Morning Links

Thursday, December 30th, 2010
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35 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  Henry Bowman | 

    Twenty cops?!? At a minimum, it is clear that Lincoln, NE, needs to drastically reduce the number of police officers it employs.

    As usual, the cops value submission above all else. Better not say any more about what should happen to these goons.

  2. #2 |  Marty | 

    a guy up the street from our rental was shooting his bow in his yard and two cops approached him with their guns drawn… they made him ‘drop the weapon’ and they searched him and arrested him. the town had recently passed a law against shooting bows within city limits… this guy lived there for several years and was a hunter.

  3. #3 |  Maria | 

    Maybe I’m all cynicaled out for this year. All I seem to be able to do is giggle uncontrollably at “Worry of being penetrated by gays causes conservatives to pull out.”

  4. #4 |  pris | 


    Worry of being penetrated by gays causes conservatives to pull out.”

    ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’, would be a more accurate motto for the GOP.

  5. #5 |  Brandon | 

    But at least the drug war has succeeded in helping Tanya Treadway avenge personal grudges with no basis in law, so there’s that…

  6. #6 |  delta | 

    Video of the Nebraska bow aftermath (in two parts) currently here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkixwnfgxRY
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqTo5t-9qvM

  7. #7 |  Chris Mallory | 

    What ever happened to cops giving a warning. “Don’t be shooting the bow in the city limits. We have a law against it now”

  8. #8 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “a guy up the street from our rental was shooting his bow in his yard and two cops approached him with their guns drawn…”

    Further evidence that “Civiliyuns” are the new “Injuns.”

  9. #9 |  tim | 

    Used to practice bow all the time at my parents place. The city I live in now (Minneapolis) even has practice ranges at several of the parks. Without fences. Without warning signs.

    The horror!

    Of course – the opening of hunting season is basically a state holiday.

  10. #10 |  Some Guy | 

    It’s nice to see the underappreciated Quick Change in Jesse Walker’s list.

  11. #11 |  Marty | 

    #7- thanks for pointing out the obvious point that I missed!

  12. #12 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

    Oh, we finally figured it out. Instead of shooting and going to war with the natives here in the states, we could have just outlawed bows and arrows in the area. Problem solved.

  13. #13 |  Marty | 

    I’m really missing the ‘thumbs up’ feature today…

  14. #14 |  Pete | 

    What is particularly disgusting and outrageous to me is that our government would urge another government to do something that is explicitly, absolutely goddamn FORBIDDEN by law in our own country. Unless I don’t understand the Posse Comitatus Act, but I can’t remember the last time I saw, say, an M1 Abrams parked next a desert camo Humvee with a screen of M16-toting soldiers picketed around an interstate on-ramp checking vehicles for drugs. I think I can’t remember because it’s illegal and I never have.

    But only for us white folk in the land of the free – those darker-skinned lessers in other lands should use whatever means available to scourge drugs from their lands.

    “The army has never worked in urban operations against drug trafficking, in urban cells,” said Raul Benitez, a national security specialist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. “It’s the first time it is engaged in urban warfare. It has to learn.”

    Instead, the army often relies on numerical superiority over intelligence and has frequently fallen back on time-worn tactics, such as highway checkpoints, that are of limited use against drug traffickers, especially in cities.

    Checkpoints have also been the scene of serious human rights violations, including deadly shootings of civilians. Allegations of abuse at the hands of the army, one of the most respected institutions in the country, have soared. Mexico’s human rights commission this year received nearly double the number of complaints it had gotten in the previous three years combined.

    Can you just imagine that happening within our borders? Why on earth would our elected officials urge another State to do that? I say it’s because they believe if they could only do it here, they would ‘lick those drugs’, even though deep down they don’t really want to. It’s too profitable for them for it continue status-quo.

  15. #15 |  EH | 

    As we’ve learned recently, contemporary law enforcement training includes depersonalizing the cadets into “warriors.”

