From Universal Hub:
A Boston lawyer suing the city and police officers who arrested him for using his cell phone to record a drug arrest on the Common won a victory today when a federal appeals court said the officers could not claim “qualified immunity” because they were performing their job when they arrested him under a state law that bars audio recordings without the consent of both parties.
This will be an interesting case to watch. Police have used some creative charges to stop citizen journalists from recording their behavior and thus holding them accountable for their interactions with the public. The current trend points toward these citizen recordings being legal as long as the citizen stays far enough away as to not be impeding the arrest or investigation. Read the opinion here: http://www.ca1.uscourts.gov/pdf.opinions/10-1764P-01A.pdf
To: Mark Seagraves, WTOP reporter (msegraves @ wtop.com)
In reference to your story here: http://wtop.com/?nid=109&sid=2514785
I have a quick pop quiz:
1: If you or I were caught in D.C. with an unauthorized, unregistered firearm, what would be the charge?
2: If you or I fired that handgun (in D.C., while drunk 0.15 BAC) into a car with 3 occupants, what would be the charge?
3: Does shooting at transgendered citizens also constitute a “hate crime”?
The answers should be you would be charged with one count Carrying a Pistol Without a License, in violation of D.C. Code § 22-4504(a) (2001); one count of Possession of an Unregistered Firearm, in violation of D.C. Code § 7-2502.01 (2001); one count of Possession of Unregistered Ammunition, in violation of D.C. Code § 7-2506.01(3) (2001) and multiple premeditated murder charges, one for every occupant in the vehicle (in addition to DWI). But, when you are a cop working for the second most corrupt police force in the nation (after Chicago), and you have been specifically told you no longer have authorization to carry a gun in performance of your duties (this includes non-duty hours too) I guess it’s OK to get drunk, drive around town with your gun, and find some transgender folks to shoot at while drunk and standing on the hood of your car (a full 90 minutes after an altercation at CVS, that’s where the “premeditated murder” part comes in, Furr had to be out looking for these folks). You won’t be held fully accountable for your drunken attempted murder spree, at most you’ll be slapped with DWI and assault with a dangerous weapon charge. This is Lanier’s new management plan of “training trumps discipline“. Not being held fully accountable.
Some might say the cop shouldn’t be charged with the firearms charges, but once you lose the special police powers to carry a gun in D.C. you are no longer exempt from the same laws everyone else must follow. If you are not allowed to carry in the performance of your duties then any and all firearms and ammunition you possess outside the home in D.C. would NOT be legal, yes?
Mark, are you planning to follow up with DCMP to ask why this cop is receiving special treatment when you and I both know that someone NOT wearing a badge would also have these charges levied at them if they had done the same crime? Inquiring minds want to know!
The man who wrote the Declaration of Independence must be turning in his grave at this moment. See, a few folks showed up at his monument in D.C and proceeded to conduct themselves in an inappropriate way. What was the indecency involved here? Well, a bit of dancing, hugging, and kissing. OMG!! Who knew that acting in a peaceful way could lead to violent behavior and arrests on account of the “Only Ones” who defend TJ’s memorial? See the video below:
If your precinct uses electronic voting machines the answer may surprise you. Watch video for details, testimony from Ohio legislature hearings.
Today I’ve sequestered myself at a Panera Bread away from my toys and TV. Just me, a laptop, and a tethered cellphone for data (Panera’s WiFi is abysmal!) so I can get a few posts up I’ve meant to commit to the interwebz. This story, courtesy of The Consumerist details how four Wal-mart employees were staring down the barrel of a loaded handgun held by a laptop swiping shoplifter.
It began when Walmart workers noticed the suspect stick a netbook under his clothes. He was met at the exit by a loss-prevention coordinator who escorted him back to the loss-prevention room at the store where three more employees joined him.
When the shoplifter pulled out the netbook, he also pulled out his handgun.
“It’s cocked, guys,” the gun-wielding fellow reportedly told the workers. “Don’t make me do this.”
