Police Chief Deploys Officers With Assault Rifles To Stop & ID Everyone; Says Local Crime Stats Give Him Probable Cause

from the your-police-chief-needs-to-talk-less-and-listen-more dept

It's been frequently posited that the US is slowly becoming a police state, what with the near-constant surveillance of citizens, the "Constitution-free" zone surrounding our borders, the endless hassles of attempting to board a plane, NYC's controversial "stop-and-frisk" program, and the many security agencies that either were created or greatly expanded post-9/11.

Apparently, "slowly becoming" a police state isn't fast enough for the police department of Paragould, Arkansas. In response to an increase in crime, the Paragould PD will be deploying armed officers into high crime areas, clad in SWAT gear, to check IDs on any residents they happen to encounter.
[Police Chief] Stovall told the group of almost 40 residents that beginning in 2013, the department would deploy a new street crimes unit to high crime areas on foot to take back the streets.

"[Police are] going to be in SWAT gear and have AR-15s around their neck," Stovall said. "If you're out walking, we're going to stop you, ask why you're out walking, check for your ID."

Stovall said while some people may be offended by the actions of his department, they should not be.

"We're going to do it to everybody," he said. "Criminals don't like being talked to."
You know who else doesn't like to be talked to by police armed with AR-15 assault rifles and dressed in tactical gear? Damn near everybody. Since it is written exactly nowhere that US citizens are required to carry identification at all times, this sort of "papers, please" activity is going to please no one and do very little to make anyone feel any "safer." (And Stovall, your jurisdiction doesn't really cover things like determining what should or shouldn't offend constituents.)

Despite the obvious issues with this plan, the mayor is fully onboard and ready to start violating some rights!
Gaskill backed Stovall's proposed actions during Thursday's town hall.

"They may not be doing anything but walking their dog," he said. "But they're going to have to prove it."
Fantastic. Now pets will need some ID as well, not to mention be willing to sign a statement in your defense, should the need arise. Despite the dubious aspects of this plan (of which there are several), Chief Stovall has convinced himself that not only is this necessary, but fully justified.
Normally, police would not stop individuals for simply walking on the street, but Stovall said the level of crime in certain areas and concerns from residents gave his officers the right to institute the actions announced at the town hall event.

"This fear is what's given us the reason to do this. Once I have stats and people saying they're scared, we can do this," he said. "It allows us to do what we're fixing to do."

Stovall further elaborated on the stop-and-ID policy Friday morning, claiming the city's crime statistics alone met the threshold of reasonable suspicion required to lawfully accost a citizen.

"To ask you for your ID, I have to have a reason," he said. "Well, I've got statistical reasons that say I've got a lot of crime right now, which gives me probable cause to ask what you're doing out. Then when I add that people are scared...then that gives us even more [reason] to ask why are you here and what are you doing in this area."
I'm sorry, but crime statistics in aggregate do not automatically convert citizens into "suspects." I'm completely baffled that someone would actually say, out loud, that crime statistics equal "reasonable suspicion." That's some messed up police work right there. And it gets worse. Here's some more statements from Stovall, which range from "flabbergasting" to "you DO realize you're still on the record?"
Individuals who do not produce identification when asked could be charged with obstructing a governmental operation, according to Stovall... "I'm hoping we don't run across [any] of that," Stovall said. "Will there be people who buck us? There may be. But we have a right to be doing what we're doing. We have a zero-tolerance. We are prepared to throw your hind-end in jail, OK? We're not going to take a lot of flack..."
Stovall said he did not consult an attorney before announcing his plans to combat crime. He even remained undaunted when comparing his proposed tactics with martial law, explaining that "I don't know that there's ever been a difference" between his proposals and martial law.
Note that Stovall did not consult an attorney. If he had, he might not be as breezily confident about his "Police State of Paragould, Arkansas" plan. Here's what City Attorney Allen Warmath had to say, which attempts to walk back a some of Stovall's claims.
Warmath said while he had not directly spoken to Stovall, he understood that the street crimes unit would actually be less confrontational than Stovall let on...

As for having IDs, he said citizens wouldn't have to worry about that, either. He said the police would not arrest residents solely for failing to produce identification when asked.
Stovall himself has taken to the Paragould PD website to walk back a few of his claims as well, perhaps prompted by the heat he's received for his earlier statements.
Most often, this identification process will be nothing more than making contact with a subject, handing them a business card, and asking if they live in the area and if there's anything we can do for them. During hours in which crime seems to be more prevalent (i.e. between the hours of 11pm and 5 am), our process will become more stringent. We will be asking for picture identification. We will be ascertaining where the subject lives and what they are doing in the area.
Well, that is very different from the "zero tolerance" toss-your-non-ID-having ass in jail portrait he painted before the criticism began rolling in. Suddenly, it looks like an actual police operation that might fall within the limitations imposed on it by the Constitution. Stovall also clarifies the SWAT team look he was playing up earlier.
To give a little background information, several of our patrol officers already carry AR-15 rifles in their patrol vehicles. The AR-15 and police work is nothing new. Our Street Crimes Unit will not be wearing them constantly. That would be impractical. As we have stated in our meetings, our main purpose of mentioning this was to prepare our residents in the event that they saw an officer armed with one. When our officers deploy into areas where there is the potential for contacting several subjects in a high-crime area, that is when the potential deployment of AR-15's will occur.
Stovall states the new patrols are not out to "violate anyone's rights" but it's hard to square this intention with the thought process that turns aggregate crime statistics into a "reasonable suspicion" blank check. Finally, he bemoans the lack of attendance at town hall meetings held by the police department regarding its new anti-crime street patrol (fewer than 100 people attended the first two meetings)... and then cancels the remaining town hall meetings because they might be "unproductive" (and full of angry citizens).
In the interest of public safety, we have elected to cancel the remaining Town Hall Meetings.

We have corresponded with numerous residents and non-residents today alone who were both supportive and against our Street Crimes Unit and Town Hall Meetings. Some of the correspondance has caused us great pause in whether or not the meetings should remain as scheduled.

As the police department, it is our duty to protect ALL residents and non-residents from harm. We feel that with the strong feelings on both sides of the Street Crimes Unit issue, a safe and productive meeting would not be the probable outcome.
Wow. I can't imagine why people might be angry... or why Chief Stovall might want to dodge the backlash. This is the fundamental disconnect infects so many of those who create and enforce laws. Chief Stovall feels these tactics are completely justified and doesn't even flinch when they're compared to martial law. This is the person calling the shots, someone who institutes something that skirts the very edge of Constitutionality without even consulting an attorney. The message being sent is that the police will play by their own rules, with the citizens expected to be helpful, grateful, cooperative and, at all times, in possession of an ID, a clean criminal record and full justification for any suspicious "walking around" they might be doing.

And when the backlash hits, Stovall first tries walking his statements back before turning around completely and running away from the issue. So much for listening to "suggestions" and "feedback." Say hello to armed patrols and "papers, please."


