The Supreme Sheriff in Lee County is strict about crime. Watching one of his press conferences, you can see it. He often has harsh words for the people he arrests.
As an elected leader, with badges and guns, Marseno’s words bear considerable weight and responsibility.
WINK News Investigative Reporter Celine McArthur explores why words and the resulting actions are important on television and social media.
Sheriff Carmine Marseno shares his thoughts on crime in press conferences and pre-produced videos on Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.
“Always law and order, and the safety and security of my inhabitants,” Marseno said. “I’m not playing games.”
And it’s not uncommon to hear Marseno calling on arrested people live on television and social media.
“These people are not humans.”
“He is a loser.”
“Today we put garbage out of the street. He is a stealer of oxygen.”
“He is a stealer of oxygen and does not deserve to breathe fresh air.”
In late April, he announced the arrest of a Fort Myers woman accused of animal cruelty, revealing what should happen to the accused.
“This oxygen stealer, this pile of trash went to the Marseno motel, but let’s talk about it. She should be euthanized,” Marseno said.
Euthanized. By definition: humanely sentenced to death.
“So, for the sheriff to come out and say, we’re really going to stick with these people, and we’re going to treat them in the worst possible way, or at least he’s them It is possible and violates the constitutional rights of many people who want to treat it in the worst possible way. That is very true. They say they get that person, yeah. Violated our ethical behavior and code of conduct, so we want revenge. “
Professor Joseph Uscinski is enrolled at the University of Miami. One of his specialties is political psychology. He doesn’t know Marseno, but he watched some of his videos. Ushinsky says Marseno may be using the so-called sacred rhetoric strategy.
“It’s very easy to tell a tough story when a criminal is engaged in animal cruelty or child abuse, or something that everyone agrees that the crime is really bad, or perhaps beyond reimbursement. That would be a bigger problem if he said he wanted to violate Jay Walker’s constitutional rights, because no one intends to put it off, “Ussinsky said.
“The first time I heard that I immediately thought about the words of dehumanization,” said Neil Voltz, deputy director of the Florida Rights Restoration Union.
Voltz is a convicted serious offender and is currently defending those who have passed the criminal justice system. He is worried about the potential impact of Marseno’s language on the entire community.
“Language shapes our culture,” Volz said. “Words create a language that creates a culture that our communities and societies follow. If we lose sight of the fact that we are all human and we work together in the same community, it leads to bad policies. I think for public safety. “
One of Marseno’s most controversial social media posts is a May 28 Facebook post by 10-year-old perpwalk charged with threatening a shooting at Cape Coral Elementary School. Marseno’s Caption: “This student’s behavior makes me sick.” This post has received media attention around the world.
It will be some encouragement.
Steve Doucy of Fox and Friends, May 2020: “Sheriff, what’s going on with our kids?”
“What he did went beyond his authority as a sheriff,” said civil rights lawyer Alan Dershowitz.
Dershowitz responded to Marceno’s TikTok video and edited Daniel Marquez’s mugshot into the AC / DC song “Shootto Thrill.” The Lee County Sheriff’s Office posted the video 12 days after the boy was arrested.
“I don’t know if it can be said to rise to the level of crime, but it can rise to the level of civil liability, and it is certainly morally and ethically wrong,” Dershowitz said. Said.
“I think he sets a very bad precedent for how to approach things,” said Caryn De Pasquale, a mental health expert who specializes in treating trauma in children.
“He hasn’t taken due process in law. That is, does he say that everyone you arrested is guilty? He’s all for everyone arrested in Lee County. Did you go to the trial? You know, and the oxygen stealer? I mean, I hate it, “De Pasquale explained.
She is worried about the impact of Marseno’s spotlight on Daniel. “The sheriff wants him to be portrayed as a monster,” De Pasquale added. “As you know, he may not have the concept of what a 10 year old child looks like.”
And what if Daniel was finally acquitted? I asked Marseno in a one-on-one interview in June.
MCARTHUR: “What if he proves to be innocent? What if the price goes down?”
Marseno: “Then, publicly …”
MCARTHUR: “What if the detective is wrong? What if you are wrong?
Marseno: “Well, let’s talk about this. They did a thorough investigation. Well, I’m not going to go wrong with what I’m feeling.”
Whether right or wrong, Ushinsky says elected leaders need to understand the risks of using sacred rhetoric.
“We need only one person to hear the violent rhetoric from our government, go out and say, well, I’m going to fight fire with fire. If there’s a problem He said that violent behavior is okay, and that it’s good to violate constitutional rights, so I’m probably going to take action where the government didn’t, and someone might do it. Maybe I saw it on January 6th, “says Uscinski.
WINK News contacted the Sheriff’s Office in Lee County to find out why Sheriff Marseno made these controversial comments. LCSO emailed a reply saying “We respectfully decline.”
Meanwhile, Daniel’s family is preparing for a court appearance on August 3.
Learn more about this case.
‘She needs to be euthanized’; Experts consider Sheriff Lee’s commentary on the suspect
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