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November 27, 2017


DAILYKENN.com -- What about Confederatephobia? Republicanphobia?

From Bizpac Review ▼

A federal court has thrown out a Florida jury’s verdict clearing police of misconduct charges, claiming the jury hadn’t been vetted for homophobia and may have been biased against the gay plaintiff.

Raymond Berthiaume accused Lt. David Smith of the Key West Police Department of framing him for battery by forcing his friend to make false testimony in 2013, the Miami Herald reported. While the jury cleared Smith of wrongdoing, a federal appellate court tossed out the verdict because the district court had “refused” to ask potential jurors questions about potential bias based on sexual orientation. Berthiaume will now receive a second trial.

“The district court here asked the jurors multiple questions about any biases or prejudices they might have against law enforcement,” reads the decision by the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. “But the district court refused to ask any questions at all about prejudice on the basis of sexual orientation. Therefore, we have no way to discern whether the jury was biased against the plaintiff for that reason.”

The original incident took place in 2013 when Berthiaume — clad in a loincloth and flip-flops — was leaving “Fantasy Fest 2013” along with several friends. The group got into an argument about whether they should call it a night, and Berthiaume’s then-partner stole the group’s car keys to force them into staying out later. Berthiaume smacked a street sign in frustration and Smith knocked him to the ground and arrested him for domestic battery, but the man was never charged.



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