Monday, November 16, 2009


I haven't looked up the statutes on this one. Maybe they are on the police's side. But it still seems stupid to me.


hafidha sofia said...

I really don't feel any more protected by this than before. But the trend nowadays seems to be to charge people with every possible thing one can.

Chalicechick said...

It fascinates me how cops seem to cultivate this macho tough guy image, yet then want to go after someone for opening a pocket knife twenty feet away and/or arrest little old professor Gates for yelling a few insults.

Why is it that alleged tough guys are so wussy about stupid stuff?*

Seriously, gentlemen, grow a pair.


*And if you're in the Marines and the idea of having a gay bunkmate makes you all wiggy, I'm also talking to you.

hsofia said...

Seriously. It's just bully behavior. Alpha male crap.

PG said...

Unlike the Gates incident, this guy does seem to fit a literal interpretation of the relevant statute: after all, his intent in showing the knife was undeniably to make the other person afraid of him, so he has the mens rea. That the underlying reason for doing this was so the other person wouldn't initiate an attack may not be relevant if you read the statute literally.

Funny that they at first charged him only with "disorderly conduct." I'm beginning to recognize that as police-speak for I didn't like what you did, but I don't know if it broke any law, so we're going to use this as a placeholder until someone who actually knows the law figures out how to categorize what you did.

Chalicechick said...

It hasn't always meant that?

hafidha sofia said...

I'm rarely in favor of additional laws, but maybe we should pass a new one: "Fool didn't know I had the powa!" aka "Failure to Recognize a Police officer."

ogre said...

So the fact that he felt threatened, endangered in fact, by having two guys trailing him... doesn't permit the equivalent of a self defense argument?

If he'd been attacked, he could have done serious bodily harm--even used the knife--and been able to defend himself.

His actions were not hostile or aggressive. He did not advance on those following him. He asked who they were. When informed, he put the weapon away.

Hell, if he'd been somewhere with laws permitting him to carry a gun, he could have done the very same thing merely by resting his hand on the gun butt, displaying its presence. It's an action designed to display to a potential assailant (in this case *two* of them) that it would be unwise and rather more dangerous than they might expect.

That's just nuts.

Legal moments like this make me think well of jury nullification....