A simple thought.

Share your views on the policies, philosophies, and spirit of Burning Man.

A simple thought.

Postby Beest » Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:02 pm

Didn't feel right about posting this on the existing threads, so here it is:

Has anyone suggested that the ORG request LEAs pull their undercovers out of the event? Sure, it's a laughable notion, the compromise may result in an increase of visible LEOs, but maybe that would be "progress?" After all, Burners bring a significant amount of money into the local, county, and state coffers. I don't think the Man wants the Man to get smaller, just smarter.

Virtually every story I've ever read/heard deals with overzealous/aggressive undercovers in BRC. The uniforms I've seen(since I'm not prone to the dumb, I've never DEALT with them) all seem to be extremely tolerant of the environment and the people in it, given their law enforcement mindset.

It's just like, my opinion... man.
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Postby Elderberry » Sat Jan 29, 2011 12:45 am

The BMORG has constant ongoing talks (negotiations) with law enforcement agencies, both before, after and daily during the event. Can't imagine they haven't lobbied foreveryhing they could to make leos presence as unobtrusive as possible.

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Postby oneeyeddick » Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:25 am

Believe me, they haven't JK, it is just getting worse.

I don't know anything about the "undercover" LEO that the OP is talking about though, as I haven't seen any of them...
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Postby Leo » Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:13 am

You're telling me that that topless chick I was drinking with at the Party Naked Tiki Bar was a cop?
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Postby ygmir » Sat Jan 29, 2011 8:07 am

that wasn't a chick..........that's just how good they are.
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Postby Simon of the Playa » Sat Jan 29, 2011 8:18 am

Ygmir, i think you could pull off Shelly Winters.
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Postby ygmir » Sat Jan 29, 2011 8:19 am

leg? and call her Ilene?
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Postby Elorrum » Sat Jan 29, 2011 8:58 am

then "cast" her as underage.
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Postby LLQchasm » Sat Jan 29, 2011 8:59 am

oneeyeddick wrote:Believe me, they haven't JK, it is just getting worse.

I don't know anything about the "undercover" LEO that the OP is talking about though, as I haven't seen any of them...


What exactly do the undercovers do? It would seem to me that they would be easy to spot based upon behavior. A lone cop without a radio for backup could be a dead cop.
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Postby Elderberry » Sat Jan 29, 2011 9:38 am

It seems everyone that attends the event has their own reality about how bad the police presence, undercover or otherwise, is at the event.

Based on my interaction with LEO, I don't think there is any problem at all.

Just don't be stupid and do anything illegal blatantly in the open and don't act like a complete asshole towards them and you won't have any problems.

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Postby Elderberry » Sat Jan 29, 2011 9:39 am

oneeyeddick wrote:Believe me, they haven't JK, it is just getting worse.

I don't know anything about the "undercover" LEO that the OP is talking about though, as I haven't seen any of them...


The post event reports with the statistics regarding arrests, tickets, etc. don't seem to support this conclusion.

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Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:38 am

Dearly as I love Dick,--and I do love you, Dick--I'm going to say that he was unfairly ticketed this past year and it's possible that's coloring his experience.

And certainly the crime stats stay remarkably stable over the year. Do they even rise with the population? And those are arrests not citations.
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Postby oneeyeddick » Sat Jan 29, 2011 11:22 am

I may have a tainted view((Fishy)), but they do seem to have a quota to fill and maintain.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Jan 29, 2011 11:52 am

Yeah, it's easy to be objective when you didn't even attend in '10. Ivory fish bowl.
(That's illegal.)
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Postby Elderberry » Sat Jan 29, 2011 12:45 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:Dearly as I love Dick,--and I do love you, Dick--I'm going to say that he was unfairly ticketed this past year and it's possible that's coloring his experience.

And certainly the crime stats stay remarkably stable over the year. Do they even rise with the population? And those are arrests not citations.


Sorry to hear that Dick. I think my view would be tainted too then. What was the ticket for, if you have no objection to posting that here?

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Postby oneeyeddick » Sat Jan 29, 2011 1:40 pm

Flaming with negligence.
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Postby Elderberry » Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:18 pm

oneeyeddick wrote:Flaming with negligence.


