Blog About Brett Kimberlin Day

Friday, May 25th, 2012

A few readers have sent me this post from Patterico.

Dear God. I hadn’t been following all of this. Patterico and I have had some heated, downright ugly exchanges in the past, but let’s be clear on this: What’s happening to him right now is terrifying. It’s an attempt to terrorize political opponents into silence.

A couple commenters here have suggested there’s some sort of lesson in all of this about SWAT teams or police or something or other.

No. There are no lessons here. The sociopaths who are harassing Patterico and the other bloggers involved need to be arrested and charged with about a dozen different crimes.

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67 Responses to “Blog About Brett Kimberlin Day”

  1. #1 |  Christopher Swing | 

    SWATting is a bullshit tactic, but it only exists because there’s a pool of over-militarized, overly-deployed SWAT teams to take advantage of.

    And Patterico appears to be one of the supporters of creating that pool in the first place.

    Strangely, I don’t feel a great deal of sorrow for him.

  2. #2 |  johnl | 

    Right #51. The problem is that there are many SWAT officers and that an anonymous tip is enough to get them deployed. And it doesn’t look like Patrick

  3. #3 |  Lloyd Flack | 

    Dealing with already violent situations such as what they were informed they were facing is what SWAT teams are for. Should they check out more in those situations? Unfortunately they are urgent and usually this option would not be available in a legitimate case. What is the solution? There is no good solution. That is why Patterico may not learn much from this, because it was in fact a proper use of such teams. He did nothing wrong in this incident and the police did nothing wrong, The responsibility is wholly that of whoever made the false call and I can’t think of a way of preventing this that would not endanger the public by slowing necessary response.

    But what people here rightly see as improper is the use of surprise forced entries for evidence preservation. That is reckless and irresponsible. Perhaps this might bring that home to Patterico but because the police reasonably thought their actions were justified I suspect it will not. Perhaps he will learn something from the lack of interest by the FBI but will he learn the right ones. I think his self image is involved in the rightness of what he does and protecting that is what is driving his more indefensible positions.

  4. #4 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    If I’m reading the posts here correctly, there seem to be some people on the fence about it being wrong to threaten to take a shit on the face of someone’s wife?

    At least that means I’m not on the lowest rung of the evolution ladder.

    There are more effective ways of dealing with fascists and bringing about change.

  5. #5 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Sorry if my last post offends some people, but all those listed actions in the link are actions of cowards. If you want to play tough guy (and those actions listed indicate they do), meet in the middle of the street and hammer away.

  6. #6 |  Belle Waring | 

    Involving someone’s family is always over the line. If anyone has been led astray by feelings of cosmic justice on this point it is only because Patterico is a maximalist police-action supportive prosecutor first and foremost. (Really, you have to have been there and read the back and forth over the past…7? years…to understand; this guy is pretty much getting measured for his jackboots.) And much of what the police do is mess with people’s families, and put guns in their spouse’s faces, and shoot their dogs, ad infinitum. But no, it’s not acceptable to wish this kind of harm on innocent bystanders.

    So let’s confine our imaginary vengeance to Patterico’s being pulled over and having his lawful gained cash seized from him, OK? And let’s condemn this actual thing which took place, and was not acceptable no matter who one member of the household was. Would it be OK if the wife were a prosecutor? The son, and his parents lived with him? Patterico, but the cops had killed all three of his dogs? No. As to this guy being the Speedway Bomber and being supported by lefty groups, it’s the first I’ve heard of either. Let’s grant a little interpretive charity to people who didn’t know who they were financing. I doubt he put “Bomber” on his resumé, right? But, since “the Left” is always being asked to condemn things, and norbizness isn’t here, I hereby condemn the motherfucker. So say we all.

  7. #7 |  CyniCAl | 

    This Patterico kerfuffle reminds me of the recent case where a Pennsylvania State convict, who was the son of a Philadelphia police officer, was tortured to death in prison.

    Was that wrong? Have you stopped beating your wife? Of course it’s wrong.

    Was what happened to Patterico wrong? Of course it’s wrong. Stupid question.

    The appropriate question is: why should I care?

    Or more to the point, when I get through caring about all the innocent victims of State oppression, if there’s even a nanosecond remaining in my life, no I won’t care.

    Karma is the ultimate bitch.

  8. #8 |  CharlesWT | 

    [I]t was not technically a SWAT team at my front door, but rather several uniformed sheriff’s deputies. Nobody was in body armor; they had no battering ram; they had no rifles that I saw — none of the accoutrements of the typical SWAT raid. My memory is seeing several patrol deputies with handguns. They knocked on my door within 18-19 minutes of the call, and my house is in a remote area, so they evidently just sent whoever was on patrol when the call came out.

