Urban Dance Squad

Last Saturday night, a group of about 20 D.C.-area libertarians headed down to the Thomas Jefferson Memorial for some flash mob fun. The prank was harmless revelry: To ring in Jefferson’s birthday, we would meet on the steps of the memorial at 11:55pm, wearing iPods, then dance for about 10 minutes, capture the whole thing on video, and leave.

I had planned to participate, but was about 10 minutes late. By the time I arrived it was already over. The National Park Police broke the whole thing up just a few minutes in, punctuating their lack of a sense of humor by arresting one of the dancers, a friend of mine and a regular at reason events (she's asking her name be kept private until she can speak with an attorney). She was cuffed, taken out to a paddy wagon, then booked and held at a Park Police station. Everyone I spoke with says there was no noise, there were no threats, and no laws broken. The woman who was arrested was stone-sober, wasn't aggressive or threatening, and the dancers weren't trespassing—the Memorial is open to the public 24 hours.  Even if one were to assume this was a "demonstration"—a stretch, anyway—permit are required only for 25 or more people.  There were about 20 at the Memorial.

At the time, the police refused to answer any questions, referring all calls to the communication number of the Park Police. They also refused to give their badge numbers.

After being held for five hours, the woman was booked and released. She was charged with "interfering with an agency function," which sounds to me like a handy catch-all. Her crime was apparently to ask “why?” when the park police told the group they had to disperse. I'd probably have asked the same thing if I hadn't been late. This all happened at around midnight. No one was bumping into tourists, or obstructing anyone’s way. The only conclusion one is left to draw is that it’s apparently illegal to dance on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial–even with headphones. In this post 9/11 world, whimsy, frivolity, and any straying from the routine will not be tolerated. Also, never question a cop's authority.

Of course, the real irony here is that all of this happened at the Jefferson Memorial, in observance of Jefferson’s birthday. Go out to celebrate the birth of the most hardcore, anti-authoritarian of the Founding Fathers, get hauled off in handcuffs. The photo is almost poetry. One of history’s most articulate critics of abuse of state authority looks on as a park police cop uses his elbow to push a female arrestee into one of said critic’s memorial pillars.

The dancers I spoke with say the other officer pictured in the foreground of this photo was also rather rude, telling other dancers to “shut the fuck up” when they inquired about their friend's arrest. When one person politely asked why it was necessary to use the word “fuck,” the officer replied, strangely, that if the questioner used any more profanity, he too would find himself arrested.

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  • Elemenope||

    Also, never question a cop's authority.

    All the rest is piffle. This was the real crime. Good LORD, never question a cop! How dare you!

  • TallDave||

    Oh, the bitter irony.

    Where's my gun?

  • Morgan||

    "Paddy wagon?" Why you dirty anti-Irish bigot.

  • TallDave||

    OTOH, I think this demonstrates perfectly the Jeffersonian notion that those in authority will inevitably abuse that authority.

  • Taktix®||

    Radley,

    If you get me this guy's badge number, I'll write a letter a day denouncing this action.

    It may include the word "fuck." Repeatedly.

  • ||

    Aren't these the guys that whacked Vince Foster?

  • ||

    - You won't get any of that here.
    - What's that?

    - Dancing. There's no dancing.
    - That's right.

    - Why?
    - It's illegal.

    Jump back!

    It's true.

  • Guy Montag||

    permit are required only for 25 or more people

    When did that change? At a "Free Kevin" event in front of the USSC around 1998 we found (and were told by the cops too) that groups of five (5) or more people needed a permit. We stayed in groups of 3 or less, seperated by at leadt 3 yards, the whole time.

    Counter to Morgan's view, the paddies really do need to have wagons named after them. Perhaps if they were ever on the wagon it would have a different name.

  • wah, wah, wah||

    Dancing has been illegal in NYC for years, and you don't see us complaining about it!

  • ||

    It amazes me how profanity from police officers is tolerated. I once got pulled over by one of Chicago's finest for allegedly cutting him off, and every other word was of the four-letter variety. Having grown up in the city, I initially shrugged it off as nothing unusual. But then I thought about it... In what other job can you swear at your "customers" without fear of retribution? Seriously, can any of you imagine a scenario in which you swore at a customer/client and didn't get fired?

  • ||

    Morgan,

    I agree. It should be "Black Maria" or nothing at all.

    Let's see: false arrest, kidnapping, assault and battery. These cops are looking at some serious charges.

    Anyone else watching John Adams? The guy playing Jefferson is fantastic, magnetic personality and actual intelligence seem to come through. And the guy playing Hamilton looks like an evil dog-kicking fucker. Maybe a couple of closet libertarians on the producing team?

  • TallDave||

    When one person politely asked why it was necessary to use the word "fuck," the officer replied, strangely, that if the questioner used any more profanity, he too would find himself arrested.

    Isn't that eerily like that scene from The Wire?

  • ||

    we would meet on the steps of the memorial at 11:55pm, wearing iPods, then dance for about 10 minutes, capture the whole thing on video, and leave.

    So, was the whole thing captured on video? If so is it on YouTube? If not, why... Oh fuck that noise if you got video Posterity demands it be YouTubed.

  • Taktix®||

    Seriously, can any of you imagine a scenario in which you swore at a customer/client and didn't get fired?

    The construction industry. Everyone from the C.E.O. and managers to the trash pick-up guy swears like a fucking sailor.

  • ||

    AT the customers. I'd think they'd quickly find themselves without a project.

  • Episiarch||

    Anyone else watching John Adams?

    Only seen the first episode so far (I'm recording it in HD on the DVR). I'm using it to educate my European girlfriend about Revolutionary history so it had better be good.

  • ||

    It's pretty good, but there's just something about that guy playing John Adams that drives me nuts. Pretty sure it's his accent.

    Franklin is nothing but comic relief in the series, though.

  • The Democratic Republican||

    These are the situations that reveal the truth of our times.

  • TallDave||

    Anyone else watching John Adams? The guy playing Jefferson is fantastic, magnetic personality and actual intelligence seem to come through.

    Yeah, too bad the next episode is the last. I'm really hoping they do "Jefferson" as a sequel.

    It would be nice to see the Alien and Sedition acts repealed (except of course for the one that's still in force). Maybe that happens next week.

    And the guy playing Hamilton looks like an evil dog-kicking fucker

    Yeah, I was ready for Burr to come on set and shoot him already.

  • PC||

    Where's Kevin Bacon when you need him?

  • ||

    Let's see: false arrest, kidnapping, assault and battery. These cops are looking at some serious charges.

    It would be a nice chance to turn "ignorance of the law is no excuse" around for once.

