A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Archive for May, 2018

You Can’t Commit Suicide If You’re in a Full Body Cast

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Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Cops are called to deal with an apparently suicidal person. When they arrive on the scene they decide to shoot or beat the shit out of the suicidal man:

Two police officers in Paterson, New Jersey, went to a local hospital March 5 on reports of a man who attempted suicide, video showed. But after the man threw an object into the hallway and insulted one of the cops, the officers grabbed the man’s wheelchair, punched him in the face and pushed him to the ground, according to a federal criminal complaint.

Another video (this one allegedly recorded by Officer Roger Then, 29, on his cellphone) caught the second stage of the assault, prosecutors said. At that point, the victim was in his hospital bed, video showed. Lying on his back, the suicidal man hurled an insult at an unidentified police officer. In response, that officer grabbed a pair of hospital gloves, put them on and “violently struck” the man two times, prosecutors said.

You can’t commit suicide if you’re in a full body cast!

While the story itself isn’t surprising, what is surprising is that Officer Then has been arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigations. I was expecting to read that the officer was enjoying a paid vacation since that is such a common outcome of stories like this. But apparently an officer recording himself beating a man lying in a hospital bed is stupid enough that federal law enforcers feel the need to actually do something.

Once again I’m left wondering exactly how many isolated incidents perpetrated by bad apples are needed to establish a trend.

Written by Christopher Burg

May 31st, 2018 at 11:00 am

The Ideal Officer

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There is a slight amount of controversy in Minneapolis because a video was released showing a Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) officer napping in uniform in his patrol car:

The Minneapolis Police Department has launched an internal affairs investigation after video surfaced of a uniformed officer who appeared to be nodding off in a marked squad car.

A South Minneapolis resident, who recorded the act, said it was at 12:26 a.m. Saturday morning. A friend of the woman said she was driving home and noticed the police car, parked on Ogema Place, with an officer alone inside, and his head bobbing back and forth as if sleeping in the high-crime area.

I’ll be totally honest and say that I would far rather see this kind of behavior from MPD officers than the usual controversies involving unarmed individuals, sometimes in handcuffs, ending up summarily executed.

The officer in question really is the ideal officer in my book. Instead of creating a bunch of busywork or harassing innocent individuals, he decided to nod off. While it’s true that he was probably drawing a paycheck at the time, the fact that he wans’t hurting anybody automatically puts the money to better use than it would have been if he was harassing innocent individuals. Admittedly, that’s a very low bar to set for judging an officer’s actions but MPD has done a fantastic job of setting the bar low.

Written by Christopher Burg

May 31st, 2018 at 10:30 am

She Totally Had It Coming

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Remember the officer who protected and served the shit out of a 20-year-old woman on Memorial Day? He claimed that the reason he took the woman to the ground and began pummeling her was because she spat on him and kicked him in the nuts. While such an excuse doesn’t justify such behavior, he did claim that his body camera footage would exonerate him. That footage was released but I’m having a tough time seeing when she spat on him or kicked him in the nuts:

What I see are a few officers harassing a girl and her getting agitated and walking away. Then I see one of the officers pursue her and eventually rush her. When that happens she puts up her hands defensively, probably instinctively, and is quickly taken to the ground and pummeled. It’s possible that she kicked the officer in the nuts when he rushed her but that would have been self-defense, not assault, as the officer had no grounds at that point for rushing her.

Instead of exonerating him, the body camera footage proves that the officer lied about the situation. Now the question is, will any meaningful punishment befall him for lying and assaulting a woman? I’m guessing there won’t be.

Written by Christopher Burg

May 31st, 2018 at 10:00 am

Meet California’s New Slave Tracker

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License plate scanners have become all the rage in the slave tracking market. But what if you eliminated the need for scanners by making the license plates themselves broadcast their current location? That’s a feature now being rolled out in California:

California’s dramatic new license plate is hitting the streets — a digital display board that allows changeable messages controlled by the driver or remotely by fleet managers.

The new plates use the same computer technology as Kindle eBook readers, along with a wireless communication system.

[…]

If the car is stolen, the plate’s manufacturer says the plate can tell the owner and police exactly where the car is or at least where the license plate is if it has been detached.

Of course if the license plate can tell law enforcers where it is if the car to which it’s attached is reported stolen, it can tell law enforcers where it is when the car isn’t reported stolen as well. In addition to broadcasting their location, these license plates can likely provide other valuable information. For example, they can probably determine how fast you’re driving (a simple calculation if you have real time location information). If that information is tied with the location information, law enforcers can determine remotely whether or not you’re speeding and potentially issue you a ticket. Likewise, if you park somewhere, the license plate could provide law enforcers information about how long the vehicle has been stopped. If, for example, the vehicle is parked in a two hour spot, a parking ticket can be issued if the car has been stopped for two hours and one second.

