(1) Wilton Manors Pride Parade fatality incident 6/20/2021 - Thread #2

My first thread on this is at the link below. Local LE have not yet confirmed what happened but it's getting clearer. I was careful with my wording in Thread 1 & continue here...

(2) A key word in my first tweet of Thread #1 was "if."

At that time, an eye witness statement from Ft Lauderdale Mayor @DeanTrantalis led many to treat the incident as a deliberate event.

I said the Mayor should make a further statement and he did, but it doesn't help much.
(3) Media outlets are a secondary source. They claim police have officially said the collision was an accident.

So to test out that claim I found the primary source:

(4) Nothing in the police media release says they have yet confirmed it was an accident, or intentional.

So, it's not that helpful.

Mayor Trantalis made a statement, too. It's pretty poor, from a PR strategy perspective.

(5) I got accused of jumping the gun by people whose comments suggested that if they did read my thread they skipped over the words that carefully qualified certain points.

Mayor Trantalis is the main culprit when it comes to errors in the media reporting of the incident.
(6) Unless the final police investigation result supports what Trantalis said, he needs to take full responsibility for his words and give an unreserved apology to all who were affected by them.

His second statement veers into "but but I was terrorized" territory. Not smart.
(7) I expect the Mayor of a city with >180k residents to have the skill level and advisory support to know better than making two inadvisable statements about an incident like this.

I realize he thought a Congresswoman on his patch could have been killed but it's no excuse.
(8) A lot of my Twitter content is about leadership. I know the business of government very well. Whichever party you're in, whatever background you have, unless you're a mayor of a town of 10k people, I tend to hold you to a higher standard. Same with presidents, of course.
(9) If a random eye witness had said what Trantalis said, few would have taken notice. Mayoralty or similar leadership roles mean you are given the benefit of the doubt, to a great extent.

My Dad always said it takes years to build your reputation, and one minute to wreck it.
(10) Personally, I lean toward accepting the driver's claim that the collision was accidental BUT I'm not going settle on my view until I at least see the police result.

If it was an accident, then the driver will understandably be distraught. I think we all get that.
(11) Many traffic fatalities are caused by drivers known to the victims, often as close family members.

They still need to be charged with the relevant offense & dealt with by the courts like any other driver would be.

A judge can elect to enter a conviction with no sentence.
(12) Actually, not when a mandatory minimum sentence is in place (a major reason for opposing their existence.)

No matter how accidental your driving behavior appears to you, if it causes injury, there is almost always a traffic law you have broken. Intent doesn't matter.
(13) Again, not to pile on with more pain than the driver is already feeling. A driver has a duty to make sure his or her vehicle is fit for use, & used safely.

I once caused a single vehicle crash that thankfully only injured me, & only slightly. It damaged property of others.
(14) That's when I learned you can be charged for accidental harm. Luckily, I wasn't charged. The police lecture was sufficient and I've never had a crash since.

I also learned, from reporting on terrorist attacks, that as pedestrians we must be careful all the time.
(15) Properly chosen traffic bollards can save lives (see link.)

It's hard to see how they could have done that in Wilton Manors yesterday, but I make the overall point. Be mindful of our surroundings. Use situational awareness.

(15) I know I'm a personal safety extremist who goes far beyond most people in assessing risk. Call it a PTSD symptom: and there are many of us; we make up a huge proportion of the population.

Looking around for vehicles is second nature to me now.
(16) Some more things to note. Police did a roadside DUI check for impairment by drugs, whether Rx or illicit.

That's not sufficient to rule it out, and any 77 year old is more likely to be on Rx drugs than others.

It wouldn't change the outcome, but I think it shd be noted.
(17) "Traffic Homicide Investigator" is the job title of the police contact person. The term homicide is understood differently from place to place. It distresses those involved & should be changed to "incident" or "crash" investigator.

The term "accident" should be retired.
(18) With traffic incidents there's a bunch of legal concepts that become lost in the maze of public commentary. Even law enforcement and attorneys can contribute to the confusion by not being smart about what they say & how they say it.

I'll return when there's further info.
(19) I accidentally posted two Tweet (15)s. So here is what I said:

"I know I'm a personal safety extremist who goes far beyond most people in assessing risk. Call it a PTSD symptom: and there are many of us; we make up a huge proportion of the population." ...
(20) ... and "Looking around for vehicles is second nature to me now."

This is not and is never said (by me) to victim-blame. I scan the horizon constantly, it's automatic. People with PTSD can make great security personnel, from behind a set of screens. Silver lining.
(21) Haven't seen any updates yet at the FTL Police website. Have seen media misreporting, and public misunderstanding, of the latest police statement, as I discussed above.

IMO it's still too soon to confirm whether the incident was accidental or not. Patience, grasshoppers.

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