Maggie’s Thursday Links

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

(Thanks to Radley for the first four items and Jesse Walker for the fifth.)

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41 Responses to “Maggie’s Thursday Links”

  1. #1 |  derfel cadarn | 

    To the college prezzy about the signs being used as weapons. They would be no more lethal than say books or laptops or notepad/kindle reader type devices,which we will assume because this is a place of higher “learning” must be fairly common on campus. You sir are a disingenuous lying moron.

  2. #2 |  Cyto | 

    I’m thinking that “The Willful Mistake of Ports” would likely end in “The Blown-up Cull”…..

  3. #3 |  Other Sean | 


    I’d like to point out, from no personal experience whatsoever, that there is such a thing as the Unstudied Mistake of Ports, which can have similar results since the Harbor Mistress may well fire her shore batteries in anger before the ship’s Pilot has had a chance to acquit himself of suspicion.

  4. #4 |  qwints | 

    The second isolated incident is just weird all around. The article doesn’t say whether they were executing a search or arrest warrant. They knocked on the door without identifying themselves which presumably means they were not, but were instead doing a knock and talk. But they shot the guy who had his gun out before he had a chance to surrender or fire, which strongly suggests their weapons were already out. All in all, it seems like an incredibly stupid procedure.

  5. #5 |  Brian | 

    There ought to be a special place in hell for police officers who abuse their authority by beating a mentally disabled man for fun. Especially since it seems like they’ll never see a prison cell in this world…

  6. #6 |  RobSmalls | 

    The “puppycide averted” story made me smile. So few links I find here do that.

  7. #7 |  Mattocracy | 

    Perhaps only animal lovers should be police officers.

  8. #8 |  Burgers Allday | 

    @ “make that two” link:

    This case of Deputy Richard Sylvester slaying Eric Lee Scott is a really big deal, and I think it deserves a full length post by Popehatted Ken, or perhaps Mr. Balko himself.

    I have some comments on this important case because I think the blogosphere commentary on this case is going in a bad direction. In the case, police (deputies, but they are a kind of police to me) encountered Scott in his own home with a gun pointed at them. Initially the police said that they announced before the door of Scott’s apartment opened. then, they changed the story and admitted that the policemen pounded on the door (at 1:30 am), but did NOT say who they were. When the door opened, revealing Scott, he was shot to death by Sylvester.

    One area of dispute is whether Scott really had a gun in his hand, or whether the police planted it. That area of dispute is well-developed in the blogosphere, and I have nothing to add to that dispute.

    Another area of dispute is whether Scott really pointed the gun at the deputies, or whether he merely had a gun in his hand, pointed down. Once again, that area of dispute is well-developed in the blogosphere, and I have nothing to add to that dispute.

    Another theory is tht Scott was shot through the door by the deputies, and, once again, I have nothing to add on this possibility.

    Here is where I have a concern:

    The police statement that I red as quoted in several media sources does not say that Scott was the one that opened the door.

    Rather, the quoted statement says that Scott answered the door, and that the deputies were pounding on the door when it opened. Here is the problem: almost every media source is interpreting this statement to mean that Scott opened the door (putatively while pointing a gun through the opening as the opening was created by Scott opening the door).

    I suspect that the police statement is not being interpreted correctly. I think it is quite possible that the ‘pounding” of the deputies is what caused the door to open. In that case, it is quite plausible that Scott would have been pointing the gun at the deputies because it would mean that the door opened as he watched it being pounded by unknown parties who would not respond to his (presumptive) inquiries as to who was there (that is, the part of the police statement that says Scott “answered” the door). So, the lock breaks, the door swings open and Scott sees it is police and holds his fire — he is killed for this small courtesy.

    Is that definitely what happened? No, we don’t have enough info to sy.

    But the wording of the police statement makes me think it is the most likely thing. The police here have planted misleading seed, which is growing before my eyes into a mighty tree of dishonesty. eventually, if this thing about Scott being the one who opened the door is repeated enough times, it will become the truth (just like that oft-repeated saw about Mehserle mistaking his gun for an electroshock device).

    Two final notes on my “breached door theory”:

    1. I think the reason that police didn’t come out and say that scott opened the door is that they are currently concerned that that would somehow prove to be a falsifiable proposition in the fullness of time. Later on, they will simply say that Scott opened it, after they are sure there are no credible witnesses.

    2. Supposedly they replaced the door later on the morning of the shooting. No ord on whether it was Deputy Sylvester’s department who replaced the door, or the investigating agency (called the FDLE). However, that replaced door contained critical evidence about whether it was breached, or, opened by Scott. This is the sort of thread that nobody will pick up on after it becomes “received wisdom” that Scott was the one who opened the door.

