Incident at the Oscars

42 views
Skip to first unread message

Rick

unread,
Mar 28, 2022, 7:25:30 PMMar 28
to
Will Smith walked up to Chris Rock at the Oscars and physically attacked him
in front of (literally) millions of witnesses. The LA Police acknowledged
being aware of the attack but stated they would not arrest Smith unless Rock
filed a complaint (which he has so far chosen not to do).

I can understand the police not wanting to arrest someone in a case like
this if the victim chooses not to press charges and there are no witnesses
or there is ambiguity about what happened. But in this case, it as clear as
it can be that Smith committed an unprovoked (in the legal sense) physical
attack on a defenseless victim, and there are, as I said, millions of
witnesses. If ever a case was open-and-shut, this would appear to be it.
Clearly the law was violated, a crime was committed, and it appears the
assailant will escape with no charges. Under what legal theory does this
make sense?

I also have to ask - if the assailant were not famous celebrity Will Smith,
but suppose unknown random person John Smith gets through security, wanders
onto the stage and wallops Chris Rock in the same manner, don't you think
security would be all over the situation and would grab John Smith and haul
him off to jail?

Rick C

unread,
Mar 28, 2022, 8:20:04 PMMar 28
to
I college I was assaulted by a classmate in a lecture hall. The police would not prosecute as they said it was a "domestic" issue because I knew the guy. I had to contact the county attorney and he would not do anything unless I collected all the information and evidence. What a load of BS.

--

Rick C.

- Get 1,000 miles of free Supercharging
- Tesla referral code - https://ts.la/richard11209

Barry Gold

unread,
Mar 28, 2022, 8:21:52 PMMar 28
to
Assault and Battery is a misdemeanor. The most likely sentence is 6
months, suspended, probation. The police may not want to bother with
that if Rock doesn't want to cooperate. (Getting a conviction with an
uncooperative witness is a tough job.)

If John Smith did it, the chances are that Rock would want to press
charges. And the venue might want to press charges for trespassing as
well. (What if one of the glitterati in the audience does it? Probably
still depends on whether Rock and/or the venue wants to press charges.)



--
I do so have a memory. It's backed up on DVD... somewhere...

Rick

unread,
Mar 29, 2022, 9:29:40 AMMar 29
to
"Barry Gold" wrote in message news:t1tj4a$2hc$1...@dont-email.me...
In most cases, I would agree with your statement that "Getting a conviction
with an uncooperative witness is a tough job". That's because in most
cases there aren't cameras around and it's usually difficult to prove a case
if the victim won't talk. But in this case there are literally millions if
not tens of millions of witnesses to the crime, not to mention pretty
clear-cut and unambiguous camera coverage. They literally don't need the
victim's testimony to prove anything, so why would it even be needed?

>

--

Roy

unread,
Mar 29, 2022, 10:51:09 AMMar 29
to
On 3/29/2022 6:29 AM, Rick wrote:

>
>
> In most cases, I would agree with your statement that "Getting a
> conviction with an uncooperative witness is a tough job".   That's
> because in most cases there aren't cameras around and it's usually
> difficult to prove a case if the victim won't talk.  But in this case
> there are literally millions if not tens of millions of witnesses to the
> crime, not to mention pretty clear-cut and unambiguous camera coverage.
> They literally don't need the victim's testimony to prove anything, so
> why would it even be needed?
>
>>
>
> --


The victim's testimony may not be needed to establish what happened but
the defense is going to call the victim and ask "why didn't you file a
complaint?"

If I were a juror that answer is going to weigh heavily on mine
decision. If the victim didn't think it was a crime then why was it
prosecuted?

Stuart O. Bronstein

unread,
Mar 29, 2022, 11:59:27 AMMar 29
to
"Rick" <ri...@nospam.com> wrote:

> In most cases, I would agree with your statement that "Getting a
> conviction with an uncooperative witness is a tough job". That's
> because in most cases there aren't cameras around and it's usually
> difficult to prove a case if the victim won't talk. But in this
> case there are literally millions if not tens of millions of
> witnesses to the crime, not to mention pretty clear-cut and
> unambiguous camera coverage. They literally don't need the
> victim's testimony to prove anything, so why would it even be
> needed?

