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FL: Hundreds of Miami Sex Offenders Live in a Squalid Tent City Near Hialeah

Cradling a heavy box of Budweiser against his flour-dusted apron, Mario Medina clicks open the door and greets two waitresses behind the counter at La Cascada, a retro Cuban pizza parlor in Northwest Miami-Dade. Besides the voice of a sports commentator on the TV and sporadic blips from arcade games in the back, the restaurant is quiet, and all five tables are empty. It’s 30 minutes into the lunch rush hour, but only three weary patrons in construction boots sit hunched over glasses of cold beer at the bar.“Before, we got more than 200 customers every week,” says Medina, La Cascada’s husky, white-mustached 58-year-old manager. “Now it’s 90 at best.” Over the past few months, Medina has lost 40 percent of his regulars, including many families that are afraid to bring their children to the area or to park their cars out front, he says. Though the place used to make about $8,000 every week, it’s now down to $3,000, which must be split among the restaurant’s five employees.

Medina attributes the parlor’s drop in customers to one problem. Less than a block away, pitched along both sides of the road, are 28 camping tents. In them live scores of registered sex offenders.

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  1. Chris F

    My comment I posted there:

    It’s a shame there isn’t a lawyer out there willing to properly defend the Constitutional rights of these people.

    It’s a clear violation of Bills of Attainder, Substantive Due Process and Separation of Powers to add restrictions on a named and politically powerless and hated group.

    It is the job of the Judiciary to punish, rehabilitate, and protect the public when it comes to someone charged with a crime. If a judge, during the fair sentencing portion of the trial where both sides are represented, did not conclude that a person required a residency restriction, then there is none. Period.

    For the city or state legislature to add additional restrictions not narrowly tailored to the individual and circumstances is about as perfect an example of trial-by-legislature that you can have. It’s not allowed.

    These types of restrictions are only allowed during the period of incarceration and supervision by the parole/probation department with the order of a judge. Once supervision is over, rights, other than gun and voting rights, must be completely restored. That’s how are system was set up, and that’s the only way it works to accomplish its goals. Making “exceptions” because the populous is fascinated with punishing those that committed sex crimes, throws off the entire system and endangers the public.

    It’s a shame we can’t just let Florida leave the union and see how it turns out without it thinking it has to follow a US Constitution for all of its citizens, and not just protect the most popular and influential ones that dictate policy.

    • FAC replied

      @Chris – FAC followed up with a comment to your comment

      • Chris F

        Thanks. They said the ACLU and Florida Action committee have a suit filed.

        My question back, why has this been going on for 11 years without an emergency injunction due to the health concerns, or gotten through the courts yet? Someone isn’t making this an urgent issue.

    • A.

      @Chris

      It is already being challenged and the 11th circuit court of appeals is in our side in Florida in regards to residency restrictions because of Snyder and a few other cases from its sister courts.
      Look up: Doe V. Miami Dade

  2. Lovecraft

    We are all aware of the atrocities in Florida, but it never gets easy reading or seeing first hand or through videos on youtube the plight these human beings go through on a daily basis. NO level of scrutiny should allow for the level of impunity the government, local officals, and law enforcement have when enabling and enforcing these byzantine restrictions.

    These people need to be held accountable for their actions starting with Mr. Book. He is too simplistic to even be able to suggest where people can live in miami-dade only saying well I didnt tell them to live in the warehouse district and when you commit a crime the constitution doesnt protect your right to where you can live. Well Mr Book, if that were the case and it was so easy to Institute why arent all felons reduced to living in squalor? Oh thats right its because your daughter was molested by a maid or nanny working in his home who wasnt on the registry and enacting hellish laws on those who are already registered and done their time somehow will address this issue.

    Sadly, none of the laws on the books (pardon the pun) will prevent what happened to his daughter or anyone elses. I would venture that the very laws he has championed have actually caused more of what he claims he is fighting against. I also love how he said with these registered citizens its not a matter of if, but when they reoffend. Im sure he doesnt have sources for that nor does he believe he needs them.

    Like I said with the level of impunity he has reached whatever he says goes and thats why people like him need to be held accountable if at the very least sued in civil court for misinformstion and hate. I know, i know… government officals are often shielded from being held liable for almost anything they try to enforce or create, but we need to enact that old law from like 80 or 100 years ago that held individuals in government liable for unconsitutional laws. (I forgot the name and sadly couldnt locate it) Lastly, shame on FAC for allowing this into the article…”Several studies, however, report sex offender recidivism rates to be less than 36 percent.” This is a humanitarian crisis and some civil rights lawyer ought to be able to fix this mess Book has created.

