Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Government Toys

Oklahoma Video Vigilante Uses Drone To Wage War Against Prostitutes and Johns (bbc.com) 339

HughPickens.com writes: Chris Baraniuk writes at BBC that Brian Bates, known in Oklahoma as the "Video Vigilante," is taking credit for Amanda Zolicoffer's conviction on a lewdness charge after being caught on Bates' drone mounted camera in a sex act in a parked vehicle last year. Zolicoffer was sentenced to a year in state prison for the misdemeanor while the case against her alleged client, who was released following arrest in December, is still pending. "I'm sort of known in the Oklahoma City area," says Bates . "For the last 20 years I've used a video camera to document street-level and forced prostitution, and human trafficking." Bates runs a website where he publishes videos of alleged sex workers and their clients. "I am openly referred to as a video vigilante, I don't really shy away from that," says Bates adding that the two individuals were inside a vehicle and the incident occurred away from other members of the public. The drone dropped to within a few feet of the vehicle where it filmed a 75 year old in the front seat of the white pickup truck. The duo separated after Zolicoffer, who was identified by her tattoo saying "Baby Gangster," saw the drone hovering overhead.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Oklahoma Video Vigilante Uses Drone To Wage War Against Prostitutes and Johns

Comments Filter:
  • Going voyeur... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 02, 2016 @06:36PM (#51829981)

    ... to force your morality unto everyone else. Of course he's proud of his "successes."

  • by Mitreya ( 579078 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [ayertim]> on Saturday April 02, 2016 @06:46PM (#51830019)

    used a video camera to document street-level and forced prostitution, and human trafficking.

    One of these is not like the others.
    I doubt he caught a lot of human trafficking or forced prostitution on camera. The article certainly doesn't mention any.

    • by wbr1 ( 2538558 ) on Saturday April 02, 2016 @07:03PM (#51830071)
      A thousand times this. Most (not all, as in severe rape and snuff kink and underage) human trafficking will go away if prostitution were legal. However, street level prostitution happens in plain view, the others do not. They are just added by someone for PR purposes.. "look at this guy doing good against teen prostitute traffickers..." When in reality all he has caught are likely some drug addicts feeding their addiction.

      But, like the war on drugs, the prohibition favors the entrenched interests.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 02, 2016 @07:43PM (#51830273)

        Most (not all, as in severe rape and snuff kink and underage) human trafficking will go away if prostitution were legal.

        No, that's not substantiated. It's actually the opposite.

        https://orgs.law.harvard.edu/lids/2014/06/12/does-legalized-prostitution-increase-human-trafficking/

        Countries with legalized prostitution are associated with higher human trafficking inflows than countries where prostitution is prohibited. The scale effect of legalizing prostitution, i.e. expansion of the market, outweighs the substitution effect, where legal sex workers are favored over illegal workers. On average, countries with legalized prostitution report a greater incidence of human trafficking inflows.

                The effect of legal prostitution on human trafficking inflows is stronger in high-income countries than middle-income countries. Because trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation requires that clients in a potential destination country have sufficient purchasing power, domestic supply acts as a constraint.

                Criminalization of prostitution in Sweden resulted in the shrinking of the prostitution market and the decline of human trafficking inflows. Cross-country comparisons of Sweden with Denmark (where prostitution is decriminalized) and Germany (expanded legalization of prostitution) are consistent with the quantitative analysis, showing that trafficking inflows decreased with criminalization and increased with legalization.

                The type of legalization of prostitution does not matter — it only matters whether prostitution is legal or not. Whether third-party involvement (persons who facilitate the prostitution businesses, i.e, “pimps”) is allowed or not does not have an effect on human trafficking inflows into a country. Legalization of prostitution itself is more important in explaining human trafficking than the type of legalization.

                Democracies have a higher probability of increased human-trafficking inflows than non-democratic countries. There is a 13.4% higher probability of receiving higher inflows in a democratic country than otherwise.

