Florida activist subject of continued campaign of harassment by police and University of Florida
Update (April 19, 2013): There is indeed a VOP Warrant out of Wayne County. It was issued on Tuesday at the behest of the University of Florida. Apparently, they had their detective subpoena Youtube about a dormant account that has not been used in almost a year. On that page appeared the banned and censored “Defiance is a Virtue” video. This should add credence to our assertions that my and my colleague’s arrests at an anti-vivisection protest last February 4 — as well as my extradition and prosecution in Michigan — were orchestrated by UF to shut down our campaign.
by Camille Marino
On December 30, 2011, I won my first lawsuit against the University of Florida in which the courts, after 14 months, compelled them to disclose their public records documenting two decades of taxpayer-funded primate experiments. On February 4, 2012, after I began to publish said information into the public domain, I was arrested along with another activist at an anti-vivisection demonstration at UF in a blatant attempt to shut down this campaign. My colleague was released the next morning after her arrest for standing on a Florida street with a suspended drivers license. I was extradited to Michigan on contempt of court charges related to a campaign against a vivisector at Wayne State University. Out on bond, I staged a civil disobedience at WSU on May 2 and was subsequently charged with two five-year felonies. All of my contempt charges were ultimately dismissed and one felony, Aggravated Stalking, was dropped. On November 19, 2012, I pleaded guilty to the second felony, “Posting an Unlawful Message,” and was sentenced to six months. Before being released from Wayne County Jail in Detroit on March 9, I won my second lawsuit against the University of Florida. This time, the courts held that the locations of their labs are public record. I am now back home in Florida resuming my campaign to expose federally-funded atrocities at UF. But I remain on probation until December 5, 2015, with extra restrictions imposed upon me by virtue of UF petitioning the state of Florida for the amendments. Any violation of my probation will result in my immediate extradition to Huron Valley Prison in Michigan for no less than 18 months and no more than 5 years.
At approximately 1:30 pm this afternoon, two Sumter County Florida police officers came to my home and informed me that there was a “VOP [violation of probation] Warrant” for my arrest out of Michigan. While I was distracted getting my rescued pitbull Brutus out of the line of any potential fire and locking him outside on the porch, the officers entered my home without presenting a warrant and, definitely, without an invitation. I presented no ID as I am under no legal obligation to do so. They proceeded to walk around my home visually inspecting at least three different rooms. They did not cuff me or place me under arrest. After securing Brutus and making one phone call to inform someone that I was being arrested, I went outside as I did not appreciate their intrusive presence in my home. Outside in the driveway, I was cuffed in front of my neighbors who had been alarmed by the two police cruisers outside. After being handcuffed, I was informed that I was not under arrest yet, but merely being “detained” while they waited for “confirmation” of the alleged warrant. After about 25 minutes, I was informed that Michigan did not want to extradite me and so I was not under arrest after all. They uncuffed me and left.
As of 6 pm EST it is confirmed that neither my Detroit prosecutor, my Detroit probation officer, my Detroit lawyer, nor my Florida probation officer are aware of any probation violation or warrant being issued out of Wayne County in Michigan. Although all the facts are not yet available, at this moment it appears that I am the subject of a continued campaign of police harassment and intimidation orchestrated by the University of Florida.
The facts as they appear at the moment are:
- After my first legal victory in December 2011, I was arrested in February 2012 and extradited to Michigan in March 2012.
- In January 2012, University of Florida vivisector Raymond Joseph Bergeron, responsible for the bulk of primate experiments documented in the records in my possession, swore to a false complaint in this state that I personally threatened to “burn down my house with me in it.”
- On June 19, 2012, my home was raided by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) based upon Bergeron’s complaint. They seized all computers, laptops, cellphones, cameras, back up disks, thumb drives, CDs, DVDs, ipods, all chargers, and personal papers.
- Today, April 18, 2013, I was “detained” at my home in Florida under the guise of a “VOP Warrant” out of Michigan that has not yet been produced and has yet to be located.
I must be clear that is it unconfirmed at this moment whether a warrant out of Michigan does or does not exist. But I can say without equivocation that if a warrant has been issued, it is both fictitious and without merit as I have violated none of the conditions of my probation and it will need to be challenged in court.
It would appear that the University of Florida is intent upon waging a campaign of intimidation against a single activist that refuses to be intimidated. At the moment, I am the one of the only voices that stands between the tormented monkeys in their labs and the taxpayers that infuse roughly $450 million dollars annually into the pockets of their “researchers.” I will not be silenced. The floor plans to their vivisection labs were leaked and published in January 2012. Perhaps with the latest legal victory, they realize that the walls behind which vivisectors commit their atrocities with our money are about to come tumbling down.
The University of Florida wants desperately to shut down this campaign. They need to silence their victims. We have been involved in ongoing litigation for about two years and are constantly being hit with more obstacles. If you support our work, please consider contributing to our efforts to fight for the monkeys entombed inside UF. Gifts may be sent through Paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org.