Fortunately, this is currently a pilot program. During this pilot I doubt the license plates will be used for anything nefarious. But if this pilot program is successful, it will give the government of California an excuse to make these license plates mandatory. After that they will likely be used to expropriate additional wealth from drivers by being used as automated traffic and parking citation dispensers.

Written by Christopher Burg

May 30th, 2018 at 11:00 am

Once in a While the Nazgûl Toss Us a Bone

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Once in a while the Nazgûl toss us a bone. This is probably because you have to allow the plebeians to win once in a while to maintain the appearance of legitimacy. Whatever their motivation, eight of the nine muumuu clad Supreme Court judges decided that police do need a warrant to search your property:

In an 8-to-1 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that police in Virginia violated the Fourth Amendment by walking onto the driveway of home in order to peek under a tarp that was covering a stolen motorcycle, as the Justices decided the officer had run afoul of the Constitution by engaging in a warrantless search.

The court’s majority said “a parking patio or carport into which an officer can see from the street is no less entitled to protection from trespass and a warrantless search than a fully enclosed garage.

In any sane word this case wouldn’t have had to reach the Supreme Court. All of the lower courts would have agreed that Fourth Amendment protections against warrantless searches extend to the entirety of your property, not just the property behind a locked door. If that wasn’t the case, farmers would have little protection against warrantless searches since much of their property generally lies outside of buildings.

Written by Christopher Burg

May 30th, 2018 at 10:30 am

Just Chop Off Everybody’s Hands

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Britain suffers from a severe case of hoplophobia. First the British government enacted an ever increasing number of regulations on firearms until it was all but illegal to own one. Now the government wants to do the same to knives:

Judge Nic Madge said ordinary kitchen knives were causing a “soaring loss of life”, rather than more heavily regulated large-bladed weapons.

He was speaking at Luton Crown Court at a ceremony to mark his retirement.

Knife crime rose by 22% in England and Wales in 2017, according to the Office for National Statistics.

“Kitchens contain lethal knives which are potential murder weapons and only butchers and fishmongers need eight or 10 inch kitchen knives with points,” the judge said.

He wants manufacturers to produce knives with rounded points for domestic use and those with points to be sold under strict rules.

First it was the guns. Now it’s the knives. Next it will be sporting equipment (Only professional cricket players need cricket bats!). If the British government continues pursuing this train of thought to its logical conclusion, all people living in Britain will have to have their hands chopped off at birth.

Written by Christopher Burg

May 30th, 2018 at 10:00 am

Without Government, Who Would Traffic Children

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Remember this story about how the federal government “misplaced” almost 1,500 migrant children? I mentioned the possibility that some of these children may have ended up with human traffickers. It turns out that my predication was accurate:

The Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations opened its inquiry after law enforcement officials uncovered a human trafficking ring in Marion, Ohio, last year. At least six children were lured to the United States from Guatemala with the promise of a better life, then were made to work on egg farms. The children, as young as 14, had been in federal custody before being entrusted to the traffickers.

“It is intolerable that human trafficking — modern-day slavery — could occur in our own backyard,” said Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio and the chairman of the subcommittee. “But what makes the Marion cases even more alarming is that a U.S. government agency was responsible for delivering some of the victims into the hands of their abusers.”

Not only did human trafficking happen in your backyard, Senator Portman, but it was enabled by the very government you help run.

But those six children weren’t the only ones who ended up in the hands of traffickers:

In addition to the Marion cases, the investigation found evidence that 13 other children had been trafficked after officials handed them over to adults who were supposed to care for them during their immigration proceedings. An additional 15 cases exhibited some signs of trafficking.

The report also said that it was unclear how many of the approximately 90,000 children the agency had placed in the past two years fell prey to traffickers, including sex traffickers, because it does not keep track of such cases.

Of course the agency doesn’t keep track of such cases. It looks bad if even one child in an agency’s care ends up in the hands of a human trafficker. If it kept track of such cases, the numbers would likely add up pretty quickly and the agency would look absolutely terrible.

Time and time again we’re told by statists that government is necessary to protect the vulnerable people in society. But who protects the vulnerable people from the government? Since the United States government has declared a monopoly on justice and hasn’t bestowed the power to oversee it to any other agency, there is no recourse in cases like this. Sure, some government officials are “investigating” the matter but history shows that investigations rarely result in any meaningful punishments or changes. At most the heads of a few agencies will be required to step down (after which, they’ll probably be hired by a lobbyist group and receive an even higher salary). After that the entire matter will be swept under the rug.

