Morning Ed: Crime {2017.11.29.W}


Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

Related Post Roulette

73 Responses

  1. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    Cr1: French badass. They should be a squelch on the whole cheese eating surrender monkey business.

    Cr2: Unrequited desire makes some people unhinged. The Internet unfortunately gives the unhinged an ability to make their target’s life miserable beyond belief if they are determined and creative enough as this story demonstrates. I think this relates to the new findings about violence outlined in C7. Digital social violence is being used as a morality tool and a social policing tool.

    Cr4: A big problem with the law in general and criminal law in particular is that hasn’t kept up with how memory works according to science. We kind of still operate on a medieval idea that memory is inherently reliable and that false memories aren’t a thing.

    Cr8: Gutting libel laws in the name of the First Amendment was probably one of the most important things the Supreme Court ever did for an open society.Report

    • Avatar Brandon Berg says:

      Anyone else getting a “World ends; women hit hardest” feel from Cr2?Report

    • Avatar Marchmaine says:

      Cr1… don’t take this the wrong way, but did you read the article? 🙂

      The fellow didn’t escape from a Siberian prison, he escaped from the *French Embassy* … which was busy eating cheese and, according to the article, being monkeyed with by the Russians. Under the terms of their existing bi-lateral agreement, surrender was not (yet) on the table.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

        Crossing through the forest and over the boarder was very tough though.Report

        • Avatar Marchmaine says:

          That’s true; he was very resourceful and I give him full marks for executing a hike through an unknown forest… that’s much harder than it sounds; though the wildlife dangers of the forest are needlessly emphasized. I was a little confused by the Snipers… surely not in the forest? And the arm eating dogs are very scary indeed… where were they? But that’s mostly on the writer for not appreciating the real challenges involved… But ultimately, the article is fundamentally slap against the French Diplomatic Corps and by extension, Government, for dithering in the face of Russian monkey business.Report

          • Avatar Marchmaine says:

            Dang… dithering? DITHERING? Capitulating was right there staring me in the face.

            I blame Schilling’s new twitter addition for not keeping me sharp.Report

  2. fillyjonk fillyjonk says:

    Cr2: Yeah, that doesn’t make me want to re-enter the dating game now. Or play any online games. People be crazy, y’all. (I suspect there may come a day I just set fire to my modem and leave the Internet altogether)Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq says:

      Part of me really wonders if humans would be better off without the Internet.Report

      • fillyjonk fillyjonk says:

        I’d still want online shopping, though. I live in BFE and we have a wal-mart and that’s about it.

        Also, I know enough LGBTQ people to know that if you’re part of a small and typically-rejected group, being able to find people like you online can be a lifesaver.Report

        • Avatar veronica d says:

          Yep, the internet saved my life, many times over.Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq says:

          It’s a doubled edged sword. The Internet does make it easier for small and rejected groups to meet up and communicate. The thing is that some of these small and rejected groups are benign and others are very malign to themselves and others. The Alt-Right and all their havoc is a creature of the Internet.Report

          • Avatar bookdragon says:

            The alt-right, though by other names, have been around a long time and have harassed, abused, and spread havoc long before there was an internet.Report

            • Avatar LeeEsq says:

              The small, margisnilalized benign groups have also been around just as long.Report

              • Avatar Maribou says:

                @leeesq Yeah, but overall the alt-right’s aggressiveness and bigotry is a trend that was not small nor marginalized until just recently, as you know full well, whereas the small marginalized benign groups have always been small marginalized and benign.

                One is a resurgence of awfulness that quite possibly would’ve found other ways to resurge, the other is an actual flowering.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                I think I’ve said so before, but the change there is exposing a lot of people directly to that bigotry who were otherwise intellectually, but not viscerally, aware of it. Some of this was the sort of obliviousness that comes from privilege, but some of it isn’t.

