Court Dismisses Bogus Charges Brought Against Nevada Man Who Pissed Off Local Cops By Using The Crosswalk

from the nothing-about-the-headline-is-metaphoric dept

We just covered cops getting all angry and sued as the result of their inability to not violate civil rights just because someone interrupted one of their sting operations. In that story, officers were upset a man had placed a cardboard sign dam in their revenue stream by warning drivers of a distracted driving sting a couple of blocks ahead.

It's not a Connecticut thing. It's a #CopThing. Techdirt reader John Mehaffey directs us to another civil rights lawsuit stemming from sting operation disruption, this time in Nevada. There, John Hunt saw Boulder City cops running a sting involving a pedestrian crosswalk on the main drag. He wasn't impressed by their tactics.

The fracas started in 2016 on Boulder City's main drag. Boulder City Police obtained federal funds to conduct a pedestrian sting operation, one designed to ticket motorists who fail to stop for pedestrians in this crosswalk on Nevada Way. A decoy in an orange shirt was assigned to walk back and forth across the road. There were problems from the start.

"This decoy was doing shady things. We have him on video walking extremely slow, walking into the crosswalk at one-fifth the speed a normal person would walk, and he's stopping half-way and raising his hand," Stubbs said.

Much like the Connecticut case we covered recently, this sting involved federal funds. The PD obviously didn't want this funding to dry up, so it needed to ticket as many people as possible, even if it meant utilizing a faux pedestrian who didn't behave like regular pedestrians.

John Hunt was one of those ticketed for failing to yield to the PD's stunt walker. He went back to the scene of his crime and performed some pro se walking. The results were predictable.

[A]ter being cited, he returned to the scene of the ongoing sting and began a one man protest, by doing the same thing the decoy was doing. It took hunt just over a minute to walk across the street three times. That was enough for police Sgt. John Glenn, who whipped into action.

Sgt. John Glenn can be heard saying, "Come over here. Come over here. Because I said so."

Within minutes, other officers converged, and the pedestrian protester was taken down, then taken to jail.

The cops lied in their arrest report, stating that Hunt had "caused a vehicle to slam on its brakes and skid to a stop." (Even if true [it wasn't], the pedestrian had the right of way in the crosswalk... so... the crime is what exactly?) Dash cam obtained by Hunt's lawyer, Stephen Stubbs showed nothing like that ever happened.

This resulted in the city dropping the charges against Hunt. Then Hunt decided to sue the city and, magically, the charges -- pushed by a new city attorney (and local religious leader) -- reappeared. City Attorney and local Mormon church stake president Steve Morris rang Hunt up for the original charge plus a few more.

Hunt's lawyer complained on Facebook about the bogus charges. This led the municipal judge (and good Mormon) Victor Miller to hand down a completely unconstitutional gag order forbidding Hunt's lawyer from discussing the case anywhere but in court. This gag order was thrown out [PDF] by a district court judge who noted it seemed to be put in place solely to protect the judge from criticism. And it was so overbroad it could not possibly be viewed as Constitutional.

[A]s couched, the Order is so broad both Mr. Stubbs and Mr. Morris could violate the mandate if they disparage their adversary even in a private conversation with their spouses or friends within the sanctity of their homes.

The gag order was tossed in April. Six months later, Hunt has received another favorable ruling from a district court. A minute order [PDF] (one made orally prior to a written order) from district court judge Richard Scotti blasts the city for its vindictive prosecution and dismisses the bogus charges the city dumped on him after it found out it was being sued.

The Court finds that the City vindictively prosecuted Appellant John Hunt when they resurrected their 2016 complaint against Mr. Hunt containing 3 additional claims, only six (6) days after Mr. Hunt filed a Civil Rights lawsuit against the City. Additionally, the Court finds Appellant satisfies the requirements needed to establish a presumption of vindictive prosecution and the prosecution fails to prove that the increase in severity of the charge did not result from any vindictive motive.

The only evidence that the prosecution provides this Court to rebut Appellants claim of vindictive prosecution is that City Attorney Mr. Olsen was preparing for retirement and did not have a paralegal. This evidence is not sufficient to indicate that the increased charges could not have been brought before the defendant exercised his right. Almost Eleven (11) months elapsed between when the City dismissed all charges and Mr. Hunt filed his civil rights lawsuit. The prosecution had ample time to prepare a complaint the eleven (11) months previous to Mr. Hunt filing his civil rights lawsuit.

The benchslap continues:

The filing of the criminal complaint only days after Mr. Hunt filed his civil rights lawsuit, coupled with the facts that the City of Boulder City previously dismissed the criminal case rising from June 8, 2016 and has not received any additional evidence, clearly indicates that the prosecution had a vindictive motive when they refiled their complaint on June 5, 2017.