    • Projection of one man on everyone

      Mr. Book is merely projecting his guilt on everyone and anyone else. He even admitted there was nothing he could have done to save his daughter from her assailant. There was nothing then that could have helped and he is pissed about it, so it he takes it out on everyone else. That’s a man who seriously needs psychiatric help to get beyond this and start doing better by his fellow man, not worsen them. Let’s just hope his daughter does not try to mirror him more than she already has, especially in FLA legislature.

      • Bob

        His daughter Lauren Book has senatorial powers now. She can do great things, but she chooses to focus on punishing registered citizens. She has already shown this with a recent bill. It’s quite sad. She has the power to do great things and concentrate on more important and crucial issues, such as FL education, FL healthcare, the FL economy, and the problems with high level sea rises in Miami Dade and all around the Florida coast, but she is focusing on punishing just one group. It’s quite sad.

        • AJ

          @Bob
          It sounds as though Ms. Book hasn’t really worked through what happened to her. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s in no small part due to her father, either through word or deed. Yeah, Miami should be more concerned about “clear sky flooding.”

        • Then she too.....

          Then she too will need to start therapy to get over the madness her father started and continues today. The generational curse is complete unless she passes it on to her offspring….

        • Harry

          That live-in nanny, that abused her. should get a royalty for all the money she is making, because if Ms. Book was never abuse she and papa Book would be a nobodies.

  3. AJ

    I do find a cruel irony to the unintended consequences of residency laws. Beyond the direct suffering of these fellow passengers on planet Earth, at least a couple businesses–and their employees–are suffering indirectly. While I have great empathy and sympathy for those in the tents who are living government-mandated humiliation, I have somewhat less for the business owners. Where were they when it was “an” issue and not “their” issue? Did they care when the RCs were stuck under a bridge? I suspect no. Even now, they don’t care about the people, they only care about their businesses and how they’re suffering financially. I hate to break it to them, but to paraphrase Mr. Book, the constitution doesn’t protect your right to who lives next door to you or your business. Heck, SCOTUS even says there is no fundamental right to having a job (or, by extension, a business).

    • Lovecraft

      Yea I found it ironic as well. My intial rant was too long winded when I read the article to go into it, but when i saw that businesses were suffering it reminded me of NIMBY (like when people would use this as a reference to toxic waste) It also made me think about the community I live in. Im a homeowner and I wonder how much my mere presence brings down home values in my general vicinity. I have spoken to some other registrants on this issue in the past and from what they have gathered we generally lower home values around us by 5 or 10%. I dont have any solid data, but I can say that my home is now worth about the same as it was 15 years ago. It was worth more before I was registered though. The funny thing about that if being registered is the cause for a decrease in home values around me you would think my home value would go up because once I sell its 99.9% likely going to a non registrsnt thus raising the prices up in the community.

  4. kind of living

    bad law/registry is the problem . not RC’s , none of this would be going on if RC’s were able to move on in life with out popping up on all these stupid web sites to mostly in part pacify nosy snobs so they take there eye off the ball , you know nose to grind stone?, blinders on ?,, ass in the air uncle sam standing close behind thrusting the blue vain thumper of Justus ? enjoying there off shore accounts and very strange play grounds that the elites hang out , laughing the whole time about who is paying for there life of blissful crime ,only to want more like a shark smelling blood , more power unchecked not happy tell they do what ever they want to us , killing us by the millions , look at history , and not the cleaned up history , no the truly filthy one thats still going on somewhere , let them gorge on war money that they take from us , locking our children up , turning a blind eye to our constitution , the very same brand of tyrants that has been seen non stop in history , and what we will see on an epic scale of our future , these people that see RC’s everyday and point the blame on them have blinders on , they choose to where blinders so they need to be looking at other peoples rights , if there biz fails its not the RC’s fault , its there own for not long ago saying enough is enough , no way man they have the same state of mind as this fool in san diego say way cant we “just tow them out to the desert” ? all these people need is little brown coats with a patch on it making them the Gov’t lap dog , and they wont get it tell the gates of tyrants close behind them

  5. Fighting!!

    This registry thing is working exactly as the Books want it. Banish and Punish after the court ordered sentence has been fulfilled. Its also creating some nice patronage jobs throughout America for politicians to “give back” to their donors, friends and/or family members. FOLLOW THE MONEY $$$! Do these people really want to protect children from sexual abuse? Spineless, Brainless idiots. Also, What’s in your closet Mr. Walsh & others? Admit it now.

  6. Q

    Is Florida part of Saudi Arabia or ISIS? Just wondering because I’ve only heard of heathens and heathen nations doing this sort of thing to their own people. I’m talking of inhumane treatment of other human beings because they think they are better than everyone else.

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