                In particular, a lot of Jews, myself included, have encountered vastly more anti-semitism over the last few years via the Internet.Report

              • Avatar Maribou says:

                @pillsy That makes sense and I can see why it would give a different perspective. If you have said so before, I didn’t pick it up before, so thanks for putting it that way.

                Personally, all the axes on which I was exposed directly to bigotry against myself (perceived femaleness, actual gender non-conformity, bisexuality, abused-kidness, etc) were way worse in person – and not just in my screwed up house, but also in the entire province where I lived – so the internet was a huge blessing no matter how much grossness it came bundled with.

                Even in Montreal those things were worse in person back then than on the internet.

                Given that I was regularly exposed to stuff like bumper stickers that said HIV was God’s way of eradicating homosexuality (only in cruder terms), before the internet was even a sparkle in Al Gore’s eye…. I forget that visceral awareness of bigotry against one is a thing one could have not had.

                (That sounds snarky but I don’t mean it that way. I literally do forget and it’s truly good to be reminded.)Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                This year was the highest murder rate for trans women in quite some time. There is definitely stuff going down. So what is the big future outcome? I dunno. I do know this: the sources of white male frustration are real. They are not simply going to go away. Likewise, “mass movements” feed on frustrations, but not by mitigating them, nor by providing effective coping strategies. Instead, they serve to increase frustration. They do this by providing simple blame-narratives. These become addictive. They cycle. Movements grow.

                If you have two websites catering to angry white men, where one has a culture that feeds the frustration, while the other has a culture that mitigates the frustration, the prior will grow and the latter will wither. There is a reason Breitbart is popular.

                It is worrisome. People have died. More will die. The contemporary Americanized version of Nazism is on the rise. It will morph itself into something vaguely palatable to mass culture, but it will be ugly all the same. Its ugliness will be its draw.

                We are just as capable of genocide as the Germans were in the 1930’s-40’s.Report

          • fillyjonk fillyjonk says:

            The internet’s a tool like a hammer. You can use a hammer to pound in a nail so you can hang up a picture of your loved ones, or you can use it to help build a house for someone, or you can hit someone with it. I don’t think that third use of outweighs the good of the first two….Report

  3. Avatar dragonfrog says:

    Cr3 – you have to suspect the real drug dealers would have been able to sort things out in a civilized way. At least without raiding some poor schmo’s house for their fisticuffs.

    That said “two undercover officers pretend to be dope dealers, waiting for eager customers to approach, and then arrest potential buyers and seize their vehicles.”

    What earthly purpose does that accomplish? Yesterday you were addicted to drugs – today you’re still addicted, and you don’t have a car.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq says:

      Police get free stuff. I can’t link now but former OTer James Hanley recently posted an article that the DA’s office of Suffolk County, New York have been using civil forfeiture to pay prosecutors some rather handsome bonuses. The perverse incentives behind this should be obvious.Report

      • Avatar dragonfrog says:

        I get the incentive, it’s the excuse I’m confused at – that’s supposed to be for confiscating “proceeds of crime”. How can they make the case that someone buying personal quantities of drugs from the street dealer they’re posing as, bought their car with “proceeds of crime”?

        If they were posing as someone high up the distribution ladder and selling by the kilo to people a rung down at least they could claim with a straight face that their car was bought from proceeds of sales the next rung down…Report

  4. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    Cr9 How conspiracy theories are born.Report

  5. Avatar pillsy says:

    With [Cr2], and along the lines of the description @trumwill provided, this is not the first time I’ve read a story about law enforcement being curiously indifferent to a campaign of Internet harassment while responding to a string of spurious anonymous tips (including a probable attempted SWATting) and not, evidently, making any connection between the two.Report

  6. Avatar Damon says:

    [Cr1] I doubt that this could be repeated, but kudos for getting off your ass and taking action.

