Late Morning Links

Monday, February 13th, 2012

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38 Responses to “Late Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  DKSuddeth | 

    I’m guessing that BPD has decided to ignore USSC precedent that loitering laws also violate 1st Amendment protections.

  2. #2 |  nigmalg | 

    The student who “sold pot” to the undercover cop pled guilty to a felony. He lost his civil rights for what could be the rest of his life because he was encouraged to buy drugs for his crush, by his crush.

    The cop tried to justify it to herself in the interview. I wish I was religious. There’s a special seat reserved in the bowels of hell for this piece of trash.

  3. #3 |  Mattocracy | 

    I knew a couple of people who were arrested in high school for selling drugs in this very same scenario. It’s pretty twisted when adults can go after minors and use flirting to get them to break the law. I imagine that if a non-cop did this, the adult would be facing criminal charges for corrupting a minor.

  4. #4 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    Remember, the US is the only nation that has hot faux-hookers
    stand on the street corner in high heels, cleavage on display, in an effort to get drivers-by all hot-and-bothered and arrest them when (gasp!)sex comes up.
    Sting operations are illegal in most countries. People
    forget, it’s the job of the police to investigate and prosecute
    crimes, not set crimes into action with sexy banter and tits-a-flashing.
    As the saying goes, it takes two to tango.

  5. #5 |  David | 

    The story is rage-inducing, of course, but the title of the drug-entrapment segment, “21 Chump Street,” is amazing.

  6. #6 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    We ran into some cop-hookers when a bunch of us were cruising in high school. We’d have been OK with picking up hookers (like about 95% of Congress), but a buddy figured out these were cops and quickly explained that “we’re not into paying for it because that’s illegal.” Seriously, fuck these assholes. Wait…that doesn’t sound right.

    Lot of these stories today!

  7. #7 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    “Iron Sky”. How many attacks have there been by Nazis that have been hiding on the dark side of the moon for 50 years? That’s right, none.

    Looks like the DHS tiger-rock is doing it’s job.

  8. #8 |  Robert | 

    RE: Iran Nukes:

    “The incineration of Israel could be done with conventional weapons—remember what the U.S. did to Dresden and Tokyo?—which are far easier to acquire in bulk than nukes. For some reason, Iran has passed on this option.”

    Ummm. I think the fact that the allies in WW2 had complete control over the skies of those targets may have had something to do with it…

  9. #9 |  EH | 

    Yizmo: do you have any references for that “stings are illegal most everywhere” assertion? Genuinely curious.

  10. #10 |  Cyto | 

    Weird internet thing has one of the best comments ever. Ok, maybe not best. Actually, it is probably pretty bad. But I did laugh out loud:

    It was challenging. But I did masturbate to this.
    t1da1 3 hours ago 109

    Well played, t1da1…. well played indeed. I needed a laugh after “This American Life”, so thanks!

  11. #11 |  EH | 

    Boyd: I wonder what kind of shitstorm would result if some enterprising young men and women starting stinging Congresspeople with hidden camera footage posted anonymously to the Internet, under the guise of being prostitutes. O’Keefe writ large.

  12. #12 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    If the croudsource financing idea behind Iron Sky catches on, I predict a flood of geek-backed films weird enough to peel the enamel off your teeth.

  13. #13 |  David | 

    Wait, they made Iron Sky? I thought it was just the world’s best high-concept trailer.

    I love the future.

  14. #14 |  Baltimore police can’t arrest people who record them, so they bust them for "loitering" instead | TUMBLR TRANSLATOR | 

    […] In Federal Hill, citizens allowed to record police – but then there’s loitering.. (Via The Agitator) […]

  15. #15 |  Cyto | 

    There are those who might snicker at the notion of a blue conspiracy to yell “stop resisting” or claim to see a “furtive movement” or “suspicious bulge” in anything less than full honesty. Well, those folks would do well to watch the Baltimore PD “loitering” video. Mere days after the new “freedom to record police” policy takes effect, the police are already yelling “loitering” within the first seconds of an encounter.

    Also interesting: the definition of loitering apparently includes pausing for less than 20 seconds at a street corner. It is also apparent that it is not enough to comply with an order to leave, you must do so in a manner and gait that is pleasing to the police. He is repeatedly threatened with arrest for failing to leave when ordered while backpedaling away from the scene. Within a single sentence the shift supervisor orders him to leave and to stop and give her his ID at the same time.

    Who knows what the officers were thinking at the time? But based on their demeanor it seems reasonable to surmise that they were irritated, annoyed and offended by the presence of someone filming their activity. They immediately transformed into chest-puffing “I’ll kick your ass” teenage boys vying for dominance in the lunch room. I almost expected one of them to start yelling “you tryin’ to start somethin’ with me?” as he started pushing the cameraman. Very high school. Except with guns. And the force of the state behind them.