Finally, the court notes Hunt's one-minute traverse of the crosswalk was protected speech, which will add more ammo to Hunt's civil rights lawsuit. And the judge points out a major flaw in the city's bogus obstruction charge: Hunt's use of the crosswalk during the sting operation was actually encouraged by the PD itself.

The City of Boulder knew that Mr. Hunt was protesting and still charged him with Obstruction even though the police previous to this incident sent out a press release asking people to use the crosswalk during the enforcement activity.

Hunt is now facing zero (0) criminal charges. The city is still facing one (1) civil rights lawsuit. And yet, the city just can't stop digging. It's going to lose the lawsuit and it's decided the best thing to do is further destroy its own credibility. This bit of First Amendment stupidity comes directly from the city government.

Boulder City Communications Manager Lisa Laplante told the I-Team Tuesday afternoon that the city respectfully disagrees with the ruling, and said the pedestrian protest was the equivalent of yelling fire in a crowded theater. She also said that the city plans to appeal the decision.

God help me, I hope the city uses this "fire in a crowded theater" argument during its appeal of this dismissal. I hope it uses it when it defends itself against Hunt's civil rights lawsuit. I can't wait to see a couple of federal judges tee off on this misused trope during their rundown of every other stupid thing the city did in response to Hunt's mild protest.


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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2018 @ 4:01am

    Huh. Guess we know where out_of_the_blue lives.

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

  • identicon
    MathFox, 6 Nov 2018 @ 4:28am

    Yelling Fire

    Extending the Boulder City argument: while ordinary citizens are held accountable for their "yelling fire" actions; city or police officers can freely jell "fire" without regard for the mayhem they may cause.
    Just like walking crosswalks should be prohibited for everyone without permission of the attending police officer.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2018 @ 6:35am

      Re: Yelling Fire

      In addition to permission from local law enforcement, does one also need their "papers" in order to use said crosswalk?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2018 @ 1:12am

      Re: Yelling Fire

      They will even set up a fake fire and encourage or threaten people, over days and weeks, to yell about it. Then arrest them when they think it seems like, upon information and experience, they are about to yell "fire".

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  • icon
    GrooveNeedle (profile), 6 Nov 2018 @ 4:29am

    Yelling Fire!

    Isn’t yelling fire in a theater protected? If they argue that, aren’t they making Hunt’s case for him?

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 6 Nov 2018 @ 4:59am

      Re: Yelling Fire!

      Given the rest of the case it's not exactly reasonable to expect even the smallest level of competence out of these people, so it's no surprise that they'd screw that up too.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2018 @ 7:10am

        Re: Re: Yelling Fire!

        You don't need "competence" to make it these days. All you need is money, a big mouth and a knack for lying. Those three things can take you all the way to the top of government and business.

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

    • identicon
      Michael, 6 Nov 2018 @ 5:04am

      Re: Yelling Fire!

      You should look this up. It is a bit to explain, but the short answer is "You cannot yell fire in a crowded theater" is bogus. You can. It's not illegal. It is actually encouraged at times (you know, when there is a an actual fire).

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      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 6 Nov 2018 @ 6:49am

        The proposition itself comes from a Supreme Court decision that encouraged government censorship (and had its precedent overturned just a few years later). Popehat wrote an excellent article on the "shouting fire in a crowded theater" argument and followed up on that with a similarly excellent podcast.

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      • identicon
        Anon, 6 Nov 2018 @ 8:06am

        Re: Re: Yelling Fire!

        Yes. I blieve Justice Holmes said it was the worst decision of his career. It stemmed form the conviction of a group for passing out pamphlets urging men to dodge the draft during WWI. During the post-war hysteria following the Communist overthrow of the Russian government, courts were hard on dissent. Over the next decade, cooler heads prevailed. Equating dissent to yelling "Fire" is the ultimate McCarthyistic-level distraction.

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        • icon
          Tanner Andrews (profile), 10 Nov 2018 @ 12:27am

          Re: Re: Re: Yelling Fire!

          I blieve Justice Holmes said it was the worst decision of his career.

          Well, that's a hard call. Yes, Abrams was a bad decision, generally speaking opposed to much of what the U.S. claims to stand for.

          But then Justice Holmes was also the author of Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200 (US 02-May-1927).

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    • identicon
      David, 6 Nov 2018 @ 5:15am

      Re: Yelling Fire!

      Yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theatre is skin to hitting yourself with a hammer on purpose: the government can't prohibit the act itself but there will still be consequences that you are liable for and that no insurer will be bound to cover for you.