  16. #16 |  travis | 

    Crossbow guy should be thankful the cops didn’t just sneak up and open fire. They aren’t as afraid of crossbows as they are of garden hose nozzles, it seems.

  17. #17 |  KristenS | 

    depersonalizing the cadets into “warriors.”

    And don’t forget depersonalizing the citizenry into “perps”. Or whatever the fuck they call us.

  18. #18 |  SusanK | 

    My city of residence made The Agitator. Hooray.
    I would note, however, that the fact that none of the officers told her she couldn’t record them or confiscated the camera is because our chief of police has been very clear that citizens have a right to video them and tells the officers that.
    As far as the municipal code about shooting a crossbow, they’re wrong.

  19. #19 |  Guido | 

    lol at “pull out”

  20. #20 |  Woog | 

    Regarding the incident with the crossbow user:

    Though still wrong and illegal (Fourth Amendment supported by Marbury vs Madison and Norton vs Shelby County), what possible justification could the cops be trying to think of to seize property (a whole house) *before* obtaining a legitimate search warrant, particularly when neither encounter involved the inside of the house? (The crossbow was used *outside* the house, the cops came by later after the crossbow was stored and the entire altercation at that point was again outside the house.)

  21. #21 |  Amazed | 

    In our town in rural Michigan, we have a city ordinance against shooting a weapon in the city limits. (Including a long bow or cross bow). Common sense would say that where there are houses and animals and kids and people, it would be dangerous. Makes sense. Here’s how it would happen here: Police get a complaint, they knock on the door and tell the residents that someone has made a complaint about shooting a crossbow in the back yard. Did you? If the answer is no, remind the homeowners about the ordinance and that it is not safe to do so, there are ranges and state land for that sort of thing, have a good day. If the answer is yes, remind the homeowners about the ordinance and that it is not safe to do so, there are ranges and state land for that sort of thing, have a good day.

    If there is another complaint, the officer would get permission from the caller to observe the activity, after all, if you’re going to call, follow through. If the neighbor is observed doing the deed, arrest the bastard for being an idiot without a license by walking up to the offender and saying “you were warned, you’re under arrest”. 20 officers? Good grief.

  22. #22 |  flukebucket | 

    LOL at “penetrated by gays”

  23. #23 |  Kukulkan | 

    Lincoln Municipal Code (http://www.lincoln.ne.gov/city/attorn/lmc/ti09/ch936.pdf) provides:

    9.36.050 Discharge of Weapons and Other Instruments Unlawful.
    It shall be unlawful for any person, except as provided in this chapter, to fire or discharge, within the corporate limits, or on any property of the City of Lincoln outside of the corporate limits, any air rifle, toy pistol, toy gun, slingshot, or any other air, gas, or spring operated gun, weapon, apparatus, or instrument for the purpose of throwing or projecting missiles of any kind by any means whatsoever in such a manner as to endanger the safety of persons or property, whether the instrument is called by any name set forth above or by any other name.

    This code provision likely is broad enough to cover crossbows. If it is broad enough to cover crossbows, then it is applicable if the crossbow is being used within the corporate limits of Lincoln. The code provision is ambiguous, however, as to whether the provision only applies if the device is being used in such a manner as to endanger the safety of persons or property. Given the punctuation of the provision, it could be read as applying to any device which can propel a missile with sufficient energy to endanger persons or property. None of the commentary I have seen indicates that the police were told that a crossbow was being used in such a manner as to endanger persons or property.

