Morning Links, All-Criminal Justice Edition

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011
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66 Responses to “Morning Links, All-Criminal Justice Edition”

  1. #1 |  Mario | 

    Regarding the raid on the Texas strip club, it makes me wonder why so many people worry about Mexicans sneaking into this country. Thanks to civil forfeiture laws, dealing with our police sounds a lot like what I’ve always heard about the police south of the border. At this point, I’d take my chances trading one of our cops for a Mexican immigrant any day of the week.

  2. #2 |  SJE | 

    The newspaper account of the “DUI” is completely ridiculous. Big picture of the driver, story about how he was arrested, etc, completely assuming that the cops are right. Only the laywer, half way down, notes that he blew 0.0

  3. #3 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    SJE,

    I’ve been reading here and there about challenges to the accuracy of the breath testers, which supposedly can be off by 50%. I guess this arrest is proof that the cops don’t really believe in them either.

  4. #4 |  DoubleU | 

    About the police leaving an intersection with a broken traffic light: When a traffic light isn’t working, the drivers should treat the intersection as a four way stop.
    That being said, I lived in hurricane territory, it would be impossible for the police to be at every intersection with a non-functioning traffic light. With the story above it was only one intersection and if people don’t understand the rule above a police officer should have been assigned until the DPW could get around to fixing it.

  5. #5 |  SJE | 

    CSP Schofield: 50% error on 0.0 is zero. The DUI law is set at a specific level, which he was nowhere near.

  6. #6 |  Mattocracy | 

    “Police board plane, arrest, cuff brown people, release with no charge.”

    Not to be a badge licker or anything, but let’s not blame the police here. It’s the pussies on that plane who decided that three brown people sitting close to each other, one of which has no cultural ties to the otehr two, were so scary that their freedom should be comprimised.

    People have decided that they can mask their prejudices by patriotically doing their part to sniff out terrorists.

  7. #7 |  Mario | 

    Mattocracy @ #6

    What bothers me most about the incident on the plane with the “brown people” is that the woman’s father is Saudi and her mother, Jewish. This is what America is supposed to be about — where people come from all parts of the world and leave their crazy, ancient hatreds behind them and get on with the business of living in a civil, human society. Not to make too much of this particular individual, whom I don’t know personally, but it’s people like her and her family who represent what the United States is supposed to be about.

    It’s too bad she was half Arab and half Jewish; had she been half white and half Kenyan, it would have really driven the point home.

  8. #8 |  bbartlog | 

    @Mario: if you look at the names, the head cop and city spokeswoman appear to be of Mexican descent (Irma Garza, Rolando Castañeda), and might even be immigrants, while the club owner is probably not (Hadaway). I don’t know if there’s any ethnic angle to the harassment (mere greed seems more likely) but regardless, this particular case doesn’t do anything to promote the cause of Mexican immigration.

  9. #9 |  Marty | 

    what I really hate about the story with the guy ticketed for directing traffic (bullshit, imho), is this quote by the guy- “I don’t know if this ticket is $50 or $400 dollars. It’s a small price to pay for the greater good.”

    sounds like he’s throwing himself on a bayonet, ‘for the party’.

  10. #10 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “Cops ticket man for directing traffic at a broken stoplight, then leave without replacing him.”

    Further evidence these guys are incapable of doing anything other than
    persecution.
    I want to start a show called “Bait Kitten” where cops show up to a call
    reporting a distressed kitten in a tree and the hidden camera catches the police…
    shooting the kitten…

  11. #11 |  Kristen | 

    A quote from the airplane story:

    What is the likelihood that two Indian men who didn’t know each other and a dark-skinned woman of Arab/Jewish heritage would be on the same flight from Denver to Detroit

    I’d say the likelihood is pretty fucking high.

  12. #12 |  Radley Balko | 

    if you look at the names, the head cop and city spokeswoman appear to be of Mexican descent (Irma Garza, Rolando Castañeda), and might even be immigrants, while the club owner is probably not (Hadaway). I don’t know if there’s any ethnic angle to the harassment (mere greed seems more likely) but regardless, this particular case doesn’t do anything to promote the cause of Mexican immigration.

    What a weird comment.

    Would you also argue that cops with Irish-sounding last names who commit misconduct “don’t do anything to promote the cause of Irish immigration”? Regardless of whether or not they’re actually Irish, or immigrants?