    “Its gotta be Burgers!” ™

  9. #9 |  Bob | 

    Another isolated incident. Make that two.

    You’ll note in the second one that the spin is that it’s a ‘good shoot’ because the suspect was pointing the weapon at the officers. Of course, you have no evidence of that other than the officer’s word.

    A far more plausible story is that the guy answered the door at 1:30 am with a gun at the ready, and the officers were in full guns out, felony arrest mode. When they saw the gun, they opened fire immediately.

    Of course, if the guy had a dime bag, they could have used the SWAT team. Instead, they were looking for a murder suspect… Can’t waste the SWAT team’s time for that!

  10. #10 |  Bob | 


    Wait, what? They replaced the door? Also, one of the comments to the article indicated that there was damage to the door, like it was forced open.

    That certainly makes it look like they just broke in and smoked the guy.

    So basically, the suspect’s motorcycle is parked at an apartment building. The cops just assume then, that he must be in the closest apartment, then proceed to break the door in and shoot the first person they see.

    (Voice of Chief Wiggums) “That’s good work, boys!”

  11. #11 |  Marty | 

    I hope SNL brings in a stellar cast to mock the cops who fucked with the Tourette’s guys. You know nothing else is gonna happen to the assholes.

  12. #12 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    FLA shooting…
    “He was the wrong guy and he got shot and killed anyway. There’s fault on both sides. I think more so on the county,” Ryan Perry said. “I can understand why he [the deputy] did it, but it should have never gone down like that,” Perry said.

    So there’s fault on the part of the deceased because why? Because
    he got shot? Because he opened the door?

  13. #13 |  Burgers Allday | 

    Wait, what? They replaced the door? Also, one of the comments to the article indicated that there was damage to the door, like it was forced open.

    The “replaced the door” thing appeared as a blog comment in one of the early (circa July 15th) stories. However, the commentator did point out that in the tv coverage, the earliest shots of Scott’s unit had four bullet holes in the front door (an underexplored mystery in and of itself), but the later tv news shots showed an intact door.

    This blog commentator said that they also replaced the carpet on Monday morning. I didn’t mention that because it isn’t corroborated by the tv news reports the way the door thing is. However, the carpet could have shown that Scott was away from the door when he was shot. It would be nice to know if the carpet was pulled and who pulled it. Of course, we would know that if the media had their act together, but they don’t. They just follow the popo lead and turn “we banged on the door and it opened” into — presto chango — Scott opened up the door for the unknown parties banging on it.

    One piece of weirdness in this case is that the police story changed pretty drastically from “we did announce” to “we didn’t announce.” My theory is that there must be an audio tape out there that evidences a lack of announcement and the police decided not to bury that. But this has lead to other weirdness. For example, they released Sylvester’s name early on and then obviously tried to “pull it back” around the time they decided to admit that they hadn’t announced. I am not sure, but I think when the story was still that they had announced they were not trying to suggest that Scott opened the door. In other words, when they took the door down, I think, at that early stage, they might have been willing to admit that they breached (on an exigent circumstances / fresh pursuit theory). In that case, the supposed announcement would cover them (at least to their minds) despite the door breaking. Once they had to admit there was no announcement — well, that was real game changer. Now they have to say that Scott opened the door, which is what sets up the bizarre story that Scott opened up the door with his gun (rumored to be an Airsoft) sticking out of it, but not shooting that gun.

    Another piece of weirdness is that Sheriff Borders is being really quiet, but his spokesperson Herrel is taking a really hard line. I think that will come back to hurt the popo’s here. Herrel sounds like he is very willing to lie *wink, wink* You see that all the time in the comments at popo-boards, but not so much out of designated popo spokespersons.

    All in all a fascinating case. I compulsively read everything about it that I could for hours yesterday.

  14. #14 |  Burgers Allday | 

    Because he opened the door?

    see, this is exactly the type of comment I was trying to have other posters not make. This implicitly admits that Scott opened the door, which is not beyond dispute, at least to me.

  15. #15 |  Maggie McNeill | 

    #8 – I forwarded your request to Ken; I agree this one requires his touch or Radley’s. It’s way out of my depth!

  16. #16 |  Nancy Lebovitz | 

    In re the link (third from the bottom) about the man with the very large penis: I’ve seen concern about scanning from people in the disability rights community that scans of people with unusual bodies would be used for ridicule.

  17. #17 |  Burgers Allday | 

    Thanx, Ms. McNeill!