      Now in this case, it was the government that was pissed and wanted him to stop using the crosswalk in a manner considerably safer than what their own effigy was doing. To be able to even charge him the first time round, they invented stuff that didn't actually happen and were called on it. Now they are resuscitating the original charge, presumably without any actionable evidence to boot.

      So yes, this "yelling fire in a crowded theatre" argument is going to backfire in a crowded court big time. And since they don't have the chance of a snowflake in hell to even create a charge that is going to survive summary judgment, it is really hard to see how this can be anything but harrassment for the sake of it.

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 6 Nov 2018 @ 6:45am

      Re: Yelling Fire!

      Isn’t yelling fire in a theater protected?

      Yes.

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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 6 Nov 2018 @ 5:03am

    'No offloading this to the city, YOUR wallet's on the line.'

    If the case is so blatantly, obviously corrupt that the court is willing to state flat out that it's clearly vindictive, sure would be nice if any penalties levied out were levied personally, rather than just another case of 'Let's screw the taxpayers while the guilty party walks.'

    Everyone involved, up to and including the judge, should be hit with a hefty financial penalty for their actions here, one directed at them personally. Anything less and the court will once again be making it clear that 'personal responsibility' and 'penalties for abuse of power' are for the little people, and don't apply to those with badges or robes.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2018 @ 6:09am

    What point are you trying to make

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2018 @ 6:10am

      Re: What point are you trying to make

      So what if they're Mormon?

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

      • identicon
        David, 6 Nov 2018 @ 6:28am

        Re: Re: What point are you trying to make

        It's not as much that they are Mormon but that they are church buddies. The actual denomination is not all that important though it's a plus if it promotes entitlement (admittedly not a particularly uncommon trait of religions).

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

        • icon
          James Burkhardt (profile), 6 Nov 2018 @ 2:49pm

          Re: Re: Re: What point are you trying to make

          Not so much that they are church buddies, but that a local stake President (bishop) got a blatenly unconstitutional order from a judge who is a member of his Stake (diocese). The catholic terms are based on my understanding of the equivalencies, though there are 3 stake presidents, all members of the larger stake presidency, because the Mormon church is built on a more community run model.

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  • icon
    jameshogg (profile), 6 Nov 2018 @ 7:06am

    If you yell fire in a crowded theatre when there is no fire, and people get injured trying to escape in panic, that's a safety issue regarding the building itself.

    Yelling fire when there really is a fire can cause the same injuries in said burning crowded theatre, and I think injured people in this situation would be quite ready to blame the design of the building and lack of crowd control first and foremost, and not really be ready to entertain the possibility of shifting the blame had the yelling been false.

    Point is, when you've got a powder keg, any random spark that sets it off is nowhere near as important or dangerous as the powder keg itself. Would we also ban fire drills on the basis that they too are falsely shouting fire using their sirens, and people get hurt leaving the building? No, you'd blame something else that deserves it.

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    icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 6 Nov 2018 @ 7:07am

    Oh hey, looks like the usual ranting wasn't enough for Tim this time; he had to add gratuitous religious bigotry to the mix! Ugh!

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 6 Nov 2018 @ 7:17am

      Re:

      [Citation Needed].

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2018 @ 7:33am

        Re: Re:

        All the references to the fact these people are Mormons? I fail to see any relevance of that fact.

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        • identicon
          AricTheRed, 6 Nov 2018 @ 7:49am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Mr. Anonymous Coward,

          While Mormons are my favorite American Religious Cult, please be 'effing respectful and call it by the name the leaders of the church want it to be called;

          The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

          Because Mormon has so many negative connotations these days.

          Thank you,

          AricTheRed
          (a devout Atheist)

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          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 7 Nov 2018 @ 4:19am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I've run across that before, but never quite got the distinction as to what makes one undesirable a name and the other one fine. They're both pointing to the same religion, so you happen to know what the problem with using one over the other is?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2018 @ 8:26am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I'm guessing you would still complain if the religious sect had not been mentioned.

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

          • identicon
            AricTheRed, 6 Nov 2018 @ 9:13am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I would not necessarily complain, although I have not this time.

            I think "It" is called Satire.

            Also, not quite clear how you arrived at that position either.

            Although I do think it was a appropriate that a particular religious sect was called out in the commentary, especially if the particular sect, of the particular church, if not the entire church, are known for their very controlling nature and doctrine regarding their adherents.

            If they, the judge and city attorney, were both of the same sect of any religion, IT COULD BE RELEVANT. Just imagine if they were both Members of the Westboro Baptist Church. You'd be sure that'd be mentioned.

