SFPD cops from imaginary anti-dance-party squad steal laptops

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65 Responses to “SFPD cops from imaginary anti-dance-party squad steal laptops”

  1. takeshi says:

    @ johnfoster:

    “Just get a netbook”? What kind of advice is that for a DJ or music producer? I’ll tell you. It’s lousy advice. Not useful in the least.

    For starters, a netbook doesn’t usually have the computing power necessary to handle crossfades and live effects, so if you’re planning on doing any live PA, you’re screwed. Second, the screens on those things are so tiny, you get a headache after five minutes.

    To many producers, especially those who have to budget themselves, a single, powerful laptop is the answer. And you seem to be insisting that people showing up to “illegal” parties deserve to have their valuable possessions stolen. I must confess, your post is so clueless on so many levels, I honestly can’t tell if you’re being serious or not.

    People take their cars practically everywhere they go, and stealing someone else’s car is always a crime. Even if it ends up somewhere YOU deem inappropriate for an automobile to be. Even if it’s stolen by the cops. Get real.

  2. peterbruells says:

    Guys, if your income depends on it, backup does indeed mean “backup computer”, too. You must be able to replace your tools at any given time or be able buy another one.

    “Backup” should be taken literally in this case – a seconnd man behind you, or second gun the holster, so to speak.

    maxoid: you do the right thing in regard to your data, but not in regard to your hardware. What are your contingency plans if you slip or get hit by car with no damange to you but a wasted” “lifebook”? What if it breaks down?

    At the way you are going, something as trivial as a failed harddrive or LCD screen could take you out of business or at least give you a “hard time”. That’s not “making a living”, that’s either “goofing around” or “getting by, living in poverty”.

    I’ve had three spontaneous hard disk errors in the last years. In one case, two disks failed and I would’ve been working w/ no way to make sure that my backup data was secure. Fortunately I was ahead of schedule, so I could afford to shut down completely for the two days it took to get the new hard drives delivered and set up.
    In the other case it was simply “meh” and I kept on working. Which was a good thing, because deadline was very, very tight.

    And I know of no freelance developer who handles this differently.

    However, this in no way excuses police to act the way they do.

    • Anonymous says:

      Alright here, that is a generally ‘wise’ professional approach, but I am SHOCKED by this response! Not only is it indignant, but this ‘suggestion’ is costly, in fact out of my means. People have different levels of income, ESPECIALLY in beginning phases of a design practice. Did you have everything given to you? Because I make a meager living in my initial few years of my practice does NOT qualify me as a dilettante. Additionally, I own an expensive computer capable of handling VERY expensive architectural software that I obtained with difficulty while in school. It is not even feasible to replace the software. I’m pretty incensed at being judged on my meager income and view all of my accomplishments thus far as great strides towards my future.

      Luckily I moved out just a few weeks before this party happened, because yes, if my computer was seized for only a few days, I would be unable to ‘replace it.’

      • peterbruells says:

        @anonymous No, I haven’t been given the stuff, safe from one cheap Windows Laptop I borrowed from my wife, but I did lay the groundwork when I was employed. However, once I had to get my own projects, I did make sure that I had the appropriate tools. And backups. *After* health care insurance, which is admittedly easier to get over here, as far as I know.

        About your “very expensive architectural software”: Am I too understand that you use an education licence to earn money? Yes, I know it’s possible, for Adobe products, for example, but then you usually get a CD or DVD.

        An bringing such a device to such a party would be an obscene risk in itself. Theft, accidental spills, etc.

  3. takeshi says:

    It’s not just DJs. One of my friends, a graphic designer who lives in Eureka, had his brand new $3,500 laptop “confiscated” at his friends’ party in the Mission. Fearing arrest, he didn’t argue with them. SFPD now say they have no idea what happened to it. He’s planning on filing suit.

  4. maxoid says:

    if you do refuse to give it up, they can’t likely hold you for long without charges, right? and the posssessions you have on you when you spend the night in a holding tank are handled differently, aren’t they?

    i mean, the hell i’m gonna just hand it over. that thing is my life, in so many ways. i’d rather have a ding on my record than have my laptop seized indefinitely.

