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Couple Who Catch Cop Speeding Could Face Charges 876

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the turnabout-isn't-fair-play dept.
a_nonamiss writes "A Georgia couple, apparently tired of people speeding past their house, installed a camera and radar gun on their property. After it was installed, they caught a police office going 17MPH over the posted limit. They brought this to the attention of the local police department, and are now being forced to appear in front of a judge to answer to charges of stalking."
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Couple Who Catch Cop Speeding Could Face Charges

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  • by dada21 (163177) * <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Monday February 19, 2007 @04:14PM (#18071366) Homepage Journal
    Like any job that any of us have, most people work in order to better their own lives. We work out deals with our employers to enter a relationship where both parties profit -- the worker doesn't have to worry about handling the day-to-day surivival of the business, and the employer fulfills a position that he/she can not do as efficiently as the employee. All employment is mutually beneficial or the two parties would not enter into the agreement in the first place. This is true of all positions, but it is especially true of any "public" official -- cops, public school teachers, politicians.

    The problem with public officials is that they have the right to use excessive force in order to protect their position. The average citizen has no right to call out any public official on any illegal actions since the average citizen has no real power against non-elected public officials. If a cop breaks the law, there is almost nothing you can do to fight them. There is a lot they can do, off the public record, that can harm you more than they harm you in their lawbreaking. Remember, cops are not here to protect you, there are there to protect their jobs -- and many of them love the power they wield over the average citizen. Why else do we have cop unions?

    We are not free from the tyranny of cameras -- many police cars already have them, and they are not audited by any watchdog group. Our phones can be tapped, but we have no right to listen in on the phones of those who supposedly serve us. The public official is the watchdog of the general public, not vice versa. Is it any wonder that I am anti-State?

    What you do on your property is no one's responsibility but yours. If someone's light-rays that bounce off their body enter your property, they are now YOUR property. You might even say that those light-rays are pollution, but I think that is pushing the definition of pollution a little too far. When a bunch of cops stopped an alleged speeder in front of my old house, I complained about the constant blue and red lights and strobes keeping me awake -- I was told I have no right to prevent it. If a cop speeds in front of my house, I should be able to to make note of it, but I can not. Informing your elected official about the problem will do only one thing -- give them reason to make a new law protecting their kin in tyranny. It surely won't help you, it won't bring you more freedom.

    Don't be shocked as the tyrants find more ways to increase their power of tyranny. They are not here to help you, there are not here to protect you -- there are there to protect their own incomes and pensions, and you are powerless to stop it as long as you continue to vote into office people who love the authoritarian powers attached to both the liberal and conservative sides of the political system. When will people learn that it isn't left or right, it is pro-tyranny and against-tyranny -- liberals and conservatives are on the "pro-tyranny" side of the coin. The opposite side of the coin is not a libertarian, as some might think, but an anarcho-capitalist.

    You will reap what you sow, friends. These folks put up cameras because the police did nothing for them to prevent speeders. This is to be expected -- when you need help, you won't find any.
  • by UbuntuDupe (970646) * on Monday February 19, 2007 @04:20PM (#18071450) Journal
    I was actually considering putting a digital camcorder in my car to record what I see, to show people how idiotic the drivers are in my area. Basically, what they do is camp the passing lane or otherwise form walls that slow down traffic well below what should be possible given the road size and traffic level. Yes, even 18-wheelers camp the passing lane. On a three-lane freeway.

    Then one time I saw a police car on the freeway that did exactly that. Thanks, Officer Jerk, for setting a great example.

    Personally, I wish more cops would speed. Everyone feels compelled to go slower than the police, so whenever a police car is nearby, the cars around them turn to molasses. It's amazing.
  • by seriv (698799) on Monday February 19, 2007 @04:21PM (#18071458)
    It seems if the matter were to be brought to court, it wouldn't get far I imagine. I think the cop got as far as he did just because he is a cop. If it were someone else, nothing would have happened. I am guessing someone told the cop he was being an idiot, which is probably what any cop would tell anyone else trying to press charges.
  • by kannibal_klown (531544) on Monday February 19, 2007 @04:23PM (#18071484)
    We have a busy-body on our street. She seems nice enough, but she tries to take care of the "speeding" problem herself. She will occasionally zap people with a radar gun and talk to them (or their parents). I think once or twice she's called the cops. And if she doesn't have the gun out and "thinks" you're speeding she'll yell out to you.

