San Diego Cop Thinks You Might Have Turned Your Cell Phone Into A Gun And That 'Officer Safety' Trumps Constitutional Rights

from the convert-your-DSLR-to-an-RPG-in-3-easy-steps!!! dept

We've seen several times before the reticence (a fancy $20 word for "antipathy") many law enforcement officers have towards being recorded while on the job. They don't seem to mind cameras they control (even though those too have proven problematic -- but fixable), but if the average citizen starts "taping" an encounter, much ado is made about the impropriety (or illegal-ness) of the citizen's actions.

We've seen all of this before. But this one tops those stories. This is one of those has-to-be-seen-to-be-believed events. Fortunately, it involves a functioning camera installed in a surprisingly dangerous cell phone.

San Diegan Adam Pringle was minding his own business illegally smoking a cigarette in a public area (I know -- this falls under the "California Is Ridiculous" heading) when he was approached by Officer Reinhold, who then proceeded to cite him for outdoor smoking.

Pringle decided to whip out his Samsung and record the encounter. At that point, things went from bad to worse to surreal.

It all seemed pretty civil until the cop writing the citation told him to stop recording, which Pringle refused to do.

"Phones can be converted into weapons …. look it up online," the cop told him.

When Pringle tried to talk sense into the cop, the cop slapped the phone out of his hand where it fell onto the boardwalk and broke apart.

The other cop then pounced on him, slamming him down on the boardwalk where he ended up with a laceration on his chin.



Read that again. (Or watch the video.) Officer Reinhold wants Pringle to shut off the camera in his phone because, no shit, a cell phone can be turned into a gun. Apparently, the internet says so. Yes, this would be the same internet that declared the unusual popping noise in your knees to be "AIDS." And, yes, it is possible to turn a camera/cell phone into a gun. It's just very unlikely this is happening with any frequency.

Despite this very "real" danger, Reinhold allows a gun camera to be trained on him for the next few minutes as Pringle's friends continue to record the arrest. Not only that, but he continues to write the ticket for smoking outdoors, oblivious to multiple passersby that are carrying their phoneguns out in the open or concealed in pockets/purses.

Let's hope this little bit of misinformation doesn't become the next "Stop resisting." Officer Reinhold seems remarkably calm for a man with a gun pointed directly at his face. If I was in his position, I'd, at the very least, have my taser aimed directly back at the gunman cameraman threatening my life.

It gets even better/worse. Reinhold, while being filmed by the non-arrestees, makes a statement even bolder/more ridiculous than his "Don't literally shoot me with your phone!" claim. (Second recording over at Photography Is Not A Crime.)

He also said that "officer safety" trumps the Constitution, meaning they can claim they are fear for their lives while they throw you in jail for any lame excuse.
So, we're to believe that if an officer is in danger, the entire rulebook can just be tossed out the proverbial window? I mean, if you're already going to negate the Constitution when staring down the barrel of a Samsung, what's stopping you from scrapping the local codes and policies governing police work when in danger? Hours and hours of training in order to prep officers for dealing with the potentially dangerous public but when it all comes down to it, law enforcement is "authorized" to succumb to "fight or flight?" That makes no sense.

Pringle, double-threat that he is (smoker and gun camera owner), was hauled away after sustaining enough injuries from the arrest that an ambulance was called. He then spent a night in jail after being charged with obstruction for failing to immediately turn over his weapon cell phone.

Fortunately for all of us, Pringle didn't. This is why we should record police activity. Without record of statements like these, it's nearly impossible to convince anyone that some members of law enforcement carry around an imaginary rulebook, one that can be rewritten on the fly to suit the situation at hand, or thrown out completely if the officers feel threatened. Reinhold is now infamous and will likely be confronted with many more dangerous would-be guns provided to the populace by notorious weapons dealers like T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T.



Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Apr 18th, 2013 @ 2:09pm

    A phone that can be used as a gun?

    There's an app for that.

     

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    That One Guy (profile), Apr 18th, 2013 @ 4:39pm

    He's actually correct, in a manner of speaking

    While the odds of someone turning their cell phone into an actual gun and presenting a physical threat to a police officer are probably 99.9% against, someone 'shooting' a video of a police officer abusing their power like that can indeed 'kill' a police officer's career, so cell phones can indeed present a threat, though only to those officers that should never have gotten the job in the first place.

     

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  3.  
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    ltlw0lf (profile), Apr 18th, 2013 @ 5:02pm

    Re: He's actually correct, in a manner of speaking

    While the odds of someone turning their cell phone into an actual gun and presenting a physical threat to a police officer are probably 99.9% against

    If the phone was a threat, it should have been dealt with immediately. There were two officers present (maybe more) and neither made any mention of the threat until a good 30 seconds after the guy had been recording. Even so, if they believed it was a gun, why did they leave it, untouched, on the ground when they knocked it out of the guy's hand. Possessing a deadly weapon is a felony in California, and that is evidence of a crime. From the second video, they didn't even check the camera.