    9.36.080 Exemptions.
    The provisions of Sections 9.36.010 and 9.36.050 shall not apply to (a) licensed shooting galleries or archeries; (b) any range operated, supervised, and maintained by the United States of America, the State of Nebraska, or any governmental subdivision thereof, when in connection with an educational or training program and upon property owned or leased by the United States of America, the State of Nebraska, or subdivision or agency thereof; (c) a private building within which the instrument is fired, discharged, or operated in such a manner as to prevent the missile projected from traversing in the space outside of the private building; (d) any law enforcement officer in the performance of such officer’s duties; (e) any agent or employee of a political subdivision engaged in controlling the bird or animal population on property owned, leased, or controlled by such political subdivision when authorized by such political subdivision for the protection of the public health, safety, or welfare; (f) any hunt authorized by the City of Lincoln conducted under the supervision of the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission in connection with an educational or training program and/or for the purpose of controlling animal population on property owned, leased or controlled by the City of Lincoln; and (g) any City recognized homeowner association, located in a flight pattern designated by the Lincoln Airport Authority and in need of bird control, may engage in nonlethal means of controlling the bird population on property owned, leased or controlled by the homeowner association when authorized by the City of Lincoln and while under the supervision of the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission for the protection of the public health, safety, or welfare. The Lincoln Airport Authority must file with the City Clerk a copy of the flight patterns and areas in which control of the bird population is necessary.

    This provision makes it more likely that 9.36.050 applies even if the device is being used safely. Based on the facts as described in the linked article, none of the exceptions in 9.36.080 apply.

    Accordingly, based on the report of a man using a crossbow, the police had a reasonable suspicion that a crime had been committed (discharging a weapon within corporate limits) and could investigate whether a crossbow was being used outside of the mobile home (assuming the mobile home is located within the corporate limits of Lincoln).

    Nebraska also has a stop and identify law:

    Section 29-829
    Stop and search of person for dangerous weapon; when authorized; peace officer, defined.

    A peace officer may stop any person in a public place whom he reasonably suspects of committing, who has committed, or who is about to commit a crime and may demand of him his name, address and an explanation of his actions. When a peace officer has stopped a person for questioning pursuant to this section and reasonably suspects he is in danger of life or limb, he may search such person for a dangerous weapon. If the peace officer finds such a weapon or any other thing the possession of which may constitute a crime, he may take and keep it until the completion of questioning, at which time he shall either return it, if lawfully possessed, or arrest such person. For purposes of this section, peace officer shall include credentialed conservation officers of the Game and Parks Commission.

    Given that the police had a reasonable reason to believe that a crime had been committed by the male “suspect,” they were authorized to ask the suspect his name and give an account of his actions if he was in a “public place.” Under Constitutional law, the male suspect was in a public place since he was clearly visible to the public view. United States v. Santana, 427 U.S. 38 (U.S. 1976). In light of the fact that Nebraska has a stop and identify statute and in light of the fact that the male suspect was in a public place, the police were entitled to detain the male suspect in order to obtain his name. Since the video starts after the dogpile, I don’t have enough information to analyze what happened and whether the police exceeded their authority. But it is pretty clear that the police did have legal authority to detain the male suspect to obtain his name. The linked article states that the police officers demanded the male suspect “show” his identification, not simply state his name. I am unaware of any law requiring Nebraskans to carry identifying documents in their own yards. As such, the police likely had no authority to demand the male suspect display identifying documentation.

    With respect to the female suspect, it appears that the police did not really do anything other than talk to her from outside her home. The linked article does not indicate that the police ever told her she could not leave her home. The article does indicate that a police officer closed the front door – which almost certainly is not enough in and of itself to establish that the police were confining the female suspect inside her home (especially since she was asked after this point to talk with the police outside the home). The linked article does not indicate that the police ever entered the home. The linked article does not state that the police ever forced the woman to leave the home. The linked article states that the police said they could seize the home, but I did not see anything in the article to indicate that the home actually was seized.

    There simply is not enough information here to conclude the police acted inappropriately. We do not know how the scuffle began. We do not know if the male suspect provided his name when asked.

  24. #24 |  Woog | 

    #23,

    Thank you for digging up the codes. A question for you, though:

    “Female suspect”? Suspected of what?

  25. #25 |  Angie | 

    Holy cow! Now I’m going to worry when my son shoots off how bow & arrows at his grandparents. Tho that isn’t our town or state, who knows when it will happen elsewhere’s next.