  18. #18 |  Burgers Allday | 


    “Eric Lee Scott” should have been –Andrew Lee Scott–.

    I got him mixed up in my mind with the police shooting victim at the Sumerlin, NV Costco.

  19. #19 |  David | 

    From Ars Technica: A Washington judge rules that if you’re carrying a cell phone when you’re arrested, police can intercept messages sent to that phone, and use them as evidence against other parties, without a warrant.

  20. #20 |  David | 

    Whoops, screwed up the formatting. Link.

  21. #21 |  Larry | 

    This is awesome! Apparently I can send the cops to anyone’s home just by posting a photo of some drugs and money and tweaking the embedded location information.

  22. #22 |  johnl | 

    When the police say they were pounding on the door when it opened, they mean that they pounded the door open. Scott didn’t open the door.

  23. #23 |  Burgers Allday | 

    More on Scott slaying:

    “What I learned after I released that information, is that the deputies did not announce their presence because of the tactical situation — they wanted every advantage that they had, so they didn’t want to announce their presence loudly… the guy could’ve shot through the door, shot through the window, something like that,” said [spokesperson] Herrell.

    Let’s fisk what Herrell is saying. He is saying that the assault suspect would hear banging on his door at 1:30 am, but he would not jump to the conclusion that it was police (or perhaps the friends of the man he supposedly helped beat) because the police did not announce. How in the world does that make any sense? If it had been the suspect (Jonathan Brown’s) apartment, then Brown would have had every reason to know who was banging, just having successfully eluded police within the hour. If it was intention to shoot thru the door at police, then he would have known to do that, announcement or no announcement. Herrell’s comment makes zero sense. Not announcing makes zero sense.

  24. #24 |  Frank Hummel | 

    RE:Another isolated incident

    What kind of idiots do cops hire as technical staff? After the first download off of my camera i figured out that it tags the previous locked position if it didn’t acquire a new one when a picture is taken. That fact alone is cause to question the validity of the geotag info…

  25. #25 |  Juice | 

    The chyron under the footlicker says he perpetrated “sex abuse.” I’d like to know how licking feet is sex abuse. Maybe he got a sexual rise out of it, but the people whose feet he licked were not sexually abused. Their feet were licked. Sure it’s gross and weird for them and he invaded their personal space, etc., but it’s not sexual abuse.

  26. #26 |  EH | 

    Well there’s your moral hazard/perverse incentive for ya: busting into a house without announcing you’re police is seen as a strategic advantage. The authorities just have to whittle the law down to make it justifiable it in more and more cases.

  27. #27 |  EH | 

    What kind of idiots do cops hire as technical staff?

    The regular kind.

  28. #28 |  Burgers Allday | 

    Well there’s your moral hazard/perverse incentive for ya: busting into a house without announcing you’re police is seen as a strategic advantage. The authorities just have to whittle the law down to make it justifiable it in more and more cases.

    I don’t think this is a fair consideration. The Lake County SO is trying to get the idea out there that they don’t have to announce on a knock and talk. That is why they phrased the thing abot how the door opened in such a misleading way. We are just supposed to believe that they don’t announce on knock and talks.

    As you know, I am doubtful that this was a knock and talk. I think they breached. But I think the “strategic advantage” thing is aimed at people who are duped into thinking that what happened at Scott’s apartment was a knock and talk.

    BTW, it is a strategic advantage to not announce at a knock and talk. The strategy is this: (i) regcit cracks the door to see who is knocking; (ii) policeman sticks boot in the partially opened door; (iii) regcit decides to close door when he sees it is policeman; and (iv) policeman enters forcibly on the theory that closing the door on the boot is a felony battery on the policeman. Here is a link to my blog about a recent case where this seems to have happened:

    It is a common fact pattern that appears in other cases. Often it is a gate instead of a door.

  29. #29 |  Steve Verdon | 

    Too any police officers reading this and who are more inclined to shoot the dog first….

    It isn’t that fucking hard to deal with a dog, ffs. It really isn’t.

    Learn from that officer. A dog is highly unlikely to attack a full grown man who is facing it. Even a full grown woman. Even if the dog is vicious. Now if you run….

  30. #30 |  Burgers Allday |

  31. #31 |  Burgers Allday | 

    Sheriff Borders has broken his silence:

    “The sheriff said Scott put a gun in the deputy’s face after he quickly opened the door. Borders said it happened very fast.

    Borders said he plans on reaching out to Scott’s family and that the chaplain has been in contact with them.

    When Belich mentioned to Borders about Scott’s friends resenting the mention of drugs being in the apartment, Borders said that the sheriff’s office never claimed Scott was a drug dealer and they were just reporting the facts when asked what was found inside the apartment.

