enjoy the following commentary,
and remember me as someone
who can laugh with you
when you're laughing at me
and always remember that
to raise the spirits of those you love
rather than lower their dignity
is a mitzvot,
which is hebrew for a "good deed"
and "an act of lovingkindness".
" On occasion, I'm asked if I've ever been charged with a crime, as most eveyone has been at some time in their lifetime, even if it's just for overtime parking. I now refer that extremely popular, very common question, in today's new world, to this very page for the immediate satisfaction and timely gratification of family, friends, teachers, lawyers, rabbis, pastors, law enforcement officials, real estate professionals, high school and college alumni, neighbors, actors, animal rights enthusiasts, vegetarians, librarians, Wikipedians, Senators and Congressmen, Memphis City Council members, public works and city officials, ham radio operators, students, disk jockeys, writers and journalists, musicians, artists, bricklayers, models, truckdrivers, psychologists, opthalmologists, housecleaners, shoe salesmen, people who live in Arkansas or Bulgaria and anybody else that needs to know. After all, it's a public record. I know that you'll enjoy reviewing the contents of my complete criminal record, all seven cases, including the two below. Some humorous, although there is nothing funny about ever being charged with a crime (especially falsely or unjustly), and a couple of them more serious and oppressive.
There are two dismissals; one in Mississippi, one in Tennessee. Both dismissals were malicious prosecutions and there are no corresponding court documents, other than the order of dismissal. Details of the two incidents are on this page only. The other cases, along with the court documents, are viewable by clicking the links at the bottom of the page.
The first dismissal, which occurred almost a quarter of a century ago, is a case where an annoying and stupid man maliciously slammed a piano lid on my hand because he didn't like the music I was playing on a piano at a popular mid-town Memphis restaurant. I was startled, injured and jumped up from the piano bench, punched him in the mouth and in the face with enough force to knock him over three tables, which he fell over, disturbing the contents, including the table settings and patrons food. The twenty or so customers applauded my response, including a well-known television news anchorman who was there dining and listening to me play. This rude and obnoxious individual, who injured my left hand by the abrupt force of the piano lid, obtained an assault and battery charge because I punched him in the face and in the mouth, and because of the injury to his face. His face was so swollen on one side that it looked like a cantelope. A clinical examination and x-rays demonstrated that I had suffered lacerations and a sprain to my left hand because of the slammed, dropped force of the piano lid. I was able to pull my right hand away fast enough to jump up and punch him in the mouth and in the face with enough force to knock him over the three tables, of which I regret having had to do to protect myself.
The assailant recovered from his injuries.
U.S. House of Representatives 9th Congessional District Congressman, and attorney, Steve Cohen represented me in this case and proved to the court that I acted in a manner to further protect myself from harm. The court agreed that my response was in self-defense. The court even requested a recording of the piano music I was performing at the time to determine whether or not it was appropriate for the setting. The music of my recorded piano solos, including the music I was performing when I was assaulted, was played to a packed courtroom on a stereo placed upon the Judges bench. After the recording was played to the courtroom, the Judge complimented me and said that the music was wonderful, that he enjoyed it, that it even had a calming effect and that he wanted a copy of it to enjoy in his car. The Judge further stated that the plaintiff's behavior was inappropriate, and that the plaintiff's action, slamming the piano lid on my hand, was a senseless, unprovoked act. The case was dismissed after the Judge, the Honorable Anthony Johnson, said that he probably would have done the same thing that I did. Judge Johnson was a beloved, great and fair magistrate who represented the citizens of our city for many years. I will never forget him, or his kindness and fairness. Today, Steve Cohen's tireless work and leadership is an inspiration to the citizens of Memphis, the State of Tennessee, all Americans in the House of Representatives, and he will always be my friend.
In the case dismissed in Mississippi, an ex-girlfriend with an emotional disorder wanted to make life miserable by stalking me and by making false statements to legal authorities because I wanted to break up with her. She made false claims to the court that I was stalking her because I told her that I was going to file a stalking complaint if she didn't leave me alone. This made her angry and she filed false charges and submitted a false complaint to conceal and cover-up her behavior. Her intent was to hide the fact that she was "stalking me". She would routinely call my neighbors in the middle of the night to inquire as to whether or not my car was in the driveway, because she thought I was seeing other women. An extreme example is that while I was at a local dentists office, she came by stalking me to see if I was flirting with a dental lab technician. She didn't believe that I was at the clinic having my teeth examined.
The case was dismissed because it was evident to the court that she lied, on more than one occasion, in pursuit of a malicious prosecution. She claimed, the morning following the dismissal hearing, that I was harrassing her at her place of business while I was having breakfast at Brother Juniper's Restaurant at the University of Memphis, thirty five miles away from her place of employment. I was unaware, had never inquired, and had no idea of where she was employed. I left the courthouse moments after attending the dismissal hearing and had a nice conversation with the detective before I left for breakfast. I had been nowhere near her that morning, near the vicinity of her place of employment, and had not been with her for many weeks. The officer and my attorney knew this. She was warned by the authorities that she would be charged with perjury and stalking if she didn't leave me alone and stop making false accusations. The police had more than enough evidence to convict her of perjury. I requested that they not charge her if she would agree to stop harassing me. She did not appear, perhaps for fear of being charged with perjury, at any of the hearings. The authorities were unable to find her to present her with a summons. I never had an intentional encounter with her again. I saw her once, by coincidence, months later when I visited an automobile dealership, where she had taken a job. I had been invited by a salesperson to visit and test drive a car after I called to inquire about a newspaper advertisement.
I said nothing to her.
Such prosecutions become virulent if the perpetrator believes he or she can prevail by falsifying claims. It was a real-life case of "Fatal Attraction" without the rabbit stew.
The administration of law is special. The act of determining rights and assigning reward or punishment is the jurisdiction of justice.The act and impact of fair judgement was never more evident to me than having had the honor and privilege of being sworn in as the Shelby County Grand Jury Foreman Pro Tempore for three months during the autumn session of 2005. It was, indeed, an honor to serve with my fellow jurors. I heard the case summations of more than a thousand crimes. Most very serious. Some depraved and horrifying.
I hope that what you are about to view will help you to understand that official oppression describes a situation where a public official, using the power of his or her job, subjects another to harassment, mistreatment or unlawful arrest, and that official misconduct is when a public servant uses his or her job to obtain benefit for him or herself, and to inflict harm upon another.
I believe that the police are a vitally necessary component of civilization. There's corruption in every profession. If the police forces of the world were to be dissolved the order in modern society would decay, decompose, disintegrate and vaporize. If you discover your home burglarized, if you've been abused or beaten by a spouse and need protection, had your car vandalized, if you've been robbed, involved in a traffic accident, assaulted, or whenever you fear for the safety of your life, property, family and community we need the police. My brother is a police officer and I'm proud of him.
Sadly, there are bad cops, too many of them, and I've provided some links for you to which prove that some will tarnish the badge they've been honored and trusted to wear:
I became a victim of official oppression, as so many people have throughout history, more than two decades ago, more than once. I want you to see it, learn from it, remember to protect yourself and demonstrate fairness and sound, practical judgement all the days of your life.
The Bible says, in Proverbs 21:3, "To do justice and judgement is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice". America will remain a righteous and virtuous nation if we listen to these words and build our house upon them as a foundation, involving justice dictated by reason, conscience and a natural sense of what is fair to all of our people.
ps... I still play the piano.