Palm Bay: Facebook Comments.

After our post the other day on Palm Bay, Councilman Holton and his attempts to distract people from his own issues, we decided to monitor the comments on the FloridaToday article on the subject.

We thought instead of waddling into the morass that is Facebook comments, we would answer some of the questions and address some of the points that were raised here. Because the people that made the comments are not public figures, we decided to blur out their names on our blog. We have always said that we would rather address thoughts rather than people and so we shall do that here.

The police have no duty to disclose the tip they are acting upon or who made the tip.

The reason for that is simple – we don’t want all sorts of retaliatory actions going back and forth escalating any situation.

Take this out of the Holton / concealed weapon incident for a moment. Assume for a second that the police get a call about a loud and perhaps violent argument between a husband and wife next door. The couple is screaming at each other.

The neighbor calls the police and the police come out to talk to the warring couple. When the police get there, there is no noise that can be heard outside of the house.

Do people want the police to just walk away? After all, the silence could be because one of the couple is hurt or even worse.

Or do we want the police to knock on the door and see what is going on and make sure all occupants of the house are safe?

Do we want the police to be telling the angry couple the name of the person who made the call to them? Risking further escalation down the road?

Or do we want to allow the police to evaluate the truthfulness of the call and address whether a fake complaint has been made?

The bottom line is whether we as a society want people to be able to contact the police for legitimate reasons without fear of retaliation or do we want the police to decide whether a person is making false complaints and deal with them within the legal system?

The point being that there is no reason to find out who made the initial complaint. If the police thought the complaint concerning Holton was credible, they had a duty to investigate and they did.

End of story.

We aren’t sure of the context of this comment. We do want to say that if you are a person with a CCW permit and are carrying a weapon, there is no duty to inform the police or anyone that you are armed. That means that you do not have to offer the information for the officers. If you are asked about whether you are carrying and have a CCW permit, to lie to the police is illegal and can get you into legal trouble.

By far the longest response is the one below. We will try and fisk it.

1) The idea that Mr. Holton is being “harassed” is laughable on its surface. We would think that Holton and his supporters would be glad that the police are responding to issues.

That being said, we want to look at what the police said about the incident as compared to the statements by others, including Holton himself:

At last Thursday’s City Council meeting, Deputy Police Chief Nelson Moya added a little insight into the incident with Holton. Moya called it a “casual inquiry.”

“What I want to make clear is that the intent of the inquiry regarding Deputy Mayor Holton was based on a public safety concern,” Moya said, not specifying what initially led to the inquiry.

Does anyone really think that a “casual inquiry” would have set off this firestorm from a reasonable person?

Police: Councilman Holton, we have some information that you may be carrying and just wanted to remind you that you can’t carry into the Council chambers.


The person who ramped this up was Holton and only Holton.

2) The “keyboard” issue. Holton said his phone had been acting up because of a bad update. As we showed a few days ago, the last updates to either an Apple iPhone or an Android phone was November 29, over three weeks before the interaction between Holton and the police. Holton, like many people and like many City Council members, uses his phone extensively. Does anyone really think that he was dealing with a bad keyboard for that long?

The typos and grammar errors in both the rants of the 21st and the email of the 26th went far beyond what can be explained by a “keyboard issue.” Not only that, if the issue is so bad, why not say “(having keyboard issues-sorry?)”

The keyboard thing doesn’t ring true at this point in time.

3) The woman on the Facebook thread who made a reference to harming other Council members is wrong. Flat out wrong. Perhaps it was a joke gone bad. No matter. We won’t defend the idea she put forth.

4) “Metal detectors to be safe” because……? Has the City had a problem with violence in the Council chambers?

5) There was a sergeant at arms at that meeting.

6) “Educate yourself.” We encourage people to do the same thing. Unfortunately, that means actually trying to read what was said.

People such as Holton have said that in the HUD investigation, nothing was found. That’s not true. HUD found that there were issues, but that the City had worked with them to correct the issues and therefore HUD was closing most of the complaint.

Let’s be clear: fixing the problem is not the same thing as no problem ever existed, which is what Holton claims.

So yes, please educate yourself into the morass that seems to be Palm Bay.

7) We also want to address a theme that runs within the comment. The person seems to think that the City should be doing more to be proactive in protecting people within the Council Chambers and yet supports and believes that the police being proactive when talking with Holton was “harassment.”

That’s the logical fallacy that flows through this whole incident.

Councilman Holton seems to want more proactive policing on weapons in the Council Chambers – except when it comes to him.

That’s what we and many people object to.

Council members are not gods. They are elected officials and should not be above the law nor should they be advocating for special treatment as Holton is doing.

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