A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Archive for the ‘Wall of Fame Assholes’ Category

Officer Noor Sounds Like a Swell Guy

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Evidence to be used in the prosecution of Officer Noor is starting to be revealed. The evidence released so far includes excepts from a psychological assessment and a rather telling past interaction he had with a member of the public:

During Noor’s 2015 psychological evaluation, he self-reported that “… he disliked people, disliked being around people, and was disinterested in interacting with people,” according to department documents cited by prosecutors.

Why would the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) continue to employee Noor if he admitted he disliked people and wasn’t interested in interacting with them? If you’re in the job of law enforcement, you’re going to be interacting with members of the public. But if that wasn’t enough to justify terminating Noor, this should have been:

Months before Damond was killed, Noor pulled over a driver who failed to use his turn signal and “the first thing he did was point his gun at the driver’s head,” prosecutors said, citing police records they reviewed.

Don’t get me wrong, I despise people who fail to use their turn signals as much as the next guy. However, I wouldn’t go so far as to put a gun to somebody’s head because they failed to indicate their turn. In fact if I were charged with hiring officers and one of them did that, I’d terminate their ass immediately.

If nothing else, the evidence presented so far raises some questions about MPD’s personnel practices.

Written by Christopher Burg

September 7th, 2018 at 10:00 am

There’s No Law So Minor That a Law Enforcer Won’t Murder You over It

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Whenever I point out that laws are violence and that law enforcers will escalate even minor transgressions against the law to lethal force, some statist will rebut by asking, “When’s the last time somebody was killed over a traffic ticket?” The answer to that is, just a few months ago:

Locked away in the Mineral County Jail for failing to take care of her traffic tickets, 27-year-old Kelly Coltrain asked to go to the hospital. Instead, as her condition worsened, she was handed a mop and told to clean up her own vomit. She died in her jail cell less than an hour later.

Despite being in a video-monitored cell, Mineral County Sheriff’s deputies did not recognize that Coltrain had suffered an apparent seizure and had not moved for more than six hours. When a deputy finally entered her cell and couldn’t wake her, he did not call for medical assistance or attempt to resuscitate her. Coltrain lay dead in her cell until the next morning when state officials arrived to investigate­­.

Are the officers who, probably literally, watched her die in their cage facing punishment? You probably already know the answer to that question:

The investigators also asked the Mineral County District Attorney to consider criminal charges in the case, after finding evidence the Mineral County Sheriff’s Office may have violated state laws prohibiting inhumane treatment of prisoners and using one’s official authority for oppression.

To avoid a conflict of interest, the investigation was forwarded to Lyon County District Attorney Stephen Rye for review. Rye declined to press charges in the case.

“The review of the case, in our opinion, did not establish any willful or malicious acts by jail staff that would justify the filing of charges under the requirements of the statute,” Rye said.

I guess locking somebody in a cage, refusing them medical care when it was obvious there was something seriously wrong, handing them a mop after they suffered a seizure and telling them to clean up the mess, and failing to even attempt to resuscitate them when they ceased responding to stimuli isn’t “willful of malicious” behavior… at least when you wear a badge.

Although I heap a lot of deserved criticism on law enforcers, they aren’t the only bad actors in the State. Part of the reason there are so many bad law enforcers is because those tasked with overseeing them fail to hold the bad actors responsible. Prosecutors, for example, regularly refuse to bring charges against law enforcers even when handed a mountain of evidence indicating that they did something heinous. If by some miracle a bad law enforcer is taken to court and found guilty of a crime, judges will often hand out a lenient sentences in “recognition of their years of service to the community.” This creates an environment that is a magnet for bad actors. A person with violent urges looks at a situation like this and realizes that they can get away with acting on their urges if they become a cop.

So long as the entire system refuses to punish law enforcers who act in bad faith, the profession will continue to attract the lowest humanity has to offer.

Written by Christopher Burg

September 6th, 2018 at 11:00 am

Love It or Leave It… If You Can

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Love it or leave it is a common phrase used by nationalistic Americans who would rather tell people who criticize their beloved country to get the fuck out than acknowledge its imperfection. What these individuals don’t stop to consider is that getting out isn’t necessarily easy and it’s becoming more difficult everyday:

PHARR, Texas – On paper, he’s a devoted U.S. citizen.