Written by Christopher Burg

May 29th, 2018 at 11:00 am

Protecting and Serving the Shit Out of You

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Look at that? It’s a day ending in “y,” which means that there must be another isolated incident involving one of those rare bad apples:

The footage, posted on social media on Saturday, shows three officers from the Wildwood Police Department attempting to detain Emily Weinman, 20.

Ms Weinman was later charged with illegal possession of alcohol on the beach and for resisting arrest.

Two of the officers have been placed on administrative duty, officials said.

The incident, which occurred on a beach on Memorial Day weekend in the US, shows Ms Weinman being wrestled to the ground in a swimsuit and shorts.

With one officer on top of her, she kicks out at another, who then holds her legs down by gripping her ankles.

One officer is then seen punching her in the head with his fist before placing her in a headlock and pinning her to the ground.

My mistake, make that three bad apples. But I guess she should count herself lucky for not be summarily executed.

Remember that in the freest country on Earth there is no transgression so minor that a law enforcer won’t beat or execute you over it.

Written by Christopher Burg

May 29th, 2018 at 10:30 am

The TSA Is Making a List and Checking It Twice

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When you travel on an airplane in the United States you must first subject yourself to the depravities of the Transportation Security Agency (TSA). Usually your options are to either walk through a slave scanner so a pervert can look at your naked body or submit yourself to sexual assault. It turns out that not everybody meekly rolls over when given these options. When air travelers decide to do anything other than shuffle through the security line with a submissive downcast gaze, their name goes on the TSA’s secret naughty list:

I thought of this exchange last week when the New York Times revealed that the Transportation Security Administration has created a secret watchlist for troublesome passengers. The TSA justified the list by saying that its screeners were assaulted 34 times last year, but did not release any details about the alleged assaults.

Naturally, the TSA’s official definition of troublemaking goes well beyond punching its officers. According to a confidential memo, any behavior that is “offensive and without legal justification” can land a traveler on the list, as can any “challenges to the safe and effective completion of screening.” Anyone who has ever “loitered” near a checkpoint could also make the list. So could any woman who pushes a screener’s hands away from her breasts.

The memo would be more accurate if it stated that anyone who fails to unquestioningly submit to all the TSA’s demands would be found guilty of insubordination. As an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, Hugh Handeyside, told the Washington Post, the policy gives the agency wide latitude to “blacklist people arbitrarily and essentially punish them for asserting their rights.”

According to the New York Times article mentioned in the above except, landing on the list doesn’t prohibit you from flying… yet. However, governments frequently use lists to punish people in the future. There may come a time when landing on this list will prohibit you from flying just as landing on several other secret government lists can currently prohibit you from flying. If that happens, you flying privileges will be in the hands of a flunkies who were probably bullied in high school and took a job with the TSA so they could live their revenge fantasies. But, hey, the United States is the freest country on Earth!

Remove Your Vehicle’s Slave Tracking Tag When Selling It

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Every state requires that your vehicle have at least one slave tracking tag attached to it. However, when you go to sell it, you should make sure to remove that tag so you don’t get dinged with fines later:

Nancy Findroff’s license plates were apparently stolen after she traded her car into the dealership. Now, she’s received more than 30 tickets, all for passing through tolls several states away.

“They started on August 23, 2017… and the most recent one we received yesterday for $583,” Findroff said. “We did everything everybody told us to do, and it doesn’t stop.”

Findroff’s husband John said they traded their Toyota Camry to BMW of Minnetonka. Now, their old plates are on a Hyundai thousands of miles away.

“We called the dealership right away and they basically told us that they didn’t have to take the plates off the vehicle,” Nancy Findroff said.

While one should be able to safely assume that a dealership will remove old license plates, there is no way for you to guarantee it will. This wouldn’t normally be a big issue. Common sense dictates that if your old license plate number receive a ticket, you should only need to provide proof that you sold the vehicle to get the ticket voided. But common sense doesn’t dictate bureaucracies. Instead of flagging the license plate number as stolen so police can be dispatched when it appears on a scanner, the people in charge of these systems have apparently decided to continue to mindlessly issuing tickets.

I do understand their motivation though. Arresting the individual driving with the stolen license plate number isn’t going to net a municipality any revenue whereas issuing tickets to the previous owners of that number may generate revenue (if they refuse to fight the tickets).

Written by Christopher Burg

May 25th, 2018 at 11:00 am