Yesterday we published a blog about Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael “Road Rage” Rollins using the power of her office to charge a private citizen with witness intimidation for heckling and embarrassing her during a televised press conference last week. Here is the official police report filed for those charges.
I can't really say in words how corrupt this is. The DA of Suffolk County filed witness intimidation charges against a private citizen for heckling and criticizing her for 10 minutes during a televised press conference. Biden nominated her to be US Attorney. https://t.co/NE49QEzf3Y
— AidanKearneyTB (@DoctorTurtleboy) November 19, 2021
Joao Depina is being charged with witness intimidation because he had an upcoming court date in Suffolk County, and since Rollins is the DA of Suffolk County he is apparently not allowed to criticize her publicly because this is interfering with the pending cases. He made “offensive comments of a personal nature directly to her,” which is protected speech, but Rollins is charging him anyway.
This is a blatant abuse of power by an out of control, power hungry tyrant who believes that no one should be allowed to criticize her. When they do she lashes out at them, just as she did to Katie Lawson during the Christmas Eve road rage incident, and just as she did to the Boston 25 News Reporter who she threatened to charge with a crime after making up an allegation about her. She did this on video and faced no repercussions for it.
Continuing to freak out, she goes full Karen, “who do you think you are”… well they are the press, the ones who hold the powerful accountable. She even threatens to call 911 & file a false report, before launching another racial attack against Ms Lawson… pic.twitter.com/2wUSdveIOy
— Live Boston (@LiveBoston617) January 14, 2021
She has no regard for the First Amendment, free speech, or a free press. She was personally embarrassed by Katie Lawson, the reporter, and now Joao Depina, and she used the powers of her office to try to hurt all of them for doing so. This is a pattern. Now imagine the harm she could do to people if she were confirmed by the Senate to be United States Attorney.
In the police report Rollins alleges that Depina “made several indirect references to the cases during his verbal offensive.” So I rewatched the entire six minutes and thirty seconds in which Depina heckled her to see if this was actually true. It begins at the 1:50:00 mark and ends at 1:56:30.
This was the perspective of the news cameras.
Depina never once made reference to any court case he was involved with, but even if he had it is still free speech. He accuses her of:
- Being indifferent to violence in the community
- Not properly investigating the murder of his brother, Michael Depina
- Having a thug boyfriend
- Being a “fake ass DA”
- Locking black men up for petty crimes (no reference to himself)
- Lying about him being emotionally disturbed to make his criticisms see illegitimate
- Not being worthy of being confirmed as US Attorney because she abuses power
- Treating police poorly
- Helping State Rep Liz Miranda harass a black woman in Michigan
- Using the position of DA to climb to the position of US Attorney
He specifically noted that this was all protected speech.
“I’m talking to you hunny. Freedom of speech, isn’t that a bitch?”
But not once did he reference any cases he was involved in. That was a lie.
This is not a defense of Joao Depina, it it a defense of the First Amendment. The government can never, under any circumstances, charge civilians with crimes for criticizing them, even if they find it “offensive and personal.” I have criticized Depina’s tactics in the past, but everything he is doing is legally protected speech, and what is happening to him is wrong. If the government can do this to him they can do it to anyone.
Additionally, Rollins herself has previously incited civilians to harass her political adversaries and public officials during press conferences. On August 17, 2020 we published a blog about then Republican Congressional candidate Rayla Campbell heckling and disrupting then Senatorial candidate Joe Kennedy. Rollins was a supporter of his Democratic opponent, incumbent Ed Markey.
But what was not reported at the time was that Rollins herself encouraged and directed Rayla Campbell to disrupt Kennedy’s press conference. As a far left wing radical Rollins has little in common with Campbell politically, but she did find her willingness to disrupt public officials during press conferences to be politically useful. Rollins texted Campbell that morning and even gave her a script about what to say.
It’s OK when citizens attack her political opponents in public, but when they say offensive things to her they get charged with crimes. You can commit all of the following crimes in Suffolk County without being charged:
But you can’t express legitimate concerns about her or humiliate her in public without getting charged with witness intimidation.
No Senators should vote to confirm this dangerous woman, regardless of political affiliation. Standing up to abuse of power should not be a partisan position. Currently Republicans like Tom Cotton and Ted Cruz are focusing on the fact that she is weak on crime. Although this is problematic the much more glaring issue is her willingness to abuse the powers of her office. If she were to become United States Attorney she would have no problem using her position to prosecute her political adversaries, which includes Democrats like Joe Kennedy.
We have set Depina up with a well known attorney who specializes in First Amendment cases, and a press release regarding this should be coming later today.
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