This isn’t a situation they asked to be a part of but yet fate forced their hand. They intervened to save their lives by tackling the gun wielding thug and for their brave actions they were rewarded with disciplinary termination. The Wal-mart policy they violated is called “AP09″ and it states if a suspect displays a weapon, Wal-mart associates (as they are called in Walton lingo) are to disengage and withdraw. I can surely imagine they would have prefered to be anywhere else other than a back security room with a gun pointed at them, so I’m at a severe loss to understand… where should they have disengaged and withdrawn to? there is a criminal with a gun standing in-between them and the exit door. It appears Wal-mart feels they should have submitted to the criminals whims, even if that meant he takes their lives. This is UNACCEPTABLE to anyone who values their own life. Wal-mart would rather YOU, the employee DIE or get seriously wounded than defend yourselves from attack. Is Wal-mart actually this ethically challenged? Yes, “Always”.
Does anyone recall stories about the “Iron Pipeline”, a term describing the flow of guns from southern states where civil liberties are respected into gun prohibition areas like NYC and Massachusetts? It’s because of this “iron pipeline” hoopla that Virginia enacted a “one gun a month” law in hopes to curb the number of Virginia firearms that make their way up north.
From The New York Times:
In a Brooklyn courtroom last month, a Columbia University professor delivered a lesson in why existing gun laws do not work. The professor, Dr. Howard Andrews, testified that 90 percent of the guns recovered in New York crime investigations from 1996 to 2000 had been bought out of state. A large number came from five states with lax gun laws: Virginia, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
The suit in which Dr. Andrews testified, in which a ruling is expected shortly, charges gun manufacturers and dealers with doing too little to stop illegal handgun sales. His data give the fullest picture yet of the ”iron pipeline,” in which guns are transported from Southern states. The iron pipeline is one of the biggest factors in thwarting New York in its efforts to keep guns off the streets and out of the hands of criminals. There are ways to stop the flow.
What really fuels the flow of guns up north are the draconian laws and red tape law-abiding folks must jump through who live under those repressive regimes. When you artificially lower the availability of a certain item that common folks want, they WILL go to great lengths to subvert the law and obtain them. Don’t believe me? Well, there’s yet another pipeline of illicit goods crossing borders, and it’s soooo bad that if caught with this evil item you could face a $10,000 fine and up to FIVE years in prison. What IS this evil abomination? Fermented grapes, AKA wine.
From The Washington Post:
Lawyers, government consultants, high-tech workers and even members of the General Assembly – all typically law-abiding residents – have developed an indirect route for smuggling their favorite vino. They have wine delivered to offices in the District or to the homes of friends in Virginia – two of the 38 jurisdictions nationwide that allow vineyards to ship wine directly to consumers.
When Maryland wine connoisseurs drive their cases back across the Free State border, however, they are technically committing a crime – a misdemeanor that carries a fine of up to $10,000 and prison sentence of up to five years. State officials say no residents in recent memory have been prosecuted.
Note: Misdemeanor conviction/incarceration is generally 364 days or shorter. Felonies carry sentences of 365 days or longer. I’m confused about this particular “misdemeanor” carrying a 5 year prison sentence.
So, here we have another situation where the government is restricting personal choice and freedom in one local, and the community knows they can make a short drive (and ignore the law) to satisfy their demand for product. I see it as no different from the “iron pipeline” described above. Whether it’s guns, wine, gambling, or whatever… folks are going to get what they want; it’s just a matter of how far they have to go to attain it. What’s remarkable is the voters who live in these areas put up with this idiocy and keep dumb politicians gainfully employed, even when their time is up. Fatuous laws only serve to make honest people criminals, keep shameless politicians employed, and fund police departments. Free people should be able to make free choices, the law of supply vs. demand cannot be broken.
STONE MOUNTAIN, GA — Every once in a while a hero steps into someone’s life. One stepped into Heather Kloer’s life on January 6th. It happened in the parking lot of an Office Depot on Memorial Drive in Stone Mountain. Kloer was walking to her car when she was approached by a man with a knife.
Link to full story above, another example of an armed citizen saving a life. Imagine if Rob Strickland had only had a cellphone to call 911 and not a handgun that night… do you feel the outcome might have been different?