law enforcement 2013

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Re: law enforcement 2013

Postby Lonesomebri » Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:16 pm

cops (Medium).jpg
After the temple burn I was wandering around the embers and islands of fire, the nude and ragged clad freaks formed knots and pockets of humanity near the heat. Shared existence, company in this lonely plain, to talk story, camaraderie on a dark night, a primordial urge to gather together and see the fire reflected in our fellow human’s eye. The cops totally took advantage of that, circling the temple’s remains, peering down into each circle, hawks ready to pounce on prey, make no mistake about this. They were not looking for acts of violence, disturbances, safety issues. They were looking to see what each small group of grooving people was doing, and could that make $500 bucks for the department. I saw them go thru at least four handbags and purses while questioning people, and fill out forms, I took photos from the distance, for all I know what i did is illegal. Why didn’t I go up and ask the cops what was going on, if it was okay to take pictures? Maybe some sort of power dynamic, no matter how nice of people they are. Yeah, the people afraid of guns are the odd ones, not the ones enamored with them... I kinda fear their power for some weird reason. Had I wanted to smoke while watching their dance from the dark distance, no problem, because the victims were betrayed by being social and engaging with fellow humans, forming social circles, I’m Lonesomebri. I was alone, focused out. I don’t support preying on humans like that. As an aside, I watched a 5 man task force form a circle to help clear a space to launch a drone at the Man burn. Move people to support the launch. I do not feel safer. Nothing odd or wrong with that? And of course they love the event, how would you like to make overtime while attending? We pay them to attend.
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Re: law enforcement 2013

Postby SaritaSyrah » Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:33 pm

It's all about perspective, I suppose. I was not expecting undue negativity from anyone, including LEOs, therefore I didn't perceive any. That one LEO looks gosh darned ridiculous holding his light in his mouth.

I do not believe it is ever illegal to take pictures or video of law enforcement. If they are out of line, they wont like it, and will probably ask you to stop, with force, but you are within your rights to keep documenting. If an officer is doing his or her job, he will have nothing to hide from you. I am not a lawyer, though.
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Re: law enforcement 2013

Postby Canoe » Fri Sep 06, 2013 10:19 pm

I haven't seen this here yet... hope I'm not blind.

Burning Man Update: The Jack Rabbit Speaks, Volume 18, Issue #1, September 6, 2013

**\<>/**\<>/**\<>/**\<>/**\<>/**\<>/**

LAW ENFORCEMENT FEEDBACK

Did you have or witness an encounter with law enforcement on the playa? Whether positive or negative, we want to know about it. We use this information to work with law enforcement to improve our relations, improve their interactions with our community and to ensure your constitutional and civil rights are being protected while in Black Rock City. And we can't be successful in that effort if we don't have your stories.

So please, take a moment to download, fill out and mail us a Law Enforcement Feedback Form (PDF), here:

http://www.burningman.com/on_the_playa/le_feedback.html

**\<>/**\<>/**\<>/**\<>/**\<>/**\<>/**
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Re: law enforcement 2013

Postby lemur » Sat Sep 07, 2013 12:21 am

the cops were awesome this year.


talked to quite a few of them. (some of whom were first timers)


i even got FIST BUMPED by some on rods road one evening when i just walked up to say hi.




all this 'zomg cops are ruinin my day,,.. dont we go to burning man to get away from this' bullshit is frankly.. bullshit.

glad these guys are out there.

i work at burning man .. so do they.. we all got our place.
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Re: law enforcement 2013

Postby Lonesomebri » Sat Sep 07, 2013 9:51 am

I just don't like people preying on people, even if they are ultra cool to me and like dogs.
I never saw a speeder get tagged or a violent confrontation stopped.
I saw them enforcing a bad law.
I saw what I saw. Oppression. Yeah, there are two sides to that perspective. One side never calls it oppression though.