    But I find myself insanely annoyed (border-line angry) at one thing she does. If she's driving towards you in the opposite direction and "thinks" you're speeding she will pull into the middle of the road with her SUV to get you to stop or slowdown.

    WTF!

    Yes people speed on our street, but not by much and not often. It's a short windy street that doesn't really take you anywhere. But the speedgun is a bit much. Heck, the street just loops back into itself to make a letter P so it's not like a shortcut to anywhere so there's little point.

    And stopping in the middle of the street to stop cars is pretty hazardous.
  • by Yurka (468420) on Monday February 19, 2007 @04:24PM (#18071496) Homepage
    Or, more likely, someone in the PD got clued in to impending PR disaster and changed his mind for him.
  • by jordandeamattson (261036) <jordandm@gma i l . c om> on Monday February 19, 2007 @04:27PM (#18071534) Homepage
    It is incidents like this and so many others (the police arressting people for taking a picture of their actions, etc.) which cry out for David Brin's "Transparent Society"http://www.davidbrin.com/tschp1.html [davidbrin.com].

    Bring on the cameras! Just give the ordinary citizens the right to access the feeds and observe and watch those who are the watchers. If a police officer knew a live feed of their activities was going out via the web, don't you think they would be a little bit more carefully in how they treat people?

    Yours,

    Jordan
  • I'm not surprised (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) on Monday February 19, 2007 @04:28PM (#18071544)
    I can't say that I'm surprised to read that this happened in Kennesaw, Georgia. For those of you who don't know what kind of place Kennesaw is, it has a law that requires the head of every household to own a firearm with ammunition. It's also the place that former US Representative Bob Barr called home and he was much loved there. That should give you an idea of the politics of the place, so no, I'm not surprised at all by this.
  • by ravenspear (756059) on Monday February 19, 2007 @04:36PM (#18071676)
    This is definitely the norm here. Whenever I see a cop speeding (which is a frequent occurrence) they are almost always going much faster than the other cars, even if they don't have their lights on or don't appear to have an urgent need to get somewhere.

    One time I was driving around atlanta and was going about 15-20 over in the far left lane, when I saw a cop coming up behind me very fast. I thought I was fucked and would be getting a ticket, so I move over to the right, figuring he will want to pull me over on the right side. Instead he just blew by me like I was standing still.

    The cops routinely get away with this because really, who is going to stop them.
  • by DeathKoil (413307) on Monday February 19, 2007 @04:41PM (#18071740)
    Its not always "because they can" or an "ego trip". My best friend is a State Police officer and in training they are told and taught that in certain situations you are supposed to speed. Now, in this instance of going through a neighborhood it does not apply. However, on regular and state highways (roads with more than one lane), police officers speed in order to catch speeders. You trail 200-500 feet behind them to clock their speed, then accelerate in for the kill. Believe it or not, this is considered safer than having an Officer attempt to clock someone from the side of the road then pull onto the highway from being stopped into traffic going 70mph. This is why you see police officer's speeding on multi-lane roads all the time. This isn't give an excuse for speeding in a neighborhood... I'm just saying that its not just because they can speed and get away with it, its part of the training.
  • by networkBoy (774728) on Monday February 19, 2007 @04:42PM (#18071770) Homepage Journal
    That's easy to deal with. Install a dash cam then drive "on the line" or where the cam shows the middle of the road to appear. When she swerves in hit her. follow up with a lawsuit and press charges of reckless driving.

    Just this morning I went to pick up my kid from spending the night with her cousin. Neighbor put super glue in the locks of one of the cars. Due to previous incidents*, and the flanking houses being empty and up for rent there is no doubt as to who did the deed. Since there is no camera there is no proof. Looks like the same hooligans that did our car will do theirs next :-)

    -nB

    * another busybody, who calls the cops if you park more than 18 inches away from the curb or on the sidewalk or too close to the mailbox or fire hydrant or any other number of things you do they don't approve of. The superglue followed several keyings and other vandalism, which only seems to happen if you park in front of their house. This is on a cul-de-sac with virtually no available parking. Personally I want to gorilla glue their front door shut.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 19, 2007 @04:47PM (#18071868)
    I was actually considering putting a digital camcorder in my car to record what I see, to show people how idiotic the drivers are in my area.