  13. #13 |  Ahcuah | 

    @Mattocracy: “Not to be a badge licker or anything, but let’s not blame the police here.”

    No, let’s blame the police. They are the ones who determine if they have probable cause or not. In this case they clearly didn’t. They stormed the plane when a simple interview right there would have sufficed. And then they arrested these people without even a reasonable articulate suspicion.

    Blame ‘em. Sue ‘em.

  14. #14 |  IrishMike | 

    “I guess this arrest is proof that the cops don’t really believe in them either.”

    If the results are low. If the results are .08 or up they believe them just fine.

  15. #15 |  fwb | 

    Cops fucking lie.

  16. #16 |  Jesse | 

    One moment please…..

    ” Kerlikowske [Drug Czar], whose statutory mandate requires him to “take such actions as necessary to oppose any attempt to legalize” prohibited drugs”

    So a member of the executive branch is statutorily bound to make every attempt to thwart the democratic/representative will of the people that elect Congress? Is that right? Are we getting this on tape?

    Why do we even bother with a legislative branch anymore. Let’s just make it a monarchy.

  17. #17 |  Highway | 

    We can still blame the police for their reaction. The plane has obviously arrived safely where it’s going. There has been no hijacking, no blowing up, no threats. Just people feeling suspicious of other people. So why is the reaction to stop the plane away from the terminal, make people wait, then jackboot up the aisle, handcuff some folks, act like jackass thugs, and then throw the people in a hot car, then a cell, without telling them anything?

    What, is asking “Would you please come with us” out of the question? Gotta take the ‘upper hand’? Is there some reason you can’t say, when you get the folks in the car, “We’re sorry, but there was a report of suspicious activity on the plane, and we need to ask you some questions” going to taint the investigation? If these folks are working together, wouldn’t they already have their stories straight (let’s ignore the fact that they’d have already taken action if they were doing something)? So what’s going to be the harm in telling them why they’re being detained, rather than just letting them stew.

    It’s the dehumanizing aspect that continues to get to me. These people were *punished*. Innocent folks punished because some other fraidy-cat got their panties in a tizzy. They were held against their will, they were locked up, they were treated like criminals: perp-walked off the plane, handcuffed, tossed in a cruiser, held without communication for a period likely of hours.

    I don’t know if there can really be restitution made, but really, for anonymous paranoia tips, can’t it be more human contact? This isn’t even ‘guilty until proven innocent’. It’s ‘punishment on mere suspicion’.

  18. #18 |  Highway | 

    My comment was specifically in response to the Detroit plane incident, although we can always blame the cops for their reaction (or praise, as necessary).

  19. #19 |  Jesse | 

    “Due to the anniversary of Sept. 11, all precautions were taken, and any slight inconsistency was taken seriously,” Berchtold said. “The public would rather us err on the side of caution than not.”

    In all seriousness, no, I would not rather you ‘err on the side of caution’. I’d rather get blown out of the sky by a fanatic than endure you and your thugs running around playing Jack Bauer with everyone that has a slight tan, all on my taxpayer dime. If I had my druthers I’d throw you out on the street to find a job in the productive sector (probably low-skilled, there’s not a lot of demand for licensed thuggery.)

  20. #20 |  Mattocracy | 

    @ Ahcuah,

    No, the flight crew decided that their was probable cause, not the cops. I suppose they could’ve done a quick interview there and never taken anyone into custody. But the cops never would have been there in the first place if the flight crew hadn’t pissed their pants over brown people.

  21. #21 |  Charlie O | 

    I guess Rick Perry has done such a great job “creating” jobs in Texas that the local police can afford to put everyone who works at The Jaguar Club out of work. How fucking insane has this country gotten? People, the US is doomed. It will be a third rate backwater in the next 50 years and everyone here will be wishing that had taken those Chinese lessons in high school.

  22. #22 |  CyniCAl | 

    •Cops ticket man for directing traffic at a broken stoplight, then leave without replacing him.

    Gosh darn, anarchy sure is a failure.

    /sarcasm

  23. #23 |  SJE | 

    re: airline passengers.
    Some d-bags on other sites are noting that those arrested had Arabic names, as if that some how justifies their detention. This is not going to go down well in Detroit, home to the largest Arab population in the USA.

  24. #24 |  omar | 

    The Detroit story seems worse from other accounts. Those weren’t police, they were SWAT.