    [Cr2] That shit is F’d up!Report

  7. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Project Veritas tried and failed to go after Samantha BeeReport

  8. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Matt Lauer has been terminated from NBC for inappropriate sexual behavior.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

      Damn Saul, you are just a font of fecking sunshine this morning!


    • Avatar Marchmaine says:

      At the risk of arousing the ire of the zeitgeist… are there no eyebrows raised at the following official(?) tweet(??) from the Today(???) show:

      “On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer. As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment.”

      Credible is a pretty important word here; presumably this is another of these “open secrets” where mgmt already knew and simply decided that they needed to cut-bait while bait-cutting season was free and open.

      I’m assuming that phase 1 is “open secret” phase… wondering if phase 2 will be appropriate rules based social interaction – the rules we supposedly had during Matt Lauer’s open breaching of them – or something else.Report

      • Avatar pillsy says:

        The more entrenched and tacitly accepted corruption is, the harder it is to clean it up in a completely fair or just way.[1]

        [1] In my opinion, or perhaps in my lexicon, “fairness” and “justice” overlap, but are not identical.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        Ummm… credible wasn’t a word used in the statement. I’m confused.Report

        • Avatar Marchmaine says:

          You’re right… it was a *detailed* complaint; my mistake.

          One hopes it is also credible, but as long as we’re sticking to the facts, that one remains in abeyance.Report

    • Avatar PD Shaw says:

      And Garrison Kieller has been terminated.Report

      • Avatar PD Shaw says:

        With Cosby and Kieller and others, it feels like bits of collective past are being erased.

        MPR will end its business relationships with Mr. Keillor’s media companies effective immediately. By terminating the contracts, MPR and American Public Media (APM) will:

        * end distribution and broadcast of The Writer’s Almanac and rebroadcasts of The Best of A Prairie Home Companion hosted by Garrison Keillor;

        * change the name of APM’s weekly music and variety program hosted by Chris Thile; and,

        * separate from the Pretty Good Goods online catalog and the website.


        • Avatar greginak says:

          The past, and all their recordings, products, etc, still exists. Nothing has been erased.Report

        • Avatar Marchmaine says:

          Heh, this is awkwardly worded: “change the name of APM’s weekly music and variety program hosted by Chris Thile.”

          I mean, Mr. Thile was doing a fine job of killing A Prarie Home Companion all on his own; he hardly needed help from a scandal.

          Wow… wikipedia is fast: Kiellor’s reputed response: “[it was] a story that I think is more interesting and more complicated than the version MPR heard.”Report

      • fillyjonk fillyjonk says:

        “Will the last famous person lock up and turn out the lights on their way out the door? Thanks.”Report

        • Avatar Pinky says:

          A society should be able to survive without daily doses of Bill O’Reilly, Matt Lauer, and Garrison Kieller. Prosper, even. If I’m wrong on that, some enterprising medium will find a way to get their messages out.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

        I’m still wondering when the backlash is going to start.

        We are in a very strange time. On the one hand, you see very powerful men getting terminated for sexual harassment/improper conduct and doing so in a way that makes it look like they were average joes during a mass lay-off.

        On the other hand, Trump is President. Roy Moore is almost certain to win the special election in Alabama and this could be because of the allegations as opposed to in spite of the allegations.

        At some point, I am still expecting the right-wing to finally just say fuck this shit and give up on all pretext of adhearing to public opinion and/or democratic norms.Report

        • Avatar greginak says:

          The backlash will start when someone famous gets fired or punished for weak claims that end up being debunked. It’s likely to happen at some point and won’t be fun. As of now the famous dudes are getting canned have ended up admitting it or having accusers in the dozens. The exception being pols especially those who just bs or brazen it out.Report

          • Avatar Marchmaine says:

            Treat this as an emerging story and all that… but here’s Keillor’s account:

            In an email to the Star Tribune Wednesday, Keillor said, “I put my hand on a woman’s bare back. I meant to pat her back after she told me about her unhappiness and her shirt was open and my hand went up it about six inches. She recoiled. I apologized. I sent her an email of apology later and she replied that she had forgiven me and not to think about it. We were friends. We continued to be friendly right up until her lawyer called.”

            I have no idea if that’s the beginning or the end of the story…Report

            • Avatar greginak says:

              Weird. We’ll see. It’s an odd story that has a woman’s bare back and open shirt and an accidental? hand move though. Seems like there is more story there.

              This from lower in the story doesn’t make him sound all that…ummm….aware of the context or concerns.

              “If I had a dollar for every woman who asked to take a selfie with me and who slipped an arm around me and let it drift down below the beltline, I’d have at least a hundred dollars. So this is poetic irony of a high order. But I’m just fine. I had a good long run and am grateful for it and for everything else.”Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                This from lower in the story doesn’t make him sound all that…ummm….aware of the context or concerns.

                What are those contexts and concerns? That’s what I’m increasingly confused by. “The moment” as defined by Weinstein, Ratner and Spacey is different than one which includes firing Keillor for placing his hand on a woman’s back or Franken being pressured to resign for dubious accusations of butt-cupping.Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                The context is that sexual harassment is a big deal right now so his comments sound tone deaf. Especially in the context of essentially admitting you copped a feel a woman didnt’ want. Even in his story the woman had a bare back and open shirt so obviously, if we’re going to judge to situation, we need to know a bit more about it.

                If the story ends up being he and woman were swapping spit and getting friendly and she stopped him at naked boobie touching then that doesn’t sound like much of story. A story that i’m surprised the woman in question would raise as inappropriate. Not that people don’t lie or raise false allegations but making that an issue seems pretty far out given that there are repercussions for false, or even true, allegations. Is the story a bit worse then he lets on. I’d guess yes, but who knows. If his spin is correct and there is nothing else then he is getting a raw deal.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                if we’re going to judge to situation, we need to know a bit more about it.

                Why isn’t the current information – the information upon which his dismissal was based – enough to form a judgment? Presumably, it was enough for MPR to decide to fire him. Is it, or should it be, enough for you and me?

                Of course, maybe there’s more to the story, but if so they should lead with that when announcing the dismissal, seems to me.Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                The info GK presented is from a piece he wrote in the paper. That is certainly not all the info MPR would have used. They would have, at the very least, the story of the woman involved. Her side seems like a pretty important side to hear.

                Obvious questions seem to be what was his relationship to the woman, when did this happen, can he produce e-mails from the woman saying everything was cool, what was this situation where she was at least partially unclothed?

                For the record i have no affection or care or negative feelings about GK’s work. I know he is well loved but always was a human sleep aid to me.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                Ahh, good point. USA Today reports that MPR hired an independent law firm to investigate the allegations (2 of ’em) over a month ago without indicating what’s specifically alleged. As you said, I suppose we’ll find out soon enough.Report

            • Avatar PD Shaw says:

              It doesn’t sound “more complicated” than the MPR story.Report

        • Avatar Pinky says:

          Saul, please drop the right/left paradigm on this or you’ll never understand it.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy says:

          “…adhearing to public opinion and/or democratic norms.”

          That is a weird takeaway. Winning elections is about as good an example of adhering to public opinion and democratic norms as it it gets. What they aren’t — or wouldn’t be — doing is adhering to any norms of decency or morality.Report

        • Avatar Marchmaine says:

          At some point, I am still expecting the right-wing to finally just say fuck this shit and give up on all pretext of adhearing to public opinion and/or democratic norms.

          Dude, as far as I can tell, it’s Hollywood you should worry about; all these changing sexual mores are really pissing in their punchbowl.Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq says:

          It depends on how you define backlash. There has been at least one person I know who is in demographics likely to be sympathetic to the metoo movement that expressed a lot of skepticism about the outbreak of sexual harassment claims. She can’t be the only one. It might not be a big noticeable backlash but many non-political people might start see all of this as crying wolf sooner then latter.Report

    • Avatar Pinky says:

      There should be no debate about Ronan Farrow as Man of the Year 2017.Report

  9. Avatar Jaybird says:

    I talked about Lisa a little bit yesterday in the music post, here’s some more details.

