In March of 2016, Captain Nick Marian answered a knocking at his door, and the ringing of his door bell. He lives in a rough part of town, and answered the door shotgun in hand. Police say that they saw him pick up a shotgun from his couch and answer the door.
Prosecutors contended that he pointed the shotgun at the police officers for “more than a second” and that he knew they were police. The defense was that he had the right to protect himself, his actions were reasonable and prudent, and he had immunity due to the Florida “Stand Your Ground” law. From nbcmiami.com:
A judge dropped charges Wednesday against a Miam-Dade Fire captain who was arrested for pointing a gun at a police officer.
Nicholas Marian, 55, was granted Stand Your Ground immunity in a bizarre encounter with a Miami Shores police officer. Fellow firefighters who had been rallying behind Marian were at the courthouse celebrating the ruling.
The entire process, from the incident to the judge dismissing the charges took nine months. Prosecutors had charged the fire captain with aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer. The judge did not agree.
Nicholas Marian said he was ready to go back to work.
Bringing a gun to the door is only prudent in numerous circumstances. It is difficult to know if someone at your door is a police officer or not. Many criminals facilitate their crimes by yelling “Police!” during home invasions.
In this case, it only took a few seconds for the fire captain to determine that the people at his door were police. When he did, he cooperated.
The idea that citizens have to disarm themselves because someone at the door might be a police officer is repugnant to the rule of law.
This case took a better outcome than the Gabriel Mobley case. Mobley was in the courts for six years before he was cleared. The original judge in that case, also in the Miami-Dade area, refused to grant Mobley immunity. There was video tape of the attack and defense, and Mobley was clearly justified.
That case went all the way to the Florida Supreme Court before Mobley was vindicated in 2014.
Perhaps the Judge in the Nicholas Marian case referenced the Supreme court case about Mobley.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.