His official U.S. birth certificate shows he was delivered by a midwife in Brownsville, at the southern tip of Texas. He spent his life wearing American uniforms: three years as a private in the Army, then as a cadet in the Border Patrol and now as a state prison guard.

But when Juan, 40, applied to renew his U.S. passport this year, the government’s response floored him. In a letter, the State Department said it didn’t believe he was an American citizen.

As he would later learn, Juan is one of a growing number of people whose official birth records show they were born in the United States but who are now being denied passports — their citizenship suddenly thrown into question. The Trump administration is accusing hundreds, and possibly thousands, of Hispanics along the border of using fraudulent birth certificates since they were babies, and it is undertaking a widespread crackdown on their citizenship.

It’s pretty difficult to leave without a passport.

This is another sign of something that nationalists often fail to acknowledge, the United States is a police state. Controlling passports and other forms of travel papers has been a beloved strategy of tyrannical regimes to keep people from fleeing to greener pastures. The Soviet Union and the German Democratic Republic were especially notorious for this. In fact in those two countries merely requesting official permission to leave could land you on a secret police watch list. Even if it didn’t, your chances of getting permission were slim unless your communist credentials were solid or you had some collateral (i.e. family members) to put up to ensure your return.

As the United States government continues to tighten the cuffs it has placed on the wrists of population, passport denials for citizens will become more frequent. This, of course, will be sold as necessary for national security but it will really be about stopping tax cattle from taking their wealth outside of the government’s power to steal it.

I’m Sure It’s a Coincidence

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Let’s see if we can follow the events of this story and make sense of what initially appears nonsensical:

Aug. 30 (UPI) — A Pennsylvania mother of five died in a car accident after her boyfriend cut her brake lines to make a pipe for crack cocaine, police said.

Of all things, why would one use a brake line, a piece of pipe that contains some really corrosive fluid, to make a smoking implement? Maybe there’s something else in the story that makes that level of stupidity more understandable…

Before her death, Fox was scheduled to be a a witness in a case against Lackawanna County corrections officers accused of corruption and sexually assaulting female inmates, a woman who did not want her name revealed told WNEP-TV.

Well that’s an interesting coincidence. How much do you want to bet that these two incidents are connected?

Written by Christopher Burg

August 31st, 2018 at 10:00 am

Stupid Shit Politicians Say

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The Australian government is once again pushing to make effective cryptography illegal by demanding that companies that utilize cryptography compromise their security model by implementing some kind of government backdoor. If you have any familiarity with cryptography, you know that what the Australian government wants, a backdoor that ensures only law enforcers and authorized individuals can access the encrypted information, is impossible. Once you compromise a cryptographic protocol, anybody who discovers the compromise can bypass the encryption as well.

However, that fact is merely a mathematical law. As the Australian prime minister noted, the laws of mathematics don’t apply in his country:

“Well the laws of Australia prevail in Australia, I can assure you of that. The laws of mathematics are very commendable, but the only law that applies in Australia is the law of Australia,” he said.

This realization will put Australia decades if not centuries ahead of other nations. Imagine how quickly Australia’s space program will advance when the politicians prohibit gravity and therefore eliminate the need for expensive rockets to reach space! Imagine how quickly the country’s electronics manufacturing market will advance when the politicians rule the laws of energy illegal and all of their electronics can run indefinitely without needing to be recharged! Now that Australia can simply render natural laws null and void with the stroke of a pen, there’s nothing the country can’t achieve!

Written by Christopher Burg

August 17th, 2018 at 11:00 am

Being Treated Like a Criminal

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I didn’t make it to DEF CON this year but I’m beginning to think that it was for the best. If there’s one thing I hate it’s being falsely accused of a crime, which is what many hotel staffs are now in the practice of doing in Las Vegas:

Caesars began rolling out a new security policy in February that mandated room searches when staff had not had access to rooms for over 24 hours. Caesars has been mostly tolerant of the idiosyncratic behavior of the DEF CON community, but it’s not clear that the company prepared security staff for dealing with the sorts of things they would find in the rooms of DEF CON attendees. Soldering irons and other gear were seized, and some attendees reported being intimidated by security staff.

[…]

And since the searches came without any warning other than a knock, they led, in some cases, to frightening encounters for attendees who were in those rooms. Katie Moussouris—a bug bounty and vulnerability disclosure program pioneer at Microsoft, an advocate for security researchers, and now the founder and CEO of Luta Security—was confronted by two male members of hotel security as she returned to her room. When she went into the room to call the desk to verify who they were, they banged on the door and screamed at her to immediately open it.

