Tuesday, July 30, 2013

"charged with discharging a firearm in the public street without a permit"

 Proceedings Quashed

Policeman Lewis' Demurrer Sustained by Court.

   At the close of the arguments on the demurrer to the information in the case of Percy T. Bewls, charged with discharging a firearm in the public street without a permit from the superintendent of polled. Judge Kimball announced his decision in favor of the demurrer and ordered the in formation quashed. It was announced this afternoon by Assistant Corporation Counsel James Pugh that an appeal would be taken in the case to the Court of Appeals. It is expected that the record will be prepared by tomorrow and that in the afternoon or on the following day the court can be asked for a writ of error, allowing the case to be argued in the higher court.

   The provisions of law and of the police regulations involved in the decision are found in the act of Congress approved January 20. 1887.

   Judge Kimball held that the enactment of Congress gave to the Commissioners the power to prohibit the discharge of firearms on the public streets. But by the section of the police regulation they grant to the major and superintendent of police the right to suspend this order. The enactment also gave to the Commissioners the discretion as to within what portions in the city this could be prohibited, and they tried by the police regulation to delegate that power to another. It Is an elementary principle at law that a power granted to one person or body cannot be delegated by them to another, and for that reason this power of giving permits for discharging firearms on the street could not be delegated by the Commissioners to another.

   Attorney Smith for the government conceded that the delegation of power to the major was void, but held that the other part of the section of the police regulations prohibiting the discharge of firearms was still valid. Judge Kimball held that the void clause made the entire section void.

[The Evening Star, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, June 07, 1905. No. 16,326. Pg. 6]

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