Appeals Court Says Right To Bear Arms Isn't A Right If Cops Are Banging On Your Door In The Middle Of The Night

from the 11th-Circuit:-try-to-answer-the-door-in-handcuffs,-if-possible dept

Qualified immunity -- a legal doctrine that originates from court decisions rather than statute -- received another boost from the federal court system last week. Qualified immunity is the concept that allows overreaching and abusive government employees and officials to stay one step ahead of accountability. If their actions don't "clearly violate" established law and/or precedent, police officers, etc. can walk away unscathed from deprivations of other people's life and liberty.

The Eleventh Circuit Appeals Court has declined [PDF] a chance to rehear a case in which the Second Amendment is implicated nearly as much as the Fourth Amendment. In doing so, no further precedent will be set, which just adds to the list of actions law enforcement officers can perform and still expect to be granted qualified immunity. If there's no precedent set, it's pretty hard to "clearly violate" it. Handy.

The short story: Andrew Scott was home playing video games with his girlfriend when someone began banging loudly on his door. Since it was 1:30 am, Scott was cautious and answered to door with a gun in his hand, pointed at the floor. He opened the door to see only a "shadowy figure" and began stepping backwards. The shadowy figure was Deputy Richard Sylvester, who immediately shot Scott six times, killing him.

Deputy Sylvester admits he never identified himself as a law enforcement officer. He also claims Scott's movement back into his apartment was perceived by him as a Scott attempting to find cover before opening fire. Perception is all that matters, and only one person's perception really matters: Deputy Sylvester's.

The district court concluded that Deputy Sylvester’s splitsecond decision to use deadly force was objectively reasonable under the total circumstances—a reasonably perceived imminent threat of serious physical harm—and was not a constitutional violation.

[...]

At a minimum, no clearly established federal law as of July 15, 2012 gave fair and clear notice to Deputy Sylvester that his conduct in these unique circumstances was objectively unreasonable and unlawful, and thus “no reversible error” was shown.

And so it goes. Cops can bang on your door in the middle of the night without announcing themselves and it's up to you not to scare them into killing you. The Second Amendment gives you the right to bear arms, but apparently not if you're going to be startled by unannounced law enforcement at 1:30 in the morning.

The dissent isn't thrilled with the decision to pass on the rehearing, noting the implications this has on two amendments: the Fourth and the Second. But especially the Second.

If Mr. Scott was subject to being shot and killed, simply because (as the District Court put it) he made the “fateful decision” to answer a late-night disturbance at the door to his house, and did so while holding his firearm pointed safely at the ground, then the Second Amendment (and Heller) had little effect.

The dissenting judges also delivered one biting sentence about the law enforcement tactics that led to Scott being killed by Deputy Sylvester.

We have never before held that police can, without justification, provoke a panic, and then hide behind it by claiming that “everything happened fast.”

It doesn't matter is the court has "held" this or not. It happens all the time. Police create the exigency, then use it to excuse every rights violation that occurs thereafter.

Andrew Fleischman of Fault Lines describes the pitiable "standard" officers are being held to by our nation's courts.

For those not in the know, officers are allowed to knock on a citizen’s door as long as they don’t exceed the boundaries of what any door to door salesman or Girl Scout might normally do. Here, the Court figured that it wasn’t clear the officers exceeded the boundaries of a knock and talk, because it’s typical for four Girl Scouts to take up tactical positions around your door at 1:30 in the morning, pound your door, and then shoot you when you answer it. As one appellate judge noted in upholding the grant, it’s not like the officers had helicopters.

Literally, that’s the standard. No helicopters hovering overhead. Still, as far as qualified immunity analysis goes, that might be right.

By refusing to rehear the case, the Eleventh Circuit has refused to discuss raising the bar for qualified immunity, much less move forward towards something that might further protect so-called "enshrined" rights like the multiple amendments violated in this case.

Every time a court declines to reexamine a case, the QI bar remains static. Add up enough non-decisions and the bar begins to drop.

Even though Deputy Sylvester was leaping from one hunch to another. Even though it was one in the morning. Even though he failed to consider that a reasonable person might come to his door armed in response to aggressive late-night knocking. Even though a “knock and talk” is supposed to be a friendly, consensual encounter, and there is nothing consensual about answering your door to find a gun in your face. Deputy Sylvester had qualified immunity because there was no case exactly on point saying that he couldn’t make those choices.

In fact, there still isn’t. He could do the exact same thing tomorrow, and the day after, and there would be no legal consequences. That’s qualified immunity for you.

If nothing else, the courts' continued deference to officers' statements of "fear" and "split-second decisions" makes "Blue Lives Matter" laws excessively redundant. Here's Scott Greenfield's take on the consequences of (yet another) non-decision.

That an innocent person killed because of a scared cop can’t recover for the deprivation of his life is bad enough. That he was deprived of his life is even worse. That the law endorses both things, independently, under yet another judge-made exception to both the Constitution and statute reduced the law to a farce that will employ any sophistry necessary to rationalize why cop’s lives matter more than anything else.

Holding an officer accountable for rights violations is almost impossible. Those who've obtained settlements might receive something to help with medical/funeral bills and the feeling they might have made a small, positive difference. But the reality is every settlement comes with no admission of wrongdoing and -- better/worse yet (cop/citizen) -- no precedential ruling that would make it easier to hold officers accountable for their actions in the future.


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Mar 2017 @ 2:53pm

    So the takeaway here seems like you should shoot first so you don't get shot dead.

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    • icon
      Manabi (profile), 27 Mar 2017 @ 4:33pm

      Re:

      Unfortunately no, as then there'd have been multiple deaths: one (or more cops), Scott, and his girlfriend. She would have been killed in the hail of bullets unleashed when the cops all opened fire into the home.

      The actual takeaway is: pray that a cop doesn't come to your door in the middle of the night, so that you may live to see tomorrow.

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      • identicon
        Boyle M. Owl, 27 Mar 2017 @ 8:44pm

        Re: Re:Re:Re:Re

        The takeaway is to not answer the door no matter who is pounding on it in the middle of the night.

        And if you are going to, call 911 and say an armed suspicious person is at your door.

        Because that's what's the logical extension of this ruling means. It means that anyone who actually might need help in the middle of the night is SOL and any police officer "knocking" on a door in the middle of the night is at risk of being fired upon by his other officers. Because we can't have nice things.

        The older I get, the stupider the univers becomes.

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        • icon
          ECA (profile), 28 Mar 2017 @ 1:46am

          Re: Re: Re:Re:Re:Re

          try this on...
          BE RICH and have a COP come to your door..
          LMAO..
          Shoot a Rich persons Dog..and SEE how long he has a job..

          QUATION: WHAT THE HELL was a cop Knocking on doors for?? at 1am..

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          • icon
            ECA (profile), 28 Mar 2017 @ 1:57am

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

            I see....
            He was chasing a Motor cycle..
            And found 2 vehicles NEXT to each other, with SAME OWNER..PARKED in front of THAT ROOM..

            Hmmm, Apartments, MOTEL...Wheres the Supervisor??
            You have 3-4 cops outside Talking and with cars...AND LOUD MICROPHONES/SPEAKERS..

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        • icon
          btr1701 (profile), 28 Mar 2017 @ 12:51pm

          Re: Re: Re:Re:Re:Re

          > The takeaway is to not answer the door no matter who is
          > pounding on it in the middle of the night.

          I never answer my door at all, any time of the day, unless I'm expecting someone specific. Not because I'm afraid, but because I don't want to be bothered by all the people trying to sell me shit, the Jesus-freaks, etc. So even if the cops knocked on my door in the middle of the afternoon, I wouldn't answer it.

          Of course in TV & Movie Land, the cops always take no answer to mean, "Why don't we just let ourselves in and look around?" It's so absurd. I always find myself shouting at the TV, "Well, you just screwed your case. With no warrant, everything you find there is inadmissible. You can find the suspect standing over a dead body carving it into bite-sized pieces and none of it can be used against him."

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2017 @ 3:19pm

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

            It's so absurd. I always find myself shouting at the TV, "Well, you just screwed your case. With no warrant, everything you find there is inadmissible. You can find the suspect standing over a dead body carving it into bite-sized pieces and none of it can be used against him."

            I'm guessing you forgot about our little friend exigent circumstances. If a court is going to grant qualified immunity on a shoot like this, why would they question a LEO's assertion that they had to open the door and loot the joint, no time for a warrant?

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2017 @ 3:53pm

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

              I'm guessing you forgot about our little friend exigent circumstances.

              From a recent entry at FourthAmendment.com United States v Sanchez (M.D.Pa. Mar 24, 2017):

              The officers claimed exigency from the fact they announced and nobody answered.

              Note that I've only seen the summary on that one, and don't have a link for the actual opinion.

              Instead of exigent circumstances, the deputies could have arrested the guy who poked his head out of apartment 115 in response to the banging on the door of 114. I mean, the 115 guy's a material witness, right? He can be arrested for that. Then they could have claimed a Buie sweep on apartment 114.

              Or maybe the 115 guy had apparent authority to consent to search 114.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2017 @ 12:38pm

        Re: Re:

        >Unfortunately no, as then there'd have been multiple deaths

        So what? Andrew Scott was going to die anyway.

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    • identicon
      My_Name_Here, 28 Mar 2017 @ 5:36am

      Re:

      No, the takeaway here is that if you feel the need to answer your door with a gun in your hand, then perhaps there are bigger problems than bad cops to deal with.

      Choosing to open a door with a gun in your hand rather than trying some alternatives such as trying to see out a window or calling 911. He's choice to arm himself first says a whole lot about American society, and none of it good.

      He's dead because America is a violent place. He knew it because he answered the door armed, and the police knew it because he reacted when he saw an armed man.

      It's sad, but stop pinning it all on the police. The situation is way bigger than that.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2017 @ 12:08pm

        Re: Re:

        Oh yeah, totally not their fault for not announcing themselves when they knocked, acting for all intents and purposes like a robber looking for an opportunity, etc.

        Frankly I'D be cautious if someone knocked at my door at 1:30 in the morning since everyone I knew would liley be in their home or asleep.

        I imagine if the sheriff had knocked and said he was there this whole situation could've been avoided.