  • Taktix®||

    Anyone else watching John Adams? et al

    Epi,

    Yes, it is very good. I am unfortunately not looking forward to last night's episode, however, as it will be the one dealing with Adams's split with Jefferson due to the Alien and Sedition Acts.

    Maybe a couple of closet libertarians on the producing team?

    I am convinced that anyone that actually studies the founding fathers can't help but turn to the dark side...

  • ||

    National Park Police is a truly dysfunctional agency. WaPo has been documenting their troubles for some time. Unfortunate choice of venue for Reason.

    When did that change? At a "Free Kevin" event in front of the USSC around 1998 we found (and were told by the cops too) that groups of five (5) or more people needed a permit.

    Assuming that USSC means US Sentencing Commission, which presumably is not in NPS/USPP jurisdiction. Each jurisdiction has different rules.

    "Free Kevin" event. Harumph.

    Ethnic slurs not funny.

  • District Park Police||

    It's all about seurity.

    The public must be protected from capering, careening, questioning flash mobs.

  • PC||

    This is what happens when you give a mall cop a gun and new title.

  • Guy Montag||

    Tonio,

    In this case USSC means United States Supreme Court, the on on Capitol Hill. Sorry if I plucked a frequently misused acronym.

  • Guy Montag||

    Ethnic slurs not funny.

    Only if they are about humans.

  • Episiarch||

    This is what happens when you give a mall cop a gun and new title.

    This is what happens when you give Eric Cartman a gun and authoritah.

  • Elemenope||

    ... In what other job can you swear at your "customers" without fear of retribution?

    Dude, you are not his customer.

  • ||

    Epi,

    It's a good look at John Adams, but as for the whole RevWar, I'm not too sure. They actually have no scenes of the them writing the Constitution, for example. And the war is glossed over because Adams was in Europe for most of it.

  • Guy Montag||

    They actually have no scenes of the them writing the Constitution, for example.

    Splicing in some scenes from 1776 should fix it.

  • ||

    Video is available here:

    http://freethejefferson1.wordpress.com/2008/04/14/this-is-how-it-went-down/

  • ||

    Dude, you are not his customer.

    Sorry. I didn't realize that whole "SERVE and protect" thing was a joke...

  • Episiarch||

    As long as it properly depicts what these guys thought about liberty, it's a good start.

  • ||

    Sorry. I didn't realize that whole "SERVE and protect" thing was a joke...

    Okay, that's a half-truth.

  • ||

    Come on, guys, they could have been TERRORISTS! I mean, jeez!

    /snark

  • Kevin Breen||

    "'To serve and protect' is the motto on the door of the police cruiser. It's not a lie if you understand it means 'to serve and protect the state.'" -Bob Jackson

  • ||

    Epi,

    It does have Jefferson deliver this line to Adams during the drafting of the Declaration of Independence:

    But I am one of those, too, who, rather than submit to the rights of legislating for us, assumed by the British Parliament, and which late experience has shown they will so cruelly exercise, would lend my hand to sink the whole Island in the ocean.

    It was from a letter to John Randolph in 1775.

  • ||

    Dude, you are not his customer.

    Actually, you're both his customer and his employer.

  • the innominate one||

    The dancers I spoke with say the other officer pictured in the foreground of this photo was also rather rude, telling other dancers to "shut the fuck up" when they inquired about their friend's arrest. When one person politely asked why it was necessary to use the word "fuck," the officer replied, strangely, that if the questioner used any more profanity, he too would find himself arrested.

    The correct response to that would be "what the fuck for?"

    The real tragedy of this is that we won't get to see Radley Balko dancing of the steps of the Jefferson Memorial.

    Seriously, though, that whole situation is ridiculous. I think it's time for a new American revolution.

  • Billy Beck||

    "Aren't these the guys that whacked Vince Foster?"

    No. They're just the patsies who fronted the "investigation".

  • ||

    they could have been TERRORISTS!

    Are you kidding? Those cops were scared shitless.

  • ||

    The prank was harmless revelry

    There is no such thing as harmless revelry. We're at war, for fuck's sake.

  • Rhywun||

    Come on, guys, they could have been TERRORISTS!

    Perhaps part of the "Dalai clique" I've been hearing so much about lately.

  • ||

    Just try something like that dancing thing again! Next time we'll taser your asses!
    WOOOOOO!
    Respect me bitches!

  • ||

    The real tragedy of this is that we won't get to see Radley Balko dancing of the steps of the Jefferson Memorial.

    And here I was thinking that was the silver lining of this whole mess.

  • fyodor||

    Her crime was apparently to ask "why?"

    Reminds me of the scene in Polanski's The Pianist in which a Jewish woman asks the Nazi officer, "Where are you taking us?" and he immediately and casually shoots her in the head.

    Oink, oink.

  • Elemenope||

    Actually, you're both his customer and his employer.

    Let me know when you wake up. I'll make you a nice, strong coffee.

  • ||

    I hope that there will be a follow up post to tell us how this story ultimately concludes.

  • PC||

    "Dude, you are not his customer."

    Yes more of a "no strings attached" benefactor.

  • Guy Montag||

    Nobody said the politcs of dancing was going to be a cakewalk.

  • ||

    Ok, you're only his customer if you consider that you're receiving services that you paid for. If you consider that you have no choice as to whether or not you pay for the services and very very very very very little control over the terms attached to the services you purchased... then yes, I see what you mean.

  • Fluffy||

    I don't care if police swear.

    I'm more angry about the idea that if a citizen "swears", it's somehow disorderly conduct.

    Personally, I think if you shout at the top of your lungs, "Please, ma'am, pass the jelly, if you don't mind!" while you jump up and down waving a machete, your conduct is disorderly. And if in a conversational tone while seated with your hands in your lap, you say, "Officer, you are a dirty no good fucker," your conduct is NOT disorderly.

  • Sean||

    Don't worry everyone, I called Kevin Bacon, he's on his way over.

  • ||

    But the real question, is were they dancing with tears in their eyes?

    "Dancing with tears in my eyes
    Weeping for the memory of a life gone by
    Dancing with tears in my eyes
    Living out a memory of a love that died"

  • DumbGuy||

    What's the Kevin Bacon reference about?

  • Fluffy||

    Kevin Bacon was in a movie called Footloose, where John Lithgow is a preacher who makes dancing illegal in a small town, and Bacon must fight him with his spear and magic helmet.

    I have never seen this movie, but I hear it sucks.

    The Kenny Loggins centric soundtrack also sucks and has haunted light rock stations ever since.

  • ||

    Instead of dancing you guys should have done push-ups instead. They would not have even noticed you.