    Samsung smartphones are very thin, and I don't think you could get a 22 barrel into them, and if you did, how could you trigger it with no buttons. The video of the cellphone gun was an old "brick" phone with buttons. Even if the phone had a gun in it, there isn't a barrel or bullet that would fit and fire when the phone is held vertically. Maybe it is one of those new fangled sci-fi laser pistols he's thinking about.

    I suspect the folks in San Diego will be paying this gentleman a handsome amount of money in the near future.

     

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  4.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Apr 18th, 2013 @ 5:10pm

    Cell Guns

    > Officer Reinhold wants Pringle to shut off
    > the camera in his phone because, no shit, a
    > cell phone can be turned into a gun. Apparently,
    > the internet says so.

    There's so much about this incident that's wrong, but one thing that isn't wrong is that cell phones can indeed be turned into guns and tasers. Just one example of many:

    http://www.blogcdn.com/www.switched.com/media/2008/11/cellphonegun.jpg

    > And, yes, it is possible to turn a camera/cell
    > phone into a gun. It's just very unlikely this
    > is happening with any frequency.

    More frequently than you're apparently aware. I've personally recovered what looked like an iPhone in an Otterbox-type case from a suspect only to find out it was really a small 3-shot .22-caliber firearm.

    Is every cell phone out there a gun? No. But it only takes one to give you a very bad day.

    There are also after-market iPhone and Android cases that double as tasers which can easily incapacitate a grown man.

    None of that excuses this incident, however, where it's obvious that the officer knew it was a working phone and not a gun because it was the recording he was concerned with. The whole 'it could be a weapon' thing only came in later as a (lame) excuse.

     

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  5.  
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    Beech, Apr 18th, 2013 @ 5:11pm

    Re: Re: He's actually correct, in a manner of speaking

    He could have lunged at the cop and lodged the phone in the cop's airway. That would be totally fatal. Or maybe used it to bludgeon the cop over the head with it (not that the cop's stylish helmet wouldn't have protected him)

     

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  6.  
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    Beech, Apr 18th, 2013 @ 5:12pm

    Re: A phone that can be used as a gun?

    not a gun. don't be silly. But I KNOW I've seen an app to make your phone almost funtcion as a lightsabre

     

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  7.  
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    Mason Wheeler, Apr 18th, 2013 @ 5:13pm

    California is ridiculous

    San Diegan Adam Pringle was minding his own business illegally smoking a cigarette in a public area (I know -- this falls under the "California Is Ridiculous" heading)


    California is ridiculous for a lot of reasons, but this really isn't one of them. What exactly is wrong with cutting back on a known public health hazard, in public?

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2013 @ 5:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: He's actually correct, in a manner of speaking

    Mabye he could have cut him with the Razr?

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2013 @ 5:19pm

    Re: Cell Guns

    Does this remind anyone of "Officer Rivieri"?

    He was the guy that beat up a teenage skateboarder somewhere in Baltimore. He also became angry when he realized he had been filmed.

    He was eventually fired.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2013 @ 5:23pm

    I know what youíre thinking: "Did he fire six shots, or only five?" Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, Iíve kinda lost track myself. But being this is a .44 Samsung, the most powerful cell phone in the world, and would blow your head clean off, youíve got to ask yourself one question: "Do I feel lucky?" Well do ya, punk?

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2013 @ 5:36pm

    Oh boy ... now we're going to have background checks for cell phones and a limit on battery duration.

    Has the run on cellphones started yet? Soon the shelves will be empty and the NCA (National Cellphone Association) will be threatening congress critters with pictures of nooses.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2013 @ 5:43pm

    United States

    For a country that prides itself on its freedoms, it sure is extremely illiberal, repressive and corrupt.

     

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    SirThoreth (profile), Apr 18th, 2013 @ 5:48pm

    As a San Diegan, all i can say is...

    "You stay classy, San Diego!"

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2013 @ 5:49pm

    Re:

    High Capacity Batteries should be made illegal since they allow for a longer duration of criminal filming with a camera.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2013 @ 5:54pm

    Re: California is ridiculous

    Smoking certainly seemed to be bad for Pringle's health...

     

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    OldMugwump (profile), Apr 18th, 2013 @ 5:57pm

    Re: California is ridiculous

    "public health" is not the same as "health". That's why the word "public" is in there - to distinguish it.

    He was endangering his own _private_ health, not anybody else's. That's why it's ridiculous.

    (Next, I suppose you'll be wanting to ban fatty foods, mountain climbing, and poor posture at the keyboard.)

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2013 @ 5:58pm

    Both the cop and the smoker are douchebags. One has a gun and the other has a lawyer. They both deserve the next few months of their lives.