    What a Day Friday Was

  9. #9 |  Exrith | 

    well looks like i need to be a County prosecutor seems much safer then being a regular citizen or a member of the military ………Why? you ask…..well at no point did the cops put over 50 rounds in is body, at no point did the cops kill his dog or his neighbors dog, hell they even rang his door bell and waited for him to answer the door……..i am outraged that he got special treatment and was treated so nicely by the cops and a 19 min response time even

  10. #10 |  What a Day Friday Was | FavStocks | 

    […] was especially heartened to see this from Radley Balko: A few readers have sent me this post from […]

  11. #11 |  Burgers Allday | 

    The position that Patterico seems to be developing is:

    The police* did nothing wrong in his case** so his situation holds no lessons for other sorts of police encounters.

    This is not correct. As he reflects on his experience, he should realize that when police do do wrong and raid somebody wrongly then it is a big fat stinking deal. Bigger than he used to think it was. Bigger than he thought it was when he wrote about the guy getting pulled out of the (hypothetical) Hupmobile at gunpoint. Hopefully by realizing what a big stinking deal these kinds of armed police encounters, he will realize a couple things: (i) more should be done by police to prevent incorrect raids;*** (ii) more should be done to quickly and completely compensate victims of incorrect raids, false arrests, etc.; (iii) the compensation for the wrong raids, false arrests, etc. should be bigger than he previously seemed to think it should be; and (iv) policeman should be punished harder than they are now for wrong raids, false arrests, etc. That is four good lessons. It doesn’t mean that the police should compensate him in his case, or be punished in his case. In his case we all agree that police did real good.**** But the experience should impact and color how he feels about other cases, those being cases where the police didn’t do so good. He should be able to empathize with the victim’s pain more than he used to be able to do. And that should include backing off criticism of people like Kathryn Johnston and Professor Gates.


    * As Patterico’s post points out, it wasn’t a SWAT team. It was a few police with handguns, like the Kathryn Johnston raid. Except police did him the courtesy of knocking.

    ** Patterico’s latest post suggests that police should have called first. He should suggest that at a cop board and watch the merriment. Police really, really, really, really don’t get this.

    *** This already seems to be dawning on Patterico. See, previous footnote.

    **** Cf, footnote **, above.

  12. #12 |  Christopher Swing | 

    “As police stations become more familiar with the phenomenon of swatting, I recommend that they react to anonymous weird calls like this by calling the homeowner before knocking on doors and pointing guns. But my cops probably never heard of swatting before, and I don’t blame the police for what they did.”

    What rock have they been or are they living under that they don’t know about it by this late date?

  13. #13 |  Rod Boyd | 

    Can any of the people here who have a profound problem with Patterico based on his choice of career point to a single thing he has done to warrant your scorn?

    If he was a math teacher or tech entrepreneur would it be ok to extend him sympathy then? (Wait, let me walk math teacher back since most schools are gov’t funded)

    I don’t agree with Frey on much but there is nothing he does in putting away gang members for violent crimes–not smoking a fattie or catching a hummer below the age of consent, mind you, but for violent crime against people, many of whom are collateral damage–that makes it “ok” to happen to him (but not you.)

  14. #14 |  May 29 roundup - Overlawyered | 

    […] in Montgomery County, Md. and elsewhere: you should know it’s not every day Radley Balko calls for tougher law enforcement. Earlier here and […]

  15. #15 |  Steve Verdon | 

    Okay thought about this over the weekend.

    I agree this is a horrible situation.

    However, that it has happened to Patterico….sorry, can’t muster much sympathy. I agree these stalkers need to be prosecuted and locked up if for no other reason so that non-douche bags are not stalked.

    I think Patterico can learn something from this, but I doubt he will.

    1. That the police are totally ambivalent about this should be a learning experience for him. Will he learn this lesson? Doubtful

    2. That wrong door SWAT raids are not a good thing and more needs to be done about preventing them. Granted in Patterico’s case they had the “right door” but in the end it turns out to be the “wrong door”–i.e. the system can be gamed. Will Patterico learn this lesson? Doubtful.

    3. That our criminal legal system has got some very serious flaws in it when it comes following up on very serious issues. Will Patterico learn from this? Doubtful.

    A person who cannot learn from their own experiences are people I like to classify as stupid. These are the people who run around doing the same dumb stuff over and over expecting different results.

  16. #16 |  Bohemond | 

    Patterico isn’t the only one- so all of you who love seeing a prosecutor get this might note that a CNN contributor was SWATted over the weekend, and blogger Robert Stacy McCain has had to move to an undisclosed location based on what the FBI consider to be credible death threats against him and his children from Kimberlin.

    Kimberlin is a psychopath. Whether you consider him part of the Black Bloc of Occupy or just another Charles Manson, he is a murderous, conscienceless bastard who should never have been released from prison (he only served 8 years of a 50 year sentence).

  17. #17 |  Rollory | 

    “all of that will now, thankfully, stop because of the publicity on this”


    Anyway, Balko’s wrong. The fundamental point is that the system that allows itself to be abused in this manner should not exist in the first place, and defenders and advocates for that system are part of the problem. One might think that Balko would understand this given his typical focus, but apparently one would be wrong.