  • ||

    Somehow, we have managed to become a nation where the police can arrest you without regard to whether or not you have actually broken any law. How on earth did this happen? Of course, it has happened all along, but previously it was viewed as an anomaly. Now it's generally accepted that the police are free to detain and arrest you simply because they feel like it. It is so fundamentally UnAmerican - and yet we accept it as normal.

  • ||

    I suppose the first red flag for the Park PD was that people were at the Jefferson Memorial at all.

  • Elemenope||

    Personally, I think if you shout at the top of your lungs, "Please, ma'am, pass the jelly, if you don't mind!" while you jump up and down waving a machete, your conduct is disorderly. And if in a conversational tone while seated with your hands in your lap, you say, "Officer, you are a dirty no good fucker," your conduct is NOT disorderly.

    Tell you what. I'll do the first, you do the second.

    We'll see what we see.

  • Fascist Pig||

    Personally, I think if you shout at the top of your lungs, "Please, ma'am, pass the jelly, if you don't mind!" while you jump up and down waving a machete, your conduct is disorderly. And if in a conversational tone while seated with your hands in your lap, you say, "Officer, you are a dirty no good fucker," your conduct is NOT disorderly.



    You're getting tasered either way, citizen.

  • ||

    What's the Kevin Bacon reference about?

    DumbGuy, you've earned your moniker.
    Now get thee to an '80s-revival film festival.

  • ||

    "If I can't dance I don't want to be in your revolution," -Emma Goldman

  • Episiarch||

    Footloose is an earnestly goofy film that doesn't suck so much as blows. For those who were kids in the 80's it has some nostalgia and amusement value.

    Of course, it was hugely popular and made $80 mil, so they are of course remaking it for 2009. I will enjoy watching the new one bomb.

  • ||

    So what's next year's plan? Everybody brings Jefferson a birthday cake? Can we rent a pony?

  • ||

    Can we rent a pony?

    You are one sick bastard.

  • Guy Montag||

    So what's next year's plan? Everybody brings Jefferson a birthday cake? Can we rent a pony?

    I hope by next year we can at least bring shotguns, maybe even pistols.

  • Guy Montag||

    SugarFree,

    Yea, I saw on a 30 second docmentry that ponies eat shingles and bite.

  • fyodor||

    LMNOP,

    Are you arguing what "is" or what "ought"?

    Cause if it's what "is", in regard to how the police act, then you're only repeating what everyone else here knows and is, indeed, complaining about.

    If you're arguing what "ought," that the police should treat a calm insult as disorderly conduct and not respect the citizenry as the folks they are serving, well then please come out and say so, so that we can address it directly. Thanks.

  • Mike Laursen||

    It would be a nice chance to turn "ignorance of the law is no excuse" around for once.

    Notice that nobody ever bothers using that phrase anymore?

  • ||

    Sorry. I didn't realize that whole "SERVE and protect" thing was a joke...

    Okay, that's a half-truth.



    More accurately, it's incomplete. The whole motto is "To Serve and Protect Ourselves".

  • ||

    I've watched the videos of young libertarians prissily proclaiming their rights to security guards at the Jefferson Memorial.

    Should she have been arrested? No. But there's a lot of high minded rhetoric about rights and constitutions and what "Thomas Jefferson would've done" which is pretty silly.

    First, if we want to get really libertarian about it:

    1) gov't shouldn't be in the business of building monuments to dead presidents;

    2) it's unlikely Jefferson would've wanted a monument built by a massive federal government to himself;

    3) if you want to dance in honor of Jefferson's birthday, that's super. Put up a picture of the man in your back yard, and knock yourself out.

    As for the whole civil disobedience angle, I'm pretty unimpressed. First, they may have been violating a requirement that they have a permit. If not, that was a judgment call by rude Park Police. The one person got arrested, she was released a few hours later. Big deal.

    Had they been, you know, protesting some real abuses by government - I don't know, Gitmo and the War in Iraq come to mind - I'd be a little more sympathetic.

    As it is they got more or less what they expected to get.

  • ||

    Steve Cook doesn't get it.

    Oh, well. Somebody has to occupy the left part of the bell curve.

  • Guy Montag||

    Mr. Cook,

    I would add, if a monument to a dead president is built, by anybody, they should make the quotes accurate. Not looking it up now, but many of the quotes in the Jefferson Memorial are manglings others work mashed in with his.

  • ||

    I'm with Steve.

    Fuck that "right" of assembly shit! Probably just something right-wingers made up!

  • The Democratic Republican||

    Steve Cook:

    The very point of the situation was that it HAD no meaning and something shouldn't HAVE to have meaning to be tolerated. A general attitude of leaving people alone unless something is REALLY happening is something that should be expected of police and everyone.

    It's no big deal that she was released? So it would matter more if she had been beaten? Falling for the quick release is the dumbest idea in the book.

  • ||

    Guy Montag:

    Oh, and the "Jefferson Memorial" was conceived of by that most libertarian of presidents, FDR, as a New Deal-era homage to Jefferson oh, and by the way, an overweening federal government.

    Next time young libertarians want to dance on Thomas Jefferson's birthday, maybe they should pick a location more befitting the man: private, modest, and conducive to revelry: The Velvet Lounge!

  • ||

    The Jefferson Memorial is free as are many of the museums on the mall.

    The security people in all these places are and have been, in my experience, unprofessional, rude and hostile. I've been down there enough and seen it enough times that I know it's more than just a coincidence that I keep seeing the behavior.

    It's a case of getting what you pay for, I guess.

  • ||

    Had they been, you know, protesting some real abuses by government - I don't know, Gitmo and the War in Iraq come to mind - I'd be a little more sympathetic.

    OMG! You are so right! Also people please stop feeding your pets, there are starving people in Africa.

  • ||

    I'm also with Steve.

    Clearly the libertarians got what they expected to get because they KNEW that dancing on the steps of the Jefferson memorial was grounds for police intervention. You can't provoke the police and then complain when they act accordingly!

  • ||

    Those kids should be out shopping! Not prancing around like a bunch of degenerate fairies!

  • ||

    "Fuck that "right" of assembly shit! Probably just something right-wingers made up!"

    Holy crap! Has the Supreme Court between Saturday and this morning eviscerated its "time manner place" restrictions on the right of assembly? And the Park Police has no power to enforce permit restrictions?

    Anyhow, as I said at the top of my comment: No, she shouldn't have been arrested.

    But she spent 5 hours in jail, and on the scale of human rights abuses, that's pretty far down at the bottom.

  • Guy Montag||

    The security people in all these places are and have been, in my experience, unprofessional, rude and hostile. I've been down there enough and seen it enough times that I know it's more than just a coincidence that I keep seeing the behavior.