  5. tizroc says:

    Mellowknees I think you have been addressed properly on the backup issue. Even if they did have backups, and a secondary laptop that doesn’t mean they have all the sound equipment that in some instances has been taken. Also backups take time, energy and that costs money to restore. It will have to be done of course if they wish to continue but backups of data were not listed as the issue. Also the backups could be the primary format which would take time to convert, more money. Perhaps it was all digitally purchased from sources similar to itunes. They can be re-downloaded but you could be talking about thousands upon thousands of songs, and days of time. Just because you are prepared for a disaster doesn’t mean it is convenient, or easy. It is entirely possible that they have it on dvd back up, they could have it backed up on a separate drive. Since it is their livelihood they could have backed it up and put copies in other areas. It still takes time and it is a failure not of hardware, not a software failure. It isn’t irresponsibility theft, this is stealing from the government. If this type of abuse it substantiated with sufficient evidence I would not be surprised to see some of the “evidence” never logged or reported. They also indicate turntables have been removed.. so it isn’t just data and backups (do not get me wrong, important data archive and redundant distribution through alternate geographical regions is a passion of mine… However, data loss wasn’t the issue.)

    I remember walking with a friend one day (he had just turned 18). A cop stopped us and preceded to search my friend. He found some pot, and pipes… the officer didn’t give him a citation, or anything. He did however “confiscate” the contraband… I am sure (wink wink, nudge nudge) this particular officer “destroyed” the evidence thoroughly.

  6. lasttide says:

    Who’s going to be the first person to make a SFPD Anti-Dance-Party Task Force t-shirt? Hopefully w/ “anti-dance-party” in glitter letters and a good graphic of heavyweight stick people cops busting into a room of stick people dancers and a disco ball.

  7. xzzy says:

    You need a permit to throw a party in SF? Who’s the clownshoes that voted that into existence?

    I’m sure it’s actually directed at large warehouse parties with dozens of people, but the article makes it sound like anyone playing music with some friends over is at risk of losing their gear.

  8. ESQ says:

    Peninsula expat stuck in the desert here. I’m hearing that the parties are in Oakland these days? That’s wild…

    Is Mr. Floppy’s Flophouse still in action? Back in 1991 and 1992, phwaaaaaarrrr……!

  9. muaythai says:

    Guess SFPD are old school vinyl headz…

  10. tzarchameleon says:

    wrybread: Sorry to hear that your party got trounced. And I’m mad on your (and your friends) behalf.

    I’m a member of the law enforcement community myself. I don’t like to hear that people in my community are being so heavy handed, it makes all of us look bad. I want people to be able to feel that I’m here for their safety and to keep all of our communities safe. When people fear the police when they’ve done nothing wrong, it’s bad for everyone.

    I think I’m going to give the SFPD a call and let them know there’s a collegue of theirs in Minneapolis who’s none to happy with their behavior.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Cory, I see good stuff here for a dystopic novel. Just sayin’.
    *dives back into Makers*

  12. Julian Bond says:

    Jeez’ And people think the UK is a Police state.

  13. randomcat says:

    And they’re “losing their livelihoods for an indefinite amount of time” because… they don’t have their data backed up? I don’t want to defend unjustified police confiscation of private property, but the smell of hyperbole is in the air.

  14. SKR says:

    Back when I was going to the kind of parties that have the cops show up, we RAN.

  15. Anonymous says:

    S.F. people, you need to find these guys and get them to stop assaulting you. You have let these guys piss on you for years. I’m not saying they are the enemy, they should actually be our friends. So let’s stop them from pissing on the good citizens of S.F., but let’s also leave room to become friends. The police *should* be the friends of the city and it’s citizens.

    http://www.sfpoa.org/Default.asp

  16. insert says:

    This is called theft, and you’re supposed to go to jail when you do it.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I’m just wondering, if you were placed in a situation such as this, how could you prevent your laptop from being taken? (Assuming it was in your hands at that moment and the police were trying to confiscate it) Can you refuse to hand it over? Honestly, I couldn’t afford to have my laptop taken if found in a positions such as this. My first reaction would be to try to fight and run, but that’s clearly not the intelligent way to do it. Any ideas?

    • HereticGestalt says:

      Doubtful. Even if you were in physical possession and refused to surrender it without a formal arrest and charge, they can take you into custody and hold you without charge for up to 24 hours, during which time you would have your possessions confiscated and held anyway, obviously including your laptop. And if they were that keen on getting your laptop to start with, they would probably be even less willing to let you walk with it after you pissed them off.