  26. #26 |  Kukulkan | 

    #24 I did not know the videographer’s name when I wrote the above. I wanted to use a terms or phrases that identified accurately the person I was referencing. In addition, the police certainly behaved as though they believed (but had no reasonable, articulable reason for the belief) that she was a suspect. I do not believe she is a suspect of any crime. To the extent my use of the phrase “female suspect” created any impression that she was actually a suspect of any crime, it was not intentional.

  27. #27 |  Cynical in CA | 

    The Scott sisters are back in the news, with a twist. Got some great elements: governor’s pardon, conditional on voluntary donation of a kidney. Would have been nice if the governor had simply pardoned them, but oh well.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101230/ap_on_re_us/us_sisters_pardon_kidney

  28. #28 |  Pete | 

    I wonder what Haley Barbour’s Citizens Council thinks of his actions in this matter.

  29. #29 |  kant | 

    RE: mexican carnage

    If I remember correctly, wasn’t the increased body count in mexico supposed be a sign of us winning? and a sign that the gangs were “flailing in desperation”? how dare they print any short comings about the drug war! But…then again someone has to take the blame. It better not be us. clearly this means we just need more war. And/Or sending our troops in to take the place of the inexperienced mexican troops.

    I’d laugh if i didn’t know that some people actually think like this.

  30. #30 |  TC | 

    Just continues to prove there is no situation that will not be made worse off by involving the cops.

    Andy would show up, greet and meet Gary, unarmed, speak about the fine weather a bit, then Andy would ask about the bow. Gary would tell him he was practicing for the hunt as one needs to stay sharp, or mumble about how he was testing out his new bow.

    Andy would compliment Gary on such a fine bow and share with Gary how dangerous they can be to the neighbors. Would ask Gary if he new about the new ordinance and inform him what it was. Gary would apologize and say he would not repeat such so close to others again. Andy would thank him and bid him a good afternoon.

    Barney; ? Well the video tells that tale.

  31. #31 |  BigCat | 

    Kukulkan writes like Mr Spock talks…….good post though.

  32. #32 |  RWW | 

    Screw the law, and those who enforce it.

  33. #33 |  Cyto | 

    #23 | Kukulkan |
    The linked article does not state that the police ever forced the woman to leave the home. The linked article states that the police said they could seize the home, but I did not see anything in the article to indicate that the home actually was seized.

    The updated article does.

    They’ve gone after the family on “child neglect” charges, possibly in retaliation.
    Police also cited Grana and Shaw on suspicion of misdemeanor child abuse. A 4-year-old girl was home at the time of the incident, Flood said, and the house was heated only by two space heaters. The only food inside, she said, was an uncooked bowl of rice, dried beans and leftover chicken bones. Police temporarily seized the mobile home as a crime scene, Peschong said. It since has been returned.”

    In the investigation of the “crossbow incident” they searched the trailer home (allegedly without producing a warrant or prior to obtaining a warrant) and seized a crossbow, several other “defense”type things and interestingly – the digital camera, computer and memory cards.

    Nope. Doesn’t make me suspect that they were on a fishing expedition or perhaps looking for videos of potential police misconduct to erase. Sounds perfectly legit if you are arresting someone for failure to produce identification.

  34. #34 |  Cyto | 

    Oh, I forgot to mention the family’s retort to the charges:

    In reality, the family had plenty of food in their home. Stephanie told the Examiner ” the food I did have in my house was 2 – 25 lb bags of rice, 2 – 10 lb bags of beans, carton of eggs, flour and yeast for making bread, peanut butter, 2 containers of oats, 2 packages of chicken legs (not just bones) in the freezer, fresh oranges, and cucumbers. Anyone could look at my daughter and know she is NOT malnourished. My house was so warm that when CPS came they didn’t even ask about my heating arrangement.”

  35. #35 |  Casey | 

    Except for one (apparent) cheap shot, no one has commented on the CPAC situation. I suppose it’s inconvenient to recognize that a very large number of social conservatives welcome gay political conservatives to the process of ideological debate. Not so much fun piling on those with whom you don’t agree that way…

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