A physical attack isn't always a crime. Boxing, football and other
sports involve intentionally hitting another person, and those aren't
crimes. Why? Consent. If the person who is attacked has consented to
it in one way or another, an attack isn't a crime or even a tort.

In this case if the "victim" doesn't testify, how can prosecutors
convince a jury that, beyond a reasonable doubt, there was no consent?

--
Stu
http://DownToEarthLawyer.com

Rick

unread,
Mar 30, 2022, 12:20:24 AMMar 30
to
"Roy" wrote in message news:t1v5qa$19k$1...@dont-email.me...
There are many valid reasons why a victim may not report a crime, including
shame, embarrassment, fear of reprisal, fear of losing a job and sometimes
just ignorance of the law. With respect to the last, Chris Rock is many
things but I don't believe he is a lawyer or has any law-enforcement or
legal experience. A victim of a crime should not be expected to required
to know the niceties of the law or to know whether what happened to them is
strictly a crime. More importantly, the police don't necessarily stop
investigating a crime because the victim can't or won't testify. Just
because a battered or raped woman won't testify against her attacker out of
fear doesn't mean the police stop investigating - especially if there are
other witnesses or video that can make the case.

I seriously doubt that a jury would give greater weight to Rock's refusal to
testify than to their own assessment based on being able to watch a video of
the crime taking place as it happened. If Rock is asked why he didn't file
a complaint and says "I didn't think it was a crime", it's easy to imagine a
prosecutor asking "Do you have a law degree, Mr. Rock? Do you have the
expertise to determine whether a crime has been committed?" I also think a
clever prosecutor could make a point to the jury that Rock's refusal to file
charges was more because of his fear that he could be blacklisted by the
Hollywood elite for daring to testify against a major film star.

--

Rick

unread,
Mar 30, 2022, 12:20:50 AMMar 30
to
"Stuart O. Bronstein" wrote in message
news:XnsAE695ABAAF590s...@130.133.4.11...
Because the jury can see with their own eyes what happened, and they can
clearly see there was no consent.

--

Elle N

unread,
Apr 1, 2022, 8:53:13 PMApr 1
to
On Monday, March 28, 2022 at 6:25:30 PM UTC-5, Rick wrote:
> I can understand the police not wanting to arrest someone in a case like
> this if the victim chooses not to press charges and there are no witnesses
> or there is ambiguity about what happened. But in this case, it as clear as
> it can be that Smith committed an unprovoked (in the legal sense) physical
> attack on a defenseless victim, and there are, as I said, millions of
> witnesses. If ever a case was open-and-shut, this would appear to be it.
> Clearly the law was violated, a crime was committed, and it appears the
> assailant will escape with no charges. Under what legal theory does this
> make sense?


I think at work here is the legal theory of judicial efficiency. The police
and district attorneys are so underfunded, and the courts are so backed
up, that not everything gets prosecuted. This is perhaps especially so
when the alleged victim refuses to press charges. And perhaps especially
so when the alleged victim has savagely derided the attacker's wife,
invaded the couple's privacy, provoked an angry response, and so on.
So a defense attorney might argue as mitigating circumstances,
anyway.

I predict that Mr. Smith will soon be announcing attendance at
anger management classes.

But that Chris Rock would announce his attendance at classes
that teach why insulting someone with a medical condition hurts
the world, particularly when one is a famous comedian that others
try to imitate.