      Your optimal course of action depends on why you can’t afford to have them take it – if it’s because the contents are incriminating or highly sensitive, your best bet is to destroy it, though if you have material like that on your laptop then I suggest you take some serious onboard precautions against unauthorized access. If, on the other hand, it’s because you really can’t make it through even a short period of day-to-day life or work without your laptop, then find someplace to stash it where the cops won’t find it, and come back for it later.

  18. granick says:

    Here’s a link to the San Francisco Police Code section on parties: http://www.dnalounge.com/backstage/place-of-entertainment.html

  19. ESQ says:

    Three words: Remote Internet Broadcast.

    See, if you keep your equipment offsite it cannot be confiscated. Simply broadcast from afar and bring a laptop to tune in from the party.

    Solved…

  20. jamiethehutt says:

    You know I can’t help thinking that even the wildest Sci-Fi stories of the 60 and 70s wouldn’t of predicted that a computer would ever be required for making music.

    We really are living in the future. Unfortunately it’s a bit sh*t.

    • peterbruells says:

      Jamie, that’s a but silly. There’s lot of music that can be made without computers. Most of it, acually.

      However, some things can only be done with a computer.

      • jamiethehutt says:

        I know there is lots of music that can be made without computers. I play blues/jazz piano and hold jam sessions (with whatever instruments people bring) at my flat ;-)

        I was really just pointing out how weird it seems that 40 years ago even the wildest minds could of never predicted that (normal) people would bring a computer to a social gathering, never mind require one to make it happen.

        Also I’d like to apologise for swearing in that previous comment, if a mod spots this and could remove it I’d be much obliged.

  21. Anonymous says:

    “I’m sorry sir, but we’re going to have to confiscate your wallet and credit cards and nice Italian shoes, as they were all used at this illegal gathering, and as such are evidence. . . and you ma’am, you will have to remove all your clothes as evidence.”

    So go back to carrying crates of records– lets see a bunch of overweight donut-swilling cops try and confiscate all those!

  22. johnfoster says:

    so before we all collectively get mad at the cops lets consider that these “parties” actually really do need permits, inspections and monitoring. there is a reason why permits are needed in the first place and that is to make sure people are safe and that laws aren’t being broken. it’s a long list of lists that you have to comply with to make it work. if I make a “film some where on the streets of SF” a permit is required. if I’m building something same thing on top of plans submitted, work inspected and contractors permitted. and then lets go down the path of actually running a business in SF. it’s complicated and expensive. so t’s dotted and i’s crossed is the best way to go otherwise it’s really expensive.

    if something goes wrong the crowd will be under control and peace will be restored in short order. it’s only when you go gonzo is when people get hurt.

    granted, losing your “lifebook” isn’t ever fun but what the hell are you lugging your whole life’s work to a party for anyway? shouldn’t you only have your music and your tools on that mac? sorry, that they lost that but whatever, it should have never been the in the first place.

    bottom line… get a netbook and make backups often.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      People come to SF to get away from babbitty little rules and regulations. Unauthorized film shoots, bonfires, back alley orgies and spontaneous street parties are the whole point of the city. Where’s Norton I when you need him?

    • maxoid says:

      this may surprise you, but for many people it’s not the data so much as it is the device. i got my critical stuff backed up and cloudsourced and on and on, but if i gotta do my business on borrowed tech, i’m entirely at the mercy of its capability and availability, and you better believe that would equate to hard times financially.

      i can’t speak for everyone, but i lug my “lifebook” everywhere as a result of “hanging off my shoulder” being both the safest and most convinient place for it. this would likely be true even at a party on halloween.

  23. cameronh1403 says:

    I thought the corporate overlords knew that it’s better to allow the slaves to have music and such if only to distract them from the situation they are in?

  24. The Rizz says:

    What to do? Refuse to hand it over. That is your personal property, and they have NO right to search or seize it without a warrant. Don’t escalate it to a physical confrontation, but be clear that you insist on seeing a warrant specifying YOUR property (not just the location you’re at) before you will consent to any search/seizure.

    If they threaten you with jail if you don’t hand it over, ask them what you are being arrested for. Whatever they say they’ll arrest you for, tell them it sounds like your lawyer will have fun. Don’t confirm or deny whatever they accuse you of – just take the “ok, let’s go” attitude. If you’re taken into the station, your property will have to be checked in, and won’t “disappear” into some crooked cop’s bedroom, to be filled with porn-like video of him and his buddies tasering 11-year old girls.