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        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 7 Nov 2018 @ 4:14am

          Re: Re: Re:

          You mean all two references, stating factual information?

          Then Hunt decided to sue the city and, magically, the charges -- pushed by a new city attorney (and local religious leader) -- reappeared. City Attorney and local Mormon church stake president Steve Morris rang Hunt up for the original charge plus a few more.

          Hunt's lawyer complained on Facebook about the bogus charges. This led the municipal judge (and good Mormon) Victor Miller to hand down a completely unconstitutional gag order forbidding Hunt's lawyer from discussing the case anywhere but in court.

          It's 'relevant' because the fact that both of them were members of the same religion, and more to the point the one bringing charges was in a position of authority in the religion, raises the question of whether the judge who issued the gag order did so because of that connection. Swap out mormon for 'catholic', 'hindu', or hell 'members of the local bowling league' and the idea would be the same, members of the same group, one of them an authority figure within that group, who seem to be (ab)using their power to support each other.

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 6 Nov 2018 @ 7:26am

      Re:

      A religious leader may have used his position to influence how the wheels of justice would turn. Whether he did so is a matter of debate, but the proposition is one worth raising as a point of argument. That argument, however, cannot be made without establishing the potential link between the city attorney and the municipal judge: their mutual membership in a specific religious sect.

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

      • icon
        Cdaragorn (profile), 6 Nov 2018 @ 7:33am

        Re: Re:

        The mutual membership is meaningless. They are also likely both purveyors of similar places like Walmart. That doesn't have anything to do with what they chose to do.

        This can only be a jab at a religion the author has chosen to dislike. It's a pointless and baseless one especially when you actually take a minute to understand the religion in question and realize that these actions go against the most basic teachings of said religion.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2018 @ 8:12am

          Re: Re: Re:

          these actions go against the most basic teachings of said religion.

          Irrelevant. Most practitioners of any religion regularly violate the tenets of said religion. In other words, most religious people are hypocrites. Preach to your face then break a rule when you're not looking.

          And mutual membership is not meaningless. Those who share something in common, particularly something like a church and especially the mormon church, tend to support one another in whatever they do. Go ahead and lie to dispute that, it will only prove my point.

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        • icon
          James Burkhardt (profile), 6 Nov 2018 @ 8:52am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Actually, in general, a follower of a faith (the magistrate judge) listening to a leader of the faith (the city attorney) is not that odd. Having a city attorney who is also the stake president for the area, an elder leading multiple 'branches', ie individual churches, and is considered a 'high priest' in the faith by holding this office, can be considered a conflict of interest, given his significant religious position, when the judge is a member of his church. The attorney can be considered to have pull with his followers.

          Given the magistrate judge made such a ridiculous and unconstitutional call, it presents the appearance of bad faith and corruption. Therefore, it is appropriate to call it out.

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        • icon
          Thad (profile), 6 Nov 2018 @ 9:09am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The mutual membership is meaningless. They are also likely both purveyors of similar places like Walmart.

          Your analogy is bad and you should feel bad.

          Are you religious? Do you go to church?

          If so, would you appreciate it if somebody compared your church affiliation to the place you by groceries, as though the two things held similar importance to your life choices?

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        • icon
          btr1701 (profile), 7 Nov 2018 @ 12:22pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          > They are also likely both purveyors of similar places
          > like Walmart.

          That's silly. Shopping at the same department store doesn't give one of them authority over the other.

          The judge being a member of the city attorney's stake does give the city attorney substantial influence over the judge. In the LDS religion going against one's stake president is seen as an affront to god.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2018 @ 8:37am

        Re: Re:

        Can you even imagine the (fully justified) shitstorm that would be unleashed if they were both Jewish and that was mentioned?

        There are only a few groups left that are "OK" to be singled out with this kind of dog whistle, and Mormons are definitely on that list.

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        • icon
          Thad (profile), 6 Nov 2018 @ 9:04am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Can you even imagine the (fully justified) shitstorm that would be unleashed if they were both Jewish and that was mentioned?

          I think it would indeed be out of line to mention both men were Jewish in a similar story.

          It would, however, be appropriate to mention whether one of them was a leader at the synagogue that the other one regularly attended.

          I gathered that Tim's intention was something more akin to the latter -- these two men both belong to the same church and that may have played a role in their decision -- than the former.

          I do think it came across sounding like a blanket condemnation of Mormons, though, regardless of how he intended it.

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        • icon
          Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), 6 Nov 2018 @ 10:06am

          Re: Re: Re:

          If they both attended the same house of worship and one of them was in a leadership role, I think it would still remain relevant, even if they were both Jewish. That ones trickier because it could be taken as racially-biased, even if it only referred to practitioners of Judaism.

