Stop online posting of innocent people's mugshots
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In July of 2011, in the middle of the night, I was arrested on a false charge of domestic battery and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, when now ex-boyfriend --------pressed false charges against me. I am 5 feet tall, and I weigh a mere 100 pounds. This man who picked me up, threw me 6 feet across the room causing me to land on my previously injured back (I have a cage of screws holding my lower spine together), and straddled and beat me is 6 feet 6 inches tall, and weighs 235 pounds.
One of the neighbors overheard my screams, came downstairs to confront ----------, and is the person who I speculate called the police. The police separated us and questioned us both. I was confused when questions were asked pertaining to my income, and how much I owe in student loans. This same officer even rolled his eyes at me when I truthfully told him how much I make, and that I am a RESIDENT, which equates with the very well known fact that we make really very little relative to the amount of time we devote. How this was pertinent to the situation at hand was, and still is to this day, beyond my comprehension. When ------------was asked by the police how he had sustained a bleeding scratch on his chest (from my fingernails while trying to defend myself from his assault), he told the police that I did it with a kitchen knife. I’m sorry, but any officer who can’t differentiate between a nail scratch and a knife incision does not belong on the police force. I made the mistake of saying this to the officer that night, and not 10 minutes later, I was in handcuffs. Without attempting to substantiate this allegation, the ----------------police cuffed my hands behind my back, exposing my right breast (my camisole’s straps were shredded by -------while he attacked me), my shorts were ripped up to the waistline on the right side, hence, the right half of my buttocks were exposed; and that is how I arrived in a holding cell full of men who couldn’t stop staring at me….it felt like rape. I spent 2 days in jail, missing one day of work.
The same group of police had been called to my apartment once before when -------------flew into a drunken rage, and began destroying my personal belongings. When they left that evening, the head officer gave us a warning that if they had to come back again, “you will both be going to jail.” This is perplexing to me, given the fact that I was the victim, and had calmly explained how this man was abusive and destructive. Still, no protection was offered to me whatsoever. His name was on the lease, so I couldn’t just kick him out. I have no family or support, and I live just within my means, so getting another apartment was out of the question. I had no options.
I am a resident physician at---------------. I have devoted the last 13 years of my life to medicine. I do not hit people, and I do not brandish weapons; although you could argue that if, in fact, I had done what I was accused of doing, I had every right to my own self defense. Nevertheless, the worst thing I did was scratch the man who viciously attacked me.
The website that the -------------Sheriff's office runs, has allowed my mug shots to be obtained by various different websites including: arrestcourtinfo.com; lookwhogotbusted.com; jailbase.com; and mugshots.com. Why law enforcement makes it so easy for these photos to be “scraped” is a reflection of their blatant ignorance/stupidity. How they can do this knowing that these sites are posting very personal information that essentially robs people of any shred of privacy, I do not know. These websites post, along with a mug shot, extremely personal information, including but not limited to: address, job description and location, and date and place of birth. These website post what you were charged with, but nowhere is the disposition stated. In other words, NOWHERE is it stated that the CHARGES WERE FALSE, you were found NOT GUILTY, CHARGES WERE DROPPED, etc. Bad news for anyone looking for a job. Worse for all those women out there who on the run from abusive stalkers. I have been publicly humiliated, to say the least, and my privacy no longer exists. And the strangest thing about it? It is and has been THE VERY FIRST SITE that Google® lists when searching my name….ALWAYS.
The day after I was released from jail, ex- boyfriend --------------hand-wrote a letter to Judge ------, taking back the false accusation, saying he was drunk and "under duress". Subsequently, all charges were dropped. However, as a doctor in training, and in the process of furthering my training by applying for fellowships, I cannot do so because my reputation has been destroyed.
Not one website has “not guilty” or “false charges” or “case dismissed” or “charges dropped” displayed for all the world to see. And they all have a company at the bottom or top of the webpage that claims that they can get rid of the mugshot….for a small fee of course (I have seen quotes ranging from $300 to $600).
This is extortion and blackmail, and it is illegal. The fact that police are not prosecuting this ring of racketeers has me puzzled. The one thing I have learned from all of this is that fighting back in a domestic violence situation will get you nothing but trouble. No wonder so many women don’t report battering. Here in Florida, there is a law that in a domestic violence situation, one person HAS TO GO to jail. They HAVE TO ARREST SOMEONE. I say NONSENSE!!!
I feel it is my duty as a physician to expose what has happened so that it is never repeated. It is never okay for a man to hit a woman…EVER. The destruction of innocent people's reputations, including my own MUST BE STOPPED. The gross negligence of the police MUST BE STOPPED. Because of this, my name is destroyed, and the humiliation it has brought upon my training institute and profession are beyond comprehension.
Under Florida law, the following statutes have been violated:
1) 836.05 (Threats; extortion)
2) 836.11(Publications which tend to expose persons to hatred, contempt, or ridicule prohibited)
3) 784.048 (Stalking; definitions; penalties)
Please help stop this. It is morally wrong and ILLEGAL.
Thank you for your immediate attention to this matter.
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