Caesars wasn’t the only hotel reported to be doing this by DEF CON attendees. Hotels owned by MGM Resorts International were also searching rooms without cause.

I don’t do business with people who assume ill of me so I sure as the hell am not going to do business with Caesars or any hotel owned by MGM Resorts International unless this practice is stopped. Unfortunately, I don’t foresee this practice ceasing. Instead I see this practice becoming the norm for hotels. If we look at the recent history of the United States, this kind of behavior will, at most, cause a very minor and very temporary dip in business. After their initial outrage though, if even that much of a reaction occurs, the American people will roll over and accept this incursion into their private life just as they have accepted every other incursion. If you accuse an American of being a criminal without cause, they tend to get upset… unless you tell them that the reason you’re accusing them is because somebody else committed a crime, then they’ll totally understand that it’s for the “greater good” and roll over like the good dogs that they are.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 14th, 2018 at 10:00 am

What What, In the Butt

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Law enforcers offer a lot of free services. If you see a black family grilling in a park, you can call a law enforcer and they’ll come and hassle them for you. If a member of your family is threatening to commit suicide, you can call a law enforcer and they’ll come and kill your family member before they have a chance to kill themselves. If you can’t afford a visit to the doctor’s office, you can call a law enforcer and they’ll come and give you a free prostate exam:

WASHINGTON (WJLA) — The cell phone video shows a ‘Stop and Frisk’ encounter last September between an MPD officer and M.B. Cottingham, a D.C. resident.

“Come on man! Stop fingering me, bruh!” the 39-year-old cries out.

“Stop moving,” replies Officer Sean Lojacono.

Now, 10 months after that pat-down, the ACLU of DC has filed a federal lawsuit against Lojacono, calling it an illegal and invasive body search.

“The officer, instead of frisking him for weapons, just jams his finger and his hand between Mr. Cottingham’s legs,” said ACLU attorney Scott Michelman.

Not surprisingly, there were several officers involved:

The suit says several officers, including Lojacono, “got out of their cars and asked the men if they had any guns. They responded they did not.”

It’s not just that there are bad apples but that there are also a lot of indifferent apples willing to standby and let the bad apples do whatever they want.

Written by Christopher Burg

July 20th, 2018 at 10:00 am

Why I’m Wary of Particularly Virtuous Individuals

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We all know somebody who comes off as acting far too virtuous. They take every opportunity to talk about their virtuous nature and berate anybody who doesn’t meet their high standards. Politicians are probably the best example of this. Anti-gay activist Republicans who end up being caught in an airport bathroom soliciting sex from other men or politicians who never stop talking about family values who are later caught having an affair are two good examples. But politicians don’t have a monopoly on such hypocrisy:

For a 22-year-old Columbia University student, Joel Davis had built an impressive reputation as an activist for ending sexual violence.

He was the founding executive director of the international organization Youth to End Sexual Violence. He served as a youth ambassador for the United Nations special representative on sexual violence in conflict. He was on the steering committee of the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict, a group of more than 5,000 human rights organizations and experts worldwide.

Davis traveled around the world, worked alongside high-profile activists such as Angelina Jolie, delivered a TED talk and appeared on media panels. In 2015, at age 19, he claimed to have been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

This is the type of resume that makes my eyes narrow and say, “doth protest too much, methinks.” What’s the catch? What personal secret is this guy trying to cover up? Well:

Yet behind this virtuous front, Davis was allegedly committing the same types of crimes he claimed to be fighting, federal prosecutors say. On Tuesday, authorities arrested Davis on charges of attempting to sexually exploit a child, enticing a child to engage in sexual activity and possessing child pornography. If convicted, he could face a long sentence.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that every person who acts extremely virtuous is trying to cover up something. But there is enough correlation for me to see red flags whenever somebody invests so much effort in publicly expressing their virtuousness.

Written by Christopher Burg

June 29th, 2018 at 10:00 am

Ensuring You’re Not Well

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What do you do if a friend of family member hasn’t responded to your attempt to communicate for a while? What do you do if you think a friend of family member might be suicidal? In these cases it’s not entirely uncommon from concerned parties to call 911 and ask emergency personnel to perform a wellness check. However, most of the time when you call 911 law enforcers are dispatched and that can turn a wellness check into a very dangerous situation.