    She died in police custody.

    They did an autopsy and determined that she hung herself on a phone cord.

    For what it’s worth, when I spoke to her recently, she told me stories about how she recently moved back to Ohio from San Francisco and how she wasn’t making anywhere near as much money but was thrilled with how much more her not as much money would buy. She talked about being home for the holidays. I made some comments about her commute back in San Fran and she told me that she had moved from San Fran to someplace else, and then from that someplace else to Oakland (or was it the other way around?) and how she had a two hour commute every day… and now she had a 2 minute commute. She talked about how her relations lived two hours away and how those two hours felt very different than the two hours of the commute. She talked about her partner and how she was working a new job with her partner working with her and it was good to spend all day with her partner.

    And the police are arguing that she killed herself in a cell and denying that there is a coverup.Report

    • Avatar Marchmaine says:

      Ouch. Pray for us now and at the hour of our death.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        I don’t even know what to do. I wish there were something I could do to… I don’t even know. Make the story go viral? Get the cops involved fired? I almost want to sign up for Reddit but I don’t know which subreddits are most likely to work as a way to raise awareness of this, if any.Report

        • Avatar Marchmaine says:

          I don’t know; there was something very chilling about the Police official talking about shortening the telephone cords and releasing the surveillance tapes rather than rending and tearing his garments that someone died while in his custody.

          The problem is that most people will assume you are raising awareness for some sort of malfeasance… which I assume the surveillance will show not to be the case… instead of moral outrage at the bureaucratic indifference to custody.

          Outside of a few radical liberals, libertarians and conservatives, there’s not much of a constituency for that.Report

    • Avatar Brandon Berg says:

      The officer in the video at the first link says they have video of it that will be released when the investigation is completed. I suppose it’s possible that he’s just lying in hopes people will forget about it by then, but that doesn’t seem like a great strategy.

      A few years ago, a girl who had lived two houses down and been my best friend when I was in early elementary school reached out to me on Facebook. We talked for a bit, she seemed happy with where her life was going, and then a few months later she killed herself. That’s how it goes, sometimes. People don’t always give off obvious warning signs, and it’s especially easy to put up a brave face online. Drunk people don’t make great decisions; throw a novel and highly negative experience like getting arrested into the mix, and suicide sounds much more likely to me than “cop goes rogue and decides to kill a middle-aged, middle-class woman in the drunk tank.”

      If it turns out that the officer was lying about the video, go nuts with it. But if this goes viral and turns out to be a false alarm, it could damage the credibility of future allegations of police brutality.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        It’s one of those things where we’ve seen police release video before investigations are completed in the past. (Michael Bennett provides the most recent fun example. The amount of time between the incident and the footage being released? Two days.)

        Given that we seen cops enthusiastically provide footage in the past prior to an investigation being completed… well, I get skeptical when they start explaining that they can’t provide footage in other circumstances.Report

        • Avatar PD Shaw says:

          They shouldn’t release any video until they’ve taken statements; the investigation doesn’t have to be complete; but people’s statements would be influenced by the video in intentional and unintentional ways. Law enforcement officers can’t be coerced to give statements and union contracts will likely have stay periods or require the union attorney to be engaged first. These delays are adverse to the investigation. Sometimes law enforcement will release video before statements have been taken because of state laws or public pressure. These are adverse to the investigation.

          I think what I would want to see if I were in your position is for the FBI to have access to the tape.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird says:

            Yeah. The local news is reporting that this is the 3rd death in custody in this particular jail in the last year and a half and there have been 13 at this particular jail since 2007.

            I don’t know how one would get the FBI to take a look at this.Report