          It would seem as problematic as pointing out they attended the same mosque, but sometimes social bonds like this need to be noted, even if it may be taken by some as evidence of religious bigotry.

          I could have taken a little more care lining up the connection, but it was not written with the intent of slurring Mormons or their beliefs.

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          • identicon
            bob, 6 Nov 2018 @ 12:45pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Would be better to look at which ward/branch the judge attends and see if it is under the same stake that the prosecutor is over. Otherwise he wouldn't be considered his ecclesiastical leader.

            With how big the Church of Jesus Christ of latter day Saints is people may affiliate with the same religion but have different leaders going up the chain. Also abuse of one's position is not tolerated in the church so if it was a matter of misusing his authority and a complaint is made it will be dealt with by the church.

            Remember, people are not perfect never will be, and usually falter. The best anyone can do is repent and try better the next day. Regardless, you will still need to pay the consequence of whatever you did.

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            • icon
              James Burkhardt (profile), 6 Nov 2018 @ 2:42pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Well, as one of the local stake presidents, the city attorney was likely in the chain for any follower whose church was in the area. The stake will include a minimum of 5 churches all located in geographical proximity.

              The church dealing with an abuse of his authority doesn't resolve the results of the abuse, such as the intended wrongful conviction as a result of vindictive prosecution. Given that Vindictive prosecution is already an abuse of secular authority and his oaths of office (generally sworn to god or upon the sacred text), I do not find it a stretch to assume abuse of sacred authority as well.

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              • icon
                James Burkhardt (profile), 6 Nov 2018 @ 2:51pm

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

                Re-reading your comment, I realize you understood the structure better than I thought on first glance, my apologies.

                That said, I think the appearance of corruption presented by Tim is valid whether or not its actually true

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            • identicon
              R ogs U Serious?, 7 Nov 2018 @ 4:44am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re he Church of Jesus Christ of latter day Saint

              Dude: You ate the bait, and the beginning and the end of speech policing is when they get their religious hook in your mouth.

              Just because some bunch of desert incestuous tribal nutjobs demand you use their speech conventions, doesnt mean you have to do it.

              See here http://m.newser.com/story/263437/church-of-jesus-christ-of-latter-day-saints-dont-call-us-mormons.ht ml

              Ill stick with Mormons, thank you.

              In the meantime, I belong to the Church of Fuck Every Last One of These Incestuous Religious Nutjobs Who Seek To Control Speech By Using Huge Ass Names for Deviously Irrational Crappy Churches.

              Please, if you respond, use the proper name for my church,ok?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2018 @ 7:58pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          There are only a few groups left that are "OK" to be singled out with this kind of dog whistle, and Mormons are definitely on that list.

          And gingers.

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    • icon
      Thad (profile), 6 Nov 2018 @ 9:00am

      Re:

      I think it was inartfully handled but I agree with Stephen: I think Tim's intention was to indicate that the judge may have been influenced by the attorney's role as a church leader.

      I did a bit of a double-take when I first read it too; it felt gratuitous. It took a second reading to get Tim's point; I think he should have done a better job of explaining why he felt the two men's religion was relevant to the story.

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

    • icon
      Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), 6 Nov 2018 @ 9:58am

      Re:

      Hi, gratuitous religious bigot here. My intention was to show the judge and prosecutor attended the same church and the prosecutor was the head of that church, which possibly played some part in the judge's ridiculous decision. It wasn't intended to be a slight of their mutual religious beliefs, but I can see how it could be taken that way. My apologies to those I've offended.

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      • icon
        Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), 6 Nov 2018 @ 10:07am

        Re: Re:

        (I remain unapologetic about my "usual ranting.")

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      • identicon
        bob, 6 Nov 2018 @ 10:17am

        Re: Re:

        Thanks for the clarification Tim.

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

      • identicon
        Christenson, 6 Nov 2018 @ 10:17am

        Re: Re:

        Dear Lion Tamer....

        What struck me in both yours and the mainstream coverage of this situation was the failure to mention some *other* important things about Colorado City -- namely that Colorado City is where Warren Jeffs was leading his FLDS church/cult before he was arrested.

        *These* mormons are very likely members or former members of that cult. The power of the church leader over the parishoner in this case is very likely *much* stronger than that of the local priest/biship/rabbi over an ordinary observant catholic or jewish person in their congregation.

        Hopefully you will be able to state this point better than I have.

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        • icon
          Thad (profile), 6 Nov 2018 @ 11:01am

          Re: Re: Re:

          But we're talking about Boulder City, not Colorado City.