Apparently some concerned party, the law enforcers involved are being cagey about the specifics, were concerned about Chelsea Manning after she posted some tweets that sounded suicidal and called in for a wellness check. In response law enforcers officers stormed her home with guns drawn:

Shortly after Chelsea Manning posted what appeared to be two suicidal tweets on May 27, police broke into her home with their weapons drawn as if conducting a raid, in what is known as a “wellness” or “welfare check” on a person experiencing a mental health crisis. Manning, a former Army intelligence analyst turned whistleblower and U.S. Senate candidate, was not at home, but video obtained by The Intercept shows officers pointing their guns as they searched her empty apartment.

The footage, captured by a security camera, shows an officer with the Montgomery County Police Department in Bethesda, Maryland, knocking on Manning’s door. When no one responds, the officer pops the lock, and three officers enter the home with their guns drawn, while a fourth points a Taser. The Intercept is publishing this video with Manning’s permission.

Here’s a question, were the law enforcers performing a wellness check or were they using the wellness check as an excuse to burst into her home, claim that a controversial individual appeared to be holding a gun, and murder that individual? The answer you give will probably depend on your overall view of law enforcement in this country. I certainly am leaning towards the latter.

Fortunately, she wasn’t home during the incident so if it was the latter, she wasn’t around to be gunned down. However, the fact that a supposed wellness check involved four officers with weapons drawn bursting into a home should be concerned to everybody. If, for example, the home was occupied by a retired soldier who was suffering from a post-traumatic stress episode, they could have reacted violently to strangers with guns bursting into their home and end up gunned down by officers who made a bad situation worse. Moreover, the fact that the question about the law enforcers’ intentions can be seriously asked at all indicates a dangerous trend in law enforcement behavior.

I doubt we’ll hear much more about this incident. The department involved is being cagey and probably won’t be any less opaque in the comings days. This incident should be a lesson though. If you suspect somebody may be suicidal or incapacitated in some manner, don’t call 911. Check on them yourself or have a friend or family member check on them. If you call 911, the dispatcher will likely send law enforcers to perform the check and then there will be a good chance of the person you’re concerned about will end up in a body bag.

Written by Christopher Burg

June 6th, 2018 at 11:00 am

Murder by Proxy

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One of the easiest ways to gain 15 minutes of fame this day and age is to say something outlandish. A 22-year-old preacher decided to grab his 15 minutes of fame by stating that he believes homosexuals should be put to death:

Powell wasn’t shy about sharing his views on how gay people should be dealt with.

“As far as homosexuality goes, I believe the Bible puts the death penalty on it,” Powell said. “I believe it’s disgusting. And incidentally, every scientific test has come back and said that homosexuals are 50 more times likely to get AIDS… we got this AIDS thing spreading… it’s a fact that this is the case.”

But that wasn’t the real icing on the cake. Like a vast majority of people who talk a tough game, this guy is actually a little bitch:

“I believe the Bible puts the death penalty on it,” Powell replied. “Obviously, not by me or anybody in a regular society, obviously. I believe it’s the government’s job to execute criminals. I believe that the Bible says clearly that homosexuality is a criminal crime. It’s a crime. It’s one of the worst crimes ever.”

He believes that homosexuals should be put to death but he’s too much of a bitch to do the dirty work himself. In this way he has a great deal in common with almost every single individual who cries that there ought to be a law.

Laws are threats of violence. If a law is passed that prohibits driving over an arbitrarily selected speed, the ultimate punishment for driving over that speed is death. Sure, violating such laws generally doesn’t result in death because most people pull over as soon as they see a law enforcement car with its attention whore lights on behind them. The reason they pull over is because they know that failing to pull over will result in a chase that has a high chance of resulting in injury or death.

If you ask most people if they’re willing to personally execute somebody for driving over an arbitrarily selected speed, they will say no. However, if you put a proxy between them and violence, they’re suddenly all for it.

Most people who claim to oppose violence are actually in favor of it so long as somebody else does it in their stead. So while a lot of people are flipping out about the fact that there is a preacher who wants homosexuals executed by the government, they’re often themselves advocating for the government to execute people for partaking in behavior that doesn’t harm bystanders (such as selling heroine to people who want to buy it voluntarily).

Written by Christopher Burg

June 1st, 2018 at 11:00 am