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      • identicon
        Rekrul, 28 Mar 2017 @ 2:55pm

        Re: Re:

        No, the takeaway here is that if you feel the need to answer your door with a gun in your hand, then perhaps there are bigger problems than bad cops to deal with.

        Choosing to open a door with a gun in your hand rather than trying some alternatives such as trying to see out a window or calling 911. He's choice to arm himself first says a whole lot about American society, and none of it good.

        Right, because you have no right to protect yourself. If someone bad comes to your door in the middle of the night, you should cower in fear and hope the police show up before the person outside hurts you.

        As for looking out the window, he probably did. The article says that he only saw a shadowy figure when he opened the door, so the view out the window probably wasn't any better. As for calling 911, I'm sure that would have gone over real well; "I need help! Someone is knocking on my door!" The first thing the operator would tell him is a knock on your door isn't an emergency and that he shouldn't be wasting their time.

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        • identicon
          My_Name_Here, 29 Mar 2017 @ 7:11am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Don't confuse the right to protect yourself with the right to be stupid. They are similar in nature, but have some very basic differences.

          Someone is banging on your door at 1:30am, and you can't see who it is, and they aren't identifying themselves. Do you (a) whip out your gun and pop the door open to see what is happening, or (b) call 911, stand away from the door, and keep your gun at the ready in case the door comes down?

          See, (a) is stupidity. Whoever is banging can't get in, that is why they are banging. If they could get in, they would be in already. Leave them outside, and step away from the door. Don't open it!

          " The first thing the operator would tell him is a knock on your door isn't an emergency and that he shouldn't be wasting their time."

          Horseshit. Someone is banging at my door like they are trying to break it down, and I think they may be armed. Boom, you get all but SWAT'ed. Heck, call 911, drop the phone, and say "don't shoot, don't shoot" a few times loudly... you will have the entire police force jumping out of the donut shop to help you.

          This guy decided to take matters into his own hands. In doing so, he pretty much put everything on a single scenario that turned out not to be true. The result is he left a cop with few options except to deal with an armed suspect expeditiously.

          The courts got it right. Your right to bear arms and protect yourself comes with some natural checks and balances. This guy got checked and balanced, and ended up on a slab for it.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 29 Mar 2017 @ 5:24pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Horseshit. Someone is banging at my door like they are trying to break it down, and I think they may be armed. Boom, you get all but SWAT'ed. Heck, call 911, drop the phone, and say "don't shoot, don't shoot" a few times loudly... you will have the entire police force jumping out of the donut shop to help you.

            You really haven't been reading the news much have you? Screaming "don't shoot" doesn't work anymore, because tards like you have continuously asserted the cops' right to not know the law and be trigger happy as hell. Sure, maybe your favorite team of cops will jump out of the donut shop, but what do you think is going to happen when they arrive at the scene and realize that it's their buddies asking them to join in?

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      • identicon
        Wendy Cockcroft, 29 Mar 2017 @ 7:34am

        Re: Re:

        I hate guns and am in favour of strict regulation where ownership and access is concerned but damn it, if the purpose of owning a gun is to defend your home and loved ones, and someone knocks at the door in the middle of the night it is entirely reasonable to open the door with a weapon in your hand as long as it's legal for you to have one at the time, i.e. you're not a felon.

        It is on the cops to announce who they are and the purpose of their visit. It is not, nor should it ever be on the householder to attempt to ascertain who the potential assailants are; time spent doing that might have resulted in them rushing the house — a reasonable assumption given that they shot the man dead while his gun was pointed at the floor.

        The situation is limited to the police; they know that many Americans own guns yet they refused to identify themselves or give him a chance to deal safely with them. Their excuse? "I was a-scayered, Yeronner!" That is exactly what pins this on them, says the gun-hating Anglo-Irish conservative.

        Now, then, what do you recommend? Disarming law-abiding citizens who own guns for home defence? Good luck with that. FYI we have gun ownership here in Britain but it's highly regulated.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 29 Mar 2017 @ 8:39am

          Re: Re: Re:

          It is pretty stupid to open up your door at 1:30 am not knowing who is knocking on your door and why.

          If it is a cop, in this case, it gets you shot.

          If it is a bad guy with a gun, it gets you shot.

          If it is a bad guy with a knife or bat, you better be faster.

          All in all, while you have the legal right to do so, tactically, it isn't the right thing to do.

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          • identicon
            Wendy Cockcroft, 30 Mar 2017 @ 3:41am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            And therein is the problem. How many times have I told you all that gun ownership does nothing to protect your rights as a citizen? How many times, people?!

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2017 @ 6:19am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              You missed the point. Gun or no gun, it was stupid to open the door at 1:30am without knowing who was on the other side.

              If you believe BLM, it doesn't matter that the guy had a gun in his hand.

              Here is a serious question. People laughed at Trump when he said he wanted to get rid of 11 million illegal immigrants. Say it is impossible.

              Well then, how the hell are you going to get rid of 270 million guns?

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          • identicon
            Rana, 30 Mar 2017 @ 11:50am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            It is pretty stupid to open up your door at 1:30 am not knowing who is knocking on your door and why.

            What about 1:00 am? Or 2:00 am? No, it's stupid to open your door at ANY time! If you don't spend your time at home hiding under your bed or in a closet it's your own fault if you get shot!

            /s

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    • identicon
      me, 28 Mar 2017 @ 7:13am

      Re: Kinda have to agree here

      Context: Unknown knock at that hour, aggressively, shoot first and ask later, thats what they do. Thought it was a home invade; no identification made.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2017 @ 12:37pm

      Re:

      That is how I read it. Plus do not carry a handgun to do an M1 Garand's job.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Mar 2017 @ 2:57pm

    Leftists should rejoyce, this is just exactly the kind of thing they have been working for. Sure they may not have wanted it to have this outcome but they sure didn't bat an eye when people told them that this would be one of the outcomes of their anti gun agenda's.

    This lesson needs to be learned by both the right and the left, every attempt you make to water the Constitution down to advance your political agendas the less you can complain when you favorite rights are demolished.

    Just like when a cop can just take your camera, in breach of the 1st when you are recording them, they can take your gun "for their personal safety" in breach of the 2nd.

    Right now, if I see an officer being assaulted, I will not stop and render aid, I will move along. Not because I think they deserve the assault, but because I am more afraid of an Officer killing me as collateral damage or harassing me as a witness. Better to look the other way and hope no one notices.

    The Police are out of control! We need to put a stop to the idea that a cops "perception of safety" is superior to our rights bullshit!

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Mar 2017 @ 3:08pm

      Re:

      If anything, this is the result of the pro-gun lobby, as the police now expect everybody to be armed and dangerous. That said, it is much more a case of your cops being trained to be overly aggressive, rather than politely assertive.

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

      • identicon
        Ilanna, 27 Mar 2017 @ 3:39pm

        Re: Re:

        That's a load of bull and you know it. Blaming a cops power trip or fear of being shot by real criminals has absolutely NOTHING to do with those who legally carry. The cop in this situation was supposed to be doing a "knock and talk". Who in their right mind would do that at 1:30 in the morning, without announcing himself as police, for starters. It also doesn't state whether the gun was legally owned or not.

        Also, anyone with hands and a voice can knock on a door and say they are the police. In the middle of the night my husband and I would also both be armed, regardless of who did or didn't announce themselves.

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        • icon
          Richard (profile), 28 Mar 2017 @ 6:32am

          Re: Re: Re:

          That's a load of bull and you know it. Blaming a cops power trip or fear of being shot by real criminals has absolutely NOTHING to do with those who legally carry.

          WRONG!

          The equation is simple - the more guns there are the more people will be killed.

          Given the availability of arms in the US it is inevitable that the police are armed. Since the police are armed and guns are readily available it is inevitable that criminals will be armed.

          Since criminals are armed the police are likely to expect to need to use their guns - which makes it more likely that the criminals will be trigger happy too.

          Play out the same scenario in your head - with Scott having only a kitchen knife and the officer only having a truncheon and a tazer.

          How many deadly shootings are there in the UK or Japan - where gun control is strict?

          Even our terrorists are reduced to using cars and knives as weapons. How many more would be dead now if the Westminster attacker had had a gun?

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2017 @ 7:38am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Doesn't matter how many guns there are. The cops shoot first and then go ops later. Even though you may not even have a gun. They still shoot you and go ops. Then get away with it.

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            • icon
              Richard (profile), 28 Mar 2017 @ 4:46pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              IN the UK the police manage without guns except for a few officers who are specially trained.

              Very occasionally these officers do get it wrong just like US cops (Steven Waldorf, John Charles be Menenez etc) but because fewer policemen are armed these incidents remain rare here.

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              • identicon
                Rana, 30 Mar 2017 @ 11:53am

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

                IN the UK the police manage without guns except for a few officers who are specially trained.

                It's the same in the US. We just "specially train" them all. So the only difference is that US cops are just better trained than UK cops.

                /s

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2017 @ 2:40pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The equation is simple - the more guns there are the more people will be killed.

            Sure. You bet. Uh huh. And the best way to defend the US would be to disarm the "armed" forces.

            How many deadly shootings are there in the UK or Japan - where gun control is strict?

            Or Mexico?

            Even our terrorists are reduced to using cars and knives as weapons.

            Ban cars and knives!

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      • identicon
        Rekrul, 28 Mar 2017 @ 3:00pm

        Re: Re:

        If anything, this is the result of the pro-gun lobby, as the police now expect everybody to be armed and dangerous. That said, it is much more a case of your cops being trained to be overly aggressive, rather than politely assertive.

        It's also the result of the anti-gun lobby vilifying gun owners. There's now the perception among a lot of the public that anyone who owns a gun is either a nutcase who will eventually go on a shooting rampage or is dangerously incompetent and will end up shooting someone by accident. People are now taught to fear anyone who owns a gun. Ban them from schools! Ban them from malls! Ban them from restaurants!

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    • identicon
      Thad, 27 Mar 2017 @ 3:08pm

      Re:

      Leftists should rejoyce, this is just exactly the kind of thing they have been working for.

      Preeeeeetty sure those mass protests of police brutality I've been seeing weren't by conservatives, dogg.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Mar 2017 @ 5:08pm

        Re: Re:

        You are right, this is why I said both sides are a part of the problem, but the left has had the focus of eliminating guns in America AND directly generating the idea that citizens with firearms are nothing but a problem that needs to be dealt with. This creates an atmosphere of fear and distrust where Police see every gun as nothing but a threat to be handled with escalating anxiety and deadly force.

