Home Content CategoryBoca Viewpoint First Amendment Retaliation?
Speech icon

First Amendment Retaliation?

by Bruce Verstandig

For a historical view of limiting speech in public comments in Boca, see the accompany BocaFirst article “In Defense of Free Speech in Boca

At the November 12, 2019  Boca Raton City Council Meeting jointly held with Boca Raton Parks and Beach District Meeting, I spoke during public comments. As a result of my speaking, the Boca Raton Police showed up at my door the following  Friday night after my wife and I had just finished our Shabbat meal.

  • I believe I am the victim of a false police report being filed against me, was willfully given, and that it damaged my reputation, integrity and character
  • I believe my first amendment rights were violated.
  • I believe my civil liberties were violated.

I do know the police report filed against me by a ‘The Greater Boca Raton Beach and Park District Commissioner’  is not factually correct. This can be easily verified by watching the official video recording of the meeting or the excerpt below.

Bruce Diller Verstandig speech at Beach and Parks District Meeting November 12 2019.

I do know that just days before the inaccurate and what I view as a very damaging police report was filed against me, The Greater Boca Raton Beach and Park District Executive Director furnished me with financial information I had requested. Was the police report retaliation? I don’t know.

My public comments resulted in a Police Report

In my personal opinion I do believe a false police report was filed by The Greater Boca Raton Beach and Park District Commissioner, a government official,  against me and with the intent of censorship, to intimidate and silence me. The statement given to police that I was accused of making is easily proven false by comparing the official City of Boca Raton video recording with the police report here. Read it, watch the video and decide for yourself.

Boca Police 19-15442 clipping
Click to see full Boca Police Report 19-15442 as filed by Beach and Parks Commissioner Susan Vogelgesang.

We all need to protect the democracy of every citizen of Boca Raton and our constitutional right of free speech. No citizen of Boca Raton should ever feel intimidated to speak their mind regardless if you agree or disagree with what is being said.

Free speech is at the heart of democracy. We need to protect every citizen’s right of free speech at public meetings without fear of the police showing up and banging on one’s door just because someone didn’t like what had been said.

Protecting free speech and democracy

In closing I would like to share one of my favorite poems written in 1946 by a German Pastor Martin Niemoller:

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—

     Because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
     Because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
     Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

German Pastor Martin Niemoller

Protect  free speech and democracy in Boca Raton and The United States of America.

Related Posts