    No kidding! A retired CSM of the National Guard (and about 3 tour Vietnam vet) I used to work with got barked at by one of those revenuers while he was running, on his morning workout, past the Korean War Memorial. "No running near the monuments".

  • Guy Montag||

    OMG! You are so right! Also people please stop feeding your pets, there are starving people in Africa.

    Does that mean the pony is out for sure next time?

  • Fluffy||

    Reinmoose, are you being facetious?

    You can of course provoke the police and then complain. What if the entire point of your provocation was to demonstrate that the police would react incorrectly? In that instance, you pretty much HAVE TO complain, or you've stopped your project in the middle.

  • NeonCat||

    When whimsy is outlawed, only outlaws will have whimsy. Unfortunately, most outlaws are too serious to be whimsical.

  • ||

    Fluffy -
    Yes. I was just going with the flow of sarcastically agreeing with Steve Cook.

    Maybe next time my mocking-comments shouldn't sound so realistic?

  • ||

    Look, this is DC. If you aren't spending 5 hours in jail regularly then you just aren't getting out enough.

  • Guy Montag||

    Unfortunately, most outlaws are too serious to be whimsical.

    So are most cops. Unless those are the outlaws you were talking about.

  • Lord Exeter||

    Dare you mock such majestic speech?

    Scorn and defiance; slight regard, contempt,
    And any thing that may not misbecome
    The mighty sender, doth he prize you at.
    Thus says my king; an' if your father's highness
    Do not, in grant of all demands at large,
    Sweeten the bitter mock you sent his majesty,
    He'll call you to so hot an answer of it,
    That caves and womby vaultages of France
    Shall chide your trespass and return your mock
    In second accent of his ordnance.

  • Fluffy||

    Steve -

    Try as I might, I can't seem to find the words "time, place, or manner" anywhere in the 1st Amendment.

    But if you want to talk about it anyway, the entire [very lame] theoretical justification for time, place and manner restrictions on public assembly is to prevent situations where such assemblies disrupt the rights of others to access public property, to move freely across public property, etc. How exactly did this assembly disrupt any right of anyone else?

    Actually, the "time, place and manner" theory is a pretty good example of a case where something that started out as a pretty benign limitation on assembly ["your assemblies should not block public highways for days at a time"] has evolved into an all purpose tool of authoritarianism ["anyone who carries a placard outside of the fenced free speech zone will be immediately tasered and beaten with truncheons"]. So fuck it, I'm now a happy right of assembly absolutist now. Our government has shown that it cannot be trusted with the accomodationist concession of being granted the power to put time, place and manner restrictions on the assembly right.

  • Ben F. Gates||

    "I would add, if a monument to a dead president is built, by anybody, they should make the quotes accurate. Not looking it up now, but many of the quotes in the Jefferson Memorial are manglings others work mashed in with his."

    A lot of the other buildings in DC have rather ambiguous slogans written on them. Many just glance at them but a few might find them a little more interesting.

  • fyodor||

    Translation of Steve Cook:

    As long as cops are harrassing people for something I have no interest in doing, it's not a big deal, so quite whining, losers!

  • ||

    Does that mean the pony is out for sure next time?

    Not unless we feed the pony to starving Africans. And protest Gitmo. And the Iraq War. And adhere the the gutting of the right of assembly by a quisling Supreme Court. And complain about a monument built before most of us were born. And think it's "no big deal" to get shoved against a pillar and arrested and booked for something that's not a crime.

    Did I miss anything?

  • Episiarch||

    Hey Steve, you know that arrests, even without convictions, are on your record, right? So getting released 5 hours later, besides being total bullshit, could actually be a problem for her in the future. But that's OK, right, because she dared to dance around at 11:55 PM on Federal property?

  • ||

    Episiarch -
    at least get it right. < sigh >
    She wasn't arrested for dancing. She was arrested for asking why she wasn't allowed to dance. This is a MUCH more serious offense, and the distinction is very important.

  • Guy Montag||

    SugarFree,

    Okay, I will get a permit to protest the proposed closing of the detention facility at Guantanimo Bay (wearing my Club G'tmo t-shirt), the looming pull-out in shame in Iraq, gripe about the quotes on the Jefferson Memorial, try to find the hottest chick fed to shove me around (I hope she is a motorcycle officer, nice boots), BUT THAT IS AS FAR AS I AM GOING! The pony stays here, not on a BBQ! Will send them some Montag Hanukkah Hams instead.

  • ||

    I am sicken by Guy Montag and his objectively pro-pony non-BBQing stance.

  • ||

    radley - please keep us informed on how this plays out.

  • Guy Montag||

    SugarFree,

    I love BBQ! Can we cook pork ribs by the Memorial while we clean our shotguns and take turns riding the pony?

    BTW, will have a shotgun holster on the ponie's saddle too.

  • ||

    Hey Steve, you know that arrests, even without convictions, are on your record, right? So getting released 5 hours later, besides being total bullshit, could actually be a problem for her in the future.

    Yeah. That sucks if she doesn't get it expunged. I'll shed a little tear tonight. Of course she can pay a few bucks - in NC it's $60 - and arrests and dismissed charges are expunged - in NC it takes about 90 days - depending on local law. She then can legally deny she was ever arrested.

    You would not believe the number of people arrested on phony baloney charges that I see every day. Of course, they usually aren't out looking for a confrontation, they're just driving their cars to work with expired registration tags or whatever. Because they're poor, it ends up being a real infringement on rights.

    Maybe I'll post some youtube videos and all you libertarians can pawn your iPods to raise some money for those folks to get their records expunged too!

  • Guy Montag||

    Yeah. That sucks if she doesn't get it expunged. I'll shed a little tear tonight. Of course she can pay a few bucks - in NC it's $60 - and arrests and dismissed charges are expunged - in NC it takes about 90 days - depending on local law. She then can legally deny she was ever arrested.

    Actually, that is a bit incorrect. The record of the arrest is still there, they do not destroy the record. All they do is cover it up and the reason for the arrest is normally not revealed to casual inquiries.

    Certain government agencies, like the ones that require or do clearances, do get access to the arrest record and charges.

  • ||

    That's right Steve.
    She totally asked for it, and it would do her well to pay up and shut up. Who ever heard of asking the police a question?

  • ||

    I'm going home this weekend to have real BBQ, Western Kentucky BBQ! Woo!

    (Shredded meat, thin spicy vinegar-based sauce; an emphasis on mutton as a regional specialty)

    Although, I've never really found a cuisine of BBQ I didn't like. As for critters, well: Possum was a bit dodgy, raccoon horribly greasy, squirrel looks a little to much like a roasted fetus, and rabbit is better in a braise.