    I've considered doing the same thing. And in great big letters at the top: "A person traveling in an automobile on public thoroughfares has no reasonable expectation of privacy in his movements from one place to another."

    Anyone wants to complain, they can whine to the Supreme Court.
  • Illogical (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jgoemat (565882) on Monday February 19, 2007 @04:50PM (#18071912)
    I hate to nitpick, but...

    Here is the facts:
    Cops are people.
    There are good people and there are bad people.
    Therefore, there are good cops and bad cops.

    a->b, a->c does not mean that b->c

    For instance:
    NFL Players are people.
    People are women and men.
    NFL Players are women and men.

    I'm not saying there aren't bad cops by any means, just point out that it isn't good logic.

  • Re:Moo (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 19, 2007 @04:57PM (#18072052)
    By the way: in my state that civilian couple didn't catch anyone speeding unless:
    1.) They've got a certified, calibrated radar unit.
    2.) They are certified radar operators.
    3.)They have a Radar Operator's Log showing that the unit had been properly calibrated before and after, AND were able to testify that they operated it correctly and picked the correct radar target.

    If they didn't meet all those criteria all they did was get a radar gun to show a number, as my town's judge would say.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 19, 2007 @05:07PM (#18072238)
    Supposedly they also take extra driving courses dealing with high speed manuevers etc that "may" possibly make them slighty safer... YSMV.
  • by networkBoy (774728) on Monday February 19, 2007 @05:26PM (#18072626) Homepage Journal
    An answer to you and the post immediately below:
    No physics don't change, training does.
    A cop is better trained in tactical driving than the average citizen. You may be a good driver, but it is fairly improbable that you have the requisite training to make you safer at speeds higher than the average speed of traffic around you (which *should* be at the posted limit).
    I don't condone that they would speed when off duty, and I think they should get a mark for it or some such, but as to why things are different, it's training.

    I worked with a guy (he was head of security for my old employer). He was on a local road with steep ditches on either side for a rather long stretch (5 or 6 miles). It is a two lane road and there was ample on-coming traffic. A paramedic turned on their priority lights behind him (thus they were in a hurry and he was obligated to yield), but there was no safe way to get out of the way. His solution was to speed up to about 85/90Mph (50 speed limit) and pull over as soon as the road widened enough to allow so.

    Well a cop heading the other direction flipped a U-turn and promptly caught up and pulled in behind him, citing him for: Failure to yield, reckless, speeding, evading (apparently the cop figured since his lights were on our guy was running, never mind he couldn't see them). Cop refused to listen to the explanation of no safe place to pull over.

    Come court day bob told the judge what happened and that his was the only reasonable and prudent course of action. Judge asked what experience he had driving at high speeds. Reply? Pursuit instructor and EOD officer for HM Army and MI6 back home in England.

    Result?
    Case dismissed instantly.

    It's all about training.
    -nB
  • by StarvingSE (875139) on Monday February 19, 2007 @05:29PM (#18072684)
    Your nailed it right when you said "speed enforcement racket" because that is all it is. If the police were really out there to slow people down so less accidents happen, then they would:

    a) have a very visible presence in traffic so that people could see that they are keeping tabs on it. Instead, they hide in the bushes so that drivers can't see them, and when people do see them they tend to slam on their breaks to slow down before they get checked. It can be argued that this causes way more accidents than speeding, but it is beside the point.

    b) issue more points per violation on your license instead of a monetary fine. Don't you find it strange that the fines go up all the time, but the points you get per violation stay the same? If they wanted to slow people down, they'd start a "3 offenses and you get a suspended license" campaign.

    Cops issue tickets to make money for the department, and thats the only reason. Case in point, in my home town during that midterm elections, we voted down giving the PD more funds to renovate their headquarters (the place is already pristine). The next day, they gave out a record number of speeding tickets.
  • by Cornflake917 (515940) on Monday February 19, 2007 @05:40PM (#18072854) Homepage

    I must point out that most of my experience with police has NOT been when I was doing something wrong.
    You are being hypocritical. Ask anyone who has gotten arrested/fined by the police, no one ever believes they did something wrong. I remember in my poli sci class reading about some survey that at least 90% of prison inmates believe that they didn't do anything wrong.