    • If unable to have consensual sex for money with a lonely 75-year-old, Zolicoffer can no doubt fall back on more socially acceptable occupations like muggings or pushing drugs outside school. Besides, how is one to know whether a 27-year-old woman is making a voluntary choice to have sex. Sex outside marriage needs to be made illegal (as in Saudi Arabia) to ensure that no woman is ever pressured into sex against her will. The loophole of a woman providing sexual favors without charging money for it needs to

  • This guy seems like a nosey neighbor that everyone else on the block hates.
    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      This guy seems like a nosey neighbor that everyone else on the block hates.

      Obviously, the question is if they're mainly exposing illegal activity, witnessing hypocrisy or just trying to poke their nose where it doesn't belong. We know a lot of people don't practice what they preach, they say one thing in public and do something else in secret. Somehow I find it's completely different to expose the priest who has been spouting hate speech about homosexuals having gay sex than a random teen who doesn't want their parents to know he's gay.

      The truth is that the law is often more ideal

  • In unrelated news, police agencies buy more and more drones. Not to worry though -- they assure us our privacy will be respected.

  • ... get a room. Don't do this in view of the public (or drones). I'm not a prude and have nothing against prostitution. But this sort of behavior just provides ammunition for the social conservative nut-cases.

    • If you take a look at his web site, he follows people that actually do get a room. They can go someplace private, do whatever they do, then return, and this guy will show videos on his web site. For him, it really appears to be about 'shame'. I'm guessing he just gets off on thinking about other people having sex.
    • This wasn't done in view of the public. The man is a self-rightous prostitute-hunter - and he had to resort to a drone in this case in order to get close enough without being noticed.

      • This wasn't done in view of the public. The man is a self-rightous prostitute-hunter - and he had to resort to a drone in this case in order to get close enough without being noticed.

        Someone else kindly provided a link to the video [thesmokinggun.com]. (Skip to 4:30 or so to see the couple in question). From the looks of it, while the couple may have been on private property it wasn't their property. For all intents and purposes, they were indeed in full view of the public.

        While a pile of old tires can provide some level o

  • None of the articles list him as a police officer. Was there a crime committed? Perhaps, but that doesn't necessarily give him or his videos legal standing. Here are a few of the many ethical, reasonable, or otherwise questions to be asked:
    1. What is the expected privacy of the people in the vehicle?
    2. Was the privacy of the people in the vehicle breached? But what if this was on private land instead of public?
    3. Was this evidence lawfully obtained? The court put her in jail, so under the current laws, apparently so.
    4. How long until laws banning this type of "citizen surveillance" are enacted?
    5. How were the police notified? Did he call in the illicit activity, then handed over the video?
    6. Could I use this same technology to record speeding vehicles on the highway, texting and drive, failing to stop, or tailgating, then call the cops and use my video as evidence? Knowing full well that my "evidence" cannot be checked for accuracy (MPG, location, time, etc.). "But darn it! They're committing a crime!!"
  • I'm sure that he thoroughly investigates each person to make sure that they are really a person using the services of a prostitute before posting the video.

    And how does posting a video of an alleged prostitute help them escape their life if you claim that they are a victim? Posting a video which will stay online and get them arrested will just keep them where they are. How about offering assistance to make a change in their life?

  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Saturday April 02, 2016 @07:36PM (#51830225) Homepage

    Zolicoffer was sentenced to a year in state prison for the misdemeanor

    For those reading the BCC in native UK, its hard to comprehend this being more than a sensible chuckle. However, in the united states, a conviction resulting in a prison term can prohibit you from ever getting a job. ex convicts are barred from social services in Oklahoma in many cases, cannot vote in elections, and are frequently required to pay restitution for their incarceration.
    what Bates did was to issue biblical retribution for a victimless crime.

    Bates runs a website where he publishes videos of alleged sex workers and their clients.

    You'd better be very, very certain of what youre doing. impoverished sex workers and 9-5 johns dont fight back too hard. Trying this stunt with a C level for a major multinational however will earn you cancelled credit cards, ruined credit, and foreclosed homes.

    the two individuals were inside a vehicle and the incident occurred away from other members of the public.