        More white people are killed by police than blacks, but guess where the race card goes? Police brutality needs to be addressed, but the BLM movement is doing a terrible job and polarizing the issue in the worst possible way by making it clear that the only lives that matter are black lives and everyone else can just die for all they care.

        I want all lives to matter and for police to be respectful to the citizens they "work for" instead of acting like everyone is a criminal waiting to be caught or shot dead. And yes, the right needs to sit the fuck up and recognize that they are harming their own brand(s) by turning a blind eye to police corruption and brutality.

        But the left needs to be specifically called out for its anti gun stance leading to this toxic anti gun environment.

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        • identicon
          Thad, 27 Mar 2017 @ 5:17pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          by making it clear that the only lives that matter are black lives and everyone else can just die for all they care.

          Bullshit.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 27 Mar 2017 @ 5:33pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            It's not bullshit, they are calling for white people to be murdered. Just check the news!

            Your eyes are floating.

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

            • identicon
              Thad, 27 Mar 2017 @ 5:54pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              If you had a reliable source, you would have named it instead of just saying "the news".

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 27 Mar 2017 @ 6:17pm

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

                Yea, so sorry you are too incompetent to find it for yourself.

                Did you know Gravity exists or do I need to find resources on that for you too? So you can choose not to believe it anyways?

                Go look it up, its not a rare thing. You are just trolling for fun now.

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

                • icon
                  orbitalinsertion (profile), 27 Mar 2017 @ 6:51pm

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

                  No, you are just trolling because it is your nature.

                  People on the left own guns. Maybe not as many as on the right, but that is a personality issue.

                  Not everyone on the left calls for the elimination of guns. But since the gun lobby refuses even reasonable safety and registration rules, lots of people who really should probably not have a gun do have them, and zero training or reason to own weapons safely.

                  Hey, it's not the full-on anti-gun leftist types whose kids and penises are being accidentally shot. They don't have the guns.

                  And you know what? If a handful of Black people actually do say things like "kill white people", 1) it's free speech, and 2) i couldn't blame them.

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

                • icon
                  That One Guy (profile), 27 Mar 2017 @ 7:01pm

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

                  Sounds good, let's see a quick look gets me... hmm, this is odd, for some reason I'm getting a page about the burden of proof and who has it. Also something about Hitchen's Razor, no idea how that made it in the search results.

                  I really hope it's just you making this mistake over and over(and over) in the various articles, I'd hate to think that there are multiple people showing up on TD with such a complete misunderstanding of something as simple as 'If you make the claim, you provide the evidence(not assertion) to support it.'

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

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 27 Mar 2017 @ 10:04pm

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

                    I really hope it's just you making this mistake over and over(and over) in the various articles

                    Sadly, I used to run in to people like this when I worked in government. About 1/4 were upset and angry, a 1/4 were upset, angry, and off their meds, and about half were just flying bat shit oh my gawd! crazy. You learn to ignore them while trying to figure out what they're "on" about and what you can do to help them, until they start shooting and setting your car on fire.

                    At which point, you call the cops and.... problem solved.

                    I figured out it was time to get out of that line of work when I had to buy the second car after mine was trashed in the parking lot at work by an angry citizen.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2017 @ 2:52am

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

                      Well that escalated quickly.

                      TIL on TD: Ask people to look something up for themselves on the internet so they can learn for themselves the equivalent of angry and crazy people off their medication wrecking government workers cars complete with law enforcement being called.

                      So, are you going to call the cops on me for asking you folks to look something up and learn for yourself?

                      Here is the number: 911, be sure to tell them that McDonalds got your order wrong!

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                      • icon
                        That One Guy (profile), 28 Mar 2017 @ 3:10pm

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

                        I told you, I did look and all I found was that 'Burden of Proof' and 'Hitchen's Razor' stuff. It was the weirdest thing, lemme tell you.

                        I mean, I suppose I could have tried again, but as everyone knows you're wrong on everything, as evidenced by the mountains of evidence that you could easily find yourself if you weren't so lazy, so why would I waste my time?

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2017 @ 2:58am

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

                      o yea, I promise not to trash your car!

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Mar 2017 @ 5:58pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yes, every cop I know bases their police work on what "the left" is advocating for politically.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 27 Mar 2017 @ 6:20pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Wait, tell me which police force anywhere in the world that does NOT base their policing on "current politics" as part of their work.

            Law Enforcement is certainly a political beast of its own, it would be impossible for politics to NOT affect their work. Seriously, think about it for a minute. For better or worse, the police are affected, even if you stick your head into the sand.

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

            • icon
              orbitalinsertion (profile), 27 Mar 2017 @ 6:52pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              If you think the current politics at any point in the US over the last 50 years was "leftist", your head is somewhere other than sand.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2017 @ 2:13am

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

                I said nothing of the sort.

                I said "current politics" most certainly affects their work. It's your poor understanding that cause you to insert "leftist" on your own. "current politics" is all encompassing which means that "right" and other politics are considered as well.

                Is this what you guys live for? Intentionally twisting what people type to mean something they did not?

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

        • icon
          JMT (profile), 27 Mar 2017 @ 7:53pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "...the left has had the focus of eliminating guns in America..."

          Why does this BS claim get repeated over and over? There has been absolutely no significant, credible movement to "ban guns" ever. The issue has only ever been gun control to reduce the ridiculously high gun death rates in the US.

          "This creates an atmosphere of fear and distrust where Police see every gun as nothing but a threat to be handled with escalating anxiety and deadly force."

          So what about the many, many cases of police shootings where they were the only ones armed? These seem to greatly outnumber cases where police were genuinely in danger of being shot at. It seems police aren't afraid of guns, they're just afraid. That doesn't instill much confidence that they're picking the right people and training them properly.

          "More white people are killed by police than blacks, but guess where the race card goes?"

          Wow, that sounds willfully ignorant. More black people are killed by police per capita than whites by far. Blacks are grossly over-represented in police shooting statistics, which is the whole point of the BLM movement.

          "...the BLM movement is doing a terrible job and polarizing the issue in the worst possible way by making it clear that the only lives that matter are black lives and everyone else can just die for all they care."

          That's an absolutely gross misrepresentation with zero evidence to back it up, and I can only assume it comes from deep-seated racism that you just won't admit to.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 27 Mar 2017 @ 8:13pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Yes, there are those that want most guns banned. Hillary stated that automatic weapons (which are actually semi automatic) should be banned. That takes out most modern handguns, shotguns and rifles.

            Blacks are killed by police at higher per capita rates, but that could be because they interact with blacks more than whites since blacks tend to live in higher crime areas than whites. Cops shoot people (white or black) but if they are around blacks more (because they go to high crime areas), they will tend to shoot more blacks.

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            • identicon
              Boyle M. Owl, 27 Mar 2017 @ 9:05pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              >Hillary stated that automatic weapons (which are actually semi automatic) should be banned. That takes out most modern handguns, shotguns and rifles.

              You need to stop waving your meat flaps, because you have no idea what the fuck you are talking about.

              Semi-auto is not the same as "three round burst and full auto" which is what the M-16 and M-4 are in comparison to an AR-15, which is single-shot and remains single-shot until illegally modified (if you don't pay the tax) into a machine gun.

              You are one of those people who complain that the Press identifies every AR-15 as an automatic weapon. Stop contributing to the problem.

              >but muh spring-loaded stocks

              It still doesn't make it an automatic weapon, no matter how much you want it to be. And besides, such things are fucking hilarious.

              Please stay away from me at the range.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2017 @ 2:18am

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

                I believe he was referring to Hillary not getting the difference between automatic and semi-automatic.

                You are picking on the wrong person. He is right. Most clueless politicians confuse them and often call semi-automatic weapons, fully automatic (likely on purpose), to get the support of their exceptionally clueless voters.

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            • icon
              JMT (profile), 28 Mar 2017 @ 4:46pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              *"Yes, there are those that want most guns banned."*

              Of course there are, there are always people who want things banned outright. But that's not what I said.

              *"Hillary stated that automatic weapons (which are actually semi automatic) should be banned. That takes out most modern handguns, shotguns and rifles."*

              Stating blatant falsehoods is a really crappy way to attempt to make an argument.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 29 Mar 2017 @ 6:17am

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

                Ummm, where is the falsehood? Hillary did in fact say that (and believes that.)

                You don't like facts?

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                • icon
                  JMT (profile), 29 Mar 2017 @ 5:47pm

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

                  I love facts. Show us where she said "most modern handguns, shotguns and rifles" should be banned.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2017 @ 6:21am

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

                    Yeah, your debate tactics might work with juveniles, but in the real world it doesn't. Either that or you are just slow.

                    She wants to ban semi automatic guns.

                    Most guns that are sold today are semi automatic, thus banning semi automatic guns would result in banning most guns sold.

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                    • icon
                      JMT (profile), 31 Mar 2017 @ 4:44am

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

                      Asking you to back up your claims with verifiable facts is a pretty common part of debating in the real world. Odd you don't know that.

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 31 Mar 2017 @ 5:47am

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

                        I didn't think things that are just common sense needed to be explained.

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                        • icon
                          PaulT (profile), 31 Mar 2017 @ 6:25am

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

                          "just common sense"

                          You made a specific claim about a specific person. Common sense would be to provide the evidence of that rather than dance around the fact that you've avoided backing up your own words. Common sense would also be to assume you're lying if you're unable / unwilling to do this.

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                          • identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, 31 Mar 2017 @ 8:01am

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

                            So you don't think Hillary stated that at various times and at various campaign speeches?

                            Thought that was pretty much common knowledge.

                            Here is another fun fact, of the 31K gun deaths in America, most of them are suicides.

                            Japan has serious gun laws, yet their suicide rate is 54% higher than the US.

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                            • icon
                              PaulT (profile), 31 Mar 2017 @ 8:20am

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

                              "So you don't think Hillary stated that at various times and at various campaign speeches?"

                              I don't think anything either way. I was just noting that when JMT challenged to provide actual evidence to back up your claim, you completely avoided doing so and have attempted moving the goalposts. That makes you look dishonest, even if what you say is true.

