A Delray Beach man who didn't have a lot of nice feelings toward police officers expressed himself during an inconvenient time -- a standoff with an armed suspect. But police didn't appreciate the distraction, so they arrested the opinionated man.
On November 28, Delray Beach Police were busy trying to apprehend another man, Willie Jones, for a totally different crime: firing a warning shot during an argument with his girlfriend, who was already outside his home. When police arrived, they tried to persuade Jones, 55, to come out of the house with his gun down and hands up, but he refused at first and allegedly told cops, "I'll shoot her if I have to!" Police were on alert and even called in a SWAT team.
But after several minutes, Jones came out of the house unarmed, walked toward officers shouting a variation of his previous words: "Shoot me if you have to!" But cops didn't have to pull any triggers because a police dog named "Ghost" ran up to Jones and "apprehended" him. He then had to be taken to the hospital for his injuries.
While this was going on, Tommy Lee Willis, 51, wasn't pleased about officers coming into his neighborhood and bossing folks around, so he told them just that, and a few more things too.
"This is not right. You did this because he's black," Willis said, according to the arrest report.
With about 15 people nearby, Willis turned to them and said, "The police should be shot. They are the bad guys here."
Police officer Hannes Schoeferle was afraid those words would cause the predominantly black neighborhood to erupt in racial rage and riotous anger, so he did what he felt he must do: Arrest Willis before other black people got angry too.
"His statements were clearly meant to cause racial tension in a predominantly black neighborhood," Schoeferle writes in his report.
With the handcuffs still cold on his wrists, Willis continued his police rant.
"You can't come in here and tell people what to do!" he allegedly said. "He [shooting suspect] should have shot you [police]!"
Here's Schoeferle's description of the incident:
Willis was booked in Palm Beach County jail and given a $3,000 bond. Attempting to incite a riot is a third-degree felony and punishable by up to five years in prison.
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