Florida police say an officer shot a Key West liveaboard because he was threatening to ignite a jug of gasoline. This documentary produced by a local news organization advances a different narrative. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the matter.
On Oct. 15, Adam Bruce Bounds, 42, was shot by a Florida Fish and Wildlife captain who had come to his houseboat in Cow Key Channel in Key West during for what was described as a police welfare check.
Here's how filmmakers Naja and Arnaud Girard describe their online outlet:
The NEW Key West The Newspaper (The Blue Paper) is published by Blue Pimpernel LLC, which is owned and operated by Naja and Arnaud Girard d’Albissin (Girard). Arnaud and Naja previously reported for the former Key West The Newspaper, Key West’s longest running independent weekly, published by Dennis Reeves Cooper, Phd., from January 1994 until November 2012. The Girards are perhaps best known for their discovery and subsequent coverage of the US Navy’s 1951 claim of ownership of Wisteria Island, along with other in-depth breaking news coverage such as the Charles Eimers death-in-custody case, the catastrophic tasing of Matthew Shaun Murphy, and the Balfour Beatty tax scandal – to name a few. Arnaud and Naja have lived in Key West since 1986.
The Blue Paper practices what is often called "advocacy journalism," which differs from mainstream news reporting in that its practicioners are more likely to state conclusions from a given set of facts. I trust PassageMaker readers are sufficiently sophisticated media consumers to make up their own minds about the video. In any event, this mini-documentary will introduce you to several waterfront characters in a town known for its waterfront characters.
The Girards have kindly given us permission to publish their video with no strings attached. Watch the video below:
There is no doubt that Florida, like many other states, has a problem with derelict boats. One of the issues raised by the Girards is a matter of classification. Is that anchored boat "derelict" or merely "at risk?" It matters because one brings a civil citation; the other, a criminal charge. And the shooting of Bounds comes at a time when the Fish and Wildlife Commission has been holding public hearings in an effort to refine the applicable laws.
And the video discloses that Andres Girard himself is being prosecuted under Florida's derelict vessel law. He has asked the judge to declare the statute unconstitutionally vague. The officer who shot Bounds is on leave pending the outcome of the FDLE investigation.
Florida and its institutions are often the subject of derision, but the FDLE is a notable exception, said to be well regarded by law enforcement nationwide. Let's see what their investigation says, too.