                              "Thought that was pretty much common knowledge."

                              You may have been wrong, which is possibly why you were asked for a citation. Why do you keep refusing to offer one?

                              "Japan has serious gun laws, yet their suicide rate is 54% higher than the US."

                              A culture with a history and tradition of ritual suicide has a high suicide rate? I'm shocked! How does the rate compare to countries with neither a suicide nor a gun fetish?

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                              • identicon
                                Anonymous Coward, 31 Mar 2017 @ 9:00am

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

                                OK, you win, I will state that Hillary is a big fan of guns. She has not stated that she wants automatic weapons banned (although either she was stupid and didn't know that they are already illegal, or she knew, and was just making campaign promises she wouldn't have to actually keep.) She didn't say that she said that semi automatic weapons should be banned.

                                So you agree that the gun isn't the important part of suicides? Yet when gun deaths are talked about in the US suicides account for 2/3rd of the 31K or so of gun deaths in the US? We should just remove the 21K of suicide by gun part of the 31K gun deaths in the US?

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

          • icon
            btr1701 (profile), 28 Mar 2017 @ 12:56pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            > Why does this BS claim get repeated over and over? There
            > has been absolutely no significant, credible movement
            > to "ban guns" ever.

            There was back in the 90's:

            "If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them-- Mr. and Mrs. America turn 'em all in-- I would have done it. I could not do that. The votes weren't here."

            --Senator Dianne Feinstein

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Mar 2017 @ 3:09pm

      Re:

      You have a great comment...except for the first paragraph. It has a Strawman fallacy, and then right after that either a Slippery Slope fallacy or Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc fallacy depending on how you read it. Congratulation! That's two logical fallacies in two sentences.

      The rest of your comment, however, is spot on.

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      • identicon
        Daydream, 27 Mar 2017 @ 3:35pm

        Re: Re:

        Maybe he made his first paragraph sucktastic on purpose to provoke people into responding?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Mar 2017 @ 4:56pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          No, it serves as a lesson.

          The more you seek to disarm the citizenry the more you will just become a slave.

          Sure we all want to prevent people from dying from firearms, but the trade off is simply too great. The idea that government will protect you as you give up your firearms in some insane pursuit of safety is intellectually dishonest to the extreme and usually the product of cowardice or fear mongering.

          The law does not and will never protect you. Law Enforcement's ONLY job is to enforce the law. Police will tell you that they carry a gun for THEIR protection not yours, and the courts have already ruled multiple times that law enforcement is not required to render you aid. The Police can sit and watch you getting stabbed and they are responsible for nothing!

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          • icon
            Daniel Audy (profile), 27 Mar 2017 @ 7:46pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The citizen's of the vast majority of the developed world would strongly disagree with you on the idea that them not having unlimited access to guns somehow makes them slaves.

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            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 28 Mar 2017 @ 12:54am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              The most amusing thing about paranoid gun fetishists like this is that they never question why it's only Americans who seem to need access to deadly weaponry in this way. I mean, sure, there's a lot of problems with access to certain rights in other parts of the world, but many countries manage to have the same/higher levels of freedom without the risk of being murdered by some moron who stockpiled a military cache or a defacto military desperate to test its toychest. Yet, these people will tell you that it's only by having that risk that you can be free.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2017 @ 2:29am

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

                Everything you said is entirely subjective, yet since you are leftist, you are not called out by TD for being a complete tool. I certainly noticed the ad hominem attack of moron, but I do remember that it is okay for the left to call names but everyone else gets flagged for it.

                Every person that walks the earth should have access to weapons to defend themselves from enemies foreign and/or domestic. And your freedom index is corrupt, if you are not counting laws against ownership of arms as lost liberty then of course you will have a biased result of which countries are more/less free than others.

                The truth is simple, an armed population stands a better chance of keeping their liberty vs a disarmed one! Feel free to trot out more of your ad hominem attacks and passive aggressive comments.

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

                • icon
                  PaulT (profile), 28 Mar 2017 @ 3:47am

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

                  "Everything you said is entirely subjective, yet since you are leftist, you are not called out by TD for being a complete tool."

                  Wait, everything I said is subjective, but everyone round here must be a "leftist" because nobody else jumped in here to whine about my subjective opinion (I assume you notice that nobody else has since commented on this entire thread apart from you).

                  But, you return this by calling me names and then whining about ad hominem attacks! I bet you're not even aware of how silly this looks.

                  "I certainly noticed the ad hominem attack of moron"

                  Did you notice that I used it in reference solely to people who wish to murder other people? Did you take it personally because you are such a person or because I dared question your toys?

                  "And your freedom index is corrupt"

                  Oh yes, my freedom doesn't count because I don't feel the need to surround myself with artillery. Because you *are* that scared, it doesn't count and must be corrupt. Got it.

                  "The truth is simple, an armed population stands a better chance of keeping their liberty vs a disarmed one!"

                  ...and neither of them stand a huge chance if their country's military turns on them. Especially the one that's funded to the tune of more then the next 10 largest militaries put together. But, hey, enjoy your massively higher chance of being killed by firearms while you imagine you'd stand a real chance should your government actually turn on you.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2017 @ 6:40am

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

                    "...and neither of them stand a huge chance if their country's military turns on them."

                    So true, but who do you think is in the military? Mostly young kids from the heartland of the United States. Think those kids are going to turn on the people? Their friends, their family? Sure, some would, others wouldn't.

                    When you join the military, you take an oath to the Constitution. Others may think that is all a joke, but most in the military don't. I didn't, and still don't.

                    You can't compare the United States to other countries. We want guns because that is our heritage. The west wasn't won on a salad, and we will keep our guns. Our country was birthed from a revolution and our Constitution and the 2nd amendment guarantees this right. Our rights are now granted or awarded by the government, they are inherent.

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

                    • icon
                      PaulT (profile), 28 Mar 2017 @ 7:18am

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

                      "Think those kids are going to turn on the people?"

                      They have done in the past if ordered to, and it wasn't a lack of guns that have made attacks on other populations successful. Maybe not everyone at once, but if they can be convinced to round up certain groups or shoot protesters as they have done in the past, who knows how far it goes? Do you think that those kids won't hesitate if they're readily convinced that you are the enemy?

                      "You can't compare the United States to other countries"

                      Oh yes, America can't possibly be compared to anyone else because you're so special. Especially in areas where you demonstrably lag behind, it's always lies or you're just so damn special that all those metrics showing otherwise must be wrong. These conversations are always hilarious.

                      "Our country was birthed from a revolution and our Constitution and the 2nd amendment guarantees this right. Our rights are now granted or awarded by the government, they are inherent."

                      I love this argument - your government doesn't protect your rights because... the document upon which the government is founded guarantees them? I'm sure that's not circular reasoning to you.

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2017 @ 9:54am

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

                        I never said we were special, just different.

                        If we wanted to pick apart the UK, that would be easy enough. Your weather sucks, a good chuck of your country will be underwater because of global warming, your tea sucks and your national sport (which is incorrectly named as football, it is soccer)is only played by pussies.

                        So yeah, we like guns.

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

                        • icon
                          PaulT (profile), 29 Mar 2017 @ 1:21am

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

                          "I never said we were special, just different"

                          Fair enough, I'm just used to people like you following that up with some kind of exceptionalism rant that doesn't bear any relation to reality.

                          "If we wanted to pick apart the UK, that would be easy enough"

                          Go ahead, I have far thicker skin than the average American "patriot", it seems.

                          "Your weather sucks"

                          Fair cop, that's a good part of the reason I no longer live there. Although, there has been a recent heatwave that's made it temporarily warmer than where I am now!

                          "a good chuck of your country will be underwater because of global warming"

                          As will large sections of your country, although I'm more concerned about the effects on things like gulfstreams and crop supplies from outside the UK than I am about where the new beachfronts will be (those affect you too, btw).

                          "your tea sucks"

                          Liptons vs Tetley? Sorry, I have to have the one with flavour, not the weak dishwater stuff I've tried in your supermarkets.

                          "incorrectly named as football"

                          No, it's the one you use your feet to play, as opposed to the bastardised version of rugby (a real sport, no armour required there!) that you largely play by carrying the ball before stopping for a rest every few seconds.

                          "it is soccer"

                          ...which is short for "Association Football" and predates your favourite pastime by some distance. Thus, "football" or "soccer" are both valid abbreviations of the original term.

                          Too busy working out how to shoot things to educate yourself on facts, I see.

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                    • identicon
                      Rana, 30 Mar 2017 @ 12:00pm

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

                      Think those kids are going to turn on the people? Their friends, their family? Sure, some would, others wouldn't.

                      Maybe not their own family, but their neighbor's family? Yeah, most would. In a heartbeat. That's what military brainwashing, err, "training", is for.

                      When you join the military, you take an oath to the Constitution. Others may think that is all a joke, but most in the military don't. I didn't, and still don't.

                      All they do is convince themselves that they aren't responsible because they're "just following orders".

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2017 @ 8:26am

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

                    The reason no one jumped in is that you leftists make it difficult and tedious. There are a few Americans who read this blog, but I imagine less and less every day. The A/C above is an American, espousing a fundamental American value. All you guys with 10,000+ posted comments are paid to do this, right, that's why you have so many posts and such a consistent stance. You get paid for it, right? Paid leftist propaganda, right? Advertising Is Content; Content Is Advertising, Mike's basic theme for this site. We all know it's a waste of time to try to convert you, because we are not going to pay you. I figure pretty soon, Mike will not pay you either, and you will be on your way.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2017 @ 12:27pm

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

                      You are suggesting that this guy is paid to.. what exactly? Argue on TechDirt? Really? That seems pretty desperate. Also, where does one find this alleged job posting, because it surely beats my day job.

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

                      • icon
                        PaulT (profile), 29 Mar 2017 @ 1:06am

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

                        If he can point me to where I can sign up for that job, I wish he'd let me know. I only come here when I'm bored enough at my job to lower myself to arguing with idiots. Well, intelligent conversation as well, but as soon as you come into a thread and it's been invaded by the anonymous bridge, what chance is there for that?

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                    • icon
                      That One Guy (profile), 28 Mar 2017 @ 3:05pm

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

                      So let's see, in the past few days I've seen 'leftist', 'socialist', 'foreigner', and now 'paid to post'(paired with 'leftist' of course) used as a laughably poor ad homs.

