I could have included this in my previous blog, the Year In Review: PD Edition, but the only reason this even involves the North Miami Beach Police Department is because the VotersOpinion “Person of the Year” just happens to be an NMBPD Police Officer. The fact that he is employed by our Police Department is the only reason he probably was on my radar in the first place.
Nevertheless, as controversial as my pick might be, it’s mine. And since this website is mine (technically, it’s The Webmaster’s, but who’s quibbling?), the VotersOpinion “Person of the Year” is my choice. I chose Officer Ericson Harrell.
Now I realize that some of you are not going to be happy with my pick. Sgt. Richard Silberman is probably shaking his head right now, wishing he could duct tape my mouth (or at least my fingers … to the keyboard). Regardless of what any of you think about Officer Harrell, who was arrested last month in Plantation for protesting Obamacare while wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, to me he is a Hero with a Capital H.
Okay, yes, you are probably thinking I’m weird. I accept that. I think some of you are weird, too. In fact, some of you are downright bat shit crazy.
But here’s the thing. According to the Constitution of the United States of America, there’s this thing called the First Amendment, which guarantees you the absolute right to be bat shit crazy if you want. As long as you don’t hurt anyone or break any laws, of course. But you have the right to your bat shit crazy opinion, and whether or not I agree with you, I will defend to the death your right to have it.
After all, one person’s bat shit crazy is another person’s You Go, Girl!
That’s it. Plain and simple. Officer Ericson Harrell was exercising his First Amendment, which is a right guaranteed to every American. He was not hurting anyone, and according to the laws of the State of Florida, he didn’t violate any of them. Justice prevailed and the charges were dropped. As they should have been.
Ericson Harrell stood up for what he believed in. He was willing to risk everything, including his job, to defend his principles. I applauded him. I think he’s awesome. And I got the chance to make a new friend.
I’m pleased to announce that Officer Ericson Harrell is most definitely the “Person of the Year.”
“Spreading the Wealth”