit me square between the eyes with her gavel.

    To say it has been a brutal and integrity building self-actualizing ordeal would be and understatement. I was finally offered a 3rd degree adjudicated-withheld plea, and by this April, nearly five years later I will be free and eligible to have my record expunged.

    A year and a half ago during this rock- bottom period of my life, when my self-pity was at a maximum and I would regurgitate the classic “it was a victimless crime“ to
    anyone who would listen to my tripe. I was invited by a very understanding friend to help volunteer serve food a community barbecue.

    This was a charity event for “ rapid rehousing of those in danger of homelessness,” not a particularly exciting topic or one that politicians wish to associate their names with I didn’t expect to see any.

    My understanding friend felt it might do me good to shut up and help. What he didn’t mention, and to my amazement and initial terror, was State Attorney Jack Campbell was in attendance with his family in support of the cause.

    Jack Campbell was also volunteering and manning the grill, and my understanding friend tasked me with helping him by taking the finished burgers and veggie burgers off Campbell’s grill.

    You must realize, at this point in my life I had lamented his office’s decision to prosecute me, and I even tried to flash my white, overly educated, and formerly high salaried privilege card at Campbell’s office, and I think that actually was the reason the ASA started throwing more then just her F.S. books at me…

    So, I was very quiet and quick to help him, in fear that he would sense me. He just kept on talking to the guests, most of whom were looking to rebuild their shattered lives (I was too,)

    I got to listen to Campbell talk to disadvantaged citizens, he always kept the questions on them and what they needed to get their lives in order. He paid special attention to those who were elderly, disabled, and those dressed in the worst clothes and obviously trying to make ends meet.

    He pressed them all on their work and whether they had what they needed, if they were looking for new jobs, etc.

    This was on a Saturday late morning and his family was there sitting at a table while Campbell went to other tables to ask more questions of those endanger of homelessness.

    The man cares, he offered assistance to more than one family and talked words of encouragement to men coming out of the jail and prison too.

    Out of fear and the fact that I have deeply rooted social anxiety, I just listened and didn’t bother him, of course I wanted to ask him to put a good word in for early termination of my probation, but really what was I going to say?

    I did what I did.

    The State of Florida and his office was forced to invest the time, man-hours, and money to find out why I ordered that oil, to determine if I was a threat to the community at large, and regardless of my initial protest that it was for medical purposes (it was) they had to weigh in the fact that I was too smart to not know how I went about obtaining thar oil was truly against the law.

    They had to prosecute me and his office has to show that nobody gets special treatment, and for me a man who was once called gifted and certainly over-educated, to engage in a crime ordering online without a prescription was a extreme disappointment to the State that had paid to educate me in the first place..

    In my short 120 days in jail (not short at the time). I found out that many of the offenders who engaged in drug dealing and drug using were just doing so out of despair, lack of opportunity, mental illness, and to some financial necessity.

    More than one drug dealer, upon hearing my educational background said, they would have just gone to work got paid and found them to buy and order it for me. One man said “you had a great job and I can’t find anything with my background, your an ******** idiot.”

    Touché, watching State Attorney Campbell work the crowd, not for votes, but just to see if he could help and for him to understand those who he might some day have to prosecute was sobering.

    People don’t realize Tallahassee why we have such a high crime rate. They think it is bad luck, or the State Attorney and Sheriff being meanies. Or some other nonsense.

    Well it is all in the statistics.

    Tallahassee and Leon has population with a average age that is at least 10 years younger than all other 66 counties in Florida, Leon has one of the youngest populations in the county. I have up looking for a younger average age than Leon County on http://www.city-data.com/county/Leon_County-FL.html

    Leon county pollsters report that 98% of citizens in Leon self-report to having at least one alcoholic beverage once a month which is the highest in the state. That doesn’t seem like a lot, but it is extraordinarily high, and means our county has a big problem with binge drink, alcoholism, and DUI, all of which lead to crime and poor decision-making, and even death.

    Leon county is wealthy compared to the +500 miles radius surrounding it, and with all the colleges, wealthy businesses, and government facilities, this attracts a large seasonal population.

    It also attracts a transient populations to the lower rung jobs available in Leon

    This seasonal and transient population shifts create anonymity in the community. Like a bigger city, that anonymity breeds crime for a couple of reasons.

    First, the loss of cohesive community with a transient population is created when their is a breakdown in what is called institutional knowledge. For example, in a small town people know who the “town mean drunk“ is and who “can’t be trusted with a loan.”

    So, we don’t know each other, and that creates the “stranger danger” problem, like unidentified woman with the sign and the white shirt in article above, she had no idea what she was starting when she touched that guy, and that guy certainly had no idea who he was stirring the pot with, none of them did, they didn’t know each other from Adam.

    People could have died that day because of that lack of knowledge, yet our law enforcement officers who are well aware of this phenomenon here in town jumped into the fray and stopped things before they became national fodder. They deserve praise for their actions here.

    Second, this anonymity in Leon gets known and attracts a shady subset of people who have anti-social personality disorders and career criminals who know they can hide their social-debilitating activities for a time and then move on.

    Criminal Investigation isn’t like NCIS, 99% solutions are straightforward like discovery of a “battered and unconscious woman” = Does she have a husband/Wife/boyfriend/girlfriend = Question and observe the sig. other = solved = Miller time.