                      I'm curious, who's paying you to post here? I mean someone clearly is, because there's no possible chance you could hold the view that you do on your own, so who owns you?

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2017 @ 6:15pm

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

                        Please use the form below to contact us about ways to drive connective, useful conversations that offer a real ROI for your advertising dollar. https://www.techdirt.com/advertise.php

                        Actually, I borrowed 'leftist' from the other A/C, perhaps a more apt description than 'socialist'. This whole blog is a paid 'leftist' advertisement, right? I don't get paid for posting here, I consider it a community service. And by 'community', I mean the Other (non-leftist) community, which includes proud Americans, with guns. :)

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

                        • icon
                          PaulT (profile), 29 Mar 2017 @ 1:04am

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

                          "Actually, I borrowed 'leftist' from the other A/C, perhaps a more apt description than 'socialist'."

                          Apt, because there's an actual definition of the other word that doesn't mean anything like the thing you think it does?

                          "This whole blog is a paid 'leftist' advertisement, right?"

                          Tell yourself that, if it helps you cope with your xenophobia and ignorance better.

                          "proud Americans, with guns. :)"

                          You mean gun fetishists, who are responsible for more American deaths (even if you only include the accidental ones) than the terrorists they're scared of are responsible for every year?

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                        • icon
                          That One Guy (profile), 29 Mar 2017 @ 10:19am

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

                          Techdirt makes it known that if people want to advertise on the site then they can contact them to arrange it = people who post on the site are paid to do so?

                          Oh yeah, that's not a massive stretch at all.

                          Could you define 'leftist', I'm curious as to what you think it means and why you think it applies to TD and those posting it.

                          And by 'community', I mean the Other (non-leftist) community, which includes proud Americans, with guns. :)

                          Because of course no real american would ever disagree with you or be one of the dreaded 'leftists', or manage to make it through a comment without reminding people that they have a gun.

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                          • identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, 29 Mar 2017 @ 10:29am

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

                            I was not involved in this specific thread, but a good definition of "leftist" to me is one who believes in equal outcomes instead of believing in equal opportunities.

                            There is a big difference between leftist and liberal, although you don't hear much from true liberals anymore.

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                    • icon
                      PaulT (profile), 29 Mar 2017 @ 1:00am

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

                      "The reason no one jumped in is that you leftists make it difficult and tedious"

                      Au contraire, it's the name calling in place of an argument that's tedious.

                      "There are a few Americans who read this blog, but I imagine less and less every day."

                      So? There's a lot less Americans in the world than non-Americans and this is an international site.

                      "All you guys with 10,000+ posted comments are paid to do this, right"

                      No, we have intelligent conversations for insight and education, and we argue with morons for fun when that's not available. You haven't attempted an intelligent debate, so here we are.

                      What a shame - you're so intellectually bankrupt that you're scared to have an honest conversation with foreigners and have convinced yourself that anyone who disagrees with you must be paid to do so. What a pathetic worldview.

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                • identicon
                  AC, 28 Mar 2017 @ 6:36am

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

                  You used 'ad hominem' incorrectly.

                  An 'ad hominem' argument is fallacious because it attempts to discredit an argument by insulting the arguer instead of the argument. Because 'moron' was used to describe a random person and not YOU, it is not an 'ad hominem'.

                  For example: it is not an ad hominem for saying "you used ad hominem" incorrectly. It would be an ad hominem if I said "you are a moron who can't even use ad hominem correctly, rendering your argument invalid".

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              • icon
                Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), 28 Mar 2017 @ 6:51am

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

                Yet, these people will tell you that it's only by having that risk that you can be free.

                Yeah, noticed that too... I love guns and think the UK laws make little sense (since there's a lot knee-jerk laws from certain crimes), but the US situation looks kinda insane from the outside. Maybe the problem is this:

                "For reasons passing understanding [Americans] do not relate guns to gun-related crime"

                • President Andrew Shepherd (Aaron Sorkin)

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          • identicon
            Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 27 Mar 2017 @ 10:42pm

            Re: The more you seek to disarm the citizenry the more you will just become a slave.

            Only someone from a country founded on slavery would think that...

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2017 @ 6:42am

              Re: Re: The more you seek to disarm the citizenry the more you will just become a slave.

              Nat Turner seemed to think getting guns was a pretty good idea.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2017 @ 6:57am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The more you seek to disarm the citizenry the more you will just become a slave.

            So? Slavery is safety! Massa take good care of his property!

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Mar 2017 @ 5:14pm

        Re: Re:

        If you don't understand what is causing the problem, then you cannot possible solve it.

        But sure go ahead, call it all straw-men and logical fallacies.

        You have two choices, protect your liberty or become a slave! No government fears a disarmed citizenry they can murder at will.

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 28 Mar 2017 @ 12:58am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Which is why every country with a largely unarmed citizenry enjoys less freedom and rights than you do.

          Wait, most studies actually show that many countries for whom your gun fetish is completely alien actually enjoy higher levels of freedom and happiness. In those where gun ownership is higher, they're still far more restricted, yet the overall populace better off. Strange.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2017 @ 2:36am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            It's called rose colored glasses and bias.

            You want guns gone, therefore you do not equate their loss as a loss of liberty, which leads you to create a demographic that falsely portrays a gun free nation as being more free. It is a corrupt benchmark and you only reveal your political biases when you trot them out.

            Your benchmark of freedom is not the same for everyone else because it is very subjective. A democrat will feel more free under democratic leadership and a republican will feel more free under republican leadership. Funny how that works... but you would not understand. What you consider freedom others consider oppression so take your bogus metric elsewhere, it is meaningless flimflam.

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            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 28 Mar 2017 @ 3:50am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I've never felt any loss of freedom, and I've never felt the urge to own a gun. Perhaps you could furnish me with some actual evidence of what I'm missing out on because I don't feel the urge to arm myself and everyone around me.

              "A democrat will feel more free under democratic leadership and a republican will feel more free under republican leadership."

              What about the other 6+ billion people on the planet who don't fit neatly into an American political party? Are you actually intelligent enough to understand that most people don't?

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              • icon
                btr1701 (profile), 28 Mar 2017 @ 12:59pm

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

                > I've never felt any loss of freedom, and I've never felt
                > the urge to own a gun.

                The fact that you've personally never wanted to own a gun, doesn't mean the government banning people from doing so isn't a loss of freedom.

                I've never felt the urge to own a surfboard, but if the government banned surfboards tomorrow, my freedom would still be curtailed.

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              • icon
                btr1701 (profile), 28 Mar 2017 @ 1:01pm

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

                > What about the other 6+ billion people on the planet who
                > don't fit neatly into an American political party?

                Well, 5,650,000,000 of them are irrelevant, since they're not Americans and our laws don't affect them, nor do they have any say in how we run our society.

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            • icon
              Richard (profile), 28 Mar 2017 @ 6:45am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              You want guns gone, therefore you do not equate their loss as a loss of liberty, which leads you to create a demographic that falsely portrays a gun free nation as being more free.

              One thing that definitely makes you more free being alive.

              I balance my disappointment at not being allowed to own a gun against the joy of continuing living.

              All American gun advocates should read this article - and weep.

              http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-38365729

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2017 @ 6:57am

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

                Two countries, two different cultures.

                I like American culture (which includes guns, even though I don't own any guns.) If you like Japan's culture so much, maybe you should move there. Or just stay in the UK, and worry about immigration and leaving the EU.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2017 @ 6:14am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Yet unlike "safer" countries like Germany, we can publish anything we want (except CP) without fear of a prison sentence from the government.

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            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 28 Mar 2017 @ 7:05am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Well, not as much as you seem to think, and your guns don't protect you from private actors coming after you if your exercise of free speech annoys them (see lawsuits against this site). But, well done on identifying a country with specific censorship rules.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2017 @ 5:31am

      Re:

      Your blog sucks.

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

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 27 Mar 2017 @ 3:00pm

    And they still wonder why the public has such contempt for the system...

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Mar 2017 @ 3:02pm

    So you rights only exist if the op lets you have them? That not rights, thats a police state.

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  • icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 27 Mar 2017 @ 3:08pm

    The gun was irrelevant. A game controller would do.

    (Feb 2014) Techdirt: Cop Shoots Teen Holding Wii Controller In His Own Home

    An almost identical story, other than the game controller. What happened next:

    (Apr 2014) Grand jury: Officer used unauthorized force in deadly shooting of teen

    So the case was handed over to a second grand jury for review...

    (July 2014) Georgia Cop Won’t Be Charged in Shooting Death of Teen

    "Insufficient evidence" for involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct. No "right to bear arms" involved.

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    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 27 Mar 2017 @ 3:20pm

      Re:

      And it gets worse. Those grand jusry decisions came well after news broke that: Georgia Cop Who Killed Teen Was Fired From Previous Police Job

      Fired for failing to report to work. Four car accidents in two years and reprimands for refusing to follow orders and for leaving her weapon with a civilian while she had her picture taken.

      And in an odd parallel to the shooting of Christopher, Gatny was investigated in 2008 for having fired her service weapon at a suspect who was trying to remove his backpack because she believed the suspect was going for a gun, the records show — even though her partner said he never thought the suspect was armed.

      Police investigators determined she shouldn't be punished in the 2008 case because the initial call said the suspects might be armed.

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  • identicon
    Kevin Horner, 27 Mar 2017 @ 3:12pm

    2nd Amendment

    Despite Scalia's feelings to the contrary, reasonable people understand that both the letter and the spirit of the Second Smedment have nothing to do with personal defense. The language is quite clear, ot took Scalia pages and pages of mental gymnastics to end ip with his Heller decision.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2017 @ 4:11am

      Re: 2nd Amendment

      "Despite Scalia's feelings to the contrary, reasonable people understand that both the letter and the spirit of the Second Smedment have nothing to do with personal defense."

      So, anyone who agrees with Scalia is a priori unreasonable? A clear attempt to poison-the-well via a False Dilemma Fallacy, i.e., a swing and a miss, Scooter.

      Any appearance you offer of qualification to assert Scalia's "unreasonableness," i.e., none, does not improve when your sophistry is so transparently incompetent.

