This week's weird and wacky roundup of legal cases is quite the diverse bunch. First, we find out that last week's alligator related stunt is not even close to the worst thing you can do with an alligator. Then, we dive into what not to do during your driving license examination. Finally, we get to examine the issue of white privilege, class, and police treatment through the eyes of someone who is not negatively affected by racism, classism, or police misconduct. This promises to be an exciting post!
Okay, Maybe There Are Worse Things You Can Do With an Alligator
Because Florida men never seem to disappoint, and because apparently doing weird shit with alligators is de rigeur there, a man in Florida has been arrested after tranquilizing and raping alligators. You read that right. Now, in Canada bestiality is only a crime if you actually penetrate with the animal, or penetrate the animal. And it seems this Florida man has fallen smack dab in the middle of that definition. You know, with his dick smack dab in the middle of a tranquilized gator.
If this case weren't weird enough, the photo of that freaky deaky dude in this post is actually Shawn Kilums, alligator rapist. In fact, his face was so weird that I couldn't not include it in the post for everyone to see. Apparently Mr. Kilums was not motivated by some perverse desire so much as he was motivated by meth. Lesson learned: don't do meth.
Pro Tip: Don't Bring Bags of Drugs and Guns to Your Drivers License Examination
In yet another abundantly stupid action by a man in his mid-twenties, Reginald D. Wooding, Jr. was arrested after police located guns and drugs in his vehicle. That in and of itself is not abnormal. What is abnormal, however, is how the police located the guns and drugs. Apparently, Mr. Wooding was waiting to take a driving test. And during his pre-test vehicle inspection his instructor smelled a strong odour of marijuana in the vehicle. So he contacted a state trooper.
There is a reduced expectation of privacy in a vehicle already in law. That reduced expectation becomes even more reduced when you invite a state agent into your vehicle. And while a driving test examiner may not seem like a state agent, the reality is that they are a government employee working for the Department of Motor Vehicles. So next time you have to take a driving test, make sure you leave your guns and drugs at home.
Being White is Not a Defence to, Well, Anything
Speeding tickets are contentious and crappy. And impaired driving investigations are even more contentious and crappy. And sometimes, as we all well know, people who are white get out of these things on the basis of their whiteness. But usually that's more to do with subconscious biases and privilege in class and social status than blatantly asserting that because you are a "thoroughbred white girl" you can avoid criminal responsibility.
Enter Lauren Cutshaw, both incredibly brave and incredibly stupid. Ms. Cutshaw asserted her whiteness and other aspects of her privilege to the officer roadside as an attempt to gain a defence in her case. Spoiler alert: it didn't work. If you're going to rely on white privilege to get you somewhere, you're not supposed to point out that you're doing it. It's pretty darn tasteless.
And while race and inequality do have some bearing in court and on the proceedings in a way that we talk about openly, that is generally reserved for sentencing portions of trials where race impacts on the reasons for committing a crime and the moral culpability of the offender. Something about this case makes me think that Ms. Cutshaw, assertive though she may be about her position in society, is morally culpable and her attitude belies that.
Vancouver Criminal Lawyer with a focus on impaired driving, marijuana legalization and related issues, and immediate roadside prohibition defence.