    You say that cops shouldn't be able to break the law just because they are cops, but your post implies that you think it's okay for you to break the law because it was a 2 mile segment. Either way, you both are breaking the law. I'm not trying to say that this makes the cop right. I'm just trying to point out that everyone has their own ways of justifying their law-breaking. If you want cops to follow the laws better, than try to get policies implemented that punish them for breaking the law, because right now, there aren't that many.

    Note: If a cop in Phoenix gets a DUI, he is instantly terminated. That is actaully a new policy for Phoenix PD's.
  • by B_tace (802354) on Monday February 19, 2007 @05:52PM (#18073026)
    I have seen this story in the local news. Both me and the ball-n-chain were rolling our eyes. The police officer was pissed because the couple kept on bugging his boss with their idiotic complaint.

    The speed limit in front of their house is 25 mph, coming kinda downhill. I think, in the Atlanta area where nobody drives under 50, this is just plain dumb.

    They were the typical overreacting freaky parents who were making a stink out of nothing because they are a couple of those people who love to have something to complain about.
  • by NtroP (649992) on Monday February 19, 2007 @05:57PM (#18073126)

    Heh, I live in North Pole, Alaska. Our cops are the constant but of jokes and curses because they won't spend any time solving crimes, they just want to write tickets.

    Recently, the weather warmed up and the intersections got particularly slippery. At one intersection in particular there is a down-hill slope before the stop sign. A local cop would sit in a parking lot off to the side and ticket car after car that slid through the intersection for failure to come to a complete stop. Now, was he trying to enforce or encourage public safety? I think not. If he was, he could have put flares out or done something else to make people aware of a potentially dangerous situation until a gravel-truck could have been dispatched. No. Instead he was gleefully writing tickets.

    This particularly upsets me because I used to be a cop and saw this mentality a lot. There is a lot of pressure to write tickets for several reasons: First, of course is the income from the fines, but secondly, it's a lot easier to justify your time when you can point to all those traffic citations than to report that you acted as road-crew for 4 hours while waiting for a gravel truck. That being said, some cops are just pricks and get off on that sort of thing - not even thinking about the emotional and financial impact on someone who has a hard enough time keeping mandatory insurance on their vehicle who now has to pay a fine and higher rates for the next 3 years.

    I wonder how these people can sleep at night sometimes...
  • by Belial6 (794905) on Monday February 19, 2007 @06:31PM (#18073732)
    This only works if the police don't kill you. I had a similar problem where the city I lived in thought it was a good idea to dump freeway traffic on one side of a residential neighborhood, and pick it back up on the other. They didn't want to build the freeway in the land that was already owned and waiting for the freeway. I personally witnessed over 150 car crashes in just the one city block in front of my house. A few pedestrians a year would get run down, and the police would tell anyone that called them about hit and runs in our neighbor hood that those were civil matters, so they would refuse to even take a report.

    When my wife and I started raising a stink, and making public statements about the situation. Started taking photos, and logging traffic speeds... I received a phone call from the police department telling me "Your just trying to make trouble.", "You better drop this. We know who you are." Now, there are some who might claim that this was not a threat of violence, but I think most sane people would take it as a very real threat.
  • by sumdumass (711423) on Monday February 19, 2007 @06:34PM (#18073790) Journal
    I hope by posting, it doesn't start all over with again, but if you stick with it long enough you can get them to stop harassing you. I have two seperate acounts that both resulted in officer losing their job, getting unpaid vacations and one of them went to prison on unrelated charged that were discovered durring my investigation.

    So, Yea, If you end up on the recieving end of the stick, Give them one chance to calm down. Sometimes these bullies just need to feel like they are in control and having one up on you lets them make this claim to themselves. If that doesn't happen and they constantly mess with you or you end up getting cited for something you didn't do, Make a case out of it. The cops do end up corrupt like this but they can be delt with. The key is not to lose your control and give them stuff to work with. Don't do anything that gives them an excuse to screw you were they would otherwise have to make something up.