    So you went out of your way to play Batman for the day. Its worth remembering though, that batman has an alter ego. People you have publicly destroyed now know your full first and last name. For many of them, there may be very little standing between them you.

    • If I were him I'd be a lot more worried he videotaped the wrong meth dealer/cook, it being Oklahoma and all.

      You are right that Batman keeps his identity shrouded for a reason...

    • So you went out of your way to play Batman for the day. Its worth remembering though, that batman has an alter ego. People you have publicly destroyed now know your full first and last name.

      His full first and last name has been plastered all over the place for years now. He's been very visible and public in his campaign. Nobody has taken any action against him.

    • by n0ano ( 148272 )

      a conviction resulting in a prison term can prohibit you from ever getting a job...

      Close, but not exactly. This is where the distinction between misdemeanor vs. felony comes into play. Misdemeanors (jail time up to 1 year) typically do not result in forfeiture of civil rights (you still get to vote) but may result in loss of privileges (as in losing your taxi license from a misdemeanor recless driving conviction). Felonies (any jail time over 1 year), on the other hand, you are absolutely right, these re

  • by tgibson ( 131396 ) on Saturday April 02, 2016 @07:51PM (#51830303) Homepage

    Give a man a porno, and he can pleasure himself for a day, teach a man to fly a drone and he can pleasure himself for a lifetime.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Saturday April 02, 2016 @07:59PM (#51830329)

    At some point, some John's going to get pissed enough about this because he's getting divorced and loses everything that he rids the world of the asshole and everything's back to normal.

    Remember kids: If the law fails to solve problems, people will.

    • At some point, some John's going to get pissed enough about this because he's getting divorced and loses everything that he rids the world of the asshole and everything's back to normal.

      Remember kids: If the law fails to solve problems, people will.

      Sad to say, that's absolutely correct.

      And over what? It might come as a surprise to the lad, but people have sex.

      Whether it is your violent scenario, or even more likely, now that he is gaining some notoriety, he is going to get a lot of attention from the media. There will be peopel looking into every part of his life.

      People who do this sort of thing often tend to have some issues themselves. I've seen it all of my life, with gay bashing friends who are now gay, with family value politicians who tu

    • by kackle ( 910159 )

      If the law fails to solve problems, people will.

      I think you jumped right over the irony puddle there. The law apparently wasn't taking care of the illegal prostitution enough for this guy, and he (one of the people) took action to "solve" the problem.

  • Some people build model airplanes, others fly drones around to get poor women setenced to jail time.
  • This asshole has his little johnson rubbed raw with all the wanking he's doing?
  • Spying on neighbours, employing covert monitoring technology, publicly humiliating those he dislikes and having them hauled off to jail when he is able. Once again we see that few are so unconstrained by morality as those who honestly believe they are doing the right thing.

    He probably honestly believes that he has 'saved' the prostitute now. She has been freed from her life of indignity and sin and released into the loving care of the US state prison system, where she can start her new life as an unemployab

  • A civil liberties campaigner pointed out that filming with drones could raise privacy concerns.

    The problem here isn't with drones. Nobody would give a fuck about these videos. The problem is that a consensual human activity, namely prostitution, has been made illegal. The fix for that isn't to restrict drones further, it is to get rid of laws banning prostitution.

  • A Peeping John lures on a vehicle "away from other members of the public", gets off what happens in there, that happening becomes public and the guy is not charged with intrusion of privacy?

    Twisted world for sure...
     

  • by blind biker ( 1066130 ) on Saturday April 02, 2016 @10:50PM (#51830941) Journal

    Bankers broke US' economy throwing into misery hundreds of thousands, but he thought he'll make justice by putting in jail people who actually work for their money, people who actually provide a useful service to the community?

    Americans' moral compass is just whack.

  • The whole hypocritical puritanical streak that runs through this country makes me wish the first settlers here had been porn stars.

The flow chart is a most thoroughly oversold piece of program documentation. -- Frederick Brooks, "The Mythical Man Month"

Working...