     

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  18.  
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    Yakko Warner (profile), Apr 18th, 2013 @ 6:20pm

    Re: United States

    Not all of it is as bad as California.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2013 @ 6:34pm

    Re: Re: United States

    You're only as strong as your weakest link.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2013 @ 6:42pm

    Why stop at phones?

    Pens, canes, belt buckles, watches, shoes, umbrellas, hats, buttons, flashlights, cameras and who knows what else an imaginative individual can conceive. I feel sorry for any stop this guy makes, threats are everywhere.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2013 @ 6:45pm

    The cop is right, the cell phone is a weapon. It's a weapon against crooked cops and cops doing wrongful things. I hope this weapon kicks this cops ass in court.

    YouTube Comment

     

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  22.  
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    MrWilson, Apr 18th, 2013 @ 7:01pm

    Re:

    I can see the public service announcements now:

    "Don't use a cell unless you want to end up in a cell!"

     

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  23.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Apr 18th, 2013 @ 7:01pm

    Re:

    I smell SITCOM!

    Pringle and Reinhold!
    Yes Pringle and Reinhold!
    One's a chain smoker!
    The other's completely lame!
    They're ordinary joes!
    Who step on other people's toes!
    Yes Pringle! Pringle and Rein, Rein, Rein, Rein, Rein, Rein, Rein, Rein, Rein, Reinhold!

    *BANG!*

     

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  24.  
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    Daniel Joseph Calvanese (profile), Apr 18th, 2013 @ 7:03pm

    Someone else will pay for his abuse of power.

    Cops like this make the job that much more dangerous for the rest. When police encounter someone that actually is going to kill them, the crowd is more than happy to do nothing but take pictures.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2013 @ 7:24pm

    Re: Re:

    Yes, we must also ban those assault phones because the forward pistol grip makes it easier to shoot video!

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2013 @ 7:36pm

    Re: Re: California is ridiculous

    Second hand smoking is just as bad, if not worse. And it harms people who have made the conscious choice to NOT smoke.

    Your argument is silly.

     

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  27.  
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    Zos (profile), Apr 18th, 2013 @ 7:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: California is ridiculous

    assholes like you are why we have prisons stuffed full of people who committed victimless crimes. creeping criminalization of behavior is the cancer here, not a couple parts per billion of cig smoke in the outside air. i'm guessing car exhaust poses a larger threat.

     

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  28.  
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    Wolfy, Apr 18th, 2013 @ 8:03pm

    Please forgive if this has already been touched on, but the officer was surely referring to the concept of the "pen" (a recording device, bane of all religions, Dictators, Fascists and corrupt governments from the the beginning) being mightier than the "sword" e.g. a "Weapon". Clearly a threat.

    Simple.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2013 @ 8:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: California is ridiculous

    Your argument is silly. Outdoors, the "second-hand smoke" would be reduced so much that somebody would have to be right next to him to breathe it in. If it annoys them, they can move a few feet away. Indoors is a different story. It's the law, and perhaps he should have obeyed it, but there are many greater risks to public health.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2013 @ 8:08pm

    A phone is a weapon

    Maybe the guy was going to hold it against the cop's head for a few months and give him brain cancer. But there would need to be an outlet nearby.

     

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  31.  
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    rhizome (profile), Apr 18th, 2013 @ 8:12pm

    Re: Re: A phone that can be used as a gun?

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2013 @ 8:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: California is ridiculous

    There are actually no studies to support your supposition. It's just one of those things that 'we all know,' right?

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2013 @ 8:31pm

    I'm willing to bet that a high pollen count has killed more people in California than someone getting a whiff of someones smoke.

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2013 @ 8:40pm

    Re: Someone else will pay for his abuse of power.

    "When police encounter someone that actually is going to kill them, the crowd is more than happy to do nothing but take pictures."

    In most of those cases the police would be glad to have everyone stand back. Would you have civilians intentionally putting themselves into the middle of a lethal situation where the police are already present? And if the use of force is justified, wouldn't the police appreciate having proof of that?

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2013 @ 8:57pm

    "He also said that "officer safety" trumps the Constitution, meaning they can claim they are fear for their lives while they throw you in jail for any lame excuse."

    Partially true. He can *claim* he was in fear for his life, and use that to justify going as far as killing someone. But the catch is, he has to make a jury believe him.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2013 @ 9:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: California is ridiculous

    Even standing right next to him means nothing if the wind is blowing the other way. It's just a ridiculous law. Being stuck in traffic behind a diesel truck is far worse.

     

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  37.  
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    artp (profile), Apr 18th, 2013 @ 9:27pm

    Re: Re: He's actually correct, in a manner of speaking

    I've got a Samsung.