You've got to be kidding. I thought this was a joke at first. What did you do, singe the hair of some LEO's arm?

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Postby oneeyeddick » Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:22 pm

More like made him pee his pants.
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Re: A simple thought.

Postby LLQchasm » Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:39 pm

Beest wrote:The uniforms I've seen(since I'm not prone to the dumb, I've never DEALT with them) all seem to be extremely tolerant of the environment and the people in it, given their law enforcement mindset.


They could be playing "good cop, bad cop". Uniforms draw attention and require good behavior because there's bound to be someone with a camera around to take pics of the situation which could create a Rodney King type of incident. My guess is that the undercovers do the dirty work so that the uniforms get to keep their reputations for being fair intact.

There have been far more protests in the last 2 years than what is normal and history shows that this parallels periods of economic disparity. The police and military are both schooled in the Art of War (Sun Tzu) which has sections in it about crowd control and the use of psychological tools to disarm the enemy. This is being used against the public (as was witnessed in Toronto G20 summit recently). The crowd that typically goes to Burning Man has been labeled "hippy". Accurate or not, this is going to color some cops perceptions and they will be on guard against any kind of protest developing which BM has the potential to become. BM has been touted by some as being about freedom and lawlessness (obviously not everyone would agree with this), but such a stance by a few can cause the cops to be on their toes.

It may seem like the people are on the weak side and disadvantaged in this situation, but I remind you that the cops and their ethos are vastly outnumbered by the crowd at BM. If the crowd turned against the cops like they did just recently in Egypt, then they're toast.

Imagine a woman being harassed by an undercover middle age man in a party shirt; she could scream, and by all appearances it might look to passers by that it was just some scrote trying to get fresh. Next thing you know you've got a riot on your hands. Cops are schooled in how to avoid these situations. You're in the greatest danger when on your own.

Cops don't/can't enforce everything. I was at Hempfest in Seattle a few years ago and people were openly smoking pot illegally in front of the cops (this was around the same time as the world bank riots in Seattle). It was so pervasive, the cops didn't know where to begin (they don't have jails large enough) so they suspended enforcement of the law for fear that the crowd would turn on them and cause mass carnage. I saw some tempers flare against the cops there... one of them said smoking a joint: "just try to bust me and my friends will come kick your ass"... I'll never forget it. Wish I had a picture of that moment.
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Postby tamarakay » Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:50 pm

kenman and i have been sober 20+ years, middle aged couple, pay our taxes nothing radical. once upon a time pretty wild, but now grandkids are good for thrills for us, Kenman STILL breaks out in a sweat if the police just happen to be following us down the street. i can't even imagine what he'd be like if we were actually breaking any laws lol

i think the odds are long that the popo will relinquish undercovers, but it does seem crazy for them to be out there. would be nice to put that money/resource/energy to something else.
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Postby Trishntek » Sat Jan 29, 2011 4:38 pm

Considering we were offering 160 proof absinthe right on Cairo in a deviant manner and never once had a LEO even give us a second look, I was quite surprised.

We did have signs reading: No one under 21 allowed, ID required and were complimented by a few Rangers for our "willingness to comply".
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Postby BAS » Sat Jan 29, 2011 5:06 pm

oneeyeddick wrote:More like made him pee his pants.


Cops never like that! :)


I wasn't there, so can't comment on the incident, but there are all kinds of people who join law enforcement, and my guess is that OED got a bad one. Sorry to hear that.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Jan 29, 2011 6:19 pm

jkisha wrote:
oneeyeddick wrote:Flaming with negligence.


You've got to be kidding. I thought this was a joke at first. What did you do, singe the hair of some LEO's arm?

I also got to wonder why Dork and mdmf haven't arrested me for the same thing on eplaya.
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Postby oneeyeddick » Sat Jan 29, 2011 8:11 pm

I suspect they realize it must be pretty hard lighting a match with fins so they let it ride?
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Re: A simple thought.

