A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Archive for the ‘Wall of Fame Assholes’ Category

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

When a Court Wants to Add Insult to Injury

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In 2014 two officers were responding to a noise complaint. When they arrived at the address, they saw a black man with a gun and decided to open fire through the man’s garage door. One bullet fatally struck the man. Considering the rather murky circumstances (firing blindly through a garage door at somebody who hadn’t posed a direct threat yet) an excessive force lawsuit was brought against the officer. Not only did the jury find the officer innocent of any wrongdoing (normal in these cases) but it decided to add a bit of insult to the injury:

FORT PIERCE, Fla. — A federal jury has cleared a deputy of using excessive force in the 2014 shooting death of Gregory Hill Jr. and awarded $4 to Hill’s family, a family lawyer said. The jury, which was weighing a lawsuit filed by Hill’s family, ruled last week that St. Lucie County Deputy Christopher Newman did not violate Hill’s civil rights, reports CBS affiliate WPEC-TV of West Palm Beach, Floirda.

Awarding $4 over a fatal excessive force complaint is nothing more than a giant fuck you.

Written by Christopher Burg

June 1st, 2018 at 10:30 am

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

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

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

Land of the Free

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My feelings for government agents are well known but even among such a rogues gallery Jeff Sessions stands out as particularly loathsome. I often compare him to a Saturday morning cartoon villain. He’s a two dimensional character who seem to be evil for the sole sake of being evil. In his latest disregard of common decency he has decided once again that the Party in Nineteen Eighty-Four were the heroes and should be emulated:

Sessions, however, refuses to accept this reality. Instead, he has claimed that the agreement caused 236 murders. He points to a journal article written by Paul Cassell, a former federal judge, and Richard Fowles, that asserts the reductions in stop-and-frisk encounters from 40,000 a month to 10,000 a month caused the additional murders in 2016. While the report accurately states the reduced number of stop-and-frisk encounters and the spike in murders in 2016, it provides no causal link between the two events.

The authors essentially suggest that a huge number of random stops will reduce crime because no one will ever know when they might be stopped and, therefore, will not carry weapons. Apparently, they are fine with randomly stopping hundreds of thousands of people, a practice with a greater than 84 percent error rate.

Remember when films portrayed Nazis and Cold War Eastern European guards asking for papers as bad guys? Those were the days! Speaking of Nazi Germany and Cold War Eastern Europe, those governments taught us that even if you establish the most ruthless police state imaginable, crime will still be rampant. Random harassment teaches people to avoid law enforcers, nothing more. Needless to say, with such an education a policy of randomly stopping and frisking individuals can only manage to catch the dumbest criminals.

Beatings Will Continue until Morale Improves

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Government schools and prisons have a lot in common. Schools and prisons are often architecturally similar and attendance isn’t optional. The latter similarity has, not surprisingly, lead to a lot of students who are unhappy about being held against their will. Worse yet, many unhappy students show their displeasure, which can make the school as a whole look unpleasant. Fortunately, one school has a plan to combat this problem:

Northern Lebanon School District students in Pennsylvania must smile while walking the hallways at the institution or they will be punished, according to a report.

Students who do not smile in the hallways between periods will be instructed to, and if they refuse, they will be sent to the guidance counselor’s office to talk through their problems, reported Lebanon Daily News. Meanwhile, parents claim that reports of bullying in the district are mostly ignored by administrators.

A school is finally teaching children a real-world skill: how to bottle up emotions until they can manifest themselves in the form of a nice, healthy mental illness!

I guess it’s easier to threaten students with punishment if they don’t pretend to be happy than it is to make students legitimately happy by making the oppressive conditions in schools less oppressive.

Written by Christopher Burg

May 22nd, 2018 at 10:00 am