Reader Comments (rss)

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    S. T. Stone, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 7:59am

    Änd you wonder why people hold on tight to that Second Amendment…

     

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      gorehound (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 8:10am

      Re:

      This place has imposed a Police State on its Residents which is totally illegal and against the Law.They will end up Sued, will waste more Taxpayer Money, and will look like fools in the End.
      Yes, We in the North still have issues with these Southern Bible Bashing States.

       

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        Jesse (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 9:00am

        Re: Re:

        This is exactly why police should not be by default at odds with civil liberties activists. They should be screening people out like this at the interview stage.

        They already do a lie detector test and psychological screening, but yet from what I've heard from friends applying there is no apparent effort to screen out racists/mysogynists or people who get sexually aroused at the prospect of martial law. But if you smoked a joint in the last 12 months? Can't be a cop. Those are some good priorities right there. I guess the CONSTITUTION doesn't rank as high as pot for police departments.

         

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          John Fenderson (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 10:30am

          Re: Re: Re:

          They already do a lie detector test and psychological screening


          But lie detector tests are worthless, and psychological screening has a very large margin of error.

          Prescreening can only get you a small part of the way there. You also have to have a policy of immediately firing officers who misbehave and not hiring officers who've been fired from other police forces for misbehavior.

           

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        PRMan, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 9:26am

        Re: Re:

        As if cops in Bible-hating(?!?) Massachusetts and New Hampshire didn't get sued recently for arresting people recording them...

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 9:47am

        Re: Re:

        Having your civil rights violated leads to large cash settlements. There's probably a lot of civil rights lawyers right now booking flights to Arkansas.

         

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      Jesse (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 8:54am

      Re:

      It sounds like a dictator in Latin America.

      "The courts are making life difficult for the people, so I'm cancelling judicial authority."

      "Everyone is protesting, and it's unproductive, so I'm going to cancel protests."

      "We can't ensure safety at the polls, so we just going to cancel elections. No biggie. Don't worry I can still be your leader for the next 3 to 4 decades."

       

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    dennis deems (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 8:02am

    Not so fast there, citizen...

    Can you prove you're not up to no good?

     

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    Coogan (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 8:03am

    I mean, he's got crime statistics that say his town is being overrun by the Joker and his evil henchman. Paragould is mere moments away from total ANARCHY!! FOR THE CHILDREN!!

    On a wholly unrelated note, the Paragould PD website is proud to announce that "In 2002 statistics were gathered and declared in 2003 that Paragould was recorded as the Safest City in Arkansas with a population of 20,000 plus."

    http://paragouldpolice.org/index.php

     

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    Wally (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 8:10am

    Tim Cushing, New York is the poster child of a police/nanny state. It's a state, not a nation. The so called police state hardly exists beyond reason except for New York where it's rampant and pervasive. Just to give an example for people outside the US, two liter bottles of soda/pop are banned from sale in the state of New York because they "promote obesity".

    The actions of one state in this union cannot possibly represent the actions of an entire nation as a whole. New York, New York's police state is baffling even to us who live in the US.

     

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      Jeff, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 8:45am

      Re:

      Wally- I'm not sure if you have ever been to New York, or where you get your news, but you could not be more misinformed. Two liter bottles of pop are for sale in every grocery store and convenience store in the state. You are obviously confused by New York CITY's recent ban on non-diet fountain drinks larger than (I believe) 16 oz. in restaurants. There is a big difference between reality and what you said. There are approximately 47,000 square miles of new York State that are NOT New York City, thank you very much.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 9:04am

        Re: Re:

        Leave Wally alone! It's not his fault he's misinformed and further spreading misinformation!

        (On a side note, Wally, I noticed someone left a very interesting two final comments on the "Live by the patent" article. Regarding a few things you stated about a device you claim to own. Namely that you were completely wrong about something you claim to own and information regarding it. Any chance we could get a followup on that? Namely, do you make shit up regularly? Or only when it suits you to try and prove some kind of non-point? The given example above being a perfect one. You're either completely lying or just grossly misinformed and using said misinformation to prove a point that couldn't be more wrong, unless you really tried.)

         

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          Wally (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 10:25am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Well this article here, isn't that article that you're asking me to comment on, and it would be only proper to continue that debate there. Stop acting like out_of_the_blue in asking me about comments that I and others make on previous articles. It will bring you nothing but grief.

          New York is the quintessential nanny/police state. New York City is the poster child of that image as it's more pervasive there than anywhere else in New York.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 4:02pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Keep digging that hole.

             

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              Wally (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 8:30pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              What hole is there to dig??? They just keep coming and I keep on shoveling out their road apples.

               

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                TheLastCzarnian (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 9:21pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                I disagree that New York is the "quintessential nanny/police state" as I am quite sure there are much worse states in the world.

                Having said that, having the state dictate how much soda you can have in your cup is pretty fucked up.

                So, "quintessential"? No. "Nanny-state"? Yeah, pretty much.

                 

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            Anonymous Coward, Dec 23rd, 2012 @ 11:52am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Let's do things on a point by point basis. Because you're obviously not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Shall we proceed?

            1. I'm not asking you to comment about what was previously stated. I was pointing out that someone left two comments calling your credibility into question on said article.

            2. Don't bust out the "it would only be proper to continue that debate there" card. Lest I be forced to point out the numerous times you've brought up Apple in non-Apple articles. Or lest I be forced to point out the time you had your breakdown (or better said multiple times) regarding your Ars banning. All of which was posted on Techdirt. What was it again, Ars and the weather changing? Yeah, you're definitely one to tell others what's proper or not, shrink.

            3. I'm not acting like OotB. Stop with the "Everyone who questions me is a troll!!!" bit. It's old and says quite a bit about you. Mostly that you are incapable of handling criticism. Interesting given your area of study and career field. One who likes to study and analyze others but who doesn't like it when the tables are turned.

            4. "It will bring you nothing but grief." HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Wally, I've seen you "be mean" to others. Please. Spare me. And by that I mean your idea of bringing grief is so pathetic, it'd be a waste of both our time for you to even try. You couldn't cause me any grief even if you tried and even if I gave you ammo to use, but I could push your buttons to no end with nary an effort. And have. ;)

            5. You failed to answer the main point raised above. Namely, the one asking whether or not you are full of shit (as pertains to what you stated about 2-liter sodas above, and which was flat out said to be completely false by the person who replied to you and who I replied to) and just make things up to seem smart and in the know? Or do you just misstate things to try and make a point, which is a non-point, because of how blatantly false what it is you say is? There is a difference between the two questions. One is basically you lie because you want to seem smart, the other is you are clueless and embellish because you're trying to make a point. Both are pretty bad. This is me calling your credibility into question.