    On another note, I have been contacted by the same police department to help them in certain ways since this has happened. It is like a few bad apples were spoiling the bunch and that bunch is now gone. I don't hold anything against the law enforcment officials themselves, I know it was certain people who had a problem not the entire system (even though they used the entire system).
  • Slippery Slope (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dugn (890551) on Monday February 19, 2007 @06:39PM (#18073882) Homepage
    This is a slippery legal slope for the authorities to take. If the couple is guilty of 'stalking', then aren't cops when they film others from their mounted car cams? They should think through this before using 'stalking' as their excuse. I could see a lot of criminals using this new offense as a way to get off convictions based on what the car-cam captured - or at least countersuits alleging police 'stalking'
  • Re:Uh, wrong (Score:2, Interesting)

    by iksbob (947407) on Monday February 19, 2007 @06:46PM (#18074004)
    > How many bloody noses, cuts, and scrapes would you inflict on the crowd of bystanders
    > to save the noncooperative git the transient pain of the taser?

    The few descriptions of the incident that I've read said that the student went limp (passive resistive) when the officers tried to use physical force to remove him; Thus the officers repeatedly telling him to "stand up" between tasings as seen in the video. The student's actions were not violent, the officers simply refused to carry him out as they were supposed to and instead used a taser to attempt to gain compliance.
    As I see it, one or two taser hits likely would have been enough to make the student perfectly willing to leave, but the student's unwillingness or inability to stand up was in defiance of the officer's will, so the beating continued.
  • by Animats (122034) on Monday February 19, 2007 @06:50PM (#18074066) Homepage

    For about a year, I had an Eaton VORAD radar pointed out my window at an intersection. This is usually used as an anti-collision device for heavy trucks, and we had one on our DARPA Grand Challenge vehicle. So, for debugging, I had one pointed at the street, hooked up to a PC running QNX.

    A VORAD is a real phased-array radar; you get bearing, range, and range rate, separately for multiple targets. The software took this in and produced a track on screen. I could watch cars making turns. With all that info, I could see speeding and dumb driving in any direction. Never did much with the data, though, other than use it for debugging the robot software.

    The VORAD only has a 15 degree scan width, and a very narrow beam vertically. So it couldn't cover the whole intersection. The VORAD is ten year old technology. A more modern unit would be more interesting.

  • Re:Moo (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 19, 2007 @07:13PM (#18074404)
    I'm posting as A/C because the legal issues are still pending...but I myself just won a case against a snowmobiler who was cruising along at 92-97 MPH down my road. He hit the front, drivers side of my car, and though I was pulling out of my driveway (therefore his right-of-way, therefore in most cases I SHOULD have been liable), he was caught on camera merely seconds before at speeds even greater than that, and the judge awarded me nearly twice what the defendant was trying to get out of me. No radar guns involved, simply math, and the case was won.

    By the way: to all speeders, you can always be caught, there are many more people watching than you will EVER know! At least in America.....
  • by windsurfer619 (958212) on Monday February 19, 2007 @07:20PM (#18074512)
    The Fifth of November! The Fifth of November! Remember, Remember the fifth of November!
  • by Belial6 (794905) on Monday February 19, 2007 @07:40PM (#18074782)
    Because then they wouldn't need to have a "random gang related shooting, where the assailant could not be identified". They would simply drive over and arrest me for criminal activity. That combined with the fact that when the police threaten you, and the threat goes all the way to the top of the city government, you simply sell your home and move somewhere else. Yes, all the way to the top. It was the mayor herself that told me I would be receiving a call from the police department concerning my complaints.
  • by Derosian (943622) on Monday February 19, 2007 @07:57PM (#18075020) Homepage Journal
    In the Criminal Justice program one is taught that one should never tattle on a fellow police officer, except in the extreme cases.

    And this is the reason I changed my major and my career plans, I don't want to become a police officer to protect fellow officers, I would become a cop to enforce justice, sadly that is a pipe dream in this day and age. There Are plenty of stories of police corruption and further protection of said police by courts. Of course what are we going to do about it, nothing because for now they are the in charge, and until things get really out of hand most of us are willing to sit back and watch TV, and play our computer games, most people are more willing to forget about what is going on around them then to actually sit up and pay attention to reality. To actually get up and go do something to change our system is against the way most of us were raised.

