Florida lawmaker drops $14,836 suit against pizza delivery guy

Following widespread criticism, Florida state senator Charlie Dean has dropped his suit against 19-year-old student Giovanni Bencini over what Dean’s lawyer calls “scurrilous accusations” that the student was menaced with a gun after entering Dean’s Inverness, Fla. property on a nighttime delivery call. He also dropped an action against Z Pizza LLC, parent company of Hungry Howie’s pizza, which had claimed the company didn’t adequately train Bencini. [Mike Wright/Citrus County Chronicle, more, update (dismisses case); AP]


  • The world is mad, utterly, utterly mad. You have policeman shooting unarmed fifty year olds stopped for a traffic offence and idiotic politicians issuing a legal summons against a pizza delivery boy. I look around me these days and simply no longer believe what I see.

    • The South Carolina shooting incident started with a routine stop for a broken tail light. Mr. Scot, the car’s driver. left the car and ran off. The policeman chased Scot and there was a tussle for the officer’s taser. Mr. Scott got free and started to run away again. The policeman shot a fleeing felon. The felony being the tussle for the taser. The policeman believed Mr. Scott to be armed and shot to stop him. The taser was probably not lethal enough to justify the officer’s shooting. But to say that Mr. Scot was executed because of a traffic stop misstates materially the facts in the case.

      Black pundits all claim to have that conversation with their sons about the risk posed by police. The fact of the matter is that blacks are murdered by other blacks, not so much the police. The parents should educate their children to be cooperative with the police as a matter of good citizenship and decency.

      • Most people who have viewed the witness video of the Walter Scott shooting interpret it quite differently than does Mr. Nuesslein. For example, others read it as showing Officer Slagel retrieving his taser and going back to drop it by Scott’s body, the better to bolster his story, and in other ways showing a sequence of events that diverges markedly from the account that Slagel told. But there is a separate Wednesday thread on the aftermath of police shootings, so perhaps this discussion is better carried on there. http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/should-you-watch-walter-scott-video

      • The interpretation of the video does not really matter: it is quite clear that the officer shot Scott in the back when he was running away, not when they may or may not have been struggling over the apparently discharged taser. Shooting a fleeing man is only justified if in some way he is a deadly threat. All police departments that issue tasers will claim that a taser is not a deadly threat. Tasers are one-shot devices, so a discharged taser is no threat at a distance at all. _If_ Scott _was_ running away with the taser – which is not something the video supports, unless it was being dragged behind him by it’s wires – a man running away with a discharged taser is doubly no threat.

        The video also shows that the cop was aware of his guilt. First, he immediately called dispatch and told a lie: he claimed he had shot a man in a struggle over his taser. There are three interpretations consistent with the blurs on the video: the officer simply butterfingered the phaser, Scott may have struck it out of the officer’s hand, or Scott’s twitching from being shocked may have knocked away. Under no interpretation was the struggle still going on when the cop shot Scott in the back. Second, it shows the cop moving something, probably the dropped taser; this looks like tampering with evidence to bolster his lie. It’s original position far from the body would make it quite clear that there was no struggle when the shooting occurred and no danger except an out-of-control cop.

        OK, “executed because of a traffic stop” is an exaggeration – since the reason Scott ran was probably that he knew the cop would eventually discover a warrant against Scott, he was executed because he fled arrest for nonpayment of child support. They’re not going to collect that child support now!

  • So he claimed the pizza delivery guy menaced him with a knife and the pizza delivery place didn’t train him adequately? Is there a proper way to menace someone with a knife?