Appeals court overturns conviction of Chinese woman accused of trespassing at Mar-a-Lago

TALLAHASSEE — In a case that drew national attention, a state appeals court has overturned a resisting-arrest conviction of a Chinese woman who had taken photos of the Mar-a-Lago resort owned by former President Donald Trump.

A panel of the 4th District Court of Appeal, in a 2-1 decision, ruled Wednesday that Lu Jing should be acquitted of the charge of resisting an officer without violence.

The case stemmed from 2019 incidents in which Lu was accused of trespassing at Mar-a-Lago and subsequently resisting arrest. A jury acquitted her of the trespassing charge but found her guilty of resisting arrest.

Wednesday’s ruling said an officer arrested Lu, who did not speak English, in a different area of Palm Beach after leaving the Mar-a-Lago grounds.

“Handcuffing appellant (Lu) to place her in a patrol car and transport her to the station house for further questioning elevated an investigatory stop into an arrest,” said the majority opinion, written by Judge Robert Gross and joined by Chief Judge Spencer Levine. “Well-established Florida law precluded him (the officer) from making an arrest under these circumstances, so appellant was entitled to resist being handcuffed without force. This she did by crossing her hands against her chest. She did not strike the officer or otherwise offer to do violence. Therefore, her conduct did not contravene the resisting an officer without violence statute.”

But in a dissent, Judge Edward Artau wrote that the “police officer was engaged in the lawful execution of a legal duty at the time the defendant resisted his authority. Although the officer had not obtained a warrant before his investigatory stop, he did possess reasonable suspicion, if not probable cause, that the defendant had committed a trespass after warning, or alternatively to investigate and potentially effectuate a lawful warrantless arrest of the defendant for loitering or prowling on the private property of Mar-a-Lago, which was the Florida residence of the president of the United States at the time of the events in question.”

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

VIP Societe
Cocktails & Coworkers
Jackets Required
MILF Society
The List