    “All of a sudden, a SWAT team went through and saying, `Please place your hands on the seat in front of you,'” Duggan said, adding that police had three dogs with them.</blockquote

    http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9PN2D400.htm

    How about "all of the sudden, fuck you"?

    I read somewhere else (can't find it) that the FBI took the remaining passengers by bus to the nearby police station and interviewed them all. I don't know about you, but something about being on the plane at the end of the runway and the only way off is by bus to the police station – it just sounds a lot like "you're all under arrest". In this situation, I would do my best to flex my rights – not without my lawyer – assuming I'm not the one actually under arrest, which I probably would be.

    We are a nation of cowards.

  25. #25 |  plutosdad | 

    The comments on the article about the principal arrested for DUI are shockingly sad. It’s like no one even noticed that he blew 0.0 on TWO breathalyzers. They just want to hang him.

    No wonder it’s so hard to get any reform in this country, people want blood, not thoughtful and restrained justice.

  26. #26 |  Mario | 

    Radley @ #12

    Yeah, following the “never blame the reader” adage, it could be my fault if my comments were misunderstood; but my comments are meant to be a wry comment on how our policing has become very much like the corrupt policing that I had always been told, while growing up, went on in other parts of the world, and not in the home of freedom.

    I don’t mean to literally comment either way on the issue of immigration. I’m just trying to point out that in one respect we’re not that much different from Mexico.

  27. #27 |  Eric Oden | 

    With regard to the DUI story. The original intent of establishing an “impaired by definition” standard for DUI was to get past the problem of police and prosecutors not being able to prove impairment. Now they don’t have to.. they just need to prove BAC over 0.08. But now… when that standard doesn’t work the way they want it to, they go right back to impairment–regardless of BAC. No way can a citizen win.

  28. #28 |  Burgers Allday | 

    I didn’t realize that those were bench breath tests at the station. wow!

  29. #29 |  Brandon | 

    #16 Jesse, that’s pretty much expected. The real outrage is how little respect the democratic will of the people seems to have for individual rights. The entire notion of drug prohibition is incompatible with a free society.

  30. #30 |  Anthony | 

    #13 | Ahcuah,
    You forgot: Fire ‘Em and Shun ‘Em from society.

  31. #31 |  JOR | 

    “No, let’s blame the police.”

    Let’s blame the police and the paranoid white bread assholes who called them.

  32. #32 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

    Cops don’t usually man intersections anymore because it doesn’t generate revenue.

  33. #33 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Cops don’t usually protect and serve anymore because it doesn’t generate revenue.

  34. #34 |  MacGregory | 

    Cops don’t usually man intersections or protect and serve anymore because it doesn’t generate revenue and it may be dangerous.

  35. #35 |  Stephen | 

    OT but cool. Bystanders lift burning car off of injured motorcyclist.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/09/13/earlyshow/main20105286.shtml

  36. #36 |  Ahcuah | 

    @Mattocracy: “No, the flight crew decided that their was probable cause, not the cops.”

    No, “probable cause” is a legal term that specifically applies to the police, not to civilians. Before any arrest/detention can be done, the police must have probable cause. Yes, you are correct that it was the busybodies on the plane that called the cops there, but it is still the cops JOB (and legal requirement) to establish probable cause before taking anybody into custody. Without probable cause all they can legally do is investigate.

  37. #37 |  Jerry | 

    Cops definitely have forgotten the “to serve” part of their job or that the taxpayers that they arrest actually pay their salaries. however, the DUI laws are so inane, nothing surprises me anymore. My god there are reports of sleeping drivers getting DUI’s without driving. I’ve always hoped that a person from MADD would actually come and ask me for money. I’m not sure but my first response would be FU and the horse you rode in on.

  38. #38 |  E | 

    Tray Chaney, who played Poot on The Wire, is at this very moment hitting people up for money/trying to sell his book in front of the National Press Building Food Court near Metro Center in DC. I’d read somewhere that various Wire cast members had fallen on hard times, but that’s sad. Not sure how I feel about him trying capitalize on his fame to get handouts.

  39. #39 |  Dante | 

    Yizmo wrote:
    “I want to start a show called “Bait Kitten” where cops show up to a call
    reporting a distressed kitten in a tree and the hidden camera catches the police…
    shooting the kitten…”

    Please don’t. They really will shoot a kitten. Really.

  40. #40 |  PeeDub | 

    “Does the chair realize we gonna look like punk-ass bitches?”

  41. #41 |  EH | 

    E: Did you buy one?

