#1 By: Cory Doctorow, December 10th, 2013 20:02
#3 By: Stephen Schenck, December 10th, 2013 20:24
Does anyone else find it odd that Kansas City is giving full police powers to petulant seven-year-olds?
#4 By: Cary, December 10th, 2013 20:28
#6 By: Starshine, December 10th, 2013 21:11
Why not, everyplace else does.
#7 By: lasermike026, December 10th, 2013 21:27
Call in the Feds. He made terrorist threats. Arrest him, convict him, and provide rehabilitation.
#8 By: Ibrahim, December 10th, 2013 21:37
The good professor is a former cop, so I think I know where his allegiances lie.
#9 By: Thecorrectline, December 10th, 2013 21:55
That or he doesn't want people to kick in his door and shoot his pets.
#10 By: SpaceDoggity, December 10th, 2013 22:07
Obviously, the first step in such a case is to get your dog boarded.
#11 By: Nick Gold, December 10th, 2013 23:41
And we lurch ever forward into the society presented in The Hunger Games.
#12 By: Danielle, December 11th, 2013 00:04
Technically the governor of Missouri gave the petulant seven-year-olds that power. The KCPD answers to a state board, rather than to the city, oddly enough.
#13 By: bolamig, December 11th, 2013 02:38
Sadly he's right that this is not illegal. The cops are allowed to lie to you to encourage you to give up evidence.
#14 By: fuzzyfuzzyfungus, December 11th, 2013 05:16
Is there anything suggesting that the cop was lying? Given how often police raids go exactly as described, it seemed like a fairly plausible threat to me...
#15 By: Fabian F., December 11th, 2013 06:21
I'm baffled about the amount of power US law enforcement wields. It's virtually immune to legal recourse when it oversteps it's bounds, allowed to use lethal force/violence in situations were it's clearly not warranted, is allowed to lie/decept/threaten the suspect, exonerating evidence can be ignored by police or DA etc.
On the other hand as a citizen I'm not allowed to lie to an LEO and even the slightest movement/resistance can be interpreted as assault on an officer - we had articles at BB were even an insult or protecting ones face from a beating was interpreted as assault or resisting.
What happened to "innocent until proven guilty", checks and balances and the rule of law in the US? It is the Land of the Free ... free to grovel like a subservient peasant to everyone with a badge 'cause they can do what the fuck they want with you. I thought you had the whole Independence-Constitution-shebang to get rid of exactly this situation.
At least where I live I have a modicum of constitutionally guarantied rights (that are actually respected) that protect me from an abuse like in the article:
"(1) The accused’s freedom to make up his mind and to manifest his will shall not be impaired by ill-treatment, induced fatigue, physical interference, administration of drugs, torment, deception or hypnosis."
[Prohibited Methods of Examination]
#16 By: MikeDT, December 11th, 2013 07:14
That was pre-9/11. Since then, all bets are off and at any given time more than 50% of the population will support just about any action any LEO does. And since 50% support those actions it is political death to any politician to even suggest that law enforcement has overstepped their bounds.
#17 By: Nell_Anvoid, December 11th, 2013 07:36
,,,,And that is why the rest of us need to step up. This is serious business and the law enforcement establishment is not going to cede ground easily. What appalls me is that most of my friends and family couldn't care less. That will change -- unpleasantly -- sooner or later.
#18 By: David Emigh, December 11th, 2013 10:37
I totally get that cops are allowed to lie. I don't like it, but I understand that it is a fact of life (for now).
But when the lie constitutes a credible threat of violence to one's person or property, doesn't that put it in a new category?
IANAL, but isn't such a threat a key part of the very definition of the crime of assault?
#19 By: K. Thompson, December 11th, 2013 11:13
They're allowed to lie, but I don't know any hard and fast rule saying they're allowed to make this kind of threat, even falsely. There's a real difference between leading someone to believe they don't have right to deny a police demand to search their car trunk, and threatening to shoot someone if they don't open the trunk. I don't think even our fourth amendment hating judiciary would interpret the latter as consent to search.
(Don't get me wrong, I don't like the former, either, but the latter's a whole nother level of egregiousness.)
The facts here are so bad it almost makes me wish the fugitives WERE hiding in the guy's house, so at least a decent precedent could come out of all of this.
#20 By: fnordius, December 11th, 2013 11:22
I've noticed how cleverly the comment on the legality hinges upon the veracity of the threat. The legality of the threat, if carried out, is no longer an issue. Congratulations to whoever derailed the conversation, especially since now it is to be assumed that the threats are just bluffs if we keep this line of thinking.
The way this threat was given also plays a role. Did the officer in question try the menacing "you could, but then when we come back, we won't wait. The team who comes may [threat], so you're better off not risking it." Or was it the full-blown "Open now, or so help me when I get my warrant I will be as nasty as I possibly can and ruin your stuff because I am that mean!" threat? Was he in Good Cop or Bad Cop mode? Was he casually suggesting things that could go wrong on a search with a warrant, or promising that the warrant would be used to deliberately cause damage?
#21 By: fuzzyfuzzyfungus, December 11th, 2013 11:53
9/11 didn't help (despite the, um, totally notable record of donut pigs averting terrorist incidents... apparently you don't need results to be Our Troops); but the good old War on Drugs, especially the ones that the darkies use, had been taking policing in new and unpleasant directions for years before zOMG Terrorists!!! hit the scene.
#22 By: bolamig, December 11th, 2013 12:15
Yes, even though the cops are allowed to lie, they are theoretically not allowed to extort. However in practice there are only two practical legal recourses for cases of police extortion such as this.
One is to take the police to the courts (civil or criminal) which are stacked in the officer's favor and almost never gives satisfaction except in the most egregious and well-documented cases.
The main way that our legal system attempts to dissuade this sort of extortion is to theoretically disallow evidence gathered due to such 4th amendment violations. If it turned out this homeowner was harboring fugitives and this was discovered due to the extortion/coercion, then theoretically this could let the homeowner walk. But from the police perspective there's no real downside since they are getting paid, potentially looking good for catching a fugitive, and not being extorted themselves either way.
The only practical recourse we have is to publicize bad behavior on the part of the police and shame them into behaving decently. Which is what we are doing right now.
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