In April, 14-year-old Jared Marcum was sent to the principal’s office because he was wearing a National Rifle Association shirt. Police arrived on the scene and arrested Marcum for obstructing an officer because Marcum allegedly talked when the police officer told him to stay quiet.
Marcum could get hauled off to the slammer for a year if he’s convicted.
As if that isn’t already bad enough, the prosecution is seeking a gag order against Marcum, his family, and his attorney. According to reports, “Prosecutors were hoping to bar Jared, his father and his lawyer from sharing their story with the press, under the guise that their request would serve Jared's better interest, something Jared's father Allen Lardieri sees as ironic.”
Indeed, it seems strange that the prosecution is trying to serve Jared’s better interests while at the same time trying to throw him in jail for a year for talking to a police officer.
WOWTK TV reporter Charlo Greene tried to present a petition to the court requesting that the gag order be denied, but before that could happen Greene was ejected from the courthouse on the judge’s orders. She was then threatened with the same charges used against Marcum: obstructing an officer.
The prosecution finally dropped the gag order under the agreement that they would be allowed to speak to the press as well.
Overall, it’s an odd case that should have ended long ago. Marcum technically didn’t violate the school dress code, talking to an officer does not constitute obstruction, and it’s surprising that the prosecution is moving forward with the case considering its absurdity and its national coverage.
Does anybody (let alone a 14-year-old boy) deserve to go to jail for a year for talking to a police officer? Considering that the Supreme Court recently ruled that using your right to remain silence can be used as evidence of guilt, everyday citizens are really stuck in a catch 22. If staying silent is a sign of guilt and talking can get you arrested, what’s a person to do?