  42. #42 |  Kutani | 

    This is the first-person account of the woman who was illegally detained:
    http://shebshi.wordpress.com/2011/09/12/some-real-shock-and-awe-racially-profiled-and-cuffed-in-detroit/

  43. #43 |  Kutani | 

    Ah, disregard my obvious post; that’s what I get for not reading the linked article. (Was all over this yesterday)

  44. #44 |  Hugo | 

    Criticize the police – go to jail.

    http://www.therecord.com/news/local/article/593237–activist-charged-with-criminal-defamation-over-posting-about-undercover-officers

  45. #45 |  Ted S. | 

    Bully attempts to force a public display of loyalty; gets tasered for it

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/09/13/fan-uses-taser-as-violence-breaks-out-at-cowboys-jets-game/

    Because it’s 9/11 and the bully is a marine, lots of people defend the bullying.

  46. #46 |  Kukulkan | 

    So, I live in the same town as the man (Alan Ehrlich) ticketed for directing traffic. I did not see the incident. But, I do personally know Alan. I also have gone through that intersection at least 6 times when the lights have been out. On none of the occasions were there police manning the intersection and I have never seen a back-up that even approached a mile in length. At most 50 yards, and people have always proceeded through the intersection in an orderly fashion. Please understand that South Pasadena has a population of about 25,000 people, which will help reveal two different things: (1) I disbelieve the estimation that traffic had backed up for a mile because a sizable percentage of our town would have to be on the streets to get a mile back-up; (2) we have a very small police department. We are proud of our police department and continue to maintain the police department in order to avoid having another agency (think Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department) provide the service. I have been pulled over twice by the SPPD (expired registration and driving at night without headlights) and was not ticketed on either occasion. The SPPD has twice visited my son’s lemonade stand to buy lemonade. When I talked with the officers during one of the visits, they told me that they are encouraged to visit such stands in order to help earn the trust of the children running the stands. The officers also insisted on paying for their lemonade since they wished to avoid any appearance of impropriety. Based on my knowledge of Alan and the SPPD, I think that Alan is delighted that he was ticketed as he has now received his 15 minutes of fame (I am confident he was instrumental in bringing the event to the attention of the press). I would dearly love to have a transcript of the interaction between Alan and the officer(s) who ticketed him as I suspect that the police were initially inclined to tell Alan to go home. Please temper your opinions with the knowledge that you are getting only one side of the story here.

  47. #47 |  omar | 

    @#46 | Kukulkan

    You just said a bunch of shit without saying anything relevant except you think Alan is enjoying the attention. And that’s not a nice thing to say.

  48. #48 |  2nd of 3 | 

    Re: Detroit airport arrests. If they were terrorists, it was already too late by the time the plane landed. Regardless, a simple series of database checks would have quickly revealed the existance (or lack of) any significant criminal or terror investigations on these individuals: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ncic. This could have been done as the police were preparing to get on the plane. After boarding and finding nothing suspicious in the lavatory, combined with no the checks for derogatory records coming back negative on them, that should have been the end of it. They never should have even been questioned, or even if questioned not arrested, stripped naked, and humiliated. Even if you aren’t a libertarian, even if you believe in DHS and the security complex completely, the sheer incompetence of this should give you pause.

  49. #49 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “Even if you aren’t a libertarian, even if you believe in DHS and the security complex completely, the sheer incompetence of this should give you pause.”

    Yeah, imagine how much more productive these goons would be out building bridges and roads and rails and repairing our moldering, smoldering infrastructure. Nah, forget it, that requires actual sweat. Hire some brown people for that.

  50. #50 |  Murc | 

    Question, no snark; why the hell would you pre-emptively charge someone who blew 0.0 on a breathalyzer TWICE?

    I don’t think much of prosecutors, but they’re supposed to be super protective of their reputations and records, aren’t they? And they don’t have unlimited time and money, which presumably they want to dedicate either to actual, you know, crimes (if they’re decent men) or to sexy slam-dunk cases that make them look good (if they’re not.)

    In either case why the hell would you bother? You tell the cops ‘you got nothing. Let me know if the urine sample comes back positive, then we have a case. I’m not exposing myself for you chucklefucks. Bring me cases I can win. I don’t care how.’