Oh, when I approached a roped off area one cop asked, "You're not going to go under that, are you?"
At least he was busy trying to find something to react to......

No cop ruined my burn. But I don't have to get all googly eyed over the uniforms either to prove they aren't intimidating.
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Re: law enforcement 2013

Postby Lonesomebri » Sat Sep 07, 2013 10:02 am

I'd like to retract everything I've posted about LEOs. The cops treated me okay, they only screwed with other people, so that's GREAT!!!
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Re: law enforcement 2013

Postby unjonharley » Sat Sep 07, 2013 10:09 am

Cop were doing there job.. Even if you precieve a law as bad.. Man up and change that law not whine like a brat..
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Re: law enforcement 2013

Postby BBadger » Sat Sep 07, 2013 10:27 am

I don't mind the presence of police at Burning Man any more than police in regular society. They're necessary for safety and other things you expect them to do in society. However, I only wish that the enforcement of these laws pretty much matched what happens in the larger society: where, for the most part, they're not just hanging around to try and fine people. Speed traps, entrapment, etc. -- these shouldn't be tolerated anywhere. It seems that the real problems with law enforcement at Burning Man involve cases where law enforcement is actively seeking out perpetrators just to fine them.

There should never be a financial motive behind law enforcement. They should make money off people who choose to pay the stupid tax -- someone doing a line of coke on the open playa (saw this), really speeding through the city, things you don't do in public regular society. It shouldn't be about peering into bags, or narcs, or 1mph over 5mph -- stuff we don't expect in our own societies. That's more like a surveillance state.
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Re: law enforcement 2013

Postby Elliot » Sat Sep 07, 2013 11:33 am

Well.... I'm basically a law-n-order guy, but.... I have it from a law enforcement officer that C.S. Violations are deliberately used to pull people over. (C.S. = chicken shit -- his words.) In case anybody wondered.

At the same time, there is a strong rumor that a serial rapist has been operating in BRC for six years. Law enforcement is of course looking for him, but I sense a discrepancy in priorities.

Perhaps less confrontational ranting and more rational dialog might help on the priorities.

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Re: law enforcement 2013

Postby mgb327 » Sat Sep 07, 2013 4:00 pm

Captain Goddammit wrote:I had my usual Burning Man law enforcement experience. I didn't do anything illegal and I didn't have any trouble!



Ditto. I had no issues. Most "eye contacts" or nods were of the mellow, friendly type. I don't look for trouble, so I rarely find it. I had more drama from a campmate or two.
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Re: law enforcement 2013

Postby Lonesomebri » Sat Sep 07, 2013 4:45 pm

I support law enforcement carrying out their duty to protect and serve the community.
I think that there are plenty of fine people involved in law enforcement.
I have no problem with public servants being friendly and handing out sunscreen.
An event like BM needs law enforcement personal.
I do not support people preying on harmless people.
That’s the nut.

And, yes, perspective depends on if you are empathetic to the prey. I prefer my police protecting us against being preyed upon, not so supportive when police prey on us. Enforcing the drug laws goes against community standards, and even the majority of law enforcement, I believe, don’t see this as a safety or protective issue. It’s become a cash cow.

We all know it’s wrong. There is no reason for police dogs at the burn. We can either pretend it’s okay, harmless folks being harassed, us paying for that, and easily act comfy and smug (not that this would happen here), or maybe just say it’s wrong policy. Neither will change a thing, in the short term. Playing up that the current scene is perfect, or someone complaining is the problem, is comforting though, isn’t it?

I think that some accountability and criticism is better than high-fives all around. Some people cannot separate good humans from the bad policy they enforce, and end up supporting both, or damning both. I didn’t mean to sound as if I was damning both. I can whine like a brat AND work to change laws, funny that, just like others can whine about my whining. Hit a nerve....