  • ||

    As long as cops are harrassing people for something I have no interest in doing, it's not a big deal, so quite whining, losers!

    I watched the video. I wouldn't call it "harassment" so much as Park Police rudely enforcing what they took to be the law - which is that you need a permit to have an organized activity at the Jefferson Memorial. Maybe my perception was clouded by the prissy lecturing by the libertarians involved about "What Thomas Jefferson Would Think" or indignant waving of Cato Constitutions, as if the Constitution is the final word on government action.

  • ||

    Well, Steve, it sure looks like you taught those nasty libertarians a thing or two. Your work here is done. That warm blanket of "social justice" should keep you warm all night.

  • Episiarch||

    You would not believe the number of people arrested on phony baloney charges that I see every day.

    Really? What do you do that you see all these arrests?

  • Guy Montag||

    I really do not like mustard based BBQ sauce, but I do like both tomato and vinegar based varieties.

    A fine white wine goes with opossum, do not make the mistake many Northerners make by serving red wine with it. They just don't know how to apply that red/white rule when it comes to marsupials.

  • Barry Hobama||

    "Aren't these the guys that whacked Vince Foster?"

    No that was Hillary after she threw back a shot and a beer.

  • ||

    Actually, that is a bit incorrect. The record of the arrest is still there, they do not destroy the record. All they do is cover it up and the reason for the arrest is normally not revealed to casual inquiries.

    Certain government agencies, like the ones that require or do clearances, do get access to the arrest record and charges.


    There is nothing incorrect about what I wrote. She could deny that she was arrested on a bar application, for instance, if the arrest is expunged.

    I didn't say the arrest went completely away, and yes if she wants to work for the NSA (or similar organization), she will have to answer a question about it.

    Eternal Vigilance is the Price of Liberty, so I'm sure that's a price she's happy to pay. And if she wants to work for the NSA or CIA, well then, our problems are only just beginning.

    She totally asked for it, and it would do her well to pay up and shut up. Who ever heard of asking the police a question?

    Well, now she knows doesn't she? Lesson learned, and at a fairly small cost.

    As I said, are you aware of how many people are arrested every day on these kinds of charges? And they aren't out celebrating Tom Jefferson's birthday looking for a confrontation on Federal Government land.

  • ||

    . . .as if the Constitution is the final word on government action.


    But that's what they told me in law school! Wonder if I can get my money back? Of course, we also spent two weeks on the Commerce Clause, learning repeatedly that it is not a grant of general police power to Congress, only to learn that, for exam purposes, it is a grant of general police power to Congress.

    Vinegar-based sauces are okay, but tomato-based are the way God meant us to barbecue.

  • ||

    A retired CSM of the National Guard (and about 3 tour Vietnam vet) I used to work with got barked at by one of those revenuers while he was running, on his morning workout, past the Korean War Memorial. "No running near the monuments".

    I ALWAYS run by the Korean War Memorial. That shit is creepy!

  • Fluffy||

    Steve,

    I don't think you realize it, but it is precisely the fact that you regard what you're hearing as "prissy lecturing" that makes you a dick.

    It makes you a carbon copy of the rightards I talk to who bitch that the ACLU "goes too far", or "is elitist", or "sticks up for the wrong people". I'll bet they would say, if questioned, that they don't like the ACLU's "prissy lecturing".

  • Dave W.||

    There is nothing incorrect about what I wrote. She could deny that she was arrested on a bar application, for instance, if the arrest is expunged.

    On the bar application I am filling out they say that you have to disclose it anyway, even if expunged.

  • Episiarch||

    And Dave's been arrested many times, so it hurts.

    Steve, again, what do you do that you see all these arrests? Are you a cop?

  • ||

    On the bar application I am filling out they say that you have to disclose it anyway, even if expunged.

    You must be in a thuggishly authoritarian state.

    But that's what they told me in law school! Wonder if I can get my money back? Of course, we also spent two weeks on the Commerce Clause, learning repeatedly that it is not a grant of general police power to Congress, only to learn that, for exam purposes, it is a grant of general police power to Congress.

    Yeah, you should definitely get your money back because that is a bunch of fucking nonsense. You routinely counsel your clients to look to the Constitution to figure out how their rights play out vis-a-vis the gov't?

    And the commerce clause has never been a general grant of police power, and is certainly not, post Lopez and Morrisson, a general grant of police power.

  • ||

    But she spent 5 hours in jail, and on the scale of human rights abuses, that's pretty far down at the bottom.

    And the arresting officer was disciplined how? Nobody accuses you of being the brightest bulb in the string, do they?

  • Fluffy||

    As I said, are you aware of how many people are arrested every day on these kinds of charges?

    Have you ever visited this site before or what?

    Two third's of Balko's work is documenting unfair arrests and prosecutions.

    Every last YouTube video of some kid tasered for skateboarding is posted here to the appropriate level of cop-denunciation.

  • Guy Montag||

    There is nothing incorrect about what I wrote. She could deny that she was arrested on a bar application, for instance, if the arrest is expunged.

    Well, we see that is incorrect too.

    Now, if you want to try something like 'she could tell a bum on the street she was never arrested and he will never be the wiser' that little bit would be "correct", but the rest of your statement would still be wrong.

    Didn't your lawyer tell you this when you applied for all those expungements?

  • ||

    If I had a dog as clueless as Steve Cook, I'd be morally obligated to spay the bitch.

  • Other Matt||


    The construction industry. Everyone from the C.E.O. and managers to the trash pick-up guy swears like a fucking sailor.


    Point of order. Not AT each other, unless in jest. Otherwise, that tends to cause severe fights.

  • Taktix®||

    As I said, are you aware of how many people are arrested every day on these kinds of charges? And they aren't out celebrating Tom Jefferson's birthday looking for a confrontation on Federal Government land.

    I was unaware that "Federal Government land" was no longer public land. Did I miss that somewhere?

    And just because arrests happen every day doesn't make them right. Rapes happen every day too, fuckface, does that make rape O.K. as well?

    I'm going to guess you're part of the privileged police class. I'm sure it's funny to you to see us lowly civilians quibble about our "rights."

    But rest assured, sir, when the time comes to take or rights back, your superiors will put the impressionable idiots like you on the front lines as a buffer for the first volleys of tyranny popping lead.

    Fuck you.

  • ||

    And the arresting officer was disciplined how? Nobody accuses you of being the brightest bulb in the string, do they?

    What should he be disciplined for? Being rude? Ok, fair enough. Otherwise, seems to me he was just doing his job. If you don't want to be arrested by the Park Police, don't go to the Jefferson Memorial.

    I haven't gone to any memorials since 2001, when it was clear to me from various reports that the police are obnoxious and rude.

  • Dave W.||

    You must be in a thuggishly authoritarian state.

    Either that or you just don't know what you are talking about.

  • Episiarch||

    We're waiting to hear what you do that enables you to witness all these arrests, Steve. Cop? Prosecutor? Don't want to say?

  • Guy Montag||

    If you don't want to be arrested by the Park Police, don't go to the Jefferson Memorial.

    Is there a "Best of H&R"? That one is classic!

  • ||

    Steve Cook -

    A group of law abiding citizens are celebrating one of the founding father's birthday.

    Are you still with me?

    They are bothering nobody and breaking no laws.

    This is where it gets really complicated, so pay attention.

    There innocuous* revelry** is halted by police because he, like you, is an ignoramus.

    Is this getting too difficult to comprehend?

    One of the innocent celebrants get's arrested, another gets threatend with arrest for exercising their first amendment rights.

    Now here comes the part you don't seem to understand.

    Freedom loving Americans are pissed about it.

    Any questions?

    * You can look that word up.
    ** That one too.

  • ||

    Me: She totally asked for it, and it would do her well to pay up and shut up. Who ever heard of asking the police a question?

    Steve Cook: Well, now she knows doesn't she? Lesson learned, and at a fairly small cost.

    I was mocking you, Steve. I'm sorry if you didn't get that.

  • ||

    I was unaware that "Federal Government land" was no longer public land.

    Well, if you're a fool as to believe that there is a "public" that "owns" land, then I can see how you'd be confused.

    Is it your position that the individuals have the right to be dance on any piece of land they wish any time they wish. Certainly that doesn't go for roads, does it?

    So let's ratchet down the rhetoric for a moment. This is a federal monument. The federal government in its infinite wisdom through the park police has various regulations (a permit is required in some instances) and duly authorized personnel to carry out those regulations and laws.

    That's what happened here. The police were obnoxious. They may have incorrectly interpreted the laws and regulations in arresting that woman. That's wrong, and I weep for the loss of innocence.

    But it's not a violation of her constitutional or even fundamental rights. It's the misapplication of some regulatory rule.

    In the meantime, she, and libertarians everywhere, got an object lesson in how the government works. And I would guess they won't be dancing at the Jefferson Memorial anymore.

    Now, maybe they could turn their attention to, say, Gitmo or NSA wiretapping or John Yoo torture memos. You know, shit that really matters.

  • ||

    And I would guess they won't be dancing at the Jefferson Memorial anymore.

    Wow. You really don't know any libertarians, do you?

  • ||

    Oh you know what's even funnier about this shit! It's that the some of the same libertarians who are up in arms about this little incident supported Rudy Giuliani for President. I'm looking at Peter Suderman.

    Giuliani MADE his career on arbitrarily enforcing stupid regulations, pursuing people who questioned his authority, ruining perceived enemies.

  • Guy Montag||

    Maybe if the NSA did more wiretapping this could have been avoided?

  • Guy Montag||

    Man, I am on here pretty frequently and I don't remember much support for Guilini on here, especially from me.

  • Episiarch||

    Now, maybe they could turn their attention to, say, Gitmo or NSA wiretapping or John Yoo torture memos. You know, shit that really matters.

    Where do you think these things come from, Steve? Maybe from a government that is increasingly arrogant about its own power, reflected in such actions as arresting people at public monuments? What system do people like John Yoo rise through again?

  • ||

    Wow. You really don't know any libertarians, do you?

    Believe you me, I know far too many libertarians, including the one who got arrested. She's actually quite a very earnest and courageous libertarian.

    It's just the blogospheric libertarians I don't like.

  • Dave W.||

    But it's not a violation of her constitutional or even fundamental rights. It's the misapplication of some regulatory rule.

    Why do you think it does not amount to the intentional tort of "false arrest"?

    I mean there may be qualified immunity if the misapplication was made with sufficient good faith in judgement (or whatever you want to call it), but if the video shows no hint of actual interference with official duties then it seems like both the policeman and his employer would be on the hook for false arrest.

  • ||


    Where do you think these things come from, Steve? Maybe from a government that is increasingly arrogant about its own power, reflected in such actions as arresting people at public monuments? What system do people like John Yoo rise through again?


    First they came for me, but I did nothing because I wasn't dancing at the Jefferson Memorial... Yah. That ship has sailed.

    Echoing what Garet Garrett said once upon a time, the revolution passed by in the night, singing songs to Iraqi freedom.

  • Hombre Sin Sombrero||

    Senor Cook no es mis amigo.

  • Taktix®||

    If you don't want to be arrested by the Park Police, don't go to the Jefferson Memorial.

    Oh, I see. The woman in question was supposed to know what she was doing was illegal, despite the fact that it isn't illegal.

    Right.

    We've had laws encoded since 1760 B.C.E. to prevent shit like this from happening, namely, making up laws on the fucking spot.

    Please sir, tell us what esteemed profession allows you to be so aware of these day-to-day instances.

    Let me guess, janitor at a law office?

  • ||

    A difference that makes no difference is no difference.

  • ||

    Why do you think it does not amount to the intentional tort of "false arrest"?

    Because I don't think it was intentional. I think the cop was mistaken. So it's not an intentional tort. If you've got evidence that it was intentional - as opposed to his mistaken belief that he was arresting her on proper grounds - then produce it. But that's going to be a pretty tough mountain to climb.

  • ||

    I was mocking you, Steve. I'm sorry if you didn't get that.

    Steve has already established that he is not the best trained pony in the circus.

  • ||

    Oh you know what's even funnier about this shit! It's that the some of the same libertarians who are up in arms about this little incident supported Rudy Giuliani for President. I'm looking at Peter Suderman.

    You are new here, aren't you?

  • Episiarch||

    Believe you me, I know far too many libertarians, including the one who got arrested. She's actually quite a very earnest and courageous libertarian.

    Hmm, so now you know the girl in question, see many arrests every day, yet still won't tell us what you do or how it is you know the girl.

  • Guy Montag||

    Steve has already established that he is not the best trained pony in the circus.

    Pony!

  • KenK||

    Every Cop is a criminal

    The "service" you will get from the cops is the same as you'd get from Ace Breeding, the angry, painful fucking of your life from a big, nasty bull.

  • Guy Montag||

    Hmm, so now you know the girl in question, see many arrests every day, yet still won't tell us what you do or how it is you know the girl.

    I am betting that he is a jail guard.

  • Guy Montag||

    Um, just curious, have not seen the video yet. How hot is the arrested chick?

    More importantly, does she know how to weld?

  • Taktix®||

    Steve Cooked,

    Here's my proper grounds (emphasis mine):

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    As for these other accusations, I'm starting to catch a whiff of old troll on you. Dondero, is that you?

  • ||

    She used to work at the Cato Institute, so if you've been to any of that fine institution's events, you'd also know her.

  • ||

    I am betting that he is a jail guard.

    I bet Steve works for a social justice-realted non-profit.

  • Dave W.||

    . . . his mistaken belief that he was arresting her on proper grounds . . .

    According to the blog post, the only charge is "interfering with an agency function."

    Legal point: the "intentional" part of "intentional tort" only refers to the fact that the arrest must be intentional. It was.

    Question for Cook: assuming that the interfering charge was the only basis of the arrest, and further assuming that there is clear audio and video of the incident, then why would it be difficult to prove that the policeman did not have a good faith mistaken belief?

  • ||

    http://www.youtube.com/user/freethejefferson1

    The videos are there. They even say her name at one point.

  • Guy Montag||

    Taktix®,

    Seems he reads Am. 1 like the Leftists read #2, i.e., 1 only protects reporters assembled in a house of worship complaining about the government.

  • Dave W.||

    Question for Cook: assuming that the interfering charge was the only basis of the arrest, and further assuming that there is clear audio and video of the incident, then why would it be difficult to prove that the policeman did not have a good faith mistaken belief?

    Having seen the video, to try to answer my own question:

    1. there isn't good enough video; and

    2. arresting officer may have a good faith belief that he was breaking up a demonstration that had gotten too large.

    still be interested to know Cook's thoughts, though.

  • Dion||

    "paddy wagon"

    What a deeply offensive term.

  • Fluffy||

    Steve,

    There are few if any Giuliani libertarians here. Eric Dondero shows up every once in a while, and everyone else uses him as a pinata for fun.

    Now, maybe they could turn their attention to, say, Gitmo or NSA wiretapping or John Yoo torture memos. You know, shit that really matters.

    These are issues that everyone here agitates about. So we can take a few moments from our busy schedule of being pissed about Gitmo to being pissed about the symbolic outrage of such an arrest at a memorial to Jefferson.

    Is it your position that the individuals have the right to be dance on any piece of land they wish any time they wish. Certainly that doesn't go for roads, does it?

    So let's ratchet down the rhetoric for a moment. This is a federal monument. The federal government in its infinite wisdom through the park police has various regulations (a permit is required in some instances) and duly authorized personnel to carry out those regulations and laws.


    Thank you for contributing material to my favorite hobbyhorse, "Allowing the courts to 'balance' powers and rights will end with arrests for asking the park police a question at the Jefferson Memorial."

    If federal road building can't be reconciled with the First Amendment, than the federal government shouldn't be in the business of building roads. If the practice of building and maintaining public monuments can't be reconciled with the First Amendment, then the federal government shouldn't be in the business of building public monuments. It's pretty simple to me, really.

    Next time this will be a tasering. And the pile of evidence supporting my point will get higher. Incidents like this are inevitable once you concede that "practical" matters like "permits, regulations, and authorized personnel" trump the Bill of Rights.

  • ||

    "The federal government in its infinite wisdom"

    ANOTHER Best of H&R. Guy beat me to the first one.

  • Guy Montag||

    Dion,

    That was covered at 11:31am and 11:38am.

  • ||

    ""Aren't these the guys that whacked Vince Foster?"

    No. They're just the patsies who fronted the "investigation"."

    Hey, everyone knows Hill whacked Vince; remember the blond hairs in the boxers?

  • ||

    It's been nice folks! I got to head off to my shift: enforcing my town's local laws. Hopefully I'll get the chance to arrest some libertarians this afternoon. That'd certainly put a spring in my step.

  • Guy Montag||

    It's been nice folks! I got to head off to my shift: enforcing my town's local laws. Hopefully I'll get the chance to arrest some libertarians this afternoon. That'd certainly put a spring in my step.

    HA! The sanitation police rarely get to arrest a libertarian. They get a lot of hippies and Leftie squatters, but not libertarians.

  • ||

    I got to head off to my shift: enforcing my town's local laws.

    Awww. What a hero! Thank you for your service to our country!

  • Bingo||

    Steve is a troll, probably Edward or Dan T.

    gmail doesn't allow the creation of email accounts with less than 6 characters in the username.

  • ||

    First, if we want to get really libertarian about it:

    1) gov't shouldn't be in the business of building monuments to dead presidents;

    Irrelevant.

    2) it's unlikely Jefferson would've wanted a monument built by a massive federal government to himself;

    Irrelevant.

    3) if you want to dance in honor of Jefferson's birthday, that's super. Put up a picture of the man in your back yard, and knock yourself out.

    That's one option. Doing so in public is another.

    As for the whole civil disobedience angle, I'm pretty unimpressed. First, they may have been violating a requirement that they have a permit.

    They weren't. There were less than 25 people involved. Even a cop should be able to count that high without having to take his shoes off.

    If not, that was a judgment call by rude Park Police.

    Yeah. Really bad judgment. Also a violation of her civil rights.

    The one person got arrested, she was released a few hours later. Big deal.

    I doubt you would say the same if you spent 5 hours in jail for no good reason at all, had to go through the time and effort to get acquitted, and then had to go through the further time and effort to get it expunged.

    And, for you information, "expunged" doesn't mean what you think it means. The record is still there, still subject to disclosure, either accidentally or to certain inquiries.

    Color me shocked to learn in your 3:10 post that your a cop. Thanks for confirming all our bad thoughts about such.

  • Dave W.||

    They weren't. There were less than 25 people involved. Even a cop should be able to count that high without having to take his shoes off.

    Eh, I think this is where the police win. Looks like it was close enough to 25 that police get to break the thing up, and then argue interference with a colorably legit break-up. I don't know that the police would win a criminal trial against the arrestee, but I think this is how they stay out of civil trouble here.

    And, for you information, "expunged" doesn't mean what you think it means. The record is still there, still subject to disclosure, either accidentally or to certain inquiries.

    Especially because private parties track these databases, and they don't expunge anything. I thought that Steve Cook generally made a lot of good points, and a lot of things that HitnRunners really need to hear, but he was quite wrong about expungement.

  • ||

    You keep using that word. I donnotta think it means what you think it means.

  • Taktix®||

    I agree that Steve made good points if the question was "How do you avoid getting arrested like the woman above?"

    However, when he implied that it is right to do what happened to this woman, well, that's when my douche bag alarm went off.

    Does anyone smell bacon?