  51. #51 |  Kukulkan | 

    #47 Omar:

    Given my opinion of Alan, my statement that he is enjoying the attention was the nicest thing I could have said. I learned of the incident not through the news or by gossip. I learned of the incident because Alan sent an email (before any news outlet picked up the story) to numerous residents describing the incident. So, I’m pretty sure that Alan is enjoying the attention since I know he publicized the incident. And, the whole point of my comment was summarized in the final sentence – temper your opinions about the incident because you are only getting one side of the story. This is not “shit,” it’s relevant and plain common sense. Please note that I never said that the ticket was justified. I don’t know. Neither do you, because you’ve heard only one side of the story.

  52. #52 |  omar | 

    #51 | Kukulkan

    You are correct, the last sentence was not shit. The rest of your post was a rant about your community size, lemonade stands, polite police, and how happy you would be to read the actual transcript. That sprinkled with giddy excitement that the state’s boot has crushed someone’s neck who you think may enjoy it a little too much.

    That’s what I called shit. Maybe I should have called it “non-relevant space filling shit”. Unless you identify yourself and your relationship with the person in question, it’s hard to take your shitty word over his.

  53. #53 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    At #46 Kukulkan: you have a tough name to type. WTF?

  54. #54 |  ALowe | 

    Reading through the arrest report from the DUI link, it appears that the cop doesn’t even know left from right.

  55. #55 |  Whim | 

    Regarding the heavy police raid on the Edinburgh TX strip club, does a person have a right to receive a receipt from the police when their property is confiscated? The article said that $1,500 cash, computers, wallets, etc. were taken by the police, and no receipts were provided.

    What is proper police procedure when items are confiscated but no arrests ensue?

  56. #56 |  zendingo | 

    @55 whim
    whatever the cops want it to be…..

  57. #57 |  Just Plain Brian | 

    The article said that $1,500 cash, computers, wallets, etc. were taken by the police, and no receipts were provided.

    No need to worry about that. I’m confident their internal investigation will find that all procedures were followed.

  58. #58 |  Stick | 

    @48 2nd of 3 – ‘…database checks …quickly revealed …criminal or terror investigations …This could have been done as the police were preparing to get on the plane. ‘.
    It could have been done long before the plane had landed. But then the pigs wouldn’t have been able to turn their sirens on and rush to the airport, put on their fetish suits, point guns at people and harass innocents.

  59. #59 |  derfel cadarn | 

    Where are the Keystone cops when you need them anybody would be better then the bozo leos depicted in this post. Complete incompetence at all levels,Americans deserve better.

  60. #60 |  Kukulkan | 

    #53: Kukulkan is the feathered serpent god of the Maya. I don’t have the proper petroglyph typeset to spell it in the original.

  61. #61 |  Stormy Dragon | 

    Ticketing the traffic director may have actually been the right thing to do. If you let him get the idea he can act like a cop without consequence, he could start busting into people’s homes and shooting their pets.

  62. #62 |  Donald | 

    Don’t know enough facts to take sides on the guy directing traffic, but we get broken traffic lights around here occasionally. Just treat it as a 4 way stop. Why do we needs some jackass to take it upon himself to direct traffic? Why would I respect and obey some dingle-berry in an orange shirt when the only reason I obey the guys in the blue shirts is because they can throw me in jail?

  63. #63 |  random_guy | 

    completely unrelated:

    A mild case of dyslexia causes me to read Kukulkan as something close to Ku Ku Klan. Making this a very confusing thread for this southern boy.

  64. #64 |  Frank Hummel | 

    Love this part of the airplane incident article:

    “Mine asked me if I was wearing any explosives. “No,” I said,”

    Uh, buddy, if she had been wearing explosives you would be directing traffic around a huge crash site 5 miles from the end of the runway instead of prancing around in cammies and looking important.

    Fucking idiot…. I mean how stupid are these guys? Are these the people who are supposed to actually do the job gov was meant to do: “protect me from others who wanna kill me or steal my shit”?

  65. #65 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    “Mine asked me if I was wearing any explosives. “No,” I said,”

    Brilliant. If you say “no” and you actually HAVE explosives, well they are going to charge you with lying to the police. Well played.

  66. #66 |  bbartlog | 

    Radley@#12: I was responding to Mario, who seemed to feel like a segue to immigration policy was in order. As for your hypothetical Irish cop scenario: if the overall vintage of Irish immigration were the same as for current Mexican immigration (i.e., nearly half of them foreign-born), and someone decided to mention Irish immigration in the context you describe, I might make a similar comment. But you’d need to set your time machine to 1858 or something.

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