    Guess I'd better read the manual to see how to make a weapon out of it. :-)

     

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  38.  
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    BentFranklin (profile), Apr 18th, 2013 @ 9:35pm

    While it's the right of any spectator to record what's going on, I don't believe it's that kid's right to record while he is the subject of enforcement. The cops are within their right to ask him to stop recording, as well as to stop doing just about anything that is disruptive, e.g., remove ear buds.

    The cop made the mistake of using a bad justification (phone can be a weapon) and should have just said "Stop that or you'll get more than a ticket, and I don't have to explain why right now, your lawyer can explain it to you when you are in jail" which is in fact what happened. So, basically the only mistake the cop made was bothering to justify to a moron the fact that he needs to control the situation.

     

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  39.  
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    BentFranklin (profile), Apr 18th, 2013 @ 9:37pm

    Re:

    Well, actually, the bit about the Constitution was pretty bad.

     

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    Binko Barnes (profile), Apr 18th, 2013 @ 9:59pm

    Police need to be trained to understand the basic legal concept that members of the public are not their slaves.

    Unless there exists an ongoing life-threatening or serious public safety threat then we don't have to bow, scrape, instantly jump when ordered and otherwise show absolutely obedience to every whim or random utterance made by a cop.

    These types of incidents often seem to boil down to the citizen failing to properly bow down and kiss the ass of the officer which leads the officer to assert his brute power by escalating a minor peaceful violation into a violent encounter.

     

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  41.  
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    webitube (profile), Apr 18th, 2013 @ 10:36pm

    Use a phone, go to prison.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2013 @ 10:42pm

    Re: Re: California is ridiculous

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

    Unfortunately, cigarette smoke has this unfortunate habit of being breathable by people other than the individual choosing to smoke. This would make it a public problem.

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2013 @ 10:56pm

    Re:

    Controlling the situation...

    A simple statement from the officer would go a long way to unsettle the recorder.

    Something along the lines of 'you are permitted to record me if you so choose, but i still have to give you this ticket. If you chose to dispute this ticket, your recording may be requisitioned by the court as evidince'

     

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  44.  
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    bigpallooka (profile), Apr 18th, 2013 @ 11:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: California is ridiculous

    "There are actually no studies to support your supposition. It's just one of those things that 'we all know,' right?"

    Actually, the CDC says on their website:

    There is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke.

    The Mayo Clinic says on their website:

    The dangerous particles in secondhand smoke can linger in the air for hours or even longer. It isn't just the smoke that's a concern, though. The residue that clings to a smoker's hair and clothing, as well as cushions, carpeting and other goods ó sometimes referred to as thirdhand smoke ó also can pose risks, especially for children.

    I support your right to smoke just so long as you don't do it where the smoke can be breathed by others, the particles from the smoke won't affect anyone for several hours and the particles from the smoke won't land on anything that someone with any susceptibility to those particles especially children might EVER come in contact with them.

    That way your rights and everyone else's are covered. That's fair? Right?

    I don't condone police misconduct under any circumstances but I also don't condone inconsiderate douche-bags who flaunt the laws meant to protect the innocent.

     

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  45.  
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    bigpallooka (profile), Apr 18th, 2013 @ 11:33pm

    Re:

    That seems to be the issue at heart of many of these incidents. Officer fails to behave like robot and citizen objects to 'da man' suppressing him. There have been many occasions when cops have acted like totalitarian hard-asses or even criminal assholes but when every second citizen you meet is a douchebag who wants to obstruct you at your job, act like they are on an episode of cops, or just make a name for themselves and their youtube channel then even 'mostly' professional cops can get to the point of having 'had enough'. It doesn't by any means excuse the behaviour but it might just be a reason not to be screaming 'I know my rights' before they have been impinged. You might be the one who catches a usually professional person with a great deal of authority on a bad day.
    Just sayin'

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2013 @ 11:37pm

    Re: Cell Guns

    I am waiting for the cop that will be recorded saying that cellphones can be used to trigger a bomb as an excuse to not let them being recorded.

    You are right a cellphone can be made into many things including a weapon which currently can be spotted by a simple check.

    That I would understand, a cop asking to verify the equipment that will be pointing at him, which may or may not be over the top depending on the circumstances.

    But in this case that cop clearly told that citizen, "hey I am the authority here and you will do as I say or else, I know this is not a weapon and I will kick your ass for making me uncomfortable and in fear of my career as a law enforcement agent", of course not in many words that is what his body language told everybody else.

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2013 @ 11:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: California is ridiculous

    Sorry no.
    inside smoking bad/outside smoking good. Simple rule easy to follow and makes sense.

    To make the issue as complex as you want we're going to have to look at that third hand smoke risk and mandate that all smokers change their clothes and shower before they come into contact with anyone.

    If you honestly believe that "second hand" smoke is equally bad for you if you're in a room with the smoker or outside then you need your head examining.

    There is also no risk free anything in life. Just by sitting there at your computer you're running the risk of cancer. you might be better of living in a cave (as long as there's no radon gas or rock falls or spiders...)