    If the cops attempt to seize your laptop by force, let them (refusal can be considered a crime) … and then call 911 and report an armed robbery in progress. Inform the dispatcher the perpetrators are impersonating police officers (real cops would have a warrant, right?). Make sure everyone else at the party knows to do this, too. Sit back and watch the fun – either as SWAT shows up (unlikely), or as they’re radioed by their superiors trying to find out WTF they’re doing that has generated a dozen 911 calls.

  25. randomcat says:

    @ peterbruells #40
    Thank you. Finally, another professional perspective on this thread. To all the other “artists can’t necessarily afford a laptop” people, I say those artists aren’t professionals if they don’t have a backup plan that provides for repurchasing every piece of equipment they depend on for their “livelihood,” and restoring their data from backup. They’re dilettantes.

  26. Gary Lachance says:

    This would be a great opportunity to launch a San Fran-based chapter of the Decentralized Dance Party movement…
    With no centralized audio source and unlimited party location possibilities it could really flourish in the face of such sanctions!

    http://decentralizeddanceparty.blogspot.com/2009/11/we-want-fun-but-we-want-something-more.html

  27. Anonymous says:

    wow, it must be wonderful to live in a city that has so much extra cash and manpower to spend time and money on crashing parties. I guess the PD just doesn’t have enough to do.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Yet another example of theft by other means. Charles Smith blogs about this here, http://www.oftwominds.com/blogoct09/abuse-of-authority10-09.html, on his website, which has been linked to by BoingBoing in the past.

  29. artaxerxes says:

    @randomcat, it may be difficult to believe, but many artists do not have the luxury of an extra laptop, particularly one that is probably optimized for audio production and DJing. So, in this case, the DJs who have lost their laptops may indeed be “losing their livelihoods for an indefinite amount of time.” If they have been practicing their good Protestant Work Ethic, then they may have all of their data backed up, but have no machine to spin it on. I hardly think the “smell of hyperbole is in the air.”

  30. mellowknees says:

    Okay – detail that’s missing:

    Are the cops coming in and confiscating this equipment at parties being held legitimately (like “I rented this warehouse for the party” or “I own this warehouse”) or is this a case of a bunch of people trespassing where they shouldn’t be, and then holding a party?

    I think it’s idiotic that the cops are taking laptops – if they were busting up an illegal software pirating operation that would be one thing – but on the other hand, if people are breaking the law, then they should be aware that:

    a) cops can be REAL DICKS about stuff, including seizing property when they believe they have the right to and
    b) if you break the law, you open yourself up to that dickishness.

    I am not saying the cops are in the right on this – by no means – just trying to point out that if you’re breaking the law, you do run the risk of dealing with the enforcers.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hi. This space is legally rented as a live work space for 13 people. Many of whom haved lived there for greater than 10 years.

      I lived there shortly and operated my architectural practice from there.
      I’m sure you can imagine how devastated my personal and professional life would be if my work computer was seized during the party because of an unrelated music complaint.

  31. nic0mac says:

    Are these laptops being taken under a seizure law or are they taken as evidence? I know that the difference is mute to the person missing their laptop but the rules are written differently in most cases. In Minnesota we are dealing with the aftermath of a seizure law that got out of hand where a task force was “seizing crime related material” then auctioning the items off even though there were no charges filed or no conviction for the crime. Most of these items are gone and the owner will not get them back and while there is talk of punishing the officers for their overzealousness there has been little public support for changing or repealing the seizure law itself.

  32. tyrsalvia says:

    I sent this to a raver mailing list I’m on. Someone made the point that the bust rate for parties was much worse back in the 90s, but that was tempered with the comment that it’s now much more common for people to use their laptops for DJing – and for every other aspect of their life. Losing your laptop isn’t just losing a tool to create music; it’s losing a lot of personal and potentially work-related data that is putting people much more at risk now than ten years ago.

    Much of the dance scene in the bay area has moved to Oakland because of the heavy handed bullshit they’re getting from the SFPD and their War On Fun.

    http://www.stopthewaronfun.org/

  33. Anonymous says:

    Meh… That’s why all the good parties are in Oakland…

  34. Anonymous says:

    I had a party at my gallery in the Tenderloin that was shut down by cops at 3am on Halloween. The cops were actually reasonable. I had had a few drinks myself, but the cops patiently explained that we are cool to party till 2 am, but now the party had to end. I never felt threatened and I saw no sign they were after my equipment. Although someone across the street at The Ambassador was tazed by the same cops, I can’t imagine these cops had time to lug stolen equipment around. I hate to stick up for cops, but my experience on the exact same night was different.

  35. Anonymous says:

    California is BROKE. Gotta pay the bills somehow!

  36. wrybread says:

    Hey I finally made BoingBoing! Not the way I wanted to, but still.

    Anyway, the Halloween party where they confiscated the laptops was at my warehouse. It was a totally private party, no admission or money being charged for anything, though we did have a donation jar at the bar to cover the price of the hooch. Granted it turned into a pretty big party, largely because the police have been shutting down all the warehouse parties in San Francisco, so any party turns massive, especially on Halloween.

    I want to clarify one thing: most of the police were totally friendly. I had a photobooth set up, and they almost got in the booth and took some pictures. But the guy in charge of the bust, Larry Bertrand (badge #414), was an absolute shithead. I’ve never seen such a portrait of stubborn abuse of authority. He was the one taking laptops. He asked my DJing friend if she had a laptop, and when she produced it from a bag under the table, he took it. She wasn’t even using it. Cripes.

    And when I realized we didn’t have a receipt for one of the laptops or the money he took from the bar, I ran out and caught him right before he drove off. I clearly identified myself as a resident of the house, and he looked me in the eye and said “you’re never going to see this laptop or the bar money again”, and refused to give me a recipt. Wow. I guess he’s a Mac guy, since I got receipts for all the PCs.

    The pics from our photoboof before the police shut us down, incidentally, are here:

    http://photoboof.org/events/halloween09/

    Anyway, I’ll keep an eye on this thread so can answer any questions that pop up as best I can.

    • James T Savidge says:

      To prevent “you’re never going to see this laptop or the bar money again” in the future, and if you are using a Mac laptop, may I suggest Undercover from Orbicule?

      http://www.orbicule.com/undercover/mac/

      If you don’t get a receipt, then you report the laptop as stolen, and the software might just help you track it down.

      Good luck.

  37. gmcmullen says:

    Reminds me of the Basement Jaxx video for Red Alert…

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1xaoi_basement-jaxx-red-alert-electro_music

  38. feedbackart says:

    I have producer friends who have had the same experience. Turns out that the local SF clubs have paid the police to do this, because the underground scene keeps people out of their crappy clubs which have long lines; bad music; rude security; no parking; liquor dries up at 2AM; can’t use the medical stash; and huge door fees/admission costs. I prefer the underground scene because there are no hassles, no jerks and previously no cops,,, until now. Seems that the speakeasy has a place again, soon to have wireless headphones set to receive on a specific local frequency to keep the noise down and the dancing to continue. COME FIND US NOW COPPERS.

  39. Antinous / Moderator says:

    The obvious solution to this problem is to send a Boing Boing representative to every party in SF in order to document the abuse.

  40. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Rate My Cop

  41. The Rizz says:

    I ran out and caught him right before he drove off. [...] he looked me in the eye and said “you’re never going to see this laptop or the bar money again”, and refused to give me a recipt.

    Call your lawyer/the ACLU right away. Tell them this exchange happened, and that he was at/in his police car at the time (as it sounds like he was, from your description). Those cars are often wired up to record anything that happens while out on duty, in case it’s needed for evidence. Have your lawyer/ACLU subpoena that recording ASAP, and then press charges for theft, armed robbery, and terrorizing (if he weren’t armed and threatening, would you have allowed anyone so blatantly saying they’re stealing your stuff to simply take it and leave?).

  42. Patrick Austin says:

    @therizz: It’s great to take a stand against injustice, but anyone who does this should at least be aware that they’ll probably lose more money in court/lawyer costs than the value of their stolen property. So, y’know, do it for the principle of the thing, not because you can’t afford to lose your stuff.

    • The Rizz says:

      It’s great to take a stand against injustice, but anyone who does this should at least be aware that they’ll probably lose more money in court/lawyer costs than the value of their stolen property.

      Actually, if you do this, the police will often back down – show you know the law, and mention the word “lawyer”, and a lot of cops will back off when they’re in the wrong.

      As for being more expensive in court costs, maybe if you go it alone, yeah … but if you and 7 or 8 other people at the party all take the same stand, and all hire the same lawyer, not really … say it’s an average of $1000 per laptop, that adds up fast. Then add in the DJ’s speakers, sound boards, and other equipment, and you’ve easily made the value of equipment stolen from the party be worth lawyer fees. Also, considering the whole thing comes down to “no warrant served to the individuals, and no legal basis for seizures”, that part of the case is going to be settled pretty damn fast when a judge sees it. As for your lawsuit against the police, there’s good chance that one will pay for itself, especially if the ACLU or similar organization takes the case (and this would be a good candidate for them).

      @HereticGestalt
      Even if you were in physical possession and refused to surrender it without a formal arrest and charge, they can take you into custody and hold you without charge for up to 24 hours, during which time you would have your possessions confiscated and held anyway, obviously including your laptop.
      They cannot force you to go in without arresting you. If they arrest you, that means paperwork. Paperwork means that they have the explain just why they arrested you. If they don’t have a damn good reason (and “he wanted to see a warrant” is definitely not a good reason), you’re going to have a good false arrest case to hit them with. If you don’t want to deal with bringing charges against them, just make a complaint to their Internal Affairs department.

      And if they were that keen on getting your laptop to start with, they would probably be even less willing to let you walk with it after you pissed them off.

      Except that if they arrested you and took you in, they will have no choice. The laptop-stealing officers are not going to be the ones in possession of your stuff. Also, if you’re arrested, every possession they take from you is cataloged, and must be given back to you when you’re released (unless it’s being held as evidence in a crime).

      The important thing to remember is this: If the police ask for something you are AT ALL uncomfortable with, your only three responses should be “I do not consent”, “I need to see a warrant”, or “I want a lawyer”. Under no circumstances do whatever it is willingly, but also do not physically interfere. If you’ve got any kind of camera, use it, and announce loudly that everyone else should do the same.

      At a party that has a possibility of this happening, make sure everyone else knows to do this, too – it’s a lot easier for them to pull something with one person making a stand than with 30 people making a stand. Also, get some sort of video surveillance set up at the location ahead of time and HIDE THE RECORDING DEVICE. That way, whatever goes down, you have evidence of what actually happened.

  43. maxoid says:

    @peterbruells, yeah “living in poverty, just getting by” is a much more apt description of my lifestyle than “making a living”. taking a spill and/or cracking a screen is preferable to a friend of a roommate helping themselves to the whole shebang. seems a lot of people out there are making the same calculation, so perhaps even though you know of no freelancers who do things less than ironclad, you don’t know all freelancers? unless myself and others don’t count, not being properly equipped.

    you describe a more ideal situation, but it’s a slow build to have the capital for that kind of flexibility. until then, you weigh the risks and do what you can.

  44. Anonymous says:

    spin vinyl. be a real DJ.

  45. Anonymous says:

    Wrybread,

    Sorry to hear about, what looks like a great party, gone bad. I do have a question though.

    How the heck did you do those kick-a** backdrops in the photo booth? Are they printed? Projected?

  46. zyodei says:

    “No person shall be … deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” – United States Constitution, Fifth Amendment.

    Two questions.

    Why is this so plainly written amendment to our Constitution, clear in its wording and intent, so blatantly disregarded today? Or rather, HOW is it possible that it’s so blatantly disregarded?

    And second, why do the cops in some of the large, laid back, liberal west coast cities seem to be such dicks?

    • The Chemist says:

      “No person shall be … deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” – United States Constitution, Fifth Amendment.
      Two questions.
      Why is this so plainly written amendment to our Constitution, clear in its wording and intent, so blatantly disregarded today? Or rather, HOW is it possible that it’s so blatantly disregarded?

      SCOTUS: Specifically men like Scalia. This is a great country- anyone can become a Supreme Court Justice, and I mean anyone.

      And second, why do the cops in some of the large, laid back, liberal west coast cities seem to be such dicks?

      Most liberals don’t believe in guns. Cops are less beaty, smashy, breaky, shooty when there’s a chance of getting shot for being a dick. Administrative penalties are slaps on the wrist, but getting a bullet in the chest makes taking someone’s laptop suddenly a lot less worth it. There needs to be an escalation of the kinds of penalties faced for misconduct, and if that’s not going to be done systematically and administratively, then I see no reason it shouldn’t be done socially- including ostracism for being in the profession until the profession itself reforms. This is an attitude I’m used to from living in countries closer to the bottom of the freedom index: Assume all cops are corrupt bastards until proven otherwise. Assume bad faith. Act accordingly.

  47. Anonymous says:

    Uh, this article and the whole situation is so ambiguous… did anyone stop to think that the “police” aren’t actually the real deal?

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