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So A Man In Plain Clothes And An Unmarked Car Cuts You Off And Pulls A Gun...

| 10 Comments

...what would you do?

I mean I hate to sound like I work for reason magazine, but this is flipping outrageous on three counts...

First the guy riding the motorcycle is a tool, and should have his bike confiscated and license suspended. That's reckless driving, and people who do it should be punished - severely.

But...

Second, WTH is with the officer exiting the car and immediately drawing his firearm - before identifying himself as an officer? That's outrageous on several levels. The rider had done nothing to justify the application of deadly force, and all it would have taken in this case is for the rider to have reached for his wallet for this to have turned into a tragedy. His commander's excusing this behavior would deeply trouble me if I lived in that jurisdiction; someone there needs to get a politician to remind the officers that they work for us.

Finally, he's being sued for filming and recording a conversation that took place in public, on a roadside?? You ought to be kidding...but sadly, aren't.

We have two choices here in America; we can become the UK, where subjects have few rights and the authorities have many (but are democratically elected!) or we can be something different - where those who work for the government don't automatically get a giant bushel of rights denied to the rest of us.

Not a difficult choice to me...
-

10 Comments

"Sued"? Shouldn't that say "criminally charged"?

What Armed Liberal said, except that I think showing up and his house and seizing all his computers and his camera was really an additional punishment and an additional affront to liberty.

The people of Maryland need to step up and make sure the law is changed. Until they do, this is going to be a recurring story.

Maybe this works in places like Maryland.

In other parts of this country, an unidentified motorist pulling a gun like that would have been shot within two steps of his vehicle.

Any info on a defense fund for this guy?

Wow - never been fond of Maryland, but definitely a reason to stay out. They give police a bad name everywhere. Is there somebody at the state level somebody can at least call to complain?

The people of Maryland need to step up and make sure the law is changed.

Virtually every state except Vermont has similar laws, and most (though not all) of the worst are the deep blue states. They are extensions of laws against "wire-tapping".

I doubt if many average citizens are ever protected from surveillance by these laws, which of course don't prevent warranted surveillance by law enforcement. They probably protect adulterers and false disability claimants from private detectives.

What amuses me is that in Maryland taping a police officer is a felony, but putting a camera in a woman's dressing room (or even her own home) with "prurient intent" is a misdemeanor.

Are laws supposed to protect us from the things we fear, or protect authority from the things it fears?

Idiot motorcyclist meets idiot cop, video goes to YouTube. Situation normal. I'm going to pray that I am never in this situation. And then, idiot state police get the idiot prosecutor to pile on, and here comes the AFU part of the excrement hitting the rotating fan. The video is going to be seen by millions.

Reckless driving? Guilty.
Reckless firearm handling? Guilty.
Reckless prosecution? Guilty.

In some ideal world, the judge would read the three of them the riot act and dismiss all of the charges with prejudice ... and warnings that none of them should every appear in court again for such.

It is quite plain what happened here on the street. Biker drives stupidly. Man with gun gets out of car in front of biker. Biker backs away from man with gun in fear, in direction of the Marked Police Car right behind him. Man with gun finally identifies himself as police officer after getting to within arms reach of biker. Biker gets well deserved ticket.

Note in the video that the marked police cruiser right behind the motorcycle does not have its lights on, AND the entire event would have been caught on the police cruiser dashboard camera.

Now that the event has gone from the street to youtube, the police department is embarrassed. Embarrassed police officers do stupid things, like raiding somebody’s house and carting off a couple thousand dollars worth of electronics to be held hostage..err..as evidence. In case the guy happens to file a complaint. Or a lawsuit. Because how much would you like to bet that a plainclothes officer coming out of an unmarked car, with gun drawn, to give a traffic ticket, is against police procedure and should earn the officer in question a reprimand at the very least? Is it also police procedure when a plainclothes officer and uniformed officer are both on the scene, that the officer most likely to be mistaken for a carjacker is the one to make the approach?

Hopefully Randy Balko is on the case. I seem to recall Maryland being one of the worst states for open records of police, and this is really just an extension of that mentality.

I'd be willing to bet as well that there is a policy against unmarked units making traffic stops. I know there is in Illinois, but I see it happening all the time- and not just stumble upon type of things, unmarks sitting and staking out intersections etc.

Boys love their toys. Give the local townee cops an unmarked and they will find a way to use it. Same with SWAT. John Q Suburban Officer doesn't have many high profile drug busts to make, so might as well get the boys in black with their battering ram to go after the guy late on child support.

This sure doesn't sound like a "land of the free" or "home of the brave" to me.

Nor does it seem like this kind of behaviour is earning the police many fans. If they act like thugs their job is only going to get harder, isn't it? Police need community support to be effective.

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