NEW YORK, June 27, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — A self-proclaimed “Law & Order Sheriff” in Lee County, FL arrested 10-year-old Daniel Marquez over Memorial Day weekend based on the claim that he threatened a “mass shooting,” calling the child “a little delinquent” whose behavior was “sickening.” Within three hours of the arrest, the Sheriff posted the boy’s name, mugshot and a “perp walk” video on the department’s Facebook page.
According to FAIR, Daniel was arrested by Carmine Marceno’s deputies based on text messages that the Sheriff mischaracterized to fit his political agenda and was incarcerated for three weeks without charges being filed. The boy is in 5th grade, never made any threat, and has never been in trouble or disciplined for bad behavior. He is an Honor Roll student and in the Boy Scouts. This is not the first time the Sheriff has falsely and publicly accused kids (https://www.winknews.com/2021/09/22/family-says-lee-county-sixth-grader-with-autism-didnt-write-email-threat/) in this way.
The Foundation Against Intolerance & Racism (FAIR, http://www.fairforall.org/), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing civil rights and liberties, and promoting a common culture based on fairness, understanding and humanity—is standing up for Daniel, who has been horribly defamed in the media. The organization is helping the Marquez family in an effort to restore the boy’s reputation and prospects for the future.
“Mr. Marceno has been bragging to the press that he campaigned on a platform of ‘fake threat, real consequence,'” says Bion Bartning, founder and president of FAIR. “But the reality is ‘fake law & order’ and real, permanent, harm for this innocent 10-year-old boy, who has been deprived of his First Amendment, Fourth Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment rights. We believe that in these dangerous times, no real threat should go unexamined. But in this case, the ‘threat’ was made up by an attention-seeking politician who doesn’t know the difference between right and wrong. Marceno shamelessly distributed to the world an unblurred mugshot and ‘perp walk’ video of a child to tout his campaign slogan and raise his own political profile. According to the law, a person is innocent until proven guilty, but this fundamental tenet was brazenly ignored by the Sheriff.”
“We’re working to restore Daniel’s civil rights and ensure that this kind of unrestrained abuse of a child can never happen again. Make no mistake, with Marceno in office, it could happen to any law-abiding family. He has proven that he’s unfit for the role of Lee County Sheriff.”
Available for interview:
Bion Bartning, founder and president of FAIR
Dereck Marquez, Daniel’s father
Letitia Kim, Managing Director, FAIR Legal Network
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SOURCE Foundation Against Intolerance & Racism