Rick

unread,
Apr 2, 2022, 5:08:22 PMApr 2
to
"Elle N" wrote in message
news:a94a7ba0-d21a-4c38...@googlegroups.com...
>
>On Monday, March 28, 2022 at 6:25:30 PM UTC-5, Rick wrote:
>> I can understand the police not wanting to arrest someone in a case like
>> this if the victim chooses not to press charges and there are no
>> witnesses
>> or there is ambiguity about what happened. But in this case, it as clear
>> as
>> it can be that Smith committed an unprovoked (in the legal sense)
>> physical
>> attack on a defenseless victim, and there are, as I said, millions of
>> witnesses. If ever a case was open-and-shut, this would appear to be it.
>> Clearly the law was violated, a crime was committed, and it appears the
>> assailant will escape with no charges. Under what legal theory does this
>> make sense?
>
>
>I think at work here is the legal theory of judicial efficiency. The police
>and district attorneys are so underfunded, and the courts are so backed
>up, that not everything gets prosecuted. This is perhaps especially so
>when the alleged victim refuses to press charges. And perhaps especially
>so when the alleged victim has savagely derided the attacker's wife,
>invaded the couple's privacy, provoked an angry response, and so on.
> So a defense attorney might argue as mitigating circumstances,
>anyway.
>

I think the invasion of privacy argument might not fly given that both the
attacker and his wife are well-known A-list celebrities and that the wife
has been very public about her condition. If Jada were just Jane Smith,
private individual, and she had been keeping her condition private, then
yes, it's a major invasion. But it's really a stretch for a major
Hollywood star like Jada Pinkett Smith to complain her privacy was invaded
when a comedian made an off-handed joke about a medical condition she has
talked about so openly.


--

Elle N

unread,
Apr 2, 2022, 10:32:40 PMApr 2
to
On Saturday, April 2, 2022 at 4:08:22 PM UTC-5, Rick wrote:
Elle wrote:
> >I think at work here is the legal theory of judicial efficiency. The police
> >and district attorneys are so underfunded, and the courts are so backed
> >up, that not everything gets prosecuted. This is perhaps especially so
> >when the alleged victim refuses to press charges. And perhaps especially
> >so when the alleged victim has savagely derided the attacker's wife,
> >invaded the couple's privacy, provoked an angry response, and so on.
> > So a defense attorney might argue as mitigating circumstances,
> >anyway.
> >
> I think the invasion of privacy argument might not fly given that both the
> attacker and his wife are well-known A-list celebrities and that the wife
> has been very public about her condition. If Jada were just Jane Smith,
> private individual, and she had been keeping her condition private, then
> yes, it's a major invasion. But it's really a stretch for a major
> Hollywood star like Jada Pinkett Smith to complain her privacy was invaded
> when a comedian made an off-handed joke about a medical condition she has
> talked about so openly.


I agree that a lawsuit alleging the tort of invasion of privacy is unlikely to be
successful, and for the reasons you give. But I think the notion could be
invoked as a mitigating circumstance, particularly if somehow expanded
on to be, for one, interfering with marital relations.

I'm just saying that (1) Will Smith's defense counsel would pull out all
the best, strategic stops; and (2) money buys justice. As I watch various
district attorneys, U S attorneys, and attorney generals try to "get"
Trump, I suspect one reason they are possibly not be giving this their full
effort is for judicial efficiency reasons. In other words, they're broke.
Trump's not.

I'm in the camp that sees the Academy as hypocritical, given all the
violence its movies promote.

Perhaps strangely, what Smith did does not bother me meaningfully.

The amount of poverty and disability I see with VITA these
days has me staggered. I am more worried about several clients who
will never break down the IRS's mighty walls to get their PINs or
retrieve their transcripts, and all the frustration and anger they
are experiencing. What Smith did is nothing compared to
what the US Congress and the IRS are doing to innocent folks
all over the country.

micky

unread,
Aug 30, 2022, 2:47:53 PMAug 30
to
In misc.legal.moderated, on Sat, 2 Apr 2022 19:32:37 -0700 (PDT), Elle N
<honda....@gmail.com> wrote:

>On Saturday, April 2, 2022 at 4:08:22 PM UTC-5, Rick wrote:
>Elle wrote:
>> >I think at work here is the legal theory of judicial efficiency. The police
>> >and district attorneys are so underfunded, and the courts are so backed
>> >up, that not everything gets prosecuted. This is perhaps especially so
>> >when the alleged victim refuses to press charges. And perhaps especially
>> >so when the alleged victim has savagely derided the attacker's wife,
>> >invaded the couple's privacy, provoked an angry response, and so on.
>> > So a defense attorney might argue as mitigating circumstances,
>> >anyway.
>> >
>> I think the invasion of privacy argument might not fly given that both the
>> attacker and his wife are well-known A-list celebrities and that the wife
>> has been very public about her condition. If Jada were just Jane Smith,
>> private individual, and she had been keeping her condition private, then
>> yes, it's a major invasion. But it's really a stretch for a major
>> Hollywood star like Jada Pinkett Smith to complain her privacy was invaded
>> when a comedian made an off-handed joke about a medical condition she has
>> talked about so openly.

I'm late to this thread, but I've read the whole thing and no one has
made my exact point.

(I hope people see this since it's so high up on the list of posts)

>I agree that a lawsuit alleging the tort of invasion of privacy is unlikely to be
>successful, and for the reasons you give. But I think the notion could be
>invoked as a mitigating circumstance, particularly if somehow expanded
>on to be, for one, interfering with marital relations.

In my entire life, outside of a sports match, I've never seen two people
fight, and in school, no one even teased anyone else, even in grades 1-6
the girl who stuttered or the two girls who never knew the answer, no
one ever even snickered. We just waited patiently, quietly, until the
teacher went on to something else.

And I have never hit anyone except one guy, and I only slapped him, and
he deserved it. And he took it without responding, and we stayed
friends for 15 more years (until he did something else verrry obnoxious
and we argued without end.)

So it's surprising to me that I would take the macho point of view here.

And that is, that Rock deserved it. And he knew it, so while he didn't
consent in advance, he realized it when he got hit and consented
retroactively. Not that the police or a jury would really be worried
about such fine points, just that he deserved it and this is how two men
settle some issues. After all, Smith only hit him once and afaik he
didn't break anything. It sounded loud but there was a microphone right
there which made it sound louder.

>I'm just saying that (1) Will Smith's defense counsel would pull out all
>the best, strategic stops; and (2) money buys justice. As I watch various
>district attorneys, U S attorneys, and attorney generals try to "get"
>Trump, I suspect one reason they are possibly not be giving this their full
>effort is for judicial efficiency reasons. In other words, they're broke.
>Trump's not.
>
>I'm in the camp that sees the Academy as hypocritical, given all the
>violence its movies promote.

I hadn't even considered the violent movies, and without considering
theme, I thought, and think, that banning Chris for N years was way over
the top, as if they were some tea-drinking, little-finger sticking out,
afternoon social club where everything must be proper, don't you know.

It's not like Smith is going to start a trend, and Rock could learn from
Michael Richards and IMO Jerry Seinfeld that comedians have no sense of
what's funny and what's in bad taste.

>Perhaps strangely, what Smith did does not bother me meaningfully.

Exactly.

FTR I discussed this with my ex-girlfriend and she says everything I
just said is wrong.



......

--
I think you can tell, but just to be sure:
I am not a lawyer.

Rick

unread,
Aug 31, 2022, 3:22:07 PMAug 31
to
"micky" wrote in message news:0pksghp2pc75u2p57...@4ax.com...
Whether or not Rock "deserved" it is kind of besides the point. The point
is that there are laws which clearly state that you cannot commit a battery
against another individual unless you are doing so to prevent imminent
physical harm to yourself or someone else, which was clearly not the case
here, and Smith clearly committed a battery against Rock. The issues
surround whether Smith should have been arrested, should Rock have "pressed
charges" against Smith, and even whether Smith could ever get a fair trial,
given the difficulty in seating a jury of citizens unfamiliar with the case.

--

Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages