2012 Experiences with Police

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2012 Experiences with Police

Postby captain mcguiver » Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:37 pm

Please post any incidents you may have witnesses regarding law enforcement at BM2012.

I came home one night to find a bunch of Law enforcement ripping my neighbors camp apart in the middle of the night. I observed four UNMARKED SUV's filled with surveillance /radio equipment across the street, and a marked sheriffs' vehicle in front of the camp. I noticed they were tossing at least 2 or 3 tents and at least one RV. At the end of the encounter, I watched two officers high-five each other with big smiles.

The next morning I consulted with someone at the camp regarding what happened. They said that they think a virgin camper had said something "bad" to a "hot" undercover cop who then lead a cavalry of officers into their camp. A girl in camp possibly under the influence of something was being held down by a cop's knee after protesting the search. Two guys had something on them in person and were arrested on the spot , and a third's passport was found with contraband and he escaped. Cops took picture of his passport and are looking for him. The person told me the entire camp had been "evicted" and were being told to leave burning man. When I questioned this unheard of practice, he said they tried to get Rangers to help, and it was a "new" rule. I watched a truck (looked like org or dpw) observe their camp break down for hours until they left . The person also said that the same night "opulent temple was raided" or something to that effect. Later, at the Burn, I saw the same two officers who high-fived eachother and walked up to them and asked them a question regarding speed limits. They answered me incorrectly, on purpose, and were fairly rude. When I called them on it, the guy shrugged and said "How the hell should I know, i'm from Utah" and walked away. They seemed like real douchebags.

Does anyone know about this eviction rule? I'm curious also to the probable cause and seizure laws regarding tossing what appeared to be the whole camp. I asked someone to contact the ACLU and submit the appropriate feedback, hopefully they will.

A person who works for the ORG told me other horror stories about the BLM giving out DUI's for people on art cars returning recyclables claiming they were open containers. She has no reason to lie, and has probably the most accurate information of anyone, if this is true then...?

I head from another burner about friends of her's- a group of virgin co-workers who she said were pulled over before entering BRC. The police pestered them for hours with the same line to the effect of "Just tell us what you've got and its a $500 ticket", but were unable to ever find anything because this group of girls was fairly young and naive, and definitely drug-free. I would love to hear specifics of their encounter, such as if the police had no probable cause and searched their car illegally after a sloppy profile attempt.

I don't like the police presence I've been seeing lately in BRC. It's too the point where it's getting Paranoid and not fun anymore. We go out to the desert to do our thing, whatever that may be. If I want to puff off a joint and relax a little- its ridiculous that greed and lust for those $500 tickets turns me into a high school kid sneaking tokes in his closet with a downey tube again. I rather just stay home at that point.

Where is all the LEO effort towards child abductions, theft, etc? What about stopping fights, oops. We don't really have any do we? After 60,000 people and 10 days and kegs upon kegs of alcohol, there are no fights. I guess we really don't need a fraction of the police out there, do we?

The "Drug War" is a joke, stop pestering people who do drugs of any sort. It doesn't matter. They aren't hurting anyone. Entrapping people by posing as a "hot burner" looking for ??? is dishonest, un-cool, un-needed, and un-wanted. If someone isn't hurting anyone, he should be allowed to do something, at Burning Man and here at home for that matter. If Burning Man has to re-locate to stop a county or agency for profiting off it, then so be it.

[edited by moderator to add]
If you had an encounter with law enforcement that was worth noting, either bad or good, please fill out the feedback form.
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Re: 2012 Experiences with Police

Postby suicyco » Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:02 pm

I was accosted by about 4 police at one of the burns on Thursday night, for smoking a cigarette. I was standing there talking to a friend and suddenly I have lights on me and several cops surrounding me. They examined the cigarette and said they just wanted to make sure it was a real cigarette since they smelled pot in my vicinity. I just laughed at them and said "nobody smokes pot at burning man." I tried to talk to them but they were rude assholes.

That was my only encounter with the cops though. I saw lots of them, especially on the road in, tossing vehicles and spending hours harassing car loads of kids. I am pretty sure probable cause in almost all of these cases was non existent. Just profiling. I never saw cops cruising the suburbs either, just out on the playa and around the big sound camps. I'm sure they were doing that, just didn't notice it.

Nobody else in my camp had any encounters with cops, but saw them here and there. I also freaked out waves of people at Opulent as I made my way through the crowd, and was told by numerous people they all thought I was security or a cop. I dunno what about my look said that, but it was sad and funny.

Its sad that the only drug they can really go after is pot, because you simply cannot smell the other stuff people do. Its sad they go after anybody who is just having fun and not hurting others, no matter the substance or behavior. I am sure there are other matters they could be attending to out there. Like HELPING people.
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Re: 2012 Experiences with Police

Postby BurnerSkunk » Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:46 pm

Several friends, got pulled over entering burning man. All pulled over for a traffic violation. All were given the line "Just tell us what you have, and you get a 500$ ticket and we will let you go, otherwise we will bring the dogs and you will go to jail for what we find".

All consented to search, and gave up their pot, and were given a 500$ ticket and allowed to continue. Dogs were not brought out and the schedule 1 drugs were not found.

From the stories I heard around the playa of cop encounters and from my personal experience watching people interact with cops, probable cause is almost *never needed* because pretty much *everyone* gives consent to search very very fast.

"Well we will wait until the dogs come in" is usually enough to make people fold, since people are not aware that they can't actually make you wait more than a few minutes without your permission. But, they *are* allowed to threaten to do that. If you never ask to leave, they are free to continue having "conversations" with you for as long as you want since its considered to be consensual unless specifically vocalized otherwise.
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Re: 2012 Experiences with Police

Postby gyre » Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:50 pm

Is that true?

I always tell them i'll cheerfully wait for hours for their search warrant.

Never had anyone take me up on that wait.
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Re: 2012 Experiences with Police

Postby Kenny Z » Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:06 pm

I got pulled over right when I entered. He was standoffish at first but I was very polite and looked him in the eyes. He said my trailer lights were out and I told him they were working when I left. I said that maybe the plug came loose and he said I could check it. It was loose and the lights worked. He asked me if I had drugs, bombs, weapons etc. and I told him "no". I'm assuming that because it was obvious I wasn't on drugs and I was relaxed that he sent me on my way. And if he would have searched, he would have found 4 12 packs of non-alcoholic beer (O'Douls) as I don't drink anymore. No drugs = relaxed citizen.
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Re: 2012 Experiences with Police

Postby Dork » Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:14 pm

It wasn't burning man but I was near Sturgis at the time of the rally in an out of state hippie van a few weeks ago and got pulled over so it's a similar deal. I had one of those backup cameras that mounts to the license plate, which the officer said was blocking the state at the top of the plate, which was why he said he pulled me over. After telling me to figure out a way to mount it higher he started in on trying to get me to admit to drug trafficking. He asked over and over again if I had anything with me, that he would call in a drug sniffing dog and I should tell him if there was anything it would smell, if any MJ or meth had ever been smoked in the van. Really? No pot? Never? The dog isn't going to smell anything? It would be better to just tell me now.

I just kept saying no, which happened to be the truth, and he gave up and let me go. If I did actually have something I would have done the same.

Whether you have anything or not, never consent to a search and never admit to any crime. They're likely bluffing, knowing many people will fall for it. They get to write some tickets and I'm sure most of the confiscated items make it back to the station.
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Re: 2012 Experiences with Police

Postby Corbin » Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:51 pm

I talked to someone who was pulled over just after the greeters station because their bikes were obscuring the rear license plate. They made the (rookie) mistake of smoking pot on the way there and had their car searched and were given tickets. The gauntlet right after the greeters station was an un-nerving surprise; I hadn't seen that before.