Postby JStep » Sat Jan 29, 2011 9:22 pm

Beest wrote:Didn't feel right about posting this on the existing threads, so here it is:

Has anyone suggested that the ORG request LEAs pull their undercovers out of the event? Sure, it's a laughable notion, the compromise may result in an increase of visible LEOs, but maybe that would be "progress?" After all, Burners bring a significant amount of money into the local, county, and state coffers. I don't think the Man wants the Man to get smaller, just smarter.

Virtually every story I've ever read/heard deals with overzealous/aggressive undercovers in BRC. The uniforms I've seen(since I'm not prone to the dumb, I've never DEALT with them) all seem to be extremely tolerant of the environment and the people in it, given their law enforcement mindset.

It's just like, my opinion... man.


Undercover agents are not alone. Federal agents especially. An FBI undercover agent has a backup team, they are aware of his location and maintain constant surveillance. This would be particularly easy to pull off in a crowded chaotic environment like BM at night, it would seem to me. (They manage to pull this off for every-day gang infiltration and other activities in more normal urban environments.) I'm sure DEA operations are very similar.

Local police are probably more variable, based on how thorough/experienced their depts are about running undercover ops.

In any event, any request to lower undercover ops would be futile, at best. Or increase such ops at worse. The likely answer would be no comment whatsoever on your request, or feigning to agree and stating a lowering of undercover ops. But, on paper, undercover ops don't exist until some legal requirement demands they are acknowledged. A police dept can publicize that they lowered undercover ops by 50% while increasing them 100%... they're undercover.... you're not SUPPOSED to know.
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Re: A simple thought.

Postby LLQchasm » Sun Jan 30, 2011 9:11 am

JStep wrote:A police dept can publicize that they lowered undercover ops by 50% while increasing them 100%... they're undercover.... you're not SUPPOSED to know.


Everybody should just assume that cops are complete lying shits. Turn it into a nudity required event and they will think twice about coming - and those wearing a wire have no place to hide it except up their own ass.
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Postby Herring » Sun Jan 30, 2011 9:44 am

/\/\/\/\ A friend of mine who works in the sex industry says thy don't make any deals with clients until they take their pants off. For reasons relating to corruption, I assume, in our state an officer of the law, even undercover, can't let his or her genitals show in the line of duty.

I'm not sure how it works in Nevada, but if a new friend joins your drum circle and starts bothering you for drugs or some other illegal activity, it might be fun to have them dance around with no pants on.



VVVV Edit: I don't condone relenting and giving strangers whatever contaband they want just for dancing around naked, just suggesting a fun way to mess with virgins and potential undercovers. No one on this forum has any drugs or illegal fireworks anyway! VVVV
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Postby oneeyeddick » Sun Jan 30, 2011 10:22 am

That is like believing that they have to tell you that they are a cop if you ask them, there are already naked cops out there undercover, with or without britches makes them no less of an officer.
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Postby LLQchasm » Sun Jan 30, 2011 10:39 am

oneeyeddick wrote:That is like believing that they have to tell you that they are a cop if you ask them, there are already naked cops out there undercover, with or without britches makes them no less of an officer.


The entrapment BS has got to stop. Such a practice says that the ends justify the means, that one can break the law to enforce it. It throws the golden rule out the window. If a cop asks for drugs they should be considered as breaking the law and should be subject to prosecution. So how do they get around this? By making possession illegal and asking not? What does that say about the ethics of the police? If they can lie to get a confession out of you, shouldn't the spirit of the law be the same as when under oath in court? In the latter case it is perjury, but the former "just doing your duty". One can murder people too, just join the military and do it in the name of Uncle Sam and they might even pin a medal on you justifying your psychotic mass murdering impulses and they call it bravery, but do it in your own name and it becomes murder, just ask Tim McVeigh.

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Postby Elorrum » Sun Jan 30, 2011 10:52 am

Maybe this is as much a training ground as a revenue generator. After the G8 protests I'm sure they see Burning Man as a perfect place for working in an alternative type of crowd, and being out of their element and out numbered. They are pretty safe there as well. There's also the element of keeping the upper hand, even though it doesn't matter a single bit out in the middle of the desert.
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