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 19th, 2013 @ 12:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: California is ridiculous

    Quote:
    Actually, the CDC says on their website:

    There is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke.


    What the CDC really said: "We don't really know, but you shouldn't take the chance if you can help it"

    If people care about others and their freedoms, everybody should be wearing air filter masks inside hockey masks.

    That way you control your air quality, and don't have to worry about what others are putting out into any environment space.

    I see it this way, everything I can do by myself that would increase my health I should do it before trying to force others to do what I consider "the right thing".

    Noise is the same thing, I see people fighting because of noise, I think to myself how inconsiderate these people are, you know the ones doing the complaining, ear plugs cost $2 dollars, you can even build some fancy ones that will not allow any sounds through, so why don't we use those things?

    People will force children to use helmets when on a bicycle, but not other stuff that can increase their quality of life why?

    Fashion statement?

    Wearing an air filter prevents not only foul odor from offending your senses but dangerous gases from reaching your lungs. Formaldehyde is cancerous and naturally occurring, until very recently it was everywhere, it was used in strong glues and it is probably far more dangerous than nicotine, leaded gas is a problem, people knew it was toxic from at least the 50's and it only got banned in the middle of the 80's for economic reasons, I won't go into if it was right or wrong, but I will say that maybe the reason that the US is so defendant on others for raw materials is because Americans lost the ability to cope with the bad, we don't compromise, we don't want to make sacrifices, the right ones at least, we give up freedom for protections that can never be achieved but we can't were masks or ear plugs to improve our own environment for ourselves why?,

    Here is an oldy.
    http://www.impactlab.net/2008/05/20/frog-design-digital-escape-the-virtual-reality-mask-with- smells/

    The frog mask design concept, it is an environment filter, it controls air quality, sound and images, is not that far away from possibility, yet the first reaction I got when I posted this I believe some years ago in here was, "If I see you wearing one of those I shoot you", WTF is wrong with people?

     

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  49.  
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    bigpallooka (profile), Apr 19th, 2013 @ 12:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: California is ridiculous

    Denying facts or at least the current theory of experts or minimising them for your own advantage is truly a pathetic way of making an argument. Wiping away the expertise of to such esteemed organisations with a brush off makes the rest of your comment suspect. Of course everyone is responsible for what they have personal control over but suggesting you aren't responsible for how your actions effect others is appalling. As is the suggestion that is constantly dragged out by anyone who's own habits and entertainments are detrimental to themselves and others; that many other risks to the publics health and well-being are legal so... So what? Laws are enacted (theoretically) to benefit the public good and suggesting that one is invalid due to another not being enacted is sophistry at it's worst.

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    terry eisenmenger, Apr 19th, 2013 @ 1:32am

    San Diego Police - CellPhone FEAR?

    While interesting I see just 1 more reason not to live in CA.

    Admittedly the gentleman filming was a little inviting of added surliness - yet, an officer sworn "to protect and to serve" the public reacting in such a manner is ridiculous.

    Next we'll hear of the civil suits each brings against the other and the stupidly huge sum the city decides to settle for to "calm the citizenry".

    laughable...

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 19th, 2013 @ 3:14am

    Re:

    Wrong, just wrong...

    First off, the guy had absolutely ever right to record the cops whether you believe he should be able to or not is irrelevant.

    Cops do NOT have the power you seem to attribute to them they can't just force people to obey them without legal justification for doing so and because it annoys them or makes their job harder is not justification enough in most cases.

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 19th, 2013 @ 3:17am

    Re: Re:

    So what? Their job is tough again so what? They took this job knowing that incidents like this would happen. If their personal feelings cause them to act unprofessional well then I have no sympathy for them and by all means believe they need to be removed from their position.

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 19th, 2013 @ 3:35am

    i'm just wondering how much the firearms license costs for a cellphone/camera/gun?

     

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  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 19th, 2013 @ 3:37am

    I THINK I know what the officers' logic is, but it's faulty. (if they have reasonable suspicion, they can conduct a 'frisk' search for weapons. (basically, give a pat-down search)) but a) the search can only be for actual weapons- there is no way I know of to turn a functional phone into a weapon. b) it's excuse enough only to take a look at the phone, and definitely isn't an excuse to break the phone.

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    Mr.Applegate, Apr 19th, 2013 @ 3:39am

    Most probably will not even know the reference but:

    Obviously they let Barney Fife out without Andy Griffith.

    Guess I am showing my age, but that is exactly the way Barney Fife would have acted if that show were made today.

     

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  56.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Apr 19th, 2013 @ 4:01am

    Re:

    I'm not sure but it says that you can fire up to 6 rounds per second if you set the camera for sequential shots! Crazy I know. And it's even more frightening when you think there are MILLIONS of these weapons out there. Remember the news where cell phones exploded? IT WAS NOT THE BATTERY! The Govt did not reveal this info to avoid widespread panic. We are doomed! It's the mobile terrorist apocalypse!