          I don't know anything about Boulder City, but a quick glance at Google Maps indicates that the two cities are about 200 miles apart. I'm not aware of any FLDS influence on Boulder City; do you have any sources for that, or did you just get the two cities confused?

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      • icon
        That Anonymous Coward (profile), 6 Nov 2018 @ 8:22pm

        Re: Re:

        What the fsck have I told you about stealing my schtick??

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  • icon
    NeghVar (profile), 6 Nov 2018 @ 7:35am

    I would give the City/PD an option. Those involved make a formal apology on the local news admitting what was done and why it was wrong and I drop the lawsuit. Remain stubborn and I would continue the lawsuit. That would put the ball in their court to decide whether or not to waste tax-payer money on this case.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2018 @ 8:15am

      Re:

      They don't give a damn about wasting taxpayer money. Law enforcement acts with total disregard to law and taxpayers knowing they are effectively immune from prosecution and protected by the courts and their unions, now also the "president" and his lapdogs.

      And they wonder why the public no longer trusts or respects them.

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

    • identicon
      peter, 6 Nov 2018 @ 2:02pm

      Re: taxpayer's money

      The thing about taxpayer's money is, it's not their own money. Therefore it is never, by definition, wasted.

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

  • icon
    Cdaragorn (profile), 6 Nov 2018 @ 7:38am

    Exactly what was the point in bringing up the religious affiliation of the individuals here? It added nothing to your otherwise excellent points and only seemed like an attempt to discredit something you've personally chosen to dislike without any basis in fact.
    Especially considering a basic study of said religious organization would reveal that said actions clearly go against the basic teachings of that organization.
    Every group has individuals who pretend to follow the groups principles while ignoring them everywhere they go. Pretending that has anything to do with the group is petty and disappointing to see coming from an otherwise decent article. Please refrain from it in the future.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2018 @ 9:47am

      Re:

      Exactly what was the point in bringing up the religious affiliation of the individuals here?

      To show that the local Mormon church stake president is a vindictive asshole, and probably shouldn't be in a position of "moral authority."

      In other words, this dick is the last person I'd expect to have something to say about morality. If you take that as offensive, feel free to add on "...but I'm sure some are good people..."

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

    • identicon
      Christenson, 6 Nov 2018 @ 10:22am

      Re:

      More than what anonymous coward said:
      In the fundamentalist, "jack" mormon case that applies here, the power of the church leader over his church member is likely to be super strong. Remember it is not that long ago that Warren Jeffs ran Colorado City with an iron hand.

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

      • identicon
        bob, 6 Nov 2018 @ 12:30pm

        Re: Re:

        Different religion entirely. Jeff's is from the FLDS group fundamentalist Mormons. The Church of Jesus Christ of latter day Saints (commonly referred to as Mormons) is not the same thing at all.

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

  • icon
    ShadowNinja (profile), 6 Nov 2018 @ 8:25am

    The really ironic part about this sting is how police officers in other states have given tickets to people for crossing the streets too slowly.

    One of the most infamous cases was a ticket to an elderly grandmother with a walker who couldn't go any faster. But there was one major problem with said intersection she was crossing, the crossing light was so short so that even some college athletes running at full speed couldn't get across in time.

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

  • identicon
    Anon, 6 Nov 2018 @ 8:40am

    The A Team

    One of my all time favourite TV shows is The A Team. Totally over the top, cartoonish, one dimensional side characters and full of corrupt, small town cops. It astounds me now that these sorts of stories actually happen in real life.

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

    • icon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 6 Nov 2018 @ 9:01am

      Re: The A Team

      Y'mean Boss Hogg wasn't real, and Kitt didn't really talk?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2018 @ 9:59am

        Re: Re: The A Team

        Boss Hogg was an avatar representing law enforcement 20 years into the future. And cars do talk though they're not yet as smart or capable as Kitt was. Not all predictions come true.

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

      • identicon
        Talmyr, 6 Nov 2018 @ 10:02am

        Re: Re: The A Team

        KITT really did talk. I spoke to him at Universal Studios in 1984. He must be real!!!

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

  • icon
    Bill Poser (profile), 6 Nov 2018 @ 11:43am

    perjury

    Why is the police officer who claimed that Hunt caused a driver to slam on his brakes not being prosecuted for perjury?

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

    • icon
      Thad (profile), 6 Nov 2018 @ 12:12pm

      Re: perjury

      Because prosecutors rely on positive relationships with police in order to do their jobs.

      There are much worse things than perjury that prosecutors decline to prosecute police for.