  16. #16 |  Mario | 

    You know, I’m no journalist, but I would think that the reporter — or someone – at the Baltimore Sun would look up the statute on loitering and print it in the article. You’re either loitering or your not, and I my layman’s sense of loitering is standing around not doing anything where you have no business being. Recording the police may fit that definition, in a cop’s mind, but it doesn’t in anyone else’s.

  17. #17 |  Mario | 

    Pardon the typos. I swear I’m sober. I don’t know what my excuse is.

  18. #18 |  Onlooker | 

    “They immediately transformed into chest-puffing “I’ll kick your ass” teenage boys vying for dominance in the lunch room. I almost expected one of them to start yelling “you tryin’ to start somethin’ with me?” as he started pushing the cameraman. Very high school. Except with guns. And the force of the state behind them.”

    Bingo, Cyto. All too many of those same juvenile assholes are hired to “protect & serve” (gag).

  19. #19 |  Marty | 

    the undercover cops in the schools thing freaks me out. I can see a kid bringing home the ‘new friend’ and the ‘new friend’ is looking at all our shit. our kids drink an occasional beer/glass of wine around the bonfire with us, shoot guns, etc. We teach them not to hang out with those kinds of people, but if those people are sneaking around, what do you do?

  20. #20 |  Jerryskids | 

    Re: Deputy involved in shooting

    From the link:

    “The funeral for Michael Lyell Smith, 26, who died during the Jan. 28 incident, is slated for 2 p.m. today at Victory Baptist Church in Summerfield.

    Smith and a friend had been stopped by Simpson near County Road 25 and County Road 464-C shortly before 8 p.m. Jan. 28 for reportedly following too closely behind another vehicle. Simpson asked for Smith’s driver’s license and told him the reason for the stop, according to reports.

    Smith started to drive off and the deputy became lodged in the window of his truck and was dragged down the street. A shot was fired and the deputy fell onto the road. He was not seriously hurt.”

    Wait, what?

    A shot was fired, the deputy fell but was not seriously hurt – did the shot miss him? Was he just winged by the shot? Was it the driver, the passenger or some other bystander who shot at the deputy? Did the shot come from the grassy knoll?

    And why is there a funeral for the driver? Was he killed in a crash, suffer a heart attack, shot by that bystander who fired at the deputy, attacked by a pack of rabid badgers?

    And what’s with all the “according to reports”? News reports, police reports, eye-witness reports, book reports?

    So many questions raised by this story! See, this is why you should buy a newspaper instead of getting your news off the internet. No newspaper or television reporter would dare file a story as sloppily written as this one. Just pure trash.

  21. #21 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    9EH “Yizmo: do you have any references for that “stings are illegal most everywhere” assertion? Genuinely curious.”

    I read that in DeLorean’s autobiography, where they (cops) brought
    both the coke and brought the money to the crime scene.
    It was also discussed in the Operation Casablanca sting
    with Rosario Green in Mexico crying foul. Mexico May Seek Agents’ Extradition…/AP-Mexico-US.html, “Operation Casablanca”
    And I’ve been to Thailand and Mexico and BAires and Rio enough to
    know that over there a ho is just a ho.

  22. #22 |  EH | 

    Thanks, I’ll check that link out.

  23. #23 |  Tommy | 

    Re: the high school sting. When I was in 5th grade just after the Rockefeller Law was passed (this was NY state) they did this to our high school. The cop posed as a heroin user and got a kid to score for him. The kid got LIFE because the narc posed as a minor and the kid was over 16 (but still a minor).

  24. #24 |  StrangeOne | 

    I never understood how when the police set up a criminal enterprise it can be considered anything other than entrapment. Oh well, show the article to your teens and teach them not to trust strangers who tell you to commit crimes because they are cops trying to frame you. Most strangers don’t have an agenda, are helpful and polite and real criminals don’t go around trying to get teenagers in on their crimes because they are a liability.

    Any common sense understanding of what happened at that school would have the police arrested for corrupting a minor and the child’s charges thrown out. But cops and prosecutors are the same team, so when catching real criminals becomes too difficult they make them instead.

  25. #25 |  albatross | 

    I wonder what fraction of the push to keep drugs and prostitutes illegal is driven by their continued value for blackmail material, both short-term (give me your money/a blowjob/help to nab one of your friends) and long-term (well, Mr Senator, I guess this picture of you and the transsexual hooker *could* be a little embarrassing….)

    For people who use blackmail to make sure their politicians and other officials stay bought, this whole gay rights thing must be a hell of a big problem. Imagine, nowadays, you say “Spike this story or I’ll out you to the world” to some dude, and he responds by asking whether you’re planning to start by outing him to his husband.

  26. #26 |  albatross | 


    My understanding is that a shocking number of our terrorism prosecutions in the last few years have followed this pattern, more-or-less. The feds gather up a bunch of losers, provide the money, the organization, the plan, and the bombs, and then arrest them all. This may or may not be sensible, but it probably has very little to do with any actual threat to Americans. And some of the other “material support for terrorism” cases are completely creepy, pretty explicitly sending people to prison for saying the wrong stuff on the internet.

  27. #27 |  Whim | 

    The Baltimore Police Dept. using threats of a “loitering” charges against video-recording just might be a bit premature.

    Why? Because a lawsuit against the Baltimore Police Department in which the ACLU alleges widespread violations of citizens’ right to videotape police officers will move forward after a Federal judge on Monday denied a police motion to dismiss the case.

    This is still a very active case, and this new ploy of discouraging video-recording of police is known to the ACLU litigants.

  28. #28 |  freedomfan | 

    Just so that people know, the segment of This American Life that Radley refers to in the 6th link above is not the first segment in the hour-long audio clip for the Feb 10, 2012 show. The first segment is a Valentine’s Day story and it is apparently the source of that day’s show title, “What I Did For Love”.

    The segment about undercover stings/entrapment is called “21 Chump Street” and is the second segment of the show and it starts at about 23:45 into the whole clip.

    BTW, the entrapment victim in the story says that the undercover officer seemed like a real student because she slept in class and didn’t do her homework. At some point, he will realize that “lazy” and “cop” isn’t the rarest combination in the world. That seems particularly true in this case. Surely, it can’t be that hard to find someone at a high school who regularly sells pot and who could have gotten her some by the end of the day. If she couldn’t find someone like that, the responsible thing to do would be to call her supervisor and report the good news: There isn’t really a pot problem at this school. Instead, she went after the honor roll student who talked to her because he had a crush on her and who knew so little about getting pot that it took him several days to track down $25 worth.

  29. #29 |  This goes out to Mike the Musicologist… « Whipped Cream Difficulties | 

    […] …aka “My one reader who is a Frank Lloyd Wright fan and doesn’t read Balko’s blog“: […]

  30. #30 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 


    “So many questions raised by this story! See, this is why you should buy a newspaper instead of getting your news off the internet. No newspaper or television reporter would dare file a story as sloppily written as this one. Just pure trash.”

    This is some form os sarcasm, isn’t it? I mean, I would HOPE so. Because if it isn’t I want to know what colour the sky is on your planet.

    The major difference between now and the days before the internet is that we now have DOZENS of sloppy sources for our news, and can try to triangulate.

  31. #31 |  the innominate one | 

    re: the weird internet thing and also Iron Sky

    given the state of CGI and other digital special effects, can you imagine the awesome fucked up shit we’d be watching right now if Salvador Dali were still alive?

  32. #32 |  Stormy Dragon | 

    I never understood how when the police set up a criminal enterprise it can be considered anything other than entrapment.

    Because they lie on the stand. Like the copy in this segment, she says that he’s the one who brought up the drugs and that he wanted cash for it from the beginning and that he did the whole thing with no encouragement on her part. And unfortunately when it comes down to cop-said/defendent-said, the type of people who end up on juries invariably believe the cop.

  33. #33 |  Joe Bar | 

    Orphic Oxtra isn’t even close. Here’s the real thing:

  34. #34 |  Mike | 

    The Skeleton video…. I wanted to stop watching almost immediately but I had to keep watching. (until the 1:30 mark)

  35. #35 |  Joshua | 

    I suppose that high school students could demand that any potential drug buyers or sellers touch their genitals before the transaction can be completed. Or are undercover police officers allowed to commit statutory rape too?

  36. #36 |  James D | 

    RE: Iran Nukes:

    Hmm, a country who almost emphatically believes that destroying Israel and Israelis is the only way to get their messiah (mahdi) to show up? Yeah, I’d say that’s WAY different than say the USSR or even the Pakistan/India situation. Pretty weak argument for a Reason article.

  37. #37 |  Rod Flash | 

    Whew, flashbacks galore from this collection of Balkoisms. The high school entrapment story made me remember an old David Cassidy made-for-TV movie where he played a narc sent back to high school. The plot was remarkably similar to the real thing, although at least at the end Cassidy shows some minor remorse about the lives he’s ruined. More than the cop in the recording showed.

    Re Iron Sky, Robert Heinlein used that one in Rocket Ship Galileo. There’s nothing new under the sun.

  38. #38 |  BamBam | 

    Iron Sky and the Space Nazis is For Realz, because Newt Gingrich wants to create a moon base. You see, he knows there are Space Nazis on the moon, and Amerika must vanquish them, thus the need for a Moon Base. Plus he hates the Mooninites.