Anonymous Tip Line

Florida Judge Victoria Brennan seems to be unclear on the concept of Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line. It appears that way since she has chosen to incarcerate the Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers director, Richard Masten, for refusing to identify an anonymous tipster. So, Mr. Masten who is a former Chief of Police is facing 14 days in jail because he'd rather be in contempt of court than break his word there by risking someone's life. Stand your ground sir, in the old traditional meaning of the phrase, not the newer violent one.
     Posted By: patty - Sun Mar 16, 2014
     Category: Not Clear On The Concept

Richard Masten knows how to keep his word! And a secret! :lol: :coolsmile:
Posted by Tyrusguy on 03/16/14 at 10:04 AM
I don't get it, there are people with names like Brennan and Maston still living in Miami?
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 03/16/14 at 11:44 AM
Of course, doesn't your Mama live there too dear??
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 03/16/14 at 04:20 PM
Definitely the F-state. I'm a little surprised that the Texass justice system hasn't made a bid for her services.
Posted by TheCannyScot in Atlanta, GA on 03/16/14 at 05:03 PM
Masten is right for his stance. If he said that he'd keep them anonymous he should keep them anonymous

That said, the judge isn't wrong, a person should have the right to stand against a person accusing you of something. Anonymity is well and good but the state shouldn't be in the business of keeping secrets unless lives or injury might occur and if it doesn't deem that it is likely, it shouldn't be secret. It is too easy to use the justice system as a weapon against people without repercussion otherwise.

That said, this is cocaine possession and not murder or assault or anything.
Posted by Fluffy Bunny Slippers on 03/16/14 at 05:35 PM
@FBS: Giving our porcine protectors a tip is not the same as testifying in court. If it was testimony that was going to put the woman away, then there'd be no hiding. Now they didn't say how they got the evidence they plan to actually use: if they kept an eye on her and stopped her for speeding at the earliest convenience would be a little different than if a warrant was issued based solely on the tip.
Posted by BHicks on 03/16/14 at 06:01 PM
Also, coke-heads ain't nothin to [email protected]%& with. Typically paranoid, emotionally unstable, and unemployed, they tend to have nothing better to do than track down a well meaning citizen for a few extra grams.
Posted by BHicks on 03/16/14 at 06:08 PM
@Bhicks I'll give you the first post as i don't know legalities very well, i dispute the second post in that they didn't get her on robbery, assault, theft, or any other violent crime, just possession, so such a statement is an overgeneralization and prejudicial.

That said, why was there a court order to begin with? Under what circumstances would a court want to determine the tipster's identity?
Posted by Fluffy Bunny Slippers on 03/16/14 at 06:57 PM
I will back down on the second post, it was highly anecdotal (Get it? Highly? Anybody? No?).

I can't find much on the actual case, so I'm going with the tip-based warrant theory. The defense is probably looking to have the whole thing thrown out.
Posted by BHicks on 03/16/14 at 07:45 PM
@Patty: Heaven forbid! She's all the way across the state from that country.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 03/17/14 at 01:27 AM
Thank goodness she's safe!
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 03/17/14 at 11:16 AM
The main question here is, is this anonymous tip line an official state institution, or just a hobby of Mr. Masten's? In the former case, he is right; in the latter, the judge is. You can claim to give an "anonymous" service, but if the law says that all witnesses must be named, your promise is as valid as a sales contract for Brooklyn Bridge.

Actually, another good question is: if this line is supposed to be anonymous, why does Mr. Masten have his tipster's name in the first place? That's not very anonymous, is it? I wouldn't give any information to any tip line if I didn't know that "anonymous" really meant anonymous. I guarantee you that serious criminals are more efficient at wheedling their accusers' names out of the staff than the state is. Why fear the government when you can just as cheaply and conveniently fear the Hell's Angels?

In the Netherlands, we do have an anonymous tip line; this is an official government institution, and it really is anonymous. This has its own problems - such as, who guarantees that the tip is valid, and not a disgruntled neighbour or an ex trying to get the cops to harrass someone - but it doesn't have the problems faced by Mr. Masten.
Posted by Richard Bos on 03/18/14 at 11:33 AM
Did the judge screw up and is now trying to cover her ass?

The cops might have been a little overzealous seeking a search warrant based on a CrimeStoppers tip, but that's why a judge is part of the process, to ensure that everything is right and proper and everyone's rights are protected.

She (or whatever judge issued the warrant) is the one who belongs in jail.

But . . .
How does he know the name of the tipster? I've never been involved with CrimeStoppers in any way, but I do know the ones around here won't take your name. They assign a code name.

I've heard of some of the antics involved in getting reward money to someone whose identity they don't know and who won't go into their office (my favorite: they placed $50 in a red sock, sealed it into a baggie, and tossed it off a bridge over a small creek in a wooded area at exactly midnight).
Posted by Phideaux on 03/19/14 at 02:09 PM
I'm sorry, Anonymous, but we can't accept your post unless you give us your name, address, ssan, names of 3 neighbors, and send in $25.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 04/16/14 at 05:54 AM
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