    Borders said they don’t know why Scott pointed the gun at the deputy.

    Borders also said the motorcycle found parked was hot and had dirt on it that matched dirt from a footprint, which was leading to Scott’s door.”

    While this does not quote the sheriff’s words, it sounds like he has now officially taken the position that Scott opened the door. Of course, his say-so does not make that true. Whether the FDLE cares or not is another matter.

  32. #32 |  celticdragonchick | 

    Looking at the link to policeone, I am struck again at the exhortations for other officers to stay safe while generally deriding the “civilian” who seems not to have been safe at all in his own home.


  33. #33 |  Personanongrata | 

    The dumbest argument for censorship you’ll read today.

    “It has nothing to do with what was printed on those objects,” he said, “but what those objects could be used for.” ~ Steve Johnson President of Sinclair Community College

    I wonder if Mr. Johnson has figured out what the object atop his shoulders and between his ears could be used for.

  34. #34 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “While this does not quote the sheriff’s words, it sounds like he has now officially taken the position that Scott opened the door. Of course, his say-so does not make that true. Whether the FDLE cares or not is another matter.”

    All this confusion (open door/closed door) is intentional. Throw some dirt in the umpire’s (the public’s) eye and he’s not going to be able to make a rational decision. Problem is, sooner or later he’s going to have to make up
    his fucking mind…

  35. #35 |  Quiet Desperation | 

    Re: dumb censorship

    That guy is Lois Griffin from Family Guy when she ran for mayor, and found she could get the crowd at her speeches cheering like maniacs by just answering every question with “Nine. Eleven.” They nailed it. Still not sure why that show gets so much hate.

  36. #36 |  Personanongrata | 

    There is at least one witness to the Andrew Scott murder other than the police.

    “They banged on the door. They didn’t yell out, ‘Lake County Sheriff!’ They weren’t being loud; vocal. The guy opened the door at 2 in the morning,” said a witness who did not want to be identified.

  37. #37 |  Burgers Allday | 

    All this confusion (open door/closed door) is intentional.

    Well, they have now decided that they have to take the position that Scott opened the door himself, and that may well get them into trouble in the long run. There may be damage on the door that would only be explained by a breach. If Scott’s estate’s atty can get its hands on the door, then they may be able to show that Scott opening the door is a lie with that damage. Unless, of course, LCSO and/or FDLE has already destroyed the door.

    There is also the matter of where Scott’s blood was and was not. That may prove that Scott did not open the door.

    Then there is the possibility of non-LEO witnesses, outside or inside, who can say that Scott was not at the door.

    Finally, there may be an admission that the door was breached on the recordings of the police radio transmissions.

    So, while it looks like a smooth move on the part of Sheriff Borders to say that Scott opened the door, this (if it is a lie) may well come back to bite him in the back of his pants, at least when the civil suit rolls around. he said that he is “reaching out” to the family. He better be. *rubs thumb tip and middle fingertip*

    My guess is that the FDLE thing will be a whitewash, so no criminal charges for Sylvester and he will probably get to keep his job. I doubt they will even tell me whether he was in the military, but I will try to find out, of course. The whole things stinks of IRAQ!

  38. #38 |  Burgers Allday | 

    There is at least one witness to the Andrew Scott murder other than the police.

    according to the link to that rightwing blog I posted above, there are many outside witnesses and that may be true. Also, the girlfriend was inside. Lots of problems lurking for Deputy Sylvester!

  39. #39 |  Bob Mc | 

    Apparently S.O. radio traffic makes clear that deputies were seeking a battery suspect when they shot Mr Scott. They upgraded the charges after they killed him, apparently in an attempt to make their actions seem justified in the eyes of the public.

    Also, the Sheriff’s quote:
    “I support people to be able to bear arms to defend themselves,” Borders said. “But, you know, there was no imminent threat here. We were knocking on the door.”
    is laughable in that Mr Scott’s shooting proves that the deputies were, in fact an “imminent threat” to his health and well being.

  40. #40 |  Burgers Allday | 

    I KNEW IT!

    I KNEW IT!

    I KNEW IT!

    I KNEW IT!

    The sheriff is not releasing name of the deputy who shot Scott. We are told he has been with the Sheriff’s Office for seven years and is a trained military veteran.


    Where are CSP and Tarran when you need them?

  41. #41 |  pigs are evil | 

    One reason to forever avoid Lake County, Florida. I don’t believe a word of the cops lies. I once thought the K9 guys were dog lovers and not citizen and dog killers. Bastards!!