    Don't get me wrong, I know plenty of straight officers. I know plenty of really good people in the justice system, and yet, those people don't do anything against those who are corrupt amongst them.
  • by myth_of_sisyphus (818378) on Monday February 19, 2007 @08:31PM (#18075426)
    There's a great hard Sci-Fi novel by Greg Bear called "Queen of Angels." The novel is set in the binary new year, 2048. Nanotech has transformed civilization and Therapied people get the best jobs/housing/care. "High Naturals" do not need therapy and are up there with the Therapied. The Untherapied, artists, outcasts, dreamers, and visionaries are becoming social outcasts.

    This is not the best part though: Citizen Oversight is a clearing-house of all surveillance data--which is a terrifying thought in 40 years. Think of every single RFID chip, nano-camera, and swipe card going into one place. Imagine the immense power of that place.

    Greg Bear posits that Citizen Oversight began as a way to keep track of population statistics and give the long view on civic needs. Then a very bad president named Raphkind comes along and says Law Enforcement has control over Citizen Oversight and America becomes an uber-police state. You'll get a fine in the mail for absent-mindedly dropping a bit of wrapper on the sidewalk or crossing a few seconds before the light changes. The people get fed up with this and Citizen Oversight is given to an ACLU-type organization with elected officials. It is no longer Big Brother and even the police have to come begging for info an a serial murderer. Citizen Oversight will only say if the murderer is in the country or not. Even if they have complete footage of the murder!

    Anyways, Bear is an excellent author/thinker and his books give me hope for the future and my nieces and nephews. (Damned if I'm having kids.)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 19, 2007 @09:52PM (#18076180)
    They do NOT give a rats ass about fairness and professionalism unless you kiss the they walk on.

    I find people who say stupid things like this are generally naive kids (of any age) or punks with an inflated sense of self worth and entitlement who've gotten into a lot of petty crime. Two of my best friends since childhood are cops - one in an innner city ghetto and one in a upper-middle class suburb. I've done a lot of ride alongs with both of them, because I find it fascinating, While they do things differently, because the envronment calls for it, they do their jobs with the utmost fairness and professionalism, two words you seem to be unclear on the meaning of. They are treated like shit day in and day out verbally and physcially by douchebags like yourself who love to claim they "know their rights" (and rarely know much of anything). And I've never seen or heard of any of them using any more force than is required. They're far better people than you could ever hope to be, and I hope you remember that next time you need a cop.

  • by Firethorn (177587) on Monday February 19, 2007 @09:52PM (#18076182) Homepage Journal
    Dumb-assed anti-gunners. I tore up my NRA card many years ago (quit hounding your paying members for more money, thereby squandering it all on postage!), but I may have to send them a few bucks after reading this.

    Give them a call. I did to be placed on the 'reduced mailing list'. I get a begging letter once a year with my new card, and I'm a lifetime member.

    ps
    Yes I'm a gun-toting libertarian. I own all sorts of 'scary' guns. They haven't hurt anybody, at least since I've gotten them. Got a problem with that?
    When one owns a used M1 Garand and Yugoslavian SKS, I can't say for sure that they haven't been used in anger.
  • Re:Service to whom (Score:3, Interesting)

    by element-o.p. (939033) on Monday February 19, 2007 @10:01PM (#18076270) Homepage
    Or in some cases, to arrest after you successfully protect yourself. Case in point: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_Goetz [wikipedia.org]
  • Re:Service to whom (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 19, 2007 @10:06PM (#18076316)
    Where "clean up the mess" == "throw your ass in jail". Remember: it's not legal to really protect yourself in most states. "Minimal force" is impossible to really determine when you're in a life and death situation, but that's what the law generally expects you to adhere to, and you'll have to prove in court that the force you used was necessary after the fact, with little evidence to back you up.

    Yeah, but that's only a requirement for the untrained civilian. The "highly-trained law enforcement officer" can take it as suspicious if you just don't feel like talking to him. If you run away, he can shoot you in the back and get off scot-free.

    A couple of years back, down on the San Francisco peninsula, a large group of cops surrounded some deranged guy in a dirt area just beyond a freeway offramp. He picked up a rock and brandished it, so they blew his ass away. "They thought it looked like a gun." No charges were filed against the murderers.