A lot of vehicles using rear bike racks entering BRC would be obscuring the license plate. Would one have to remove the license plate and affix it to the bike rack or bikes to be legally compliant?
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Re: 2012 Experiences with Police

Postby gyre » Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:59 pm

Really?
They're claiming being inside Black Rock City is a road stop?

They'll have to make case law that every use of a bike rack in Nevada is illegal.

Warnings about drinking etc before arriving in camp are made every year.

Maybe we have to start a legal defense fund and fight every fucking fishing stop made?
Make enough case law and no one wants to take you to court anymore.

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Re: 2012 Experiences with Police

Postby BBadger » Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:42 am

- Someone in our convoy got pulled past the gates for having no license plate on the trailer. However, since the car was registered in Utah they couldn't do anything so they just let us go.

- Saw some police searching some poor sap's van when entering. Rangers were observing.

- Some suspected narcs entered our camp claiming "we're your neighbors" asked for some weed "to go to sleep." Said we didn't have any; they left.
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Re: 2012 Experiences with Police

Postby ZaphodBurner » Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:48 am

In 2005, some of friends were in an RV that broke down and a K9 vehicle pulled over to assist. Let's just say my friends REALLY didn't like it when somebody else who had pulled over to help asked if the cop would let the dog out so she could pet it.

The cop said that the rule is, they can only bring out the dog if there is probable cause to search. Then, to the freaked out passengers, he said a lot of police try to get Burning Man shifts because of how nice everybody is.

(By the way, in Eagleville on Sunday the FD had a burner-friendly all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast with free coffee.)

I'm pretty sure we had undercover on our art car, trying to get people to give her a sip from their cups. I imagine that first person who offerered her a taste would have ended up in handcuffs. We know of somebody who got their brand new trailer seized for offering to get any undercover hottie he had been hanging out with high. They took him to jail and brought him back after he posted bail so that he could get his truck.

I consider myself a gun-toting, 4x4-driving conservative, and the idea that the government can send in undercovers and spies to try to trap you, or to coerce you into letting them search your space, reeks of Big Brother and the worst form of nanny-state liberalism... With no disrespect intended to liberals in general. This is the kind of shit, in fact, that the NRA rants about. There ought to be one place in America where a tax paging, nonviolent, non-criminal citizen can go smoke a joint or whatever and not have to worry about undercover cops trying to crawl up his or her ass. As far as I'm concerned--this is aimed directly at LEOs reading this, from the perspective of a former Marine--if you're engaging in this sort of behavior then as far as I'm concerned, you're the enemy that Jefferson warned us about. You're a KGB whore, a nanny-state antiAmerican, Stalinesque spy, and you should really reevaluate your integrity as an American and a conservative. In fact, you should probably relocate your unAmerican ass to North Korea, China or Iran where that sort of bullshit is acceptable.

In the meantime, to burn a flag. Real cops don't need to hide their badge to protect the public--or arrest them-- who feeds them and pays for their family's insurance. We all know that a BURNER found the missing girl and brought her to LEO. Not the other way around. The idea is to work as a team, not to play cat-and-mouse, but since LEO chooses the latter, unless there is violence or actual property crime involved, I will in no way assist police spies and will do everything I can to help people avoid or evade them. I already served, so suck it. Semper Fi, and get a real job. Thank you to the police who find a way to get along with the citizens instead of glaring at them from air-conditioned SUVs or trying to seduce them into offering you a misdemeanor amount of whatever just so you have an excuse to seize their property. This is not the Soviet Union.
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Re: 2012 Experiences with Police

Postby salope » Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:54 am

Tuesday night, riding around out on the playa, I stopped my bike at the edge of a dancing crowd that had gathered around a stationary art car. There was a plainly-dressed, middle aged guy sitting on a bike a small distance from the crowd, just watching. I'm thinking "man, this guy probably doesn't realize what a narc he looks like." He asks me for a cigarette, which I give him. Then, as I'm turning away, ever so casually, almost as an afterthought, he asks "hey man, you interested in extracts?" I said "No thanks, I'm good" and rode off thinking "Narc narc narc!"

Saturday night I was walking around the embers of the man burn, after most of the crowds had moved on, but before Wall Street burned. Four crunchy hippy types were sitting in a circle. Mr Clueless #1 is showing off some piece of paraphernalia, Mr Clueless #2 is pulling out his bag of pot. I started walking away, trying to put some distance between myself & the sketchiness, and was half-way through the thought "wow, how clueless can you be?" when there were suddenly 3 flashlights shining down on the group. Clueless #1 is trying to play it cool, like "no this is just my pencil holder" (I couldn't hear the interaction at this point). Clueless #2 hands over the baggie he had quickly tried to hide, stands up as instructed, and takes off running through the crowd. He didn't make it 15 feet before being tackled by one of the cops. I just walked away at this point, it was harshing my mellow, ya dig?

Earlier in the week, maybe Monday or Tuesday night, I saw a near collision between a LEO SUV and a long mutant vehicle. In my slightly-hazy recollection, the vehicle was non-motorized and moved somewhat awkwardly, like a multi-person pedal-powered longboat. They were halfway through a ponderous left turn, with the SUV coming up behind/alongside and trying to pull ahead of them. The boat occupants were yelling hey hey etc, basically trying to assert their right of way in the middle of a complicated navigational maneuver. The cops were trying to cut them off but were instead about to plow into them. The cops yelled "Stop, fucking stop" then zoomed off ahead of them at ridiculously unsafe speed for the city streets at night. Something was going on, as there were then lots of other LEO vehicles with lights and sirens headed off in the same direction. It made me wonder how long it will be before the first burning man fatality due to police driving like assholes in a pedestrian city.
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Re: 2012 Experiences with Police

Postby tamarakay » Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:49 am

I was walking down 4:00 to the porto's when a police car pulled alongside and asked if I wanted a pop-ice. I said yes and they offered me a red one. The passenger side guy complimented my outfit (red corset, black sparkley booty shorts and fish nets). I told them a joke (how do you catch a unique rabbit? You neek up on him). Then the driver one said "have a safe burn" and I said "right back at you baby".

Then they drove off.
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Re: 2012 Experiences with Police

Postby Gunslinger » Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:31 am

BBadger wrote:- Someone in our convoy got pulled past the gates for having no license plate on the trailer. However, since the car was registered in Utah they couldn't do anything so they just let us go.

- Saw some police searching some poor sap's van when entering. Rangers were observing.

- Some suspected narcs entered our camp claiming "we're your neighbors" asked for some weed "to go to sleep." Said we didn't have any; they left.


Was this someone with you in your convoy or did you see me getting pulled over? haha... after explaining Utah didn't need small open trailer tags for the third or forth time the should we call in the dogs line was loosed. I said, Fine. But I'm going to sleep while I wait and started to adjust the seat back. I was told to move on at this point.
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Re: 2012 Experiences with Police

Postby Ano » Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:34 am

Saw a sheriff get married to a gay guy on 8:00 and H. Heard lots of horror stories, though, including one guy getting CPS called on him and getting charged because his kid was naked.
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Re: 2012 Experiences with Police

Postby lucky420 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:24 pm

BurnerSkunk
All consented to search, and gave up their pot, and were given a 500$ ticket and allowed to continue. Dogs were not brought out and the schedule 1 drugs were not found.



ummm pot is a Schedule I drug...
Oh my god, it's HUGE!
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Re: 2012 Experiences with Police

Postby VultureChow » Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:36 pm

Nothing but pleasant interactions on my side, but I brought nothing and did very little, and don't frequent 10 or 2. I also drove like 5 miles under the speed limit most of the way from Fernley to BRC. Sorry if you were behind me, but I'm guessing you didn't get pulled over either.
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Re: 2012 Experiences with Police

Postby felony » Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:02 pm

Have only had, at the very least, fair treatment all the way to excellent exchanges with LEO's in BRC. On Friday night for the Punjabi Dating Game-we had a pyrotechnic permit and as soon as the fireworks began to pop, the LEO's were on the scene. They checked our permit and were very professional yet friendly- once they saw whe had our shit together they visited, got schwag and commented on how much they liked our camp. We had great interation with LEO's on burn night, and I have a wonderful visit with a lovely officer who comes each year across half the country to work in the circus enviornment that is BRC. It's one of the highlights of my burn!
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Re: 2012 Experiences with Police

Postby MacGlenver » Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:06 pm

On day 2 I was out near the man and I saw 2 police trucks speeding over to the 10 o'clock area (they cut off the Dancetronauts art car going ~30mph, it had to hit the brakes). I looked at the area they were headed towards and saw a flood of police lights (roughly 20-25 cars). Later in the week I heard that the police I saw on day 2 were doing random raids that started at center camp and hit several parties. Supposedly there were police with flack jackets and dogs.

Anyone see the same?

PS.
On day 1 I chatted with 3 very friendly cops that were at about 9:30 and D, watching a big party I was at (forget the camp name, but they were giving out the "verified sexy" arm stamps).
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Re: 2012 Experiences with Police

Postby BBadger » Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:12 pm

Gunslinger wrote:Was this someone with you in your convoy or did you see me getting pulled over? haha... after explaining Utah didn't need small open trailer tags for the third or forth time the should we call in the dogs line was loosed. I said, Fine. But I'm going to sleep while I wait and started to adjust the seat back. I was told to move on at this point.


This was in my convoy, but interesting that you had the same experience. I was actually pretty surprised to hear this from the friend in the other car, but relieved no police problems came of it.

Oh yeah, another incident with a sheriff: I found a headband on the ground and in my befuddled state wanted to see if I could fit it on the streetpost's clock number (on the end, not obscuring the number). So I'm reaching up to put the thing on there and then there is a light from behind lighting up the sign where I'm trying to fit the headband there. Then I hear, "what're you trying to do, put that on there?" and I squint back towards the light to see that it's a Pershing County sheriff. I somewhat clammed up, and mentioned, "nah, I was taking it down, it'll just fly away." We said bye, and nothing more came of it.
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Re: 2012 Experiences with Police

Postby Mojojita » Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:44 pm

I had many really, really, good interactions with Pershing County Sheriffs this year. They were friendly and genuinely happy to see us when we would run into the same ones again. They brought their virgins out to the Greeter's Station to ring the bell and get hugs and we got to know several on first - name basis. I am very grateful to them for their calm, professional and non-confrontive attitude toward us.
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Re: 2012 Experiences with Police

Postby Fiver » Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:11 pm

MacGlenver wrote:On day 2 I was out near the man and I saw 2 police trucks speeding over to the 10 o'clock area (they cut off the Dancetronauts art car going ~30mph, it had to hit the brakes). I looked at the area they were headed towards and saw a flood of police lights (roughly 20-25 cars). Later in the week I heard that the police I saw on day 2 were doing random raids that started at center camp and hit several parties. Supposedly there were police with flack jackets and dogs.


Monday night I think I saw the same thing. I was tired after a long day of setting up camp and I was just riding around the playa with my virgin friend showing her the man and the temple. We decided we were tired and were headed back to rest up at camp when I saw two or three police cars speeding across the open playa at a very very unsafe speed. They were headed in the direction you mentioned. Kind of put a damper on my night as I just assumed that someone was having a very s****y time somewhere.

I saw a lot of EMT responses this year and only a few arrests on Burn nite. In general I tried to chat with police officers whenever I could just to say thank you for being out there. Burning man may be a giant massive unhinged party in the desert but there does need to be some people out there with level heads to keep it under control. Most if not all of my interactions with the police and LEO's were very friendly and nice.
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Re: 2012 Experiences with Police

Postby CornMan » Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:44 pm

The Captain, who runs our camp's Daddy Warbucks Cigar Lounge, offered a cigar to any and all LEO's who stop by our camp. To my knowledge, not one has refused a cigar. We did get checked once for checking IDs at our pub, and we got the thumbs up.
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Re: 2012 Experiences with Police

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:57 pm

There has always (okay, for longer than I have been going, started in 2002) been procedures for the llc (I don't know pre-llc practices) to evict persons, or camps.
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Re: 2012 Experiences with Police

Postby ZaphodBurner » Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:28 pm

Any word on the camp trailer that burned down on Sunday or Monday?

One of the Rangers told us a propane refrigerator caught fire and burned the trailer down with all the camp gear in it, including provisions for a child. That might have been why some people saw vehicles hauling ass across the playa. It would be bad to have a fire break out and spread to other camps.

The Ranger told us that their neighbors immediately set them up with everything they could. Hope everybody involved had a good week, all things considered.
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Re: 2012 Experiences with Police

Postby MacGlenver » Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:21 am

Fiver wrote:
MacGlenver wrote:On day 2 I was out near the man and I saw 2 police trucks speeding over to the 10 o'clock area (they cut off the Dancetronauts art car going ~30mph, it had to hit the brakes). I looked at the area they were headed towards and saw a flood of police lights (roughly 20-25 cars). Later in the week I heard that the police I saw on day 2 were doing random raids that started at center camp and hit several parties. Supposedly there were police with flack jackets and dogs.


Monday night I think I saw the same thing. I was tired after a long day of setting up camp and I was just riding around the playa with my virgin friend showing her the man and the temple. We decided we were tired and were headed back to rest up at camp when I saw two or three police cars speeding across the open playa at a very very unsafe speed. They were headed in the direction you mentioned. Kind of put a damper on my night as I just assumed that someone was having a very s****y time somewhere.

I saw a lot of EMT responses this year and only a few arrests on Burn nite. In general I tried to chat with police officers whenever I could just to say thank you for being out there. Burning man may be a giant massive unhinged party in the desert but there does need to be some people out there with level heads to keep it under control. Most if not all of my interactions with the police and LEO's were very friendly and nice.


I got this response in my other thread about this topic. Sounds like it was a response to a semi-real situation and not a random raid:

vapor wrote:I was riding from center camp to my camp (Opulent Temple) and saw the cops ripping across the playa. My first thought was "wow they are driving fast", second was "damn, must be something really bad happened". Got back to camp, saw 15 or so cop cars, bunch of cops standing around . . . nothing on fire (other than things that were supposed to be), no collapsed structures, nobody dead.

One of our camp members said he asked the cops what happened and they said somebody jumped 5 of their officers. Another camp member said that a guy was running through the dance floor yelling and asking if anyone had any blow. Then, the cops tackled him, he escaped, they tackled him 2 or 3 more times and kept getting away. They got tired of that game and shot him with a taser. I heard the "got away several times and shot with taser" story from multiple eye witnesses, so I believe that part to be accurate.

I don't have an opinion on the validity of shooting him with a taser, but holy shit !, the speed they were driving right across the center of the playa was totally irresponsible, reckless and unjustified. Had to have been around 40-50 mph . . . I was really pissed to find so many cops already there and such a relatively minor situation. Just goes to show they really, really don't have much serious cop work to do up there and any incident attracts a bunch.

All that said, in general I thought the LEO's were very relaxed and cool as the week went on, at least at our camp. Sure, they were around, they were watching the dance floor and busting obvious infractions. But not nearly as intimidating and disruptive to the vibe as the past few years. In particular the BLM rangers seemed to be genuinely enjoying the event, they complimented us several times on the camp and music, a few asked to be invited to events off playa to attend as private citizens.


As for the burned down camper, I think that was Sunday -- we could see the smoke from our camp at 7:15 & F. We were getting pretty battered by the winds while trying to set up, and were exhausted from the overnight drive from San Fran, but now I wish I'd have gone over and helped/given them some stuff. Next time!
"just two indecisive cowboys, trying to play a word game." - piehole
"Just apply intelligence and discretion and you should be able to get away with just about anything." - Ugly Dougly
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Re: 2012 Experiences with Police

Postby Candybox » Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:49 am

A burned out camper? So that's what it was.

We were building Anubis when we saw the smoke. We had had endless dust storms that always drifted in from one direction, but this was black billowing smoke looking like it was coming out of Black Rock City neighborhood in broad daylight.
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Re: 2012 Experiences with Police

Postby pink » Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:39 pm

I saw it too.

BTW, when I saw the fireworks on Anubis, I was a bit confused because I had seen a plea for donations to complete the project, and I know how pricey pyro is. Glad to know it was BWS's stuff that made your burn even more spectacular!
I'm not a slut, I'm good time floozy!
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Re: 2012 Experiences with Police

Postby MacGlenver » Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:51 pm

Missed the Anubis burn because my freaking camp is so slow. Need to figure out how to ditch camp/girlfriend without getting into a fight. Maybe I need a 10 foot tall pole with a lantern on it attached to my back or something.
"just two indecisive cowboys, trying to play a word game." - piehole
"Just apply intelligence and discretion and you should be able to get away with just about anything." - Ugly Dougly
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Re: 2012 Experiences with Police

Postby vapor » Thu Sep 06, 2012 1:01 pm

As for the burned up trailer, I spoke to a guy who was camped right next to it. There was a guy and his daughter staying in it . . . they had rented it from one of the "rent a wreck" trailer/RV guys out of Reno (they have a stock of older trailers and RVs that they rent (cheap) and deliver each year). Anyway, yes, they parked it, got set up, turned on the fridge and walked out of the trailer. There was a leak in the propane system, when the pilot light ignited the whole thing blew. It was the daughter who was last in the trailer, she had left 5-10 minutes before the accident. Very scary, very fortunate nobody was hurt and nothing else caught on fire, though the guy who I spoke to had his windows on his trailer blown out.

This very much points to the dangers of a poorly maintained RV, whether it be propane leaks, bad wiring, old suspension or tires, etc. All systems, equipment and parts that age must be checked and tested before arriving to the playa. It is quite simple and quick if you know what to look for, there aren't that many critical failure points. And man, use extreme caution when renting or buying an RV cheaply, you get what you pay for.
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Re: 2012 Experiences with Police

Postby PatternInterrupt » Thu Sep 06, 2012 1:15 pm

My bus was pulled over after passing through the greeter station just after sunrise Monday morning. The LEO said he couldn't see our registration. (Hmmm - It's the big red paper taped up in the back window per DMV specifications) He asked our driver if we had any weapons and then ordered everyone off the bus. 12 sleepy burners filed off. Then the LEO threatened us with dogs. Our driver immediately produced his Oregon medical marijuana card and was escorted back onto the bus to relinquish his medicine. $525 ticket. The LEO said that he would then search the bus with a dog and if he found anything illegal people would go to jail. I offered to show my California medical marijuana card (they didn't bother to look at it) and relinquished my medicine. Another $525 ticket. Then the dog went onto the bus. No one asked us if we consented to a search. A small jar with less than a gram was found. I claimed that it was mine. My multivitamins were also confiscated and not returned.

After about 45 minutes we were released. A BRC Ranger immediately showed up and counseled us and gave us some feedback paperwork to fill out. I asked him if he would fight the citations if he were in our situation. He said "hell yes"

Now what? I can't tell if the Lawyers for Burners website is up-to-date.

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