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

  • identicon
    So What...., 6 Nov 2018 @ 12:18pm

    Us old timers...

    When I was a young chappy the police department bought this new fangled device called radar. It was big and heavy and they always operated around a curve where they could park the van needed to haul it around. A motorcycle "Evel Knievel" would pull you over. So someone starting putting up a sign on a tree saying speed trap ahead... It was always written on a paper plate. City got pissed..finally caught the guy doing it and wrote him up for some obstruction style thing.

    He went back to doing it..even when they moved the speed trap..his paper plates were so ubitiquous that he didnt need to write on them any more, thus not repeating his "crime". The city gave up the speed trap for I think 20 years.

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

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 6 Nov 2018 @ 1:09pm

    SETTLE...

    Just settle the case out of court..
    Save the city some money...or is that what you want..
    SPEND more money..

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2018 @ 2:42pm

      Re: SETTLE...

      NO. This is more like dealing with a settlement troll.

      This police-operated, and court aided-and-abetted, scam needs to have the living excrement sued out of it.

      That these law officers are from the same religion puts the onus on THEM to behave morally in the first place. WWJD?

      Reaching a settlement is not going to prevent further abuses. Scorched-earth troll smashing is what needs to happen every time, but most people don't have the resources to do that. Fortunately here, a higher court does have those resources to effect the same outcome.

      Never settle with trolls. Never let the law system operate like this scam does.

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

      • icon
        ECA (profile), 6 Nov 2018 @ 7:42pm

        Re: Re: SETTLE...

        Wow, you only saw 1 side..

        HOW about the City doing a settlement..
        Keep it out of court. because the city will probably Loose..
        Even if an appeal is needed...the COST GOES UP..

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

  • icon
    Shenanigans (profile), 6 Nov 2018 @ 2:55pm

    Fire!

    This is more like yelling fire in a crowded movie theater, during a fire drill, after a request for people to yell fire during the fire drill.

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

  • icon
    Darkness Of Course (profile), 6 Nov 2018 @ 3:49pm

    president of a stake

    First I read it as "steak", because his butt got burned, and handed to him. I bet there were grill marks.

    A 1960's era Dodge truck grill would have been best, IMHO.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2018 @ 6:22pm

    Cool tech story, bro

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

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 6 Nov 2018 @ 8:26pm

    Prior restraint, Fire in a crowded theater, civil rights violations, retaliatory litigation to silence a critic.

    We need like a group of people charged with upholding justice some sort of branch or unit of the government who would see things like this as undermining people's faith in their government & the enforcement of law being improper in their community & punish those who have been doing wrong... Instead we have a Keebler elf look-a-like who is wasting time & effort on trying to scare people into not protesting the president by exercising their rights....

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

    • icon
      btr1701 (profile), 7 Nov 2018 @ 12:31pm

      Re:

      > Prior restraint, Fire in a crowded theater, civil rights
      > violations, retaliatory litigation to silence a critic.

      You forgot RICO.

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

    • icon
      Thad (profile), 7 Nov 2018 @ 4:56pm

      Re:

      Instead we have a Keebler elf look-a-like who is wasting time & effort on trying to scare people into not protesting the president by exercising their rights....

      Well, not anymore.

      Can't say as I expect the next guy to be any better, though.

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

  • icon
    Vincent Clement (profile), 7 Nov 2018 @ 4:05am

    I'm more intrigued by the fact that a municipal police force used/needed federal dollars to conduct a sting at a crosswalk. What the?

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

  • identicon
    Fully Jewish, 7 Nov 2018 @ 4:31am

    re: Relijins must be called out

    Um, scuse me, but yeah-atheists/secular/human beings are the slimmest and most actual minority in America,and we endure chronic assaults from all the relgious majoritarian nutjobs Who hide in law and culture,and especially in institutions,in re:

    ~City Attorney and local Mormon church stake president Steve Morris rang Hunt up~

    So,yeah, f@ck em all.

    America is a religious/cult/sectarian cesspool, and yeah, that includes whacky sectarian Jews too, who routinely violate minorities with waffling superstitious abstractions read into the laws(like hate speech) to pervert democracy and equitable treatment,and perversions of law and due process, as we have seen since 2001.

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

  • identicon
    R ogs U Serious?, 7 Nov 2018 @ 4:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re he Church of Jesus Christ of latter day Saint

    ok.

    But see:

    for us atheists and sec-humanists/pagans/etc,we tolerate entire lives riddled with religious discrimination BY the religious,so much so that your tyranny of majoritarian rule, aka organized religion which enacts itself in law and culture,is itself true bigotry.