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  • identicon
    David, 27 Mar 2017 @ 3:12pm

    You misspelt "Blue Lives Matter"

    It's "Only Blue Lives Matter". Because the laws are not about making police officers' lives matter as much as that of any citizen. They are about giving officers the right to disregard any other person's well-being in their decision-making and planning, usually the privilege of wild animals.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Mar 2017 @ 3:21pm

    Other way around

    Given that "Deputy Sylvester’s splitsecond decision to use deadly force was objectively reasonable under the total circumstances—a reasonably perceived imminent threat of serious physical harm—and was not a constitutional violation", would this have applied the other way around?
    A seemingly lunatic, banging on a door at 1:30 without identifying himself would probably be reason enough for Andrew Scott to perceive an imminent threat of serious physical harm, under the total circumstances (whatever "total circumstances" means). What if he had just shot first? I can't help but presume a diametric decision by the court.

    PS: Does anyone know why the deputy was banging on the door at those hours? The most I could find says he had no warrant or reason to suspect a crime, which is just... wow!

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    • icon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 27 Mar 2017 @ 4:13pm

      Re: Other way around

      Take a look at the linked Fault Lines article. It's in there.

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 27 Mar 2017 @ 4:37pm

      Re: Other way around

      Somehow I rather doubt the ruling would have been similar had it gone the other way, no. Had the homeowner opened fire first 'I thought I was in imminent danger' probably would not have been treated as an acceptable excuse, because clearly he should have taken the time to properly assess the threat, and/or should have known that if someone is pounding on your door in the middle of the night it's a cop.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Mar 2017 @ 4:52pm

        Re: Re: Other way around

        Somehow I rather doubt the ruling would have been similar had it gone the other way, no.

        If it had gone the other way, then the reasonableness of the shooter's killing shots might have gone to a jury.

        As the circumstances actually were, though, no reasonable jury could disagree with these judges.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Mar 2017 @ 4:59pm

        Re: Re: Other way around

        if someone is pounding on your door in the middle of the night it's a cop.

        We haven't had lynch mobs in this country in decades!

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      • identicon
        pcdec, 27 Mar 2017 @ 8:31pm

        Re: Re: Other way around

        I can't find it but I read a story a few years back about a guy who shot(possibly killed) a cop in his bedroom. It was a wrong house no knock raid at night. The shooting was ruled justified because the police didn't announce themselves.

        In most of these situations the innocent gun owners are killed so this one was a rare case.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Mar 2017 @ 8:37pm

          Re: Re: Re: Other way around

          Yep, because how many cops would knock on a door at 1:30am without a backup or a SWAT team close by? You shoot the cop, guess what happens next?

          You think the second cop in is going to ask about a citizens justification?

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2017 @ 7:45am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Other way around

            You shoot the cop, guess what happens next?

            They try to fatally shoot the citizen. Which is the same thing that happens if the citizen does not shoot the cop.

            The only way the citizen gets out of this situation alive is if the cops are such bad shots, or the defensive position so favorable, that cooler heads prevail before the cops land a fatal shot. The former is plausible, but the latter is so unlikely that the citizen is almost guaranteed to die the moment the cops decide they want in.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2017 @ 9:38am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Other way around

              Some common sense wasn't used by all parties.

              Yeah, the cop caused the problem. Lots of things he shouldn't have done, lots of things he didn't do that he should have.

              That being said, if you think you need a gun in your hand to open up your door, probably a good idea to not open the door in the first place.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2017 @ 9:49am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Other way around

                Some common sense wasn't used by all parties.

                The cops used common sense. They figured out that the occupant of apartment 114 was the armed motorcyclist.

                So the cops set up an ambush, and executed the bad guy. No cops got hurt.

                Common sense works.

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  • icon
    AC (profile), 27 Mar 2017 @ 3:28pm

    Disgusting

    People have come, rightly or wrongly, to fear law enforcement.

    By sanctioning their shooting first and asking questions "later" (actually, never), this and similar rulings accomplish exactly three things:

    • Cops learn the wrong lesson: that they can get away with murder.
    • Which makes people more afraid.
    • Which makes deadly encounters (for cops and citizens) more likely in the future.

    So in exchange for escaping liability today, the cops and courts have made the world a more dangerous place tomorrow.

    Speaking as somebody with multiple friends and family members in law enforcement, "Blue Lives Matter" rulings like this make a cop's job MORE DANGEROUS. But that's OK in the eyes of this defendant. He got away with it.

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  • identicon
    AC, 27 Mar 2017 @ 3:38pm

    Unbelivable!

    Read the following sentence from the decision, and then read it again:

    “[e]ven if . . . Sylvester violated Scott’s constitutional rights . . . by using
    excessive force, Sylvester would be entitled to qualified immunity because he violated no clearly established right.”

    So, if I'm reading that sentence correctly, the court is saying that constutional rights are not "clearly established rights".

    WTF??

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    • icon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 27 Mar 2017 @ 4:11pm

      Re: Unbelivable!

      It's not in the Constitution, but I think there is a 'clearly established right' to live. Then again, Natural rights are often forgotten when thinking of laws.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Mar 2017 @ 4:22pm

        Re: Re: Unbelivable!

        It's not in the Constitution, but I think there is a 'clearly established right' to live.

        Section One of the Fourteenth Amendment is NOT IN the Constitution?

        nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;

        Or were you talking about some other constitution? The constitution that these judges were supposably interpreting, perhaps? That other one?

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        • icon
          Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 27 Mar 2017 @ 5:14pm

          Re: Re: Re: Unbelivable!

          Oops. And how did the court miss that?

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 27 Mar 2017 @ 5:35pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Unbelivable!

            They didn't, they are just okay with redefining it to mean something else because everyone else is doing the same thing.

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

            • identicon
              David, 28 Mar 2017 @ 3:32am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Unbelivable!

              Uh, the officer certainly had the right to self-defense once he had to fear for his life. You can't blame him for that. Just like you can't blame a shooter when inertia carries his bullet to an unfortunate place.

              What you can blame the officer for is _creating_ the situation where he saw no recourse but to kill. That's pure unadulterated stupidity, and once you start punishing officers to stupidity, none will be left. Because sub-par intelligence is a job _requirement_ for officers. They don't get hired if they have an above-average IQ.

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  • icon
    ThaumaTechnician (profile), 27 Mar 2017 @ 3:39pm

    Is there such a thing as a

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

  • icon
    TimK (profile), 27 Mar 2017 @ 3:45pm

    > Holding an officer accountable for rights violations is almost impossible. Those who've obtained settlements might receive something to help with medical/funeral bills and the feeling they might have made a small, positive difference.

    Let's not leave out the fact that none of that settlement money comes out of the officer's pocket...it is all paid by the citizen taxpayers. So, we all get to pay the continued salaries of these bad cops and their benefits and pensions, and on top of that, hundreds of thousands of dollars or more in settlement money each year. Great.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Mar 2017 @ 3:46pm

    Burn Baby Burn.

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

  • identicon
    Daydream, 27 Mar 2017 @ 4:13pm

    I think that everyone reading this story has forgotten something important.

    Andrew Scott is dead. That is the thing everyone is forgetting.

    This isn't a video game where 'oops, police corruption in our country is reducing our production yields by 10%'. A real, living person has been murdered in their own home.

    What if this Andrew ran a business? What if he made beautiful homemade chocolates in pretty shapes?
    Or, maybe he was an artist, on DeviantArt. Think about who you follow there, what if one of them disappeared?
    Or maybe he had his own YouTube channel, or some other social media following. Andrew is not a statistic, he's a real, once-living person.

    And now Andrew is dead, because some random idiot thought it was okay to knock on his door at 1:30 in the morning and shoot him SIX times when he answered the door.
    And the court let him get away with it, mainly because they only care that they're getting money and the killer had a uniform on, and not that Andrew Scott is dead.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Mar 2017 @ 4:57pm

    Hmmmm - lesson here is, Do Not Answer the Door.

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

  • icon
    tom (profile), 27 Mar 2017 @ 5:40pm

    11th circuit covers 3 states. Lesson learned is if someone knocks on the door after acceptable hours, dial 911 and report unidentified person banging on door, leave call open, activate one or more recording devices, and silently wait with your semi auto rifle pointed at the door. If the door flies open, empty 30 round magazine. Send copy of recording(s) to lawyer asap.

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

  • identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 27 Mar 2017 @ 5:51pm

    This Was Going To Happen Sooner Or Later

    Those who tend to take the cops’ side in any accusations of police brutality were inevitably going to collide with those who believe in the “right to bear arms”.

    The fact that the same groups of people tend to subscribe to both positions just adds to the fun...

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Mar 2017 @ 6:29pm

      Re: This Was Going To Happen Sooner Or Later

      Agree, this is the biggest problem with those on the right. I have friends to simultaneously advocate for the 2nd and then say people should obediently follow a cops every command and NOT assert their constitutional rights.

      This entire mess is turning into a self fulfilling prophecy. The police constantly escalate these situations directly encouraging escalation by citizens to justify their militaristic tyranny. The only end result will be a blood bath. The question is who spills the most blood? The citizens or the police?

      The problem is not going away any time soon.

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

      • icon
        Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), 28 Mar 2017 @ 10:24am

        Re: Re: This Was Going To Happen Sooner Or Later

        The question is who spills the most blood? The citizens or the police?

        That's even a question? From a very very quick-and-dirty look:

        42 US police officers killed in the line of duty in 2015

        Proper stats of citizens killed by police hard to find but according to the Bureau Of Justice Statistics: "From 2003 to 2009, a reported 4,813 persons died during or shortly after law enforcement personnel attempted to arrest or restrain them.". I make that an average of about 700 a year.

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  • identicon
    My_Name_Here, 27 Mar 2017 @ 5:59pm

    The fact that Tim Cushing is upset is reason enough, but a ruling like this makes me want to publicly stroke myself.

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

  • identicon
    Saiph, 27 Mar 2017 @ 6:34pm

    "attempting to find cover"

    So the court gave the cops another handy excuse to murder people in the future. If you are a cop and someone is running away from you, you are fully justified in shooting them in the back. Because for all you know, they could be "attempting to find cover" from which to shoot at you with a hidden gun. Even if you have already handcuffed and searched them, they might be running to a previously hidden weapon. Better shoot them while you can!

    Yeah, I see how all that works. So what do we do about such a legal system? It obviously can't reform itself.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Mar 2017 @ 6:58pm

      Re: "attempting to find cover"

      So what do we do about such a legal system? It obviously can't reform itself.

      From the caption on the 11th Circuit's opinion, you might have noticed that these here events took place in Lake County, Florida.

      Rising sea levels ought to nicely take care of all problems down there.

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

      • icon
        Richard (profile), 29 Mar 2017 @ 1:42am

        Re: Re: "attempting to find cover"

        Rising sea levels ought to nicely take care of all problems down there.

        Trump is smarter than we thought. He is ramping up coal burning to accelerate climate change so we can get rid of these fools!

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

  • identicon
    Peter Vincini, 27 Mar 2017 @ 7:10pm

    Don't, don't, dont

    If you don't know who it is, don't open the door. If the police don't have a warrant, don't open the door. If the police ask questions don't answer. These are your rights, ignore them at your peril.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Mar 2017 @ 7:52pm

    Funny in a way. Andrew Scott was shot by police in 2012.

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

    • identicon
      AC, 28 Mar 2017 @ 6:40am

      Re:

      And it takes five years for the court to finally decide on the issue? Yeah, sounds about right.

      "Speedy" (as in "speedy trial") is relative.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2017 @ 6:45am

        Re: Re:

        To be fair, this ruling was in a civil lawsuit. I don't think the cops trial took as long (if he even ever went to trial.)

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Mar 2017 @ 7:58pm

    This ruling makes perfect sense, considering that if the cops suddenly busted into your house in the middle of the night (with or without a legal warrant) they have every right to immediately shoot you dead if you're holding a gun-like object or making a "threatening" move as you stagger out of bed still half-asleep.

    So if it's OK for cops to shoot you in your bed, then for the sake of consistency, it should be OK for cops to shoot you at your doorstep as well.

    It would have been even more interesting if the homeowner had survived the attack and fired back, killing Deputy Fife, but then we all know how the legal system would treat such a self-defense situation when the roles are reversed.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Mar 2017 @ 8:23pm

      Re:

      if the cops suddenly busted into your house ... (... without a legal warrant) they have every right to immediately shoot you ... if you're holding a gun-like object

      Those facts resemble what happened in the pending case of County of Los Angeles v Mendez, which was argued in the Supreme Court last week, on March 22nd, 2017.

      The only things are, in that case it wasn't the middle of the night, rather it was 12:30 in the afternoon. Angel Mendez wasn't shot dead, instead he just had his right leg amputated beneath the knee. The gun-like object was a BB rifle. And the District Court, after a bench trial, awarded $4 million.

      Los Angeles County, of course, is in California. Which means that case comes up out ofthe 9th Circuit.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Mar 2017 @ 10:34pm

    Stupid cop, no doughnut.

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

  • icon
    Narcissus (profile), 28 Mar 2017 @ 2:51am

    Helicopters

    "Literally, that’s the standard. No helicopters hovering overhead."

    I'm confused about this statement. If a helicopter is hovering overhead, I think the conclusion that the police is knocking is more logical since I don't know many criminal gangs that employ helicopter coverage. So then what, they exceeded the knock and talk and you're free to shoot them?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2017 @ 7:41am

      Re: Helicopters

      "Literally, that’s the standard. No helicopters hovering overhead."

      This is in passing reference to another case where the cops were found to have acted excessively because they deployed helicopters inappropriately. The author is asserting that, under current case law, that is the least egregious case where they were reprimanded by a court, so any action less egregious than that can be argued to be "reasonable" by a lawyer trying to assert Qualified Immunity for the police, and have at least a fair chance the judge will agree. Thus, if there are no helicopters hovering overhead, whatever else the cops do is (probably) "reasonable" and will enjoy Qualified Immunity.

      Although the confusion is understandable, that statement has nothing to do with what the citizen victim thought or should have thought. It pertains solely to whether the officers "reasonably should have known" that their conduct was excessive.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2017 @ 6:30am

    Coming up on "Your right to be shot - the new constitution"

    Defense lawyer: So officer, why did you shoot the deceased through the door?"

    Cop: Well, I saw the peep-hole darkening and, because I was a little bit drunk, imagined him pressing a gun against the door, preparing to fire... I felt threatened"

    Judge: "Okay - that's enough for me... case dismissed"

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2017 @ 6:31am

    Basically the only safe move here is to not open the door and ask for whoever is knocking at the door to identify themselves first. (And ignore entirely or call 911 if they don't) And let's not forget that if they say they are the cops you better lock your guns in a parallel dimension lest they see them far away from you and decide to shoot you just in case.

    That is truly fucked up. That we as citizens need to learn all sorts of de escalation techniques, just to be able to avoid getting murdered by the perpetually scared shit-less police officers we have.

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

    • identicon
      AC, 28 Mar 2017 @ 6:45am

      Re:

      Guys, it's time for some game theory. I call this one the "Cop's Dilemma":

      A cop encounters an american citizen. If they don't shoot he citizen, there is a 1% chance they will not survive the encounter. If they do shoot the citizen, there is a 99% chance they survive the encounter, and a 98% chance they get to keep their job and go on a taxpayer funded vacation (AKA administrative leave).

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2017 @ 2:37pm

      Re:

      lock your guns in a parallel dimension lest they see them far away from you and decide to shoot you just in case.

      You have the right to bear arms and cops have the right to execute you for doing so. The difference is, the first right is enshrined in the Constitution, while the second one is one the government has made up and given to itself.

      That we as citizens need to learn all sorts of deescalation techniques

      It can be very hard to "deescalate" a thug having a good time from doing so, at least voluntarily.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2017 @ 9:07am

    Wait a second

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but the court didn't take the case citing qualified immunity. Therefore, no precedent. Doesn't this mean that it's impossible to set new precedent saying "No, you can't do that"?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2017 @ 9:25am

      Re: Wait a second

      Correct me if I'm wrong

      You're wrong.

      If you carefully read Judge Hull's concurrence, beginning on p.3 of the embedded (and also linked ) document, the very first sentence runs:

      A majority of the Court has voted not to rehear en banc the panel’s non-published, and thus non-precedential, decision.

      (Emphasis added.)

      Further down on p.3, Judge Hull's concurrence also states:

      Although orders denying rehearing en banc also have no precedential effect,...

      (Emphasis added again.)

      But all this does NOT mean (your words) “it's impossible to set new precedent saying ‘No, you can't do that‘? ”

      Do you understand the correction?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2017 @ 9:39am

    In Todays world a camera on your door and a claymore under your door mat with the trigger in reach from the comfort of you bed is whats needed in America today to get a good nights sleep .

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2017 @ 9:44am

    In todays world why do we even have locked doors anymore ?
    I mean come on people we have nothing to hide {from} .I mean hey see a cop just give him your phone ,house , car keys .
    If you have nothing to fear from them and want to be safe, help out your your local authoritarian figures as much as possible .

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

  • icon
    Ryunosuke (profile), 28 Mar 2017 @ 9:46am

    correct me if I am wrong.. but... wasn't this SPECIFICALLY why the 2nd amendment is the way it was written?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2017 @ 11:41am

    When interacting with cops, it is prudent to shut your mouth (exercise your right not to testify against yourself) and be polite when talking to the cop. Do what they tell you to do.

    According to your rights, you don't have to do that, but when you don't, you raise the odds of you getting yourself shot.

    If a cop is doing something wrong, go along, be polite and cooperate. You can't tell me that when some BLM asshole is screaming at a cop, they are afraid of that person. Who screams into someone's face if they think they will get shot?

    Use fucking common sense. Don't run from cops, struggle with cops or anything else that can get you shot. Don't open a door at 1:30 in the morning without knowing who is on the other side, because that too can get you shot. Be smart and you won't get shot.

    In the words of Dalton "be nice, until its time to not be nice"

    And the time to not be nice is when you are with your lawyer in a courtroom, not on the street where you could get shot.

    Of course, you could ignore this and get yourself shot.

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

  • identicon
    Personanongrata, 28 Mar 2017 @ 12:09pm

    One Nation Under US Government Yoke with Liberty and Justice for None

    Appeals Court Says Right To Bear Arms Isn't A Right If Cops Are Banging On Your Door In The Middle Of The Night

    American citizen says an appeals court can not be granted the consent of the governed if the majority of federal court jesters comprising it's members wear dunce caps.

    It is a wonderful reality that all federal court jesters in dunce caps have life time appointments to the bench.

    This decision rendered by the dunce cap wearing federal court jesters comprising the center ring of the US 11th Circus of Appeals is judicial malpractice.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2017 @ 1:08pm

    Deputy Richard Sylvester gets away with murder. Hope to hell there is such a thing as karma.

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

  • icon
    NitroLab (profile), 28 Mar 2017 @ 1:12pm

    Thanks for keeping us safe! /sarc

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Mar 2017 @ 1:18am

    You Americans like New Business Opportunities, well

    here is one.

    Provide a relatively cheap service to secure front doors with high-powered lighting systems (behind bullet/hammer/etc proof glass/plastic) to reveal who is at front door. Provide tranquillising gas ejectors for said front doors. Provide automatic systems to record and transmit all activity at front door. Provide two way audio and one way video to investigate said visitors, with possible automatic warning systems to said visitors. Add whatever additional facilities required, including trapdoors, explosive defences (courtesy of previous commenter), poison/disease/electrical/firearm weaponry to automatically engage as dead-man switch. I am sure you Americans can come up with a suitable array of deterrents for police, door-to-doors sales, JW's, Hare Krishna's, Mormons, Girl Guides, Boy Scouts, Mothers-in-Law, Loan Sharks, etc.

    Market this to a wide range of clientele, make your millions and see Peace in Our Time come to be.

    David Oliver Graeme Samuel Offenbach

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Mar 2017 @ 6:22am

    The whole anti-gun argument here is stupid. Did it really matter that the guy had a gun? Wouldn't the cop just have shot him anyway? Isn't that what BLM is all about?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Mar 2017 @ 8:43am

    The vast majority of gun owners never commit crimes (or at least use their gun in crimes.)

    The vast majority of Muslims don't commit terrorist acts.

    So getting rid of guns is good but banning Muslims is bad?