     

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  57.  
    icon
    Bergman (profile), Apr 19th, 2013 @ 4:24am

    Re: He's actually correct, in a manner of speaking

    By that standard, witness tampering shouldn't be a crime, since being convicted would interfere with your career.

     

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  58.  
    icon
    Bergman (profile), Apr 19th, 2013 @ 4:26am

    Re: Cell Guns

    If a camera phone is being used as a camera, the only place you could put the barrel would be aimed straight up in the air or off to the side. Even a .22 short cartridge is longer than modern phones are thick.

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 19th, 2013 @ 4:55am

    The officer was concerned about the cell phone being changed into a gun ... how would he have felt about it being changed into a donut?

     

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  60.  
    icon
    Bergman (profile), Apr 19th, 2013 @ 4:59am

    Re: California is ridiculous

    Nothing. But smoking a cigarette doesn't waive your rights under either the state or federal constitutions.

     

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  61.  
    icon
    Bergman (profile), Apr 19th, 2013 @ 5:00am

    Re: Re:

    Unless the total mass of the phone is converted into energy to fuel the explosion, I don't think we have anything to worry about.

     

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  62.  
    icon
    Bergman (profile), Apr 19th, 2013 @ 5:01am

    Re: Re: Someone else will pay for his abuse of power.

    There are quite a few cops out there who are alive today because of citizens coming to their aid.

     

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  63.  
    icon
    martyburns (profile), Apr 19th, 2013 @ 5:02am

    Re: Re: Re: California is ridiculous

    Go stand somewhere else then. It's your fault for standing in the way of my smoke. Nothing is forcing you to be outside, unlike the law forcing me to be.

    In short, Fuck off.

     

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  64.  
    icon
    RyanNerd (profile), Apr 19th, 2013 @ 5:17am

    Above the law

    The laughable cell phone as gun defence was bad enough, but when a cop outright says he is above the law of land, then you know you are dealing with a real loon on a power trip.

     

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  65.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Apr 19th, 2013 @ 5:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: California is ridiculous

    Just as long as you don't mind me waving around my boombox and stink bombs in your general direction...

     

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  66.  
    identicon
    orrosta, Apr 19th, 2013 @ 6:57am

    Re: Re: California is ridiculous

    Actually the ban on public smoking has nothing to do with the smokers health and everything to non smokers who may have the misfortune of having to inhale second hand smoke. Smokers are allowed to smoke in private, just not anywhere were random people will be breathing I their cancer cloud. So it is in fact all about public health.

     

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  67.  
    icon
    Shon Gale (profile), Apr 19th, 2013 @ 7:01am

    Sounds like every cop I've ever met. Assholes. Liars.

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    The Real Michael, Apr 19th, 2013 @ 7:26am

    Re: Re: Re: California is ridiculous

    Tens of thousands of people get into car accidents every year. Should they outlaw driving because of the potential risks involved? Cell-phones and alcohol contribute to the problem, so should we ban those as well? Cars release all sorts of chemicals into the atmosphere, posing health risks to the public.

    It seems as though ANYTHING can be construed as posing a health risk, vindicating the state or town to play regulator over our lives. You stepping outside poses various risks, albeit extremely low probability but risks nevertheless. For example, you may step outside, get stung by a bee, have an allergic reaction and die.

    Let's all live in fear of our 5 o'clock shadow and let big brother state hold our hand whenever we do something in public, because we're all irresponsible, untrustworthy and can't handle our own lives.

     

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  69.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 19th, 2013 @ 7:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: California is ridiculous

    I know you're sarcastically pretending to be a giant flaming douchebag, but it seems like some smokers actually think like that. Unbelievable how they think submitting to their sick addiction trumps the use of public space for everyone else who doesn't want to smell like a trailer park.

     

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  70.  
    icon
    chodelord (profile), Apr 19th, 2013 @ 8:09am

    Our "justice" system is fundamentally corrupt at pretty much every level. We like to pretend we are better than china, or soviet russia but the reality is our cops are just as bad or worse than theirs.

    The supreme court gave them the power to stop anyone on the street and feel them up. If you refuse lick their boots they will beat you until and maybe kill you.

    Police abuse is one of the many reasons that public sector unions need to be disbanded, as the union always fights against even the smallest measure of accountability.

     

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  71.  
    icon
    Rapnel (profile), Apr 19th, 2013 @ 8:20am

    Re:

    For a two shot capacity at&t charges 39.95 a month. Every shot after that is 19.95. They do have the unlimited capacity magazine plan at 129.95 but they throttle your reload mechanism after 32 shots, barely noticeable unless you haven't controlled the situation just yet. The family shot plan is a bit exorbitant at 399.95 a month for up to five lines but grabbing your kid's phone in a pinch could prove a life saver.