  • Cody||

    Everyone has a right to know what they've done wrong. Arresting someone for asking "why" is abuse of power, clear and simple.

  • Guy Montag||

    Everyone has a right to know what they've done wrong. Arresting someone for asking "why" is abuse of power, clear and simple.

    But didn't she know right away in that case?
    [ducks]

  • Gay Male Dancer||

    Dancing is speech.

  • ||

    I just can't get over ". . .as if the Constitution is the final word on government action". It's supposed to be exactly that. I'll grant that it increasingly isn't the final word, but there's no legal basis for making that remark or for the creeping of government away from its shackles. I'm curious about what, exactly, law enforcement personnel are taught about the Constitution.

  • Tommy Stinson||

    " In what other job can you swear at your "customers" without fear of retribution? Seriously, can any of you imagine a scenario in which you swore at a customer/client and didn't get fired?"

    Punk rock band.

  • Guy Montag||

    PL,

    Isn't Dutch/EU and California law the final word now?

  • jimmy||

    flash mob...ipods...dancing...video...

    can we be any more self-absorbed?

  • Ying Yang||

    "Actually, you're both his customer and his employer."

    Is that not a conflict of interests?

  • Episiarch||

    I don't know if I'd believe that Steve is actually a cop, or knows the girl. His posts were just a little too troll-like, a little too DanT-ish, to be taken without a grain of salt.

    Also, the final "admission" that he is a cop seemed more like a convenient parting shot instead of the real thing. I have a feeling a real cop wouldn't have been as patient while we peons insulted him.

  • ||

    Guy,

    It is according to California, anyway. Instead of "long-arm jurisdiction" California has "gorilla-arm jurisdiction", or, perhaps more properly stated, "Mr. Fantastic-arm jurisdiction".

  • ||

    Also, the final "admission" that he is a cop seemed more like a convenient parting shot instead of the real thing. I have a feeling a real cop wouldn't have been as patient while we peons insulted him.

    I'd agree, but I don't think he was as much of an intentional troll as one of those crazy types who gets all emotional about shit and then thinks that they can suddenly trump everyone else's comments by being like "well, I'm black" or whatever.

  • Bingo||

    Jeez guys, it was Dan T or Edward.

    He wrote his email as scook@gmail.com... scook is only 5 characters long and google doesn't let you register anything less than 6. Only someone pretending to be someone else would go through the trouble of entering a realistic but fake email address.

  • ||

    Dan T.? I thought he had vanished into the æther?

  • ||

    I love you guys, really. Every time I saw something that made me want to respond, one of you "regulars" already responded perfectly. Really, truly and honestly well done.

  • ||

    as if the Constitution is the final word on government action.

    he was just doing his job. If you don't want to be arrested by the Park Police, don't go to the Jefferson Memorial.

    she, and libertarians everywhere, got an object lesson in how the government works.

    res ipsa loquitur

  • ||

    Pro Lib -

    I feel pretty secure in claiming that Dan T. is still around. He changes aliases a lot, but I've noticed his distinct brand of shitheaddery on at least a few comments over the last several months.

    Not that I remember enough about them to find them again.

  • Taktix®||

    res ipsa loquitur

    Oh yeah, well: tho grobgar spolkvadi!

    See, I can make up words too!

  • Mad Max||

    A quote from Thomas Jefferson's buddy James Madison:

    "It is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of citizens and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The freemen of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle. We revere this lesson too much ... to forget it."

    http://fen.net/quotes/freedom.shtml

  • ||

    To add some circumstantial evidence to the Dan T. = Steve Cook argument, Dan T. was also from North Carolina, where Steve Cook seems to have said he's from.

    Also, "If you don't want to be arrested by the Park Police, don't go to the Jefferson Memorial" sounds an awful lot like "if you don't want to pay taxes, you can always just move to another country."

    Also, Steve Cook had a secretary named Dan T., and Dan T. had a secretary named Steve Cook.

  • Never 4get||

    The very point of the situation was that it HAD no meaning and something shouldn't HAVE to have meaning to be tolerated.

    Well, yes. But whisper it. Balko's here.

    If he hears you, he might remember that "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" kid whose punishment he reveled in because that protest wasn't "political" - because it wasn't in the form of a sentence - and realize that this post is damning evidence that he's a "but not for thee" libertarian.

    So shhh.

  • ||

    Bwa?

    whose punishment he reveled in because that protest wasn't "political"



    Go back and read that post again. Reveling doesn't figure into it.

  • Radley can of course defend hi||

    but this is what he actually said, never4get.

    I wouldn't call that revelling, and would point out the obvious that the relationship between a school principal and one of his students is a hell of lot different than a cop and random citizen.

  • Tamara Stenison||

    Very true, Tommy Stinson. In fact, I recall a video of Henry Rollins punching a customer in the head. Now that's service.

  • ||

    I thought that Steve Cook generally made a lot of good points, and a lot of things that HitnRunners really need to hear,

    Really? I didn't see a single one.

    Looks like it was close enough to 25 that police get to break the thing up, and then argue interference with a colorably legit break-up.

    They don't get to break up anything because they think maybe it needed a permit. Why can't they ask? Politely? "Pardon me, miss, any organized gathering of 25 or more needs a permit. Do you know who organized this? How many people are here?"

    You know, act like a human being, not testosterone crazed thug with tiny-penis syndromw.

  • ||

    I've said it before and I'll say it again. This country is heading towards a police-state. The abuse of power is growing. Granted in baby-steps. Add to that the fact that none of the three branches of the Federal government seems to worry about or try very hard to prevent or to significantly slow-down this abuse.It convinces me that a revolution, and probably a violent one, will be the only way to restore our promised liberties. I've given-up hope that a peaceful revolution is feasable. I weap over our fading liberties

  • ||

    Jefferson probably would have railed against public at his memorial being illegal at ANY time (let alone on his birthday), but sadly, it is.

    See the current Code of Federal Regulations, Title 36 (Parks, Forests, and Public Property), Chapter I, Part 7, specifically 7.96 with respect to the Jefferson Memorial.

    PDF here: http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/03jul20071500/edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_2007/julqtr/pdf/36cfr7.96.pdf

    The short version is this: Group events of certain specific types or those that are likely to draw the attention of others require a permit if the group is numbered larger than 25. If the group is numbered 25 or less, they are not required to apply for or acquire said permit, but they MUST meet ALL of the other conditions of whatever permit they would be applying for.

    This group was putting on a public performance (dance) in a group of 20, which was likely to draw public attention, so it qualifies as needing to meet the standards of getting a permit for that site, while not actually getting the physical piece of paper.

    Can they meet all of the other conditions for the permit? No