    Of course, you can go with the other side of that also, but you can't argue we should get rid of guns while supporting rampant immigration from Muslim countries.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 30 Mar 2017 @ 1:00am

      Re:

      "So getting rid of guns is good but banning Muslims is bad?"

      Guns aren't people, but Muslims are. One should absolutely have more rights than the other. Also, you are far, far more likely to be killed by a legal "responsible" gun owner than you are by a terrorist, and lots of people are killed by guns without any intent to harm being involved. Plus, of course, most terrorists in the US are not Muslim.

      "you can't argue we should get rid of guns while supporting rampant immigration from Muslim countries."

      Name one person who has actually stated this position.

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

  • identicon
    Paul D Richards, 29 Mar 2017 @ 2:23pm

    The cops have declared war on the public

    They are no longer servants to the public. It is way past time to put them back into the role of peacekeeper, not paramilitary raiders and executioners. This WILL not be a peaceful transition because they won't allow their budgets to be cut as drastically as they need to be, will actively oppose any measures restricting their authority and coercively with court backing make absurd rulings like this one. The only option left is an all out guerrilla war against them to reduce their numbers and make their job so dangerous some will quit,new recruits will be harder to hire, and the leadership will be forced to retreat and backpedal so far policy wise or face. extinction. Simultaneously, the people need to stop paying their taxes which directly fund this beast.

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

    • identicon
      Wendy Cockcroft, 30 Mar 2017 @ 3:47am

      Re: The cops have declared war on the public

      They are no longer servants to the public. It is way past time to put them back into the role of peacekeeper, not paramilitary raiders and executioners.

      Agreed.

      This WILL not be a peaceful transition because they won't allow their budgets to be cut as drastically as they need to be, will actively oppose any measures restricting their authority and coercively with court backing make absurd rulings like this one.

      Their budgets are already cut, hence military surplus kit and asset forfeiture. Many county sherriffs actually run their own for-profit prisons.

      The only option left is an all out guerrilla war against them to reduce their numbers and make their job so dangerous some will quit, new recruits will be harder to hire, and the leadership will be forced to retreat and backpedal so far policy wise or face. extinction.

      From police state to martial law. Nice.

      Simultaneously, the people need to stop paying their taxes which directly fund this beast.

      How? If your taxes are deducted at source, as employee taxes are, your only option is to quit your job and live off the grid.

      Anarchy is a problem, not a solution, people.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2017 @ 6:52am

    Here is the problem with keyboard warriors, internet idiots and academic assholes who spout off on topics like this and completely ignore the real world because they are not really part of the real fucking world.

    In the US, there are bad people, there are bad areas, there are areas that most people that post on here won't go to, don't live in and don't have a fucking clue what is going on in these areas because the are well off.

    In neighborhoods there are dangerous people walking around that shouldn't be walking around. They are nasty people that would shoot someone based on a perceived insult or disrespect. There are mothers who won't send their kids out in the neighborhood to play because of the danger. Guns are part of the problem, but a knife or baseball bat will still kill you. Getting beat down by a gang of thugs will still get you dead.

    These neighborhoods need cops and in fact, ask for cops, more cops. NYC, Baltimore, Detroit, Chicago, LA, neighborhood people ask, beg for more police.

    Being a cop isn't easy in these areas, they deal with these thugs every day, they run the risk of pulling over the "wrong" person for something and end up at risk.

    When was the last time, dear reader, in your job, was your life put at risk that is a normal part of your profession?

    Of course, cops make mistakes and others cover it up. When I make a mistake in my job, things get fucked up, but nobody dies. If a cop makes a mistake, someone could die (either the cop or someone they are dealing with.)

    Look at how much cops are paid, look at who becomes cops, and we should expect perfection?

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 30 Mar 2017 @ 7:30am

      Re:

      Lots of assumptions and bare assertions there. But you know everything about everyone reading your post, and are so much better than everyone else, right?

      "Being a cop isn't easy in these areas"

      That's fairly obvious. Well, they should know that before they become cops. If they deliberately chose a difficult and dangerous profession, that doesn't excuse their incompetence when they screw up.

      Also, look at any list of the most dangerous jobs in the US. Police officer is usually not one of those listed.

      "When I make a mistake in my job, things get fucked up, but nobody dies. If a cop makes a mistake, someone could die"

      Same goes for everybody from surgeons to pilots to truckers to fishermen to loggers. Are you saying that none of these people should be held accountable for deaths caused by their mistakes, or do you just single out one profession because you want to?

      "Look at how much cops are paid, look at who becomes cops, and we should expect perfection?"

      Might I suggest that you work to solve this obvious problem, then, instead of excusing a cop who murdered someone because he was scared of a situation he put himself into?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2017 @ 9:33am

        Re: Re:

        If a trucker kills someone while driving, does he go to jail unless he was drinking or doing something else illegal? When a surgeon makes a mistake, does he go to jail?

        Being held accountable is needed. The error this deputy made was not announcing himself.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2017 @ 10:32am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The error this deputy made was not announcing himself.

          That plus employing deadly force when making a warrantless seizure inside the home contrary to Payton.

          When the deputies drew their weapons —prior to knocking on the door of 114— they consciously decided to employ deadly force to seize the occupants of apartment 114. Calling it a “knock and talk” — at 1:30 in the god-damn dark — with drawn and ready weapons — and blinding spotlights — is abuse of language.

          This was a premeditated ambush and murder.

          The deputies shouldn't go to jail. They should hang. By the neck.

          Yet what the court is deciding, in this case, on a 42 USC § 1863 complaint, is whether the deputies are liable to civil suit.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2017 @ 10:46am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Keyboard warrior.

            Yeah, they were search for a suspected murderer. They knocked on the wrong door. They assumed that said suspected murderer opened the door. So yeah, it was a civil trial that this ruling happened, and the judge ruled that in the 2 seconds this all went down, it was a tragic situation.

            An experienced cop did this. He should hang? How do you know if you were in the cops shoes, you wouldn't have pulled the trigger?

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2017 @ 2:42pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              He should hang?

              All four deputies should hang.

              18 U.S. Code § 241 - Conspiracy against rights

              ... if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section ... they ... may be sentenced to death.

              (Emphasis added.)

              All four deputies should hang.

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

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 31 Mar 2017 @ 12:45am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "They knocked on the wrong door."

              So, you lied when you said the only mistake they made was not announcing themselves? How many other mistakes are you overlooking to excuse murder by someone scared of the profession he chose for himself?

              "An experienced cop did this"

              That's actually worse. If he's so experienced, he shouldn't be making the kinds of mistakes that led to him surprising an innocent man in his own apartment at 1:30am and causing his death.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2017 @ 10:49am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            42 USC § 1863

            s/42 USC § 1863/42 USC § 1983/

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 31 Mar 2017 @ 12:46am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "If a trucker kills someone while driving, does he go to jail unless he was drinking or doing something else illegal?"

          If he was particularly negligent when driving, yes he does.

          "When a surgeon makes a mistake, does he go to jail?"

          If he was particularly negligent, yes he does.

          Why should this negligent cop be spared?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2017 @ 9:30am

    Considering that there were over 500,000 people arrested for violent crimes in 2015, the number of people killed by police is actually quite low.

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

    • identicon
      Rana, 30 Mar 2017 @ 12:05pm

      Re:

      Considering that there were over 500,000 people arrested for violent crimes in 2015, the number of people killed by police is actually quite low.

      How does that lower the number of people killed?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2017 @ 1:14pm

        Re: Re:

        It doesn't, but statistically speaking, we are pretty safe, since very few violent arrests actually result in a cop shooting someone. And when you look at how many times people actually interact or are around cops, the chances of getting shot are even lower. I probably see a cop just about every day, yet have never been shot.

        I mean, if statistically speaking, if being a cop is safer than a lot of other professions, being shot by a cop is statistically a very rare thing.

        We getting all hot and bothered by something that rarely happens?

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

        • identicon
          Sualocin, 30 Mar 2017 @ 3:46pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          In other news, Russian roulette is perfectly safe, on average.

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 31 Mar 2017 @ 12:53am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "We getting all hot and bothered by something that rarely happens?"

          You're more likely to be killed by a cop than a terrorist, but you all seem very scared of them. Why not also be concerned about the higher number of deaths caused by the people you supposedly employ to protect you?

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 31 Mar 2017 @ 5:56am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            What is the number of deaths caused by police that shouldn't have happened?

            The problem is that police and the government do a crappy job of tracking this information and would rather sweep this under the rug.

            I would imagine the vast majority of people shot by police should have been shot by police.

            You look at the police and condemn them, but that is the wrong target. The issue is not the police, it is the politicians. They are the ones that are responsible. The cops don't run things, it is the politicians and the judiciary that tell them what to do. By blaming cops, you are letting the real decision makers off the hook.

            Couldn't the Mayor and town council of Ferguson told the chief of police to cut it out? Couldn't the Gov. of Mo. stopped the military response?

            Didn't the Mayor tell the Berkeley police force not to engage with rioters when Milo wanted to speak there?

            Cops are the wrong target.

            That being said, I don't think this case was murder.

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

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 31 Mar 2017 @ 6:32am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Sorry, that's a load of crap. Individual and local responsibility are important as well. If I screw up on my job, I might be right to blame internal procedures that make it more difficult or more risky. That doesn't mean I'm absolved of my actions. Same with cops. Can their pay, conditions, etc. be improved? Sure. Was a politician directly responsible for placing this guy at an innocent person's door at 1:30am, causing him to shoot when the person reacted to the unknown person standing in front of his home? No, that's on the cop.

              Stop making it a stupid false dichotomy. Politicians are partly to blame for the conditions, but the people who actually kill people without proper reason are to blame for doing so, even if it happen under extenuating circumstances.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 31 Mar 2017 @ 9:17am

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

                I said politicians and the judiciary. Those are the folks that can hold police accountable.

                You want to keep talking to cops and you will never solve the problem, cause they take care of their own.

                Who is the chief of polices boss? The local mayor. Leave the mayor alone and nothing changes, because he or she won't care.

                I agree, we need to make cops accountable. Who does that? Politicians and the judiciary.

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

  • identicon
    Joephus, 6 Jun 2017 @ 7:45am

    Cops Banging on Your Door

    "And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?. The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin's thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If.if.We didn't love freedom enough. And even more - we had no awareness of the real situation.. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward."
    ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

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


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