    Oh, and if you run a cell gun and you haven't purchased a plan they'll add it on for you at no extra charge for the administrative effort.

     

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  72.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 19th, 2013 @ 9:14am

    any update as to the charges leveled against Pringle, what is going to happen to him and what has/is going to happen to the police officers involved in this incident? what happened to the movie file and his phone when Pringle was wrestled to the ground and his phone fell in half? has the officer concerned managed to patent how a phone with a camera can be turned into a gun? if so, he could probably make more money than he is going to as an officer of the law!

     

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  73.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 19th, 2013 @ 9:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: California is ridiculous

    Actually, the 'experts' cite no studies to support their arguments. Without the actual testing as a foundation, it is all supposition. Your argument is called 'appeal to authority.'

     

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  74.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 19th, 2013 @ 9:30am

    Re:

    First hearing is 23 May, so we have a bit unless some of those charges suddenly disappear.

     

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  75.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Apr 19th, 2013 @ 10:09am

    Re: Re: Re: California is ridiculous

    Second hand smoking is just as bad, if not worse.


    No, it's not. Not even close. Second hand smoke can be an issue if you're exposed to lots of it in an enclosed space over a long time. Or if you're allergic to smoke.

    Otherwise, whatever harm it presents is low enough to be called "insignificant". It's a lot less of a health threat than second-hand automobile exhaust.

    (I'm a nonsmoker, by the way, just to head off a possible ad-hom).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  76.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Apr 19th, 2013 @ 10:09am

    Re: Re: Cell Guns

    > If a camera phone is being used as a camera,
    > the only place you could put the barrel
    > would be aimed straight up

    The fact that the barrel is pointing up now doesn't mean it couldn't be pointed down in the space of heartbeat.

    Again, not justifying this cop's behavior, but the idea that a loaded gun in a subject's hands is of no concern because it's not pointing at you right now is idiotic.

     

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  77.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Apr 19th, 2013 @ 10:13am

    Re: Re: Re: California is ridiculous

    It's only a public health issue if there's a significant public health risk. Secondhand smoke does not present one, according to the vast majority of serious studies.

    If you want to argue that it's a public nuisance, then you'd have a reasonable argument. But that has nothing to do with public health.

     

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  78.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Apr 19th, 2013 @ 10:15am

    Re: Someone else will pay for his abuse of power.

    This. And where I fault the police community in general is that when these things happen, the cops rally around to defend the bad cop instead of doing what professional pride (not to mention the idea of upholding the law) should compel them to do: condemn the bad cop.

     

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  79.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Apr 19th, 2013 @ 10:18am

    Re: California is ridiculous

    > California is ridiculous for a lot of
    > reasons, but this really isn't one of them.
    > What exactly is wrong with cutting back on
    > a known public health hazard

    Because it's really not a health hazard to anyone but the smoker. No one is going to get cancer from the two second exposure to his second-hand smoke as they walk past him, especially at the beach, which always has a strong wind blowing that would quickly dissipate cigarette smoke.

    If you're that cancer-sensitive, then you'd already be riddled with tumors from all the car, bus, truck, and industrial emissions that permeate the air in any average city in the U.S.

    I don't believe anyone really believes second-hand smoke in such environments like the beach is actually a health hazard. It just annoys people. These laws are cloaked in reasons of health and safety, but all they really are is outlawing people's annoyances, which isn't the proper function of government, certainly not to the point of criminalization.

     

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  80.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Apr 19th, 2013 @ 10:20am

    Re: Re: Re: California is ridiculous

    > Second hand smoking is just as bad, if not worse.

    Are you insane? You're actually suggesting that the slight whiff of cigarette smoke that you catch as you walk past someone smoking is *worse* than sucking it directly into your lungs from the cigarette itself?

    It's moonbats like you that get these idiotic laws passed in the first place.

     

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  81.  
    icon
    Thomas (profile), Apr 19th, 2013 @ 11:43am

    Plenty of cops..

    are no better than the criminals they arrest.

     

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  82.  
    identicon
    mrf, Apr 19th, 2013 @ 12:05pm

    Never said "gun"

    I didn't hear the cop say "gun", he said "weapon". A weapon can be many things, of which a trigger to an explosive device. This cop unlike many others I have seen actually seemed really cool about it by asking nice multiple times, and the cop would have probably allowed him to film by setting the phone down if he wanted. Could be wrong. Also, if the cop was able to inspect it and see that it was just a phone he once again seemed like he would have been cool with it. But this ass clown was obviously trying to air his grievance about the ticket by being a dick. So the cop responded by being a dick. Sounds like they both ended up playing by the same rules so whats the big deal? I guess if the dude ended up with a black eye from the cops it may be different but only his ego was affected in this case so who cares.