    But not so much with transient and shifting populations. Then the easily investigated crimes go down, the percentage of solved crimes go down, and the only way to maintain civil order is to punish heavily what crimes you do solve as a deterrent to keep out those who would see Tallahassee as a easy mark.

    New York City in Manhattan deployed the exact same strategy and 30 years later it worked.

    So, add the youthful average, the drinking, the seasonal population shifts, a wealthy city surrounded by extreme poverty, and a transient population attracted to the the area then you begin to grasp why our county has such a high crime rate.

    But that’s not all! Let’s make our city the CAPITAL OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA? Thereby attracting every nutcase from all spectrums to Tallahassee to protest for their rights and possibly commit terrorist activities?

    Then you might not wish your worst enemy the position of being the State Attorney if Leon County.

    State Attorney in Tallahassee is a lose-lose job, with a insignificant chance of being propelled into a larger area political position. Our county is deep blue, surrounded by a sea of deeper red. There won’t be many Montfords coming out of here anytime soon. Not after the governors race and a certain Miami hotel room.

    So to do that job, against overwhelming crime rates, unsolvable crimes eating away at your man-hours, you either have to deeply care about this county or you have to be a megalomaniac who wants to be a reincarnation of “Boss Hogg” and wear a white suit and hat around town while extorting the populace for pocket change.

    Luckily, we got the guy who cares.

    So, nobody in this county will ever be fully satisfied or happy with State Attorney Campbell’s decisions and all I can say to you is this: Tough, life is unfair, and you learn to accept what you cannot change and change what you can for the better, just like I am trying and just like, I suspect, our State Attorney’s Office is trying to do every single day.

    SA Campbell and his office will be be forced to work many late nights and many choices they make will probably weigh on their shoulders for years to come.

    Justice, or Law and Order, are necessary for a civil society, but to judge another man is a sin, in most faiths worldwide, as judgement is the realm of Our Lord. You know, the splinter in your eye tidbit, but to keep society functioning, men and women must do make these decisions and the burden of doing so is heavy.

    It’s not a fun job nor one for instant gratification-seekers. That’s for sure.

    Or if you complain I used monotheistic texts about judgement/God. Well my agnostic and atheistic friends, look no further than Kurt Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorems I and II, through intuitionistic logic Professor Gödel proved that no axiomatic set will ever determine the truthness or falseness of anything inside a complex system.

    “This sentence is false.” Is that last sentence true or is it false? I don’t know and neither do you, now imagine we exist in a universe with so much incomplete information and you’re job is to decide if that guy on the ground goes to jail for 10 years for pulling a gun, or did the woman in the white shirt really mean to start a public riot?

    You will never ever know, and neither will State Attorney Campbell but he must apply what logicians call fuzzy logic and apply his axiomatic set of Florida Statutes and Constitutional rules to a universe filled with insecurity. And I’m sure he knows that he will never be right either.

    In summation, I realized something watching Mrs. Campbell drag her husband away from that public charity bbq, so the man would have time to go home to be with his family. Campbell was still listening to and getting the number from an extremely overweight and unattractive woman in her late 50’s who couldn’t find a job as a legal assistant in Tallahassee, and Mr. Campbell was going to try to help her… (Legal assistant jobs, funny enough, are easier to get in law offices if you are attractive men or women…)

    Yes, I realized Leon County is damn lucky to have this man at the helm.

    And I shouldn’t have ordered that oil and wasted the State Attorney’s time. My understanding friend, who is deeply Christian, finally saw recognition on my face and I stopped with the self-pity… Right as State Attorney Campbell was being dragged away, he turned to me with a grin and said “thanks for not letting me down helping with the grill…”

    Touché, again.

    This story was true. At least to the best of my knowledge it was far more true than false.

    Reply
  2. Avatar
    Pragmatic Rick   September 12, 2020 at 4:26 am

    Campbell is squandering his credibility.

    Reply
  3. Avatar
    Hope   September 11, 2020 at 7:49 am

    State Attorney Campbell made the right call kudos to him!

    Now, let’s pray that they follow through with the charges for the Tally 14.

    Reply
  4. Avatar
    Painter   September 11, 2020 at 7:08 am

    Another elected official caving to the domestic terrorists filtering into tallahassee.

    Reply
  5. Avatar
    Mike L   September 11, 2020 at 6:43 am

    Well, I know who I’m not voting for State Attorney next time around. Dude was pushed to the ground and he can’t tell who started it? He shoulda pulled the trigger, Campbell woulda been Ok with that. Apparently he’s not OK with charging the people that started it! Maybe he wants them to get shot next time they pick a fight with a man carrying a gun?

    What a monumental piece of work Campbell is.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      A Former Prosecutor   September 15, 2020 at 12:19 pm

      The SA decided to NOT charge people who had NOT violated the law, or who had a lawful defense. He carried out his duty. That’s what we elected him to do. We did not elect him to charge, or not charge, people because it’s politically expedient to do so, or because some special interest group wanted him to. Every decision any SA makes always result in somebody, or group, being disappointed, it comes with the job.
      If Mr. Campbell starts filing, or not filing charges, for the purpose of getting, or keeping, political backing, he will become just another political whore. We are all watching.

      Reply
  6. Avatar
    Snidely Whiplash   September 10, 2020 at 1:58 pm

    The protesters sure got a gift of no charges from Larry and Jackie. However the protesters dont appreciate their gift.
    If Larry and Jackie were walking amongst the protesters they too would get a beat down from the protesters.

    Reply

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