Protest ‘chicken’ arrested at Miami park opening for dogs, cats and Joe Carollo

Did the commissioner abuse his power again to violate someone’s rights?

It was a nice, normal day of celebrating graft at Miami’s Maurice Ferre Park Saturday for the official opening of the controversial Dog and Cat sculpture park City Commissioner Joe Carollo insisted on paying almost $900,000 for.

Until the chickens came.

A group of protesters dressed as chickens — the same chickens that harassed former Commissioner Ken Russell during his congressional bid — started walking around, handing out sleeveless t-shirts known as “wife beaters” with Carollo’s mugshot on it from when he was arrested for throwing a teacup at his wife’s head in 2001 and leaving a golfball-sized welt.

It was creative guerrilla opposition. Only a few weeks ago, a LED sign truck with the mugshot blared the 911 call made by Carollo’s young daughter that day. Saturday’s event organized by Democrat activist Thomas Kennedy and his Committee to Undermine the Carollo Klan (CUCK). This is America, after all. Chickens are free to group together and protest.

Read related: Competing dog sculpture installment paints Joe Carollo’s pet park as pricey

But within a short while, one of those chickens — 31-year-old Morgan Gianola — was at the Turner Guilford Knight corrections center until about 5 a.m. Sunday. The post doctoral scholar at the University of Miami, a Democratic Party Committeeman, has been charged with trespassing, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest without violence.

Overreach? Probably. According to bystanders and his attorney, David Winker, Gianola was complying with police officers who had told the protesters to leave a public park during a public event. The academic was either slow to move or he handed a t-shirt to someone on his way out and police officers were apparently super offended that he wasn’t wetting his pants.

Gianola seemed to be roughed up a little on his way to the police car, according to video taken by award-winning filmmaker Billy Corben. The footage shows Gianola’s handcuffed arms were held up behind him in a surely uncomfortable way.

“Law enforcement is a tough job and I think that part of supporting the police and the difficult job they do is holding them accountable when bad arrests like this happen,” Winker told Political Cortadito. “Everyone involved in this should be ashamed, as it’s a clear violation of our most cherished Constitutional rights- freedom of speech and assembly about an elected official in a public park at a public event.

“But it’s also a huge waste of police and County jail resources and staff time.  We will get to the bottom of why this happened and whether someone at the City directed the officers to do this.”

Um, you just know someone did. Carollo uses the police department as his own personal security force. Some reports say he yelled from the stage for the group to be thrown out of the park. The officer that pointed the group of chickens out to police was Sergeant at Arms Javier Ayala, according to the arrest report. Isn’t he the commissioner’s bodyguard/driver?

The report says the five protesters were “clucking” and disrupting the event so they were asked to leave. “The group dressed as chickens began to walk in between the crowed, also walking in between rows of seats as people were watching and listening,” the report states, adding that there were plain-clothed allies filming them. “The group wearing the chicken suits began to make clucking noises, which caused a disturbance and disrupting the event for both attendees as well as persons working the event.

“These calculated actions caused everyone to turn their attention towards the disruptive group,” the report reports.

In other words, success! Congratulations Mr. Kennedy for bringing attention to this no-bid boondoggle that the commissioner and his wife paid a friend $896,000 for with absolutely no public process, input or oversight.

Read related: Bayfront Park board member resigns on Joe Carollo’s $1 mil no-bid giveaway

Gianola allegedly asked why he was being trespassed and told to leave a public event at a public park. The report says he refused to leave.

Winker says he was wandering through the crowd when the police told the other protesters to leave and was just trying to catch up with the situation. He had every intention of complying with the officers.

It’s pretty obvious already that State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle is going to dismiss the charges, which are inappropriate to begin with. In fact, the police department could be sued for violating Gianola’s civil rights.

Luckily, we don’t have to count on the written report to know exactly what happened as two of the officers turned on their body cameras, according to the report. Yes, that public records request is in.

As are requests for communications between Ayala and the commissioner.

Arrest of chicken suit protester at Maurice Ferre Park by Political Cortadito on Scribd