     

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  83.  
    icon
    art guerrilla (profile), Apr 19th, 2013 @ 12:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Cell Guns

    1. violent crime has been trending DOWN for quite some time...
    violent hysteria is trending up, Up, UP...
    you ascairt bro ? ? ?

    2. kops are killed on the job LESS THAN retail clerks...
    look it up at the CDC, don't take my word for it...

    (firemen -TRUE heroes of society- are killed at about twice the rate as donut-eaters; cabbies are killed about 4-6 times the rate of the thin blue line of liars...)

    3. the militarization of officer friendly is total bullshit: it is NOT because we are waging war against pigs, it is because the pigs -as proxies for the 1%- are waging war against us 99%...

    art guerrilla
    aka ann archy
    art guerrilla at windstream dot net
    eof

     

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  84.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 19th, 2013 @ 1:01pm

    Re: Re: California is ridiculous

    Dang, I guess I have to straighten up and stop slouching over my keyboard, who knew the California Posture Police were on their way...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  85.  
    icon
    AzureSky (profile), Apr 19th, 2013 @ 9:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: California is ridiculous

    please watch this bigpallooka
    http://youtu.be/9H4Z1n_GG8I

    and do a little research, the studies used/sited as proof that 2nd smoke kills are bullshit, I dont smoke, infact cig smoke makes me physically ill(allergies, funny enough quality cigars and pipe tobacco are fine....) BUT, Im all about accuracy and fact, and the fact is, that those studies you people believe are bullshit, just as the study that said vaccinations=autism was bullshit(the guy who did it infact admitted he lied to get paid and ended up in some serious trouble)

    funny enough, the stuff that many studies show is making tobacco so bad is the crap they add to it, the tar, extra nicotine, pesticides(in the plant and those they dont clean off due to them helping cause greater addiction), seems natural isnt that harmful, just the human modified crap most people are addicted to....

    true story, a buddy of mine got off a 5 pack a day addiction to cigs by smoking high end pipe tobacco then slowly quitting that(other then a rare occasion when he has a smoke when fishing or the like)

    i just hope this dosnt happen to weed as it becomes legal in more and more places.

     

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  86.  
    icon
    AzureSky (profile), Apr 19th, 2013 @ 9:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: California is ridiculous

     

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  87.  
    identicon
    The Real Michael, Apr 20th, 2013 @ 5:29am

    Re:

    If the police can demand a citizen stop recording them, can a citizen likewise demand the police shut off the cameras in their patrol vehicles? The police are public servants and our taxes pay their salaries.

    Remember that the police are not in a position to grant nor deny rights to people. Also remember that the Constitution's primary function is not to grant people rights but rather to place restrictions upon government.

     

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  88.  
    icon
    Stacey (profile), Apr 20th, 2013 @ 8:19am

    Re: Never said "gun"

    I agree completely. As the wife of an officer, you would not believe the number of times my husband uses LESS force than he is allowed to by law. But when people act like jackasses he takes it as far as he is trained to go.

    But sure, let people like some folks here keep throwing hissy fits when anyone dares question them. You are going to get the law enforcement you deserve - in other words, none or maybe just the bottom of the barrel. You will not get any decent people to be cops because it's not worth the grief. Crappy attitude for crappy pay? Not for much longer. And then when you really want a cop for something, good luck with who shows up.

     

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  89.  
    icon
    Stacey (profile), Apr 20th, 2013 @ 8:34am

    Re: Re: Never said "gun"

    Oh, and I can't stand Tucker Max most of the time, but his take on how to deal with the police is pretty spot on. You guys could learn a lot from him:

    http://tuckermax.me/how-to-deal-with-cops-2/

     

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  90.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2013 @ 7:47pm

    Re: Re: Never said "gun"

    Half the time when you need one they already don't show up so what is your point?

     

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  91.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2013 @ 8:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: California is ridiculous

    Most of the stuff about secondhand smoke is based off an old study that was used out of context (as the study showed that the increase of cancer in those only exposed to secondhand smoke was actually statistically insignificant), technically the study also showed a decreased incidence of cancer in children exposed to second hand smoke (not as silly as it sounds, think of it as gaining an immunity due to exposure to small quantities). The study was PURELY cancer, not other things (eg asphma).

    Believe that or not (It is true), it has always amused the hell out of me that people could actually claim "Second hand smoking is just as bad, if not worse."
    Secondhand smoke has been filtered by the smokers lungs, it will always be better than "firsthand".

    If you want to compare it to something try car's exhaust. The car is worse in just about every possible way, if you don't believe this than about this: if you were trapped in a car with a chain-smoker for ten minites, you'd be pissed (understandably), if you were trapped in a car with the exhaust fumes from the runing car for the same time you'd be dead.

    The law is silly (unless you ban all non-electric cars)... that said it is still the law.

    (To be fair I smoke, but not much, not around children - if I can avoid it - and never inside)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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