The Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers Head, Richard Masten, could spend up to two weeks in jail for eating an anonymous tip he received on a cocaine possession case. According to NBC’s Weird News article, Masten stuffed the tip, written on a piece of paper, into his mouth while he was in court. He was appearing before judge Victoria Brennan when he refused to share the information from the anonymous tip, and instead ate it. He did this in order to protect the anonymity of the person who shared it. He was quoted in the article as saying, “We promise the people who give us information to solve murders, serious violent crimes in this community, that they can call with an assurance that they will remain anonymous and that nothing about them or their information would ever be compromised.”
Although it was later clarified that the judge was not asking for the information about the tipper, and solely wanted to know what the tip itself was, Masten still stands by what he did. He believes that if he were to comply in this case, it would have to be acceptable in every other case as well, and thus create a slippery-slope.
Masten will be going to court again soon to see whether he will be sentenced to up to two weeks in jail for his actions. I agree with what he did, however. I think it was noble of him to defy the judge in favor of upholding the very important laws of anonymity. Even many of the comments on the article agree with him. Many readers admire Masten’s respect for the identity of the tipper and believe it was wrong of the judge to demand the information.