            6. That comment over on the "Live by the patent" article wasn't left by me, fyi. It was someone else entirely. Obviously someone who had more time than I to fact check and call you out on your bullshit. But hey, they're entirely correct about what they said (I checked after the fact). I salute that person. And you can't label them "troll" like you usually do because they clearly aren't.

            So bring it, Wally. Respond to my points above. I dare you. At the end of the day, I will bring you grief and you will bring nothing to the table beyond excuses for why you are the way you are (I was dropped on my head, that's why I flip out on trolls). Really?! This is me playing the world's saddest song just for you. Funny how select that injury is. Trolls cause insanity. Mhm. CoughBULLSHITcough. But yeah, you should definitely be psychoanalzying others. /s

             

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      MrWilson, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 9:04am

      Re:

      Tim cited multiple phenomena to support his claim of the US becoming a police state and you seem to have dismissed all of it outright to claim that only New York is like that. He referenced the borders, he referenced surveillance, he referenced the TSA. Those aren't isolated to New York.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 9:50am

      Re:

      I agree with most of what you are saying, but look up the definitions of state and nation.

       

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        Wally (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 10:42am

        Re: Re:

        A state is a territory or province with it's own governess and subsets of laws that extrapolate from the laws set up at a national level. A nation (again in the US) is a collection of states...when I refer to "The Union", I refer to the name United States of America. The states all center around central Government with each state having representation of their population's interests...or at least that is how it was designed. Bribes and playoffs ruin the representation bit. That is how it's broken down.

        The state is the central governess of local parishes or counties who are represented in districts of said counties and parishes. The county seat is the local representing body of the towns and cities of a county..which is broken up into townships.

        I have a firm grasp on the meaning of statehood and representation in my country.

        A police state means that a governing body is using law enforcement in excess of its normal duties and powers (which is to protect and serve the public)...which is New York, New York.

        The TSA and DHS are run at a federal level but employ through state agencies. This is why the incidents we see involving those two organizations are so isolated to certain states known for bigotry (Texas...towards the disabled), or excessive force (California, Oregon, Washington (state), and New York).

         

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          MrWilson, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 12:00pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Apparently you don't have a firm grasp on the various uses of the term "state" within the United States. The State Department is a federal agency. The Secretary of State is a position in the federal government. If state were only limited to mean, "a territory or province with it's own governess ([sic] governance?) and subsets of laws that extrapolate from the laws set up at a national level," then we couldn't very well use the term "state" at the federal level.

           

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            Wally (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 12:42pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            My mom worked with the DHS in hazmat training...she deployed the training through employment of the state of Ohio.

            The FBI is a federal agency, but it's various branches are run by the bylaws applicable to each state branch.

            Sort of hard to explain plainly. But the DHS hires in state workers and agents to manage things.

            Now as far as "police state" is concerned, the word "state" is used as in the same way as "state of being". It's an adjunctive description to a noun which places the noun as being something.

            Secretary of State is a diplomatic position given to our head representative to other nations...Hilary Clinton ranked above all US ambassadors in her position of Secretary of State....they are third in line for presidency in case the president and VP somehow die.

            You missed the following:
            "A police state means that a governing body is using law enforcement in excess of its normal duties and powers (which is to protect and serve the public)...which is New York, New York."

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 2:31pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              You're interpreting the use of the word "state" in the term "police state" differently than it is commonly used and then trying to play semantics to argue why your use is right. You can interpret it however you like, but if you're going to communicate with others, it's helpful to know how the term is actually used by many others.

              "A police state is a state in which the government exercises rigid and repressive controls over the social, economic, and political life of the population."

              "A state is an organized community living under a unified political system, the government. States may be sovereign. The denomination state is also employed to federated states that are members of a federal union, which is the sovereign state."

              - Wikipedia

              The use of the word "state" in the term "police state" isn't about a state of being, it's a reference to the polity that has instituted a strong police presence in everyday life.

              Your references to your mother and the FBI and a description of the Secretary of State's role in the federal government have nothing to do with and don't support your assertions.

              What does your mother working for DHS have to do with anything? Is that an appeal to authority?

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 4:05pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "if you're going to communicate with others, it's helpful to know how the term is actually used by many others."


                This is the keystone in the art of communication, without it communication fails.

                 

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                Wally (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 8:47pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                High MrWilson, First you missed this:

                "A police state means that a governing body is using law enforcement in excess of its normal duties and powers (which is to protect and serve the public)...which is New York, New York."

                Your statement:
                "The use of the word "state" in the term "police state" isn't about a state of being, it's a reference to the polity that has instituted a strong police presence in everyday life."

                Tell me, what in my statement describes a strong police presence to control the populace??? Look up the word excessive some time.

                If your country is in a state in which a policy was instituted allowing strong police powers with a pervasive presence in daily life... the state of being is in fact...a police state. Stop while you're ahead or or send my wife in to give you a US 2nd grade English lesson...

                Maybe I was trying to give an example as to how federal agencies have branches at the state level in an attempt to clarify that certain states' actions do not reflect on a nation as a whole. That the issues are clearly localized.

                ie....the ODNR (Ohio Department of Natural Resources...EPA), or better yet...your local DMV...or still better, your state branch of the department of transportation (ODOT in my case).

                 

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                  MrWilson, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 11:57pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  You're still missing the point.

                  You keep defining the term "police state" your own way and in a way that others do not mean when they use the term. You can feel free to define it however you like, but you can't change the meaning to argue against another person's perspective and expect others to go along with your new meaning. You're trying to tell Tim that his usage of the term was wrong because it didn't match your (uncommon) usage.

                  Tim used the term "police state" in reference to the whole nation (since the phenomena he cited don't occur only in one state) and he used the term consistently with the way it is used and understood by others.

                  The reference to the whole nation as turning into a police state can include, but not be limited to, actions of several individual states, counties, municipalities, or federal agencies. It's the collective pattern of actions taken by various government and law enforcement groups that makes the nation as a whole closer to being a police state. New York is not the only state where the police are used in excess of their regular duties.

                   

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                    Wally (profile), Dec 22nd, 2012 @ 6:48am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Yet you keep missing is that I'm defining it as such to how Tim Cushing wrote and using big words to do it. Mr.Wilson, tell me...what is a governing body??? Do not avoid that question....

                    You clearly missed the point I was making where the actions of a few cities and states within a nation do not constitute an entire nation being a "police state". Anyone who would have pulled that stunt in the article in any city in Ohio, would immediately be fired without pension. You know who set up that rule???? The police union...it holds themselves accountable.

                    There are states that have laws defining specifically what probable cause is, and the State of New York isn't one of them.

                     

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                      MrWilson, Dec 22nd, 2012 @ 11:16pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      "It's been frequently posited that the US is slowly becoming a police state"

                      Tim didn't say the US is a police state, but that many people have said that it is becoming a police state. That would indicate that not everywhere in the country resembles a police state at this moment. He cited examples (many of which weren't located in New York) to illustrate the claim.