I have met some great law enforcement personnel. But lord knows I have seen some shitty laws.
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Re: law enforcement 2013

Postby DrYes » Sat Sep 07, 2013 6:06 pm

SaritaSyrah wrote:
I do not believe it is ever illegal to take pictures or video of law enforcement. If they are out of line, they wont like it, and will probably ask you to stop, with force, but you are within your rights to keep documenting. If an officer is doing his or her job, he will have nothing to hide from you. I am not a lawyer, though.


The details vary from state to state, but generally you'd be ok. In Nevada though, I believe it's illegal to record a conversation to which you're not a party and don't have consent of all parties to record. Not an issue with photos obviously.

Here's a good article on filming police: http://gizmodo.com/5900680/7-rules-for-recording-police
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Re: law enforcement 2013

Postby Elliot » Sat Sep 07, 2013 6:18 pm

Lonesomebri wrote:... ...

I have met some great law enforcement personnel. But lord knows I have seen some shitty laws.

Amen.

We need to work thru the legislative process.

There is progress. Cannabis is surely on its way to joining alcohol on the supermarket shelves. Even I -- Mr. Law And Order -- enjoy a cannabis cookie once in a while. Far less harmful than alcohol, I am convinced -- and we sell alcohol from drive-thru windows at gasoline stations. (Or darn near.)

It's the serious drugs like methamphetamine and heroin that are the problem. Meth is very bad in my town -- skeletal toothless faces everywhere. Yet local law enforcement wastes massive resources on cannabis.

Well, I'm preaching to the choir. But the only way to fix it is thru the legislative process. Cursing at the ground level public servants is surely counter-productive -- only reinforcing the prototype of potheads who "need to be dealt with".

We are better than that, aren't we?
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Re: law enforcement 2013

Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Sep 07, 2013 7:09 pm

I am, quietly, in Bri's camp. Mostly. I think there may be a degree of harm in some drugs that should make them illegal. Of course, that might be that I find the mere idea of cocaine to be a bit creepy. In the end, I think we have to have nuanced ideas about cops. They are forces of protection. They are enforcers of the status quo. Living in Berkeley, it's rather apparent that many of the Oakland cops are dreadful. Citizen oversight seems to be the best guarantor of quality police work. In a "temporary community" that gets to be a problem.

And I'm a good girl, whose most desperate crime is an unpaid jay-walking ticket in Milwaukee in the 80s. I've also read enough history to know what unchecked police forces can do.
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Re: law enforcement 2013

Postby Captain Goddammit » Sat Sep 07, 2013 7:10 pm

So here's what I want to know: did any of you get into any trouble with the law when you weren't doing anything illegal?
Did anyone who didn't speed, had registration and insurance, didn't obscure their plates or lights, wasn't carrying pot or other drugs, wasn't drinking and driving, actually get in any trouble??

I get tired of hearing complaints about cops by people who were doing something illegal and got caught.
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Re: law enforcement 2013

Postby 1durphul » Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:12 pm

What if tickets, rather than jail and life crushing felony charges, is the sane drug policy our country needs?

I felt like the police presence this year was heavy handed, and crazy. However, from what I've heard, when they did find things they handled it in what I personally feel was a sane way that didn't destroy the lives of those involved.** Drugs are in fact illegal, and we all want to live in a civil law abiding society. But with the state of today's drag laws, it seems like anybody who wants to partake in experimentation, or the occasional personal enhancement, is running the risk of destroying their entire life. Even with these draconian laws people still choose to use, and in most cases when they are caught it is THAT point that they become the burden to society. They weren't a burden when they were casually using, they only became a burden once they were entered into the legal system, no longer paying taxes, and instead became a tax burden due to the court and prison system that they would be forced into.

What if instead all illegal drugs were treated as a ticket-able offense (unless we're talking huge distribution quantities)? Wouldn't that be better for all involved (not just for the person committing the crime)?