    Maybe address how knee-jerky you majoritarians are,..huh,every time one of us from the true, and ACTUAL minority speaks against majoritarianism, and religious insanity.

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

  • identicon
    Smartassicus the Roman, 7 Nov 2018 @ 10:47am

    Wait

    You forgot to mention that the video footage "evidence" was altered and two forensic video annalists for the defense caught it. And Hunt's attorney got video of the incident from a local business proving that the cops are liars.

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

  • identicon
    John Pack Lambert, 7 Nov 2018 @ 8:01pm

    Anti-members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

    This article reeks of anti-members of The Church of Jesus Christ hatred. It is written by conspiracy theory haters who spew dislike for a religion they avoid understanding and hate for a city that has a right not to be destroyed by the irresponsible tourist who inflict Nevada.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 8 Nov 2018 @ 7:28am

      Just can't make that up...

      Thanks for that, I needed a laugh.

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

    • icon
      Tanner Andrews (profile), 11 Nov 2018 @ 4:31pm

      Re: Anti-members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

      a city that has a right not to be destroyed by the irresponsible tourist who inflict Nevada

      I have never heard of tourists inflicting Nevada upon people. I admit that it would be harsh if they did so, and the locals would have a right to object.

      On the other hand, if the city atty is a religious superior to the municipal judge wrongly deciding issues in his favor, it is certainly fair game to mention that as a possible explanation for the patently wrong rulings by that municipal judge. I am glad that the appeals court did not go that route, but commentary by the public (for our purposes, non-parties) may reasonably go beyond the bounds of the appellate review.

      I have no real knowledge of the relevant church hierarchy. However, I have seen tourists, as my state is badly infested with them. I have not, to date, seen them inflict Nevada upon the locals. A fair number of them do come downtown to inflict an odd form of hard-shell Baptist religion upon us.

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

  • icon
    RyanNerd (profile), 9 Nov 2018 @ 10:07am

    If it were two "Baptists" instead of "Mormons"...

    I was happy to see in the comments people calling out Techdirt on framing a religious group in a negative light due to the actions of individuals who happen to be members of that group. I'm disappointed in Techdirt with this sort of shoddy reporting.

    To drive this point home here is the article framing it against a different group:

    This resulted in the city dropping the charges against Hunt. Then Hunt decided to sue the city and, magically, the charges -- pushed by a new city attorney (and local black leader) -- reappeared. City Attorney and local black man Steve Morris rang Hunt up for the original charge plus a few more.

    Hunt's lawyer complained on Facebook about the bogus charges. This led the municipal judge (and "good" negro) Victor Miller to hand down a completely unconstitutional gag order forbidding Hunt's lawyer from discussing the case anywhere but in court.

    Now again just to drive the point further home:

    This resulted in the city dropping the charges against Hunt. Then Hunt decided to sue the city and, magically, the charges -- pushed by a new city attorney (and local gay leader) -- reappeared. City Attorney and local homosexual Steve Morris rang Hunt up for the original charge plus a few more.

    Hunt's lawyer complained on Facebook about the bogus charges. This led the municipal judge (and good homo) Victor Miller to hand down a completely unconstitutional gag order forbidding Hunt's lawyer from discussing the case anywhere but in court.

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

    • icon
      The Wanderer (profile), 9 Nov 2018 @ 2:35pm

      Re: If it were two "Baptists" instead of "Mormons"...

      Leaving aside any other problems with your characterization of the matter, I'll just note that I'm pretty sure the description of the municipal judge as a "good Mormon" was meant to refer to him as being a good, loyal adherent to the teachings of Mormonism, and thus presumably considering himself subject (in some degree and scope) to the authority of the church's leaders.

      Neither of the groups you substituted in for the Mormons have any such teachings/authority principle, so the analogy breaks down there at the very least.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 10 Nov 2018 @ 1:42pm

      ... the underlying idea would not have changed one bit.

      Your examples are so bad I can't help but wonder if you did it on purpose. I'm also left scratching my head in that you seem to suggest that you read the comments, yet apparently completely missed the author of the gorram article explaining his reasons for that line, which had nothing to do with the specific religion, mormon or otherwise. Someone even made it the Last Word in fact, such that there's no excuse for you to not have seen it.

      You choose your religion, you do not choose your race or sexual orientation. In neither case is there a similar position of authority as a religious leader has either, unless perhaps there's a group out there that considers the leader of their racial/sexual community so amazing that they are speakers for god and hold authority on that level.

      Might just be me, but personally the kneejerk reactions I've seen so far to those two mentions have painted a worse light on the members of(or perhaps only defenders of) the religion than the article could have possibly done.

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


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