                      "what is a governing body??? Do not avoid that question...."

                      "A governing body" is a term that can refer to any number of organizations, governmental, educational, religious, and otherwise, that administrate something. It's a very general term. I still don't see what the relevance of your use of that term is in the greater discussion. You might as well be asking what a poptart is as far as it is relevant to whether or not the federal government, several individual states other than New York, counties, and municipalities enact police state-like policies.

                       

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          Jimmy the Geek, Dec 22nd, 2012 @ 12:42pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          A country is also called a "Nation State" including the US of A. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nation_state

          So no, you cannot clearly differentiate between the definitions of nation and state.

           

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    Vidiot (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 8:12am

    Sign up now

    I hear that the "I-Have-A-Problem-With-Authority Society" is chartering buses to bring random, non-ID-bearing passers-by into downtown Paragould for casual strolls... who wants to join them?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 4:09pm

      Re: Sign up now

      It should be renamed "I have a problem with the man overstepping the bounds"

      And btw, where the hell is the justice dept, you know ... those people whose job it is to stop this type of BS.

       

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    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 8:15am

    I didn't realize you could concentrate that much stupid in one place without causing a rift in the space-time continuum.

    Must be a government experiment that got away.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 8:20am

    Next up: Police officer shoots guy because, statistically, people with his kind of haircut are more likely to commit terrorist acts.

     

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      Bengie, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 9:28am

      Re:

      I hear that statistically, pregnant women are more likely to abort their child than non-pregnant women.

      We should detain all pregnant women.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 8:20am

    Still think that voting for a new dictator every few years is enough to ensure good government?

     

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    Get off my cyber-lawn! (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 8:22am

    Here are my dog's papers officer....

    just ignore the brown, sticky, smelly stuff on the papers...I'm paper training him right now.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 8:34am

    LAPD's CRASH pt 2

    Didn't the LAPD try this in the 90's to take on the gang problem? I think I remeber them paying out several settlements, putting kids in the judicial system thus ruinin future job prospects and reinforcing the stereotype that the police is out to get you.

     

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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 8:37am

    The posse is out to provide a full gambol lockdown.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 8:38am

    Prove it

    "They may not be doing anything but walking their dog," he said. "But they're going to have to prove it."

    No, actually. There's this little thing called innocent until proven guilty. YOU have to prove that I'm committing a crime, not the other way around.

    "Well, I've got statistical reasons that say I've got a lot of crime right now, which gives me probable cause to ask what you're doing out"

    Unless those statistics say that over half the citizens are committing a crime at any particular time, that is not "probable" cause.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 8:51am

      Re: Prove it

      I looked up the crime rates. The property crime rate is high - almost double the state average, but the violent crime rate is significantly lower than the state average.

      I don't object to the police ASKING people for ID, but saying you'll be arrested for not having it goes way too far.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 9:35am

        Re: Re: Prove it

        I do have a Problem with the police bugging me if I'm not doing anything illegal. While people like you may be more than willing to give up a little bit of freedom for a price, some of us who served for that freedom won't give it up so easily.

         

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          John Fenderson (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 10:37am

          Re: Re: Re: Prove it

          Being chatted up by the cops is no fun at all, but I would also have a problem with telling cops that they cannot talk with people without having a specific reason.

          I do think the cops should be required to specify the nature of the the interaction they're initiating: is it a casual chat? Are they detaining you? Arresting you? These distinctions are critically important. You have the right to (and absolutely should) ask the officer what the status of the interaction is, but talking with the police is scary and intimidating for most people and they're too afraid to ask.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 12:02pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Prove it

            "talking with the police is scary and intimidating for most people and they're too afraid to ask."

            And the police use that known fear to get people to give up their rights without a fight. Unless they've have reasonable suspicion of you doing something, they can't even require you to give them your name.

             

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              John Fenderson (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 12:32pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Prove it

              Yes, precisely.

              Unless they've have reasonable suspicion of you doing something, they can't even require you to give them your name.


              This is not entirely true, but close enough. However, cops can ask you for your name without any reason whatsoever -- just the same as I or any other person can do. The question is whether or not you are legally obligated to give it to them. That is the bit that should be made explicit.

               

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                ltlw0lf (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 12:40pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Prove it

                This is not entirely true, but close enough. However, cops can ask you for your name without any reason whatsoever -- just the same as I or any other person can do. The question is whether or not you are legally obligated to give it to them. That is the bit that should be made explicit.

                Unless they tell you that you can't leave...you are not obligated to tell them anything (and shouldn't, unless you want to just say "hi" and keep walking.) They must tell you if you are not allowed to leave, and at that point they must have reasonable suspicion that you have committed a crime, are in the process of committing a crime, or are planning to commit one in the immediate future. That suspicion must be based on things other than the skin color, age, etc., and in this case, looking down the barrel of a gun while walking your dog (which would not normally be suspicious, except the looking down a barrel of a gun part.) Anything else is unlawful detention.

                 

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            ltlw0lf (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 12:35pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Prove it

            Being chatted up by the cops is no fun at all, but I would also have a problem with telling cops that they cannot talk with people without having a specific reason.

            A police officer stopping to say "Hi, How are things going?" is a lot different to "What the f*ck are you doing here?" In the former, I would just say "fine, thanks for asking" and keep walking. Cops are humans too, and most cops like talking with people just to get a feel of the land. If a police officer said the later, I'd be really concerned about calling my lawyer before answering that question. The former should be legal, the later is obviously a violation of your civil rights and there should be at a minimum reasonable suspicion that you are up to no good (and not just because your skin is darker or you have a different surname than most of the folks in the neighborhood.)

            I do think the cops should be required to specify the nature of the the interaction they're initiating: is it a casual chat? Are they detaining you? Arresting you? These distinctions are critically important. You have the right to (and absolutely should) ask the officer what the status of the interaction is, but talking with the police is scary and intimidating for most people and they're too afraid to ask.

            Above all, you should know that it is your right to not talk to a police officer at all if you don't need to. At least in California, they must tell you if you are being detained or arrested before doing so. If you don't respond and start walking away from them, they better have reasonable suspicion or probable cause before detaining or arresting you, and it can't just be because you choose not to talk to them.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 1:36pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Prove it

              ... in California...


              Well, there's the nice theory—and then there's what actually happens in California when someone walks away from a deputy.

              Family says son with Down syndrome struck, pepper-sprayed by deputy”, 10 News, Dec 20, 2012
              San Diego Sheriff's Dept. apologizes to family

              VISTA, Calif. . . . .

              Sheriff's Department Captain Joe Rodi visited the family after the incident.

              “We made a mistake here,” he told 10News. . . .

              When Antonio Martinez wouldn't stop walking away as the deputy called out to him, the deputy took matters into his own hands.

              “He pepper sprayed him,” Rodi said. “When that wasn’t effective, he hit him with a baton, which put him on the ground, and then a couple more strikes to get his hands free. So they could hand cuff him.”

              They got him in the patrol car and realized he had Down Syndrome.

              The deputy then drove him to the hospital.

              Why the use of force?,” asked 10News reporter Jennifer Jensen.

              “Once he tried to contact the guy again he didn’t know who he was, he didn’t know if he was involved in that domestic violence,” Rodi said.

              (Emphasis added.)

              ‘Not knowing’ is like not being able to articulate a reasonable suspicion, isn't it? I mean, it's sorta like ‘not knowing’.

              According to Sheriff's Department Captain Joe Rodi, when a deputy doesn't know whether someone is involved in something, that “suspect” had better not try to walk away. Otherwise the “suspect” is liable to beaten with a baton, kicked, pepper-sprayed and put in the hospital.

              People who don't have Down's syndrome, of course, just know better than to try to walk away.

              While the family has contacted an attorney, how many people want to bet that a jury is going to blame the retard for getting beaten up. Not too bright to try to walk away from a deputy. Retarded.

               

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                ltlw0lf (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 2:28pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Prove it

                Well, there's the nice theory—and then there's what actually happens in California when someone walks away from a deputy.

                It isn't a theory, it is the law, and I suspect Mr. Martinez will be a lot richer walking away with a portion of our tax money when this is over.

                Do police officers make mistakes? Yes. Doesn't make it right. However, in the story above, unlike this situation where a deputy in question made a mistake which will likely get him fired or put on probation, the Police Chief is actually saying that he will break a few constitutional amendments and likely overstep his legal bounds in the name of keeping people safe. Totally different situation.

                 

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        Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 4:15pm

        Re: Re: Prove it

        "I don't object to the police ASKING people for ID"

        Papers please.

         

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      AzureSky (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 4:27pm

      Re: Prove it

      clearly you dont actually live in this country or have never had any contact with the cops.

      its very much guilty till proven innocent in this country, I have seen it and dealt with it enough myself, the cops enlarge in this country just wana get an arrest and conviction they dont give a flying fuck about the truth as long as they get an arrest and conviction.

       

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    ByeBye CivilRights, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 8:39am

    We have become a nation of suspects. Welcome to Soviet America

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 8:43am

    It always helps to read local media to ascertain what is actually proposed.

    See: http://paragouldpolice.org/press_view.php?id=83&PHPSESSID=b1a6322b0bc46589ec3674f1044e5cb8

     

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      you know me, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 9:11am

      Re:

      "it always helps to read local media to ascertain what is actually proposed."

      "it always helps to read local propaganda to ascertain what is actually going to happen."
      FTFY


      Must be a cop.

      "these encounters, however, will be done within the bounds of the Constitution."
      Contradicts:
      "They may not be doing anything but walking their dog," he said. "But they're going to have to prove it."

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 10:50am

      Re:

      A Paragould Police press release is not 'local media...'

       

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      Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 11:47am

      Re:

      I quoted Stovall's first clarification/walkback in the article. This one just appeared today. Don't confuse police press releases with "local media." One's way more self-serving than the other.

       

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    Lowestofthekeys (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 8:51am

    There's only one man who can lead these officers...

    Steven Seagal.

     

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    cjstg (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 8:51am

    time to vote

    i know that this seems extreme (it is!), and the people of the will feel the pain sooner than the mayor. in the end, however, the mayor will feel pain when he is up for reelection. this will be true especially after several lawsuits have drained the city coffers and they cannot afford to maintain the streets.

     

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    jakerome (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 8:53am

    Even with the Onion stories

    C'mon Mike, have you sunk so low that you're no allowing your stable of amateur copythefters to write stories about articles from The Onion?

     

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    Jon B. (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 8:58am

    This is where I live. I never expected to learn about local news from Techdirt.

    The crime here is so low that police get bored. There may be certain "high crime" areas, but the "high crime" areas in this town are better than the "low crime" areas of Memphis, TN. I know the area he's talking about. It's not that bad. You're not going to get shot. You might get solicited for meth, but you're not getting shot.

    I haven't seen a single AR15-armed officer, so I'll believe it when I see it.

    The local politics here are stupid. The judges are stupid (well, one that I'm familiar with)... the local cable/electric/utility muni-owned company is stupid... This is a town where if you vote against tax increases, then you hate children. I've never run into cops, but I've heard they're not bright either.

    Sounds like this idiot has already backed down on his plan.

     

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      Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 9:25am

      Re:

      *nod* My first comment was right. Rift in the space-time continuum caused by a critical mass of stupid. Escaped government experiment, gotta be. Is there a sealed, abandoned military base nearby?

      You just watch. Next thing you know... zombie infection. Either that or an alien invasion. Time to clean that shotgun and stock up on shells!

       

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        ltlw0lf (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 12:46pm

        Re: Re:

        You just watch. Next thing you know... zombie infection. Either that or an alien invasion. Time to clean that shotgun and stock up on shells!

        Well, according what I heard on the History Channel, the end-of-the-world happens this evening at 6pm, along time-zones. So I expect the guys in New Zealand already had the zombie infection outbreak and it is working its way here now as we speak.

         

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      btr1701 (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 12:36pm

      Re:

      > This is a town where if you vote against
      > tax increases, then you hate children.

      There's an entire state where they say about you if you vote against tax increases. It's called California.

       

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    not going to end well, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 9:18am

    remember that first medal of honor game?

    SHOW ME YOUR PAPERS!

     

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      Rikuo (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 9:30am

      Re:

      I actually have a question about that. What does showing your ID actually accomplish? This police chief is saying that he's gonna walk up to pedestrians and demand ID. Well, what does that do? It can only verify their identity, it has nothing at all to do with whether or not that person is committing a crime or not (beyond being an illegal alien). So, can someone fill me in? How does asking for ID help crime rates?

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 9:47am

      Re:

      First medal of honor game???

      I was thinking Castle Wolfenstein.... All you have to do is kill the Police (SS Stormtroopers) loot their uniform, then use it to fool all the other police into trusting you while you kill them from behind...

      "Kommen Sie!" and show me your papers....

       

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    Keroberos (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 9:20am

    What a brilliant plan. Let's just waste a bunch of our budget and our officers time harassing ordinary citizens instead of doing any actual police work--like you know...investigating the specific crimes being committed and catching the perpetrators.

    Really, all this plan will do is push the crime into areas that aren't being patrolled this way--'cause the cops can't be everywhere.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 9:26am

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 10:41am

      Re:

      Terry stops have rules, too...

      From United States v. Cortez:

      Courts have used a variety of terms to capture the elusive concept of what cause is sufficient to authorize police to stop a person. Terms like "articulable reasons" and "founded suspicion" are not self-defining; they fall short of providing clear guidance dispositive of the myriad factual situations that arise. But the essence of all that has been written is that the totality of the circumstances—the whole picture—must be taken into account. Based upon that whole picture the detaining officers must have a particularized and objective basis for suspecting the particular person stopped of criminal activity. (emphasis mine)

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 9:28am

    Meh.. I need the cash. they can arrest me. The money from winning the resulting lawsuit should help my retirement nicely.

    You go Taxpayers!! W00t!

     

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      Almost Anonymous (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 11:45am

      Re:

      Yep. I didn't see your comment before I posted basically the same thing below. This place is a slam dunk civil rights violation lawsuit just waiting to happen.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 9:30am

    This will not end well.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 9:32am

    For real?

    I swear I thought you were referencing a story from the Onion here. And Paragould? As in paranoid?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 4:32pm

      Re: For real?

      Actually, this article appeared on informationliberation before it found its way here.

       

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        Duh, Dec 23rd, 2012 @ 7:00am

        Re: Re: For real?

        Thanks for that insight Anonymous Coward, are you familiar with how Techdirt operates? Everything here is from somewhere else.

         

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    Gracey (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 9:42am

    [Police are] going to be in SWAT gear and have AR-15s around their neck," Stovall said. "If you're out walking, we're going to stop you, ask why you're out walking, check for your ID."]

    OMG, really?

    I mean seriously ... don't people just go for a walk without having a reason? What happens when your reason isn't good enough to be "out walking" ... holy crap.

    Even worse: what happens if your a visitor?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 9:52am

    If they asked me why I was walking, I'd say exercise. And I'd mean it in multiple contexts. Exercising the body. Exercising my rights. Etc. Etc.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 9:53am

    In other news, government officials of Paragould, Arkansas are not expected to be re-elected.

     

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    Chris Brand (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 10:03am

    Hmmm

    "Show me your id"
    "Actually, I heard there was a high crime rate around here, so I left my wallet at home"

     

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    Ed C., Dec 21st, 2012 @ 10:08am

    "Criminals don't like being talked to."

    You also know what criminals don't like? Walking! If the police are going to accost pedestrians, criminals are just going to drive everywhere...as they already do, because even halfwits know criminals are lazy. Oh wait...

     

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    Varsil (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 10:19am

    Fact Check

    The AR-15 is not an "assault rifle": Assault rifles, by definition, must be capable of select fire, which the AR-15 is not.

    They resemble an assault rifle, but it's just cosmetic.

     

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      John Fenderson (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 10:43am

      Re: Fact Check

      "Assault rifle" is a made-up, and therefore meaningless term anyway. All rifles (and all other weapons, firearms or not, for that matter) are designed to facilitate assaults, so they are all "assault" weapons.

       

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      ltlw0lf (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 12:56pm

      Re: Fact Check

      The AR-15 is not an "assault rifle": Assault rifles, by definition, must be capable of select fire, which the AR-15 is not.

      The Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which expired in 2004, defined an assault weapon as thus:

      Semi-automatic rifles able to accept detachable magazines and two or more of the following:

      * Folding or telescoping stock
      * Pistol grip
      * Bayonet mount
      * Flash suppressor, or threaded barrel designed to accommodate one
      * Grenade launcher (more precisely, a muzzle device that enables launching or firing rifle grenades, though this applies only to muzzle mounted grenade launchers and not those mounted externally).

      The current discussion Federally is to introduce the law again, using California's definition, which is a rifle with one of the following:

      (1) A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and any one of the following:
      (A) A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon.
      (B) A thumbhole stock.
      (C) A folding or telescoping stock.
      (D) A grenade launcher or flare launcher.
      (E) A flash suppressor.
      (F) A forward pistol grip.
      (2) A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.
      (3) A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has an overall length of less than 30 inches [762 mm].

      Depending on the AR-15 model and the definition, they may very well fall into the definition.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 1:04pm

        Re: Re: Fact Check

        I don't see how that will help anything, the previous ban didn't stop the columbine massacre.

         

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          ltlw0lf (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 2:14pm

          Re: Re: Re: Fact Check

          I don't see how that will help anything, the previous ban didn't stop the columbine massacre.

          It won't. John is dead on...it isn't how the gun looks, it is its purpose, and that is where any ban falls short. If I buy a receiver for an AR-15, and deck it out to the point it looks like an evil-black-rifle, and don't fit within the stupid definitions above, I am good. The law only cares about how it looks.

          The Grand-Poster said that an AR-15 isn't an assault rifle. I was just pointing out that an AR-15 could be, given the legal definition of an assault rifle. If I have an AR-15 with a detachable magazine or a fixed magazine with more than 10 bullets, it is an assault rifle in California, even though it may not be elsewhere.

           

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        Keroberos (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 4:33pm

        Re: Re: Fact Check

        The truly amusing thing about those definitions is that they are meaningless. Anyone that actually understands guns knows that the functional difference between a semi-automatic hunting rifle (which would be legal under these definitions) and an "assault rifle" (as defined in these laws) is zero. Most of those defining features are all parts that can be added to a legal hunting rifle, making it into an illegal "assault rifle" with about 10 minutes work with some basic tools and after-market parts. The parts of the weapon that fire the bullet are identical between the two.

         

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          Andrew D. Todd, Dec 22nd, 2012 @ 6:45am

          How to Craft a Better Assault Rifle Ban.

          Crafting an Assault-Rifle Ban is an exercise in avoiding populations of guns already in the hands of people who are neither criminals or Ku Klux Klan members. After the Second World War, large numbers of surplus M-1 carbines were "sporterized," that is, converted from full-automatic to semi-automatic, stripped of their bayonet mounts, etc., and sold as cheap deer rifles. The M-1 carbine fires a round of 110 grains at 1990 feet/sec. The Army 30-06 round ,or the NATO 7.62mm, in its various different editions, is about 150 grains, 2800-2900 feet/sec. This class of cartridges were used on the old Springfield bolt-action rifle, and in the semi-automatic M-1 (Garrand) _rifle_ . When fired on full automatic, as in the M-14 rifle, these cartridges produce too much recoil for most soldiers to control. Hence the Armalite rifle (AR-15, M-16, etc), developed by Eugene Stoner, circa 1960, was built around a new cartridge, the 5.56mm (0.223) round, of 55 grains, 3250 feet/sec. Small high-velocity bullets have an interesting property-- when they hit something, they tend to tumble, producing effects rather like an exploding bullet (dum-dum bullet). As you may be aware, the use of exploding bullets in war is prohibited by the Geneva convention. The 5.56 round was a kind of end-run around the rules. It doesn't make a very satisfactory hunter's rifle, because it has a high propensity to shred the meat into in-edibility. It is probably possible to construct a reasonable "tumbling index," based on the highest-velocity load a given firearm is capable of handling.

          There are some rounds which are ballistically similar to the 5.56 round, the so-called "varmit" rounds, such as the .220 Swift. These are designed for killing a small animal which you do not want to eat, eg. a rabbit or woodchuck which might be raiding your garden. However, these are somewhat limited in application. For one thing, there are rules about how close to an occupied dwelling you can discharge a firearm. I believe that in West Virginia, the distance is five hundred feet. In practice, most of the reasonable places to put a garden are under the ban. There is a small population of large commercial vegetable farmers, who are a different story. In any case, a varmit rifle is typically bolt-action for greater accuracy.

           

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          Andrew D. Todd, Dec 22nd, 2012 @ 6:48am

          How to Craft a Better Assault Rifle Ban.

          Crafting an Assault-Rifle Ban is an exercise in avoiding populations of guns already in the hands of people who are neither criminals or Ku Klux Klan members. After the Second World War, large numbers of surplus M-1 carbines were "sporterized," that is, converted from full-automatic to semi-automatic, stripped of their bayonet mounts, etc., and sold as cheap deer rifles. The M-1 carbine fires a round of 110 grains at 1990 feet/sec. The Army 30-06 round ,or the NATO 7.62mm, in its various different editions, is about 150 grains, 2800-2900 feet/sec. This class of cartridges were used on the old Springfield bolt-action rifle, and in the semi-automatic M-1 (Garrand) _rifle_ . When fired on full automatic, as in the M-14 rifle, these cartridges produce too much recoil for most soldiers to control. Hence the Armalite rifle (AR-15, M-16, etc), developed by Eugene Stoner, circa 1960, was built around a new cartridge, the 5.56mm (0.223) round, of 55 grains, 3250 feet/sec. Small high-velocity bullets have an interesting property-- when they hit something, they tend to tumble, producing effects rather like an exploding bullet (dum-dum bullet). As you may be aware, the use of exploding bullets in war is prohibited by the Geneva convention. The 5.56 round was a kind of end-run around the rules. It doesn't make a very satisfactory hunter's rifle, because it has a high propensity to shred the meat into in-edibility. It is probably possible to construct a reasonable "tumbling index," based on the highest-velocity load a given firearm is capable of handling.

          There are some rounds which are ballistically similar to the 5.56 round, the so-called "varmit" rounds, such as the .220 Swift. These are designed for killing a small animal which you do not want to eat, eg. a rabbit or woodchuck which might be raiding your garden. However, these are somewhat limited in application. For one thing, there are rules about how close to an occupied dwelling you can discharge a firearm. I believe that in West Virginia, the distance is five hundred feet. In practice, most of the reasonable places to put a garden are under the ban. There is a small population of large commercial vegetable farmers, who are a different story. In any case, a varmit rifle is typically bolt-action for greater accuracy.

           

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        varsil (profile), Jan 18th, 2013 @ 11:17am

        Re: Re: Fact Check

        "Assault rifle" and "assault weapon" are not the same thing.

        "Assault weapon" is a legal term, which was chosen to be similar to assault rifle for political positioning.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 8:56pm

      Re: Fact Check

      The AR-15 and derivitives are a modified Service Rifle restricted to semi-automatic only. It fires an intermediate cartridge, the 5.56x45mm NATO not counting the few that fire pistol or wildcat cartridges.

      There are aftermarket devices that bypass the restriction of semi-automatic fire to provide burst/full auto mode with one pull of the trigger. Isn't that by definition against the law unless you have the appropriate licenses?

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 10:48am

    What does this have to do with tech?

    Or hating copyright?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 11:04am

      Re:

      nothing, its about privacy violations. Maybe you should get your head out of your ass for a few moments, not everything is about what you Hollywood apologists want.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 10:48am

    Finally!

    Well, it's about time. I've been waiting for years for them to drop their stupid pretenses. Enough of this farce about "fighting terrorism"; just start locking up entire towns of people in jail and monitoring them 24/7 already.
    They want to do it, they can do it, and their opponents have never responded with anything more than mass complaints and peaceful protests, neither of which can stand against armed soldiers ready and willing to shoot to kill at the first sign of opposition.
    Rule of law is dead. It's well past time for the tyranny behind the scenes to take center stage.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 10:50am

    Picture Identification

    "Suddenly, it looks like an actual police operation that might fall within the limitations imposed on it by the Constitution."

    But they'll still be asking for picture identification.

    In Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada, the US Supreme Court made it a point that Nevada law did not require a person detained to present picture identification but only to provide his or her name. Had the law required detainees to present picture identification, the outcome could have been different.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 10:56am

      Re: Picture Identification

      Police can't detain someone just for walking down the street so that's a totally different situation.

       

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    That One Guy (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 11:00am

    It would /so/ get you 'detained' but...

    A shirt with 'Heil Stovall! (What, I'm just getting in the spirit of things)' seems like it would be a nice way to mock this insane idea.

    Heck, sell enough of them and you could also use some of the proceeds to help pay the legal fees for the lawsuits that will come about if this crazy plan goes ahead.

     

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    Geoff Simon (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 11:15am

    Re:

    You never have to answer a law enforcement officers questions. "Do you know why i pulled you over?", "Where are you coming from?", "Are you carrying illegal weapons, drugs?"

    96% of all criminal convictions come from what you say to an officer in the first 5 minutes of an encounter. Remember, remain calm, breathe, keep your hands where the officer(s) can see them.

    Never participate in casual conversations with Police. If you are stopped on the street by a cop, ask "Am I Being Detained?" If cops must engage in casual conversation with you, they don't have enough information to bust you...yet. Don't answer their questions. If you aren't being detained, then WALK AWAY. If you are being detained, ask why and remember the officers name.

    "I do not consent to a search. I'm going to remain silent. I want to speak with my lawyer"

     

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    Jim, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 11:25am

    Really? Really? Really?

    I should have been a cop or politician so I can run around violating everyones rights without getting in trouble. The LAW has no respect for our countries founders. They see them as dead and gone and think its time for change. And you all know who gave them that inclination.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 11:32am

    jeez

    and now the NRA wants armed cops in schools

     

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      AzureSky (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 4:53pm

      Re: jeez

      Well, I actually have no problem with this, we always had cops at the highschool I went to, not that they did much there but, they where always around, (small down, cops bord....lol)

      would make crazy fucks think twice, kinda like the loose carry laws in KC where gun crime is VERY low....criminals and nuts think twice when theres a good chance they will be the ones getting shot....

       

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    please people, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 11:41am

    your overreacting. is really so hard to cooperate with his majesties representatives?

     

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    Almost Anonymous (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 11:41am

    Is anyone else tempted to go here? I'd give them PLENTY of flack when they stopped me without cause, and once they tossed me in jail I'd be filing a multi-million dollar civil rights violation suit that same day.

     

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    johnparadox (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 12:17pm

    Predicted

    Ray Bradbury wrote a short story "The Pedestrian" which basically predicted this kind of thing,especially the fact that they're specifically targeting people out at night.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pedestrian

     

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    btr1701 (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 12:30pm

    Bizarre

    > During hours in which crime seems to be
    > more prevalent (i.e. between the hours of
    > 11pm and 5 am), our process will become
    > more stringent. We will be asking for
    > picture identification. We will be ascertaining
    > where the subject lives and what they are
    > doing in the area.

    He still doesn't say what, if anything, he'll do if during those more stringent times someone says, "Sorry, I was just out for a walk and didn't bring any ID with me." Or refuses to explain why they're in a particular part of town-- which citizens are under no legal obligation to do.

    > This is the person calling the shots,
    > someone who institutes something that skirts
    > the very edge of Constitutionality without
    > even consulting an attorney.

    You're being far too generous here. This doesn't just skirt the edge of constitutionality, it launches itself clear over the border and deep into enemy territory.

     

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    Pankakes, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 12:49pm

    If they had cause to arrest you, you would be sitting in handcuffs. As long as you're not being detained you don't have to say squat. And if they ask you a question it's your call whether to answer, but know that if you're not actually being detained you don't have to sit there and listen. Just walk away...

     

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    Brent (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 12:59pm

    seriously, that police chief and mayor should both be fired immediately. even 'unofficially' announcing that kind of stuff to the world is not ok and the chief is verging on inciting public panic.

     

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    Joe, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 1:47pm

    Let's get 50,000 American Citizens walking their streets with no ID!

    Let's get 50,000 American Citizens walking this chief's streets with no ID and watch their jails overflow.

    By the People, FOR the People mr. police chief. You want totalitarianism, get your behind someplace else where that's the system - NOT in the U.S.A.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 4:36pm

      Re: Let's get 50,000 American Citizens walking their streets with no ID!

      The streets were full of people during the Occupy protests, and what did that accomplish?

       

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    mitchel dumez, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 2:09pm

    This Police cheif is asking for problems!!!!!

    What is he thinking????????? We are forbidden to patrol our boarder's of Mexico because of Obama and all the cry baby Democrapes????? Obama want's there to be a fight between parties........He want's to destroy our country and he will succeed thank's to all you who liked him more than God!!!!!!!!!!!

     

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    n/a, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 3:10pm

    idiocy

    arm everybody,works in Switzerland.Wait till the pharaoh implements his FEMA agenda,if you think its a police state now

     

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    richard (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 3:21pm

    They are trying to take away our right to own guns and then it will become a police state because no one will be able to stop them, I think the us government needs to be torn down and rebuilt it is just a cesspool of corruption now and soon we will have no rights

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 5:03pm

    It's been frequently posited that the US is slowly becoming a police state...

    From where I sit (Australia), I think you're already there.

    Your country is seeming more and more fascist all the time, and my fear is only how much you're going to able to push that agenda on the rest of us, in the rest of the world.

     

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      Coogan (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 7:00pm

      Re:

      I'd argue that this part of the natural progression of a free society. Freedom leads to oppression, oppression leads to revolution, revolution leads to freedom, wash, rinse, repeat.

       

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    Digitari, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 5:17pm

    Re: Police state

    I got pulled over the other day by an Officer, I asked "what I did I do wrong", he said, "you anticipated the light", isn't that waiting for a Green? I didn't get a ticket.

     

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    vilain (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 5:44pm

    ACLU challenge detected...

    I'd like to see a group of 10 different ACLU attorneys, all of different ethnicities and ages, go walking in this area with remotely uploading video uplinks. When asked to show their papers by the various officers, they can go through the dialog "What's your probable cause." and refuse to produce them. Videos would then be used for litegation against the arresting officers, police chief, and mayor. That city is going to be bankrupt from all the litigation very quickly.

    Time to dump these clowns.

     

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    Paragould Tweets, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 9:43pm

    All wrong

    The initial story was blatantly inaccurate. The facts have been put out since then, but no one will make the facts as viral as this inaccurate version was because it's not anywhere near as sensational. I refer you to the following links:

    http://www.kait8.com/story/20389250/ppd-clears-up-martial-law-speculation
    http://live.huf fingtonpost.com/r/segment/town-in-arkansas/50d090ba78c90a45c600028f

    Please get the TRUE version of this story out and STOP spreading the sensationalized bogus story that was first reported.

     

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    Androgynous Cowherd, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 11:00pm

    Town hall low attendance indicates less fear than claimed.

    Finally, he bemoans the lack of attendance at town hall meetings held by the police department regarding its new anti-crime street patrol ...


    If the townspeople were truly widely terrified of being the victims of robberies or violent crimes, wouldn't there have been high attendance at any widely-announced event that claimed to be about what to do about the crime wave?

    The low actual attendance suggests to me that the claims of "widespread fear" were a tad overblown ...

     

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    UAV, Dec 22nd, 2012 @ 2:53am

    UAV Drones

    Will there be UAV drones flying overhead with X-ray cameras watching me in my house? It's not Authoritarian and Un-Constitutional enough without UAV's.

     

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    richard (profile), Dec 22nd, 2012 @ 4:56am

    Only those with something to hide don't want to talk,

     

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    Thomas (profile), Dec 22nd, 2012 @ 5:14pm

    Was the Police chief..

    elected "Der Fuhrer"? Do the cops in that town now use the Nazi salute and wear hobnailed boots? Swastika armbands? Instead of Ar-15s they should be carrying MP-40 Schmeissers. I'd hate to be Jewish in that town.

    Himmler and Beria would be proud of the chief.

    This program should do wonders for tourism in Arkansas. Not

    It would be interesting to see a high profile civil rights attorney take a walk down the street and get arrested and then sue the crap out of the town.

     

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    ML, Dec 23rd, 2012 @ 2:04pm

    What an idiot

    I'm a police officer, and that is the most outlandish idea I think I've ever heard, and I've heard some boneheaded ideas from my boss(es). You cannot stop someone for simply walking in public, doesn't matter if they want to walk up and down the most crime ridden street all night long. Wow.

     

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    Thomas (profile), Dec 24th, 2012 @ 7:12am

    Don't forget...

    that Arizona passed a law allowing cops to stop anyone they don't think is a citizen and demand papers.. not driver's licenses..but citizenship papers. This was just to find illegal immigrants. Just think..you are 3rd or 4th generation Hispanic American citizen from New Mexico...you drive to Arizona..cops stop you...your New Mexico DL is NOT a valid ID, so you get "detained" until you can prove you are a legal citizen. How the heck do you do that? The only way I could think would be to carry a U.S. passport.

     

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    Sneakyolman, Jan 6th, 2013 @ 5:16am

    Problem Solved

    What the chief should have done was to offer a city identification card, with a full background check. He could charge the citizens of the city whatever it cost him and then his officers could just focus on those without the special identification cards.
    Oh my gosh, didn't TSA do that for VIP travelers. I knew I heard this before, thats right it was done in 1939!
    The police state is not coming guys its here. You just have to look for it. But when this city gets sued and it will the chief will be replaced and a P.R. program of we only meant to protect you, by taking away your liberty.

     

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