  • I tried that... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Belial6 (794905) on Monday February 19, 2007 @11:10PM (#18076864)
    I tried that. The one local TV channel told me that they would not cover it because the city would cause them all sorts of problems if they did anything beyond a fluff piece, and the nearest station that was not inside the city limits was in San Francisco. They are far enough away that the problems of one neighborhood 60 miles away was not even on their radar.
  • Re:Desert island (Score:3, Interesting)

    by toddestan (632714) on Monday February 19, 2007 @11:27PM (#18077012)
    Of course, the land may be claimed, but if it's undefended, the claim is fairly weak as anyone can claim to own a hunk of rock in the middle of nowhere. To really own it, you have to have a presence in the area so you can keep others off of your territory. Hans Island [wikipedia.org] is a good example of a mostly worthless uninhabited hunk of rock which is claimed by atleast two nations, none of which actually seem to interested enough in it to keep a constant presence in the area to back up their claim.

    You could simply set up shop somewhere on some uninhabited island, and it would pretty much become yours unless the government that claims it (or someone else) actually decides to go to the trouble of visiting the island with enough force to throw you off of it. That's more or less how Sealand came to be anyway, as England didn't seem interested enough in their old radar outposts to keep squatters off of them.
  • by Belial6 (794905) on Tuesday February 20, 2007 @01:04AM (#18077840)
    That's all fine and dandy, but the reality is that my word against the police on whether they threatened me or not will only lead to a he said she said situation. It is naive to think that the police officer, and the mayor that had them threaten me would be more than unconvinced by my accusations. It is also naive to believe that an "accident" or "random home invasion" wouldn't be enough of a convince to make sure that me, my wife, or son didn't have an unfortunate event happen. If I were single, I might have considered fighting it farther, but I wasn't going to have my wife or child murdered over this event. I did try contacting the FBI, but the response I got back, boiled down to "It's a local matter. It has to be handled locally." The prudent thing to do was sell my home, and move somewhere that I was no longer considered an "inconvenience" to the local police. I suppose in the long run I could consider the experience to be a "learned a lesson the easy way" experience.
  • Re:Moo (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 20, 2007 @02:07AM (#18078282)
    Technically, the road I live on is a seasonal road, and a marked snowmobile trail. In the winter, we're supposed to share. Since it's also in the middle of nowhere, it's quite common to see snowmobiles reach much higher speeds, especially since we are just below the crest of a hill, they hit the top of the hill zooming right along, and the downward slope can get them going even faster, most of them like to push the limits right around my driveway. I've always wondered the legality of, say, putting a log down in the road (as I own both sides). Technically, as I am not who maintains the road (the town does) it'd probably not bode well for me, but I'd sure as hell get a chuckle when one of those speed demons finally gets what's coming to them. Yeah, so I have a bit of pent up aggression...but after what I've been through this past year, I'm not sure there's anyone that would blame me!
  • by Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) on Tuesday February 20, 2007 @02:28AM (#18078438) Homepage

    Yes I'm a gun-toting libertarian. I own all sorts of 'scary' guns. They haven't hurt anybody, at least since I've gotten them. Got a problem with that?

    It depends. Are they locked up properly when not in use? Do you have their serial numbers recorded so that the police can seize them when they catch the asshat(s) who stole your guns?

  • by The_Wilschon (782534) on Tuesday February 20, 2007 @04:32AM (#18079060) Homepage
    But a counter-threat "I'll get my lawyer involved on this if you continue to threaten me" might be quite effective. They know (unless they're stupider than most) that threatening you is wrong. Letting them know that you're willing to "tell the teacher on them" might just get them to stop.

    Furthermore, you don't have to convince the police officer or the mayor of anything. You just need to have a lawyer that can convince a judge and/or a jury. Completely different matter.
  • by qwijibo (101731) on Tuesday February 20, 2007 @09:22AM (#18080540)
    But privatization would be a boon to law enforcement!

    Imagine how productive they could be if they didn't have to spend a disproportionate amount of time on rare cases like murder, and could focus on traffic enforcement and copyright violations. Those are the kinds of activities that are pure profit centers. A well run government should be profitable.

    Only whack jobs would think that a government should be of the people, by the people and for the people. Sensible people know that the role of government is to increase shareholder value at any cost to civil liberties. After all, the US Dollars that many of us know and love are just shares in the government. That should be obvious, seeing how many shares you need to fork over to buy enough politicians to get anything done. =)

Our business in life is not to succeed but to continue to fail in high spirits. -- Robert Louis Stevenson

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