**I understand that the tickets issued this year (and last) are still a misdemeanor charge which does generate a permanent record of a crime having been committed, unless pled out to a lesser (more expensive) charge.
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Re: law enforcement 2013

Postby Elderberry » Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:29 pm

Captain Goddammit wrote:So here's what I want to know: did any of you get into any trouble with the law when you weren't doing anything illegal?
Did anyone who didn't speed, had registration and insurance, didn't obscure their plates or lights, wasn't carrying pot or other drugs, wasn't drinking and driving, actually get in any trouble??

I get tired of hearing complaints about cops by people who were doing something illegal and got caught.

I'm betting the answer to that question will be an almost resounding NO! Plus, I know plenty of people that did mass quantities of party favors that never got in trouble. They just did them discretely. They call it the stupid tax for a reason.

Plus, I'll also bet that when the afterburner report comes out the numbers will be better than last year.
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Re: law enforcement 2013

Postby BBadger » Sun Sep 08, 2013 9:36 pm

1durphul wrote:What if instead all illegal drugs were treated as a ticket-able offense (unless we're talking huge distribution quantities)? Wouldn't that be better for all involved (not just for the person committing the crime)?


Almost anything would be better. We could PAY people $20,000 a year to not use drugs, or the police could outright BUY the drugs off the people they catch with them. Virtually anything would cost us less than incarceration. For society-negative stuff, I'd rather see special clinics set up where people on meth or heroin can just go there to get a free fix. At least then they'd remain contained.

Of course the beneficiaries of the prison-industrial complex wouldn't like that. That system makes this money-making police venture around Burning Man look as low-key as bullies extorting lunch money from other kids.
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Re: law enforcement 2013

Postby Simon of the Playa » Mon Sep 09, 2013 7:52 am

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Re: law enforcement 2013

Postby AntiM » Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:35 am

theCryptofishist wrote:And I'm a good girl, whose most desperate crime is an unpaid jay-walking ticket in Milwaukee in the 80s. I've also read enough history to know what unchecked police forces can do.


Heh. I had an unpaid jay walking ticket in Salt Lake in the late 70s. Turned into a bench warrant. Some criminals, huh?
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Re: law enforcement 2013

Postby lothos 1162 » Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:44 am

Speaking of LE,remember this Pershing Co.,Washoe Co. have the State of Nevada Vehicle Code Book to go by,BLM,US Park Police,US Forestry Service Police codes mirror that of local LE.Hense the PC"Probable Cause" to stop a vehicle.
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Re: law enforcement 2013

Postby Elliot » Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:54 am

lothos 1162 wrote:Speaking of LE,remember this Pershing Co.,Washoe Co. have the State of Nevada Vehicle Code Book to go by,BLM,US Park Police,US Forestry Service Police codes mirror that of local LE.Hense the PC"Probable Cause" to stop a vehicle.

Don't know about other states, but the California DMV sells the complete California Vehicle Code book for just a handful of dollars. Sometimes they hand out the previous edition for free. It's a ton of heavy reading, but there is much information in there. If you have any particular concerns, find those sections and write the section numbers inside the cover -- and carry it in the vehicle. :D

PS. Then be excruciatingly polite if you ever haul it out "in anger".
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Re: law enforcement 2013

Postby bradtem » Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:31 pm

I must admit I didn't see the crackdown myself. Though the many stories I read had the police doing inappropriate and rights-invading things.

My two experiences of the results of the crackdown where positive, as it turns out. There was a *lot* less peeing on the playa from what I could tell -- in years past it has almost been a checkerboard of spots in some places, especially after the burn. And it's the first year that I saw everybody go 5mph on the gate road.

However, I am NOT saying these things are worth having a crazy LE crackdown!
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Re: law enforcement 2013

Postby unjonharley » Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:58 pm

I suggest to the posters on this thread: If you "think" you have the right to break "any law".. Stop coming to Burning Man... 8 mph in a 5 mph zone is more than 50% over the speed limit.. If you do not want go the limit.. Stay home.. If you want to use illegal drug, stay home.. If you want to do these thing at Burning Man you get arrested GOOD.. And stop whining about it..
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Re: law enforcement 2013

Postby stew » Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:45 pm

bradtem wrote:And it's the first year that I saw everybody go 5mph on the gate road.

Which was absolutely wonderful! Not only did it make my job at gate much safer, it also left the roads intact for exodus. I remember years where exodus was a horribly bumpy ride because all the cars speeding had turned gate road into a washboard.
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Re: law enforcement 2013

Postby Nipple » Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:44 pm

stew wrote:
bradtem wrote:And it's the first year that I saw everybody go 5mph on the gate road.

Which was absolutely wonderful! Not only did it make my job at gate much safer, it also left the roads intact for exodus. I remember years where exodus was a horribly bumpy ride because all the cars speeding had turned gate road into a washboard.


I didn't want to spend any time with the BLM Greeters, and my car lacks a 5mph speedo.

GPS + Low Gear + Toe Curl until the pedal squeeks just a little = 5-6mph and everyone on Gate road hating me as they swerve around me to pass.
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Re: law enforcement 2013

Postby Elliot » Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:51 pm

I'm pretty sure Gate Road is 10 MPH. Not sure about Greeter Road (from Gate to Greeters). Definitely 5 MPH inside Greeters.
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Re: law enforcement 2013

Postby unjonharley » Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:51 pm

Nipple wrote:
stew wrote:
bradtem wrote:And it's the first year that I saw everybody go 5mph on the gate road.

Which was absolutely wonderful! Not only did it make my job at gate much safer, it also left the roads intact for exodus. I remember years where exodus was a horribly bumpy ride because all the cars speeding had turned gate road into a washboard.


I didn't want to spend any time with the BLM Greeters, and my car lacks a 5mph speedo.

GPS + Low Gear + Toe Curl until the pedal squeeks just a little = 5-6mph and everyone on Gate road hating me as they swerve around me to pass.

Didn't get a ticket, did you???
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Re: law enforcement 2013

Postby bradtem » Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:53 pm

It is hard, especially, in the USA to set a speed limit. The US sets speed limits that are clearly below the desire of the majority of the population (as evidence by the fact that on many roads the vast majority of cars are speeding, often by a lot.) As such it trains people to disregard the speed limit, or to presume the real speed is some amount above the speed limit. This is a rational and correct assumption based on experience in this country. There is no magic speed limit, one is not safe at 65mph and unsafe at 66mph. Rather, there is a gradually increasing amount of danger as speed increases, and a disjoint between the law and the people. Law enforcement actually likes it this way -- it allows them to basically pull over and ticket almost everybody, and thus they can stop who they want, rather than stopping those in violation of the law. This is called the rule of men instead of the rule of law.

In France, they do it differently on the Autoroute. There the limit is 130kph (80mph) and almost everybody drives below it, and if you drive even a little over it, that is when the cops will get you. In Germany, some fraction of the autobahns have no speed limit and they have a better safety record than US highways.

However, people don't know what to do with a 5mph or 10mph limit. Normal roads have traffic go around 10mph over the limit, but at 5mph that's 3x the limit. So you will get all sorts of reactions. Only the widespread rumours that cops were ticketing for 6mph (or 11mph on external playa road) made people stick to the limit this year.

Is the speed responsible for the condition of the roads, though? On the "playa roads" in the deep playa (you would not drive them during BM) people go 70mph.
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Re: law enforcement 2013

Postby Nipple » Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:53 pm

Just the one that came with cinnamon candy.

bradtem wrote:Is the speed responsible for the condition of the roads, though? On the "playa roads" in the deep playa (you would not drive them during BM) people go 70mph.


I think a couple hundred cars over the course of a couple months at 70mph, carrying mostly occupants or light loads is a hard comparison to 20,000+ cars/RVs/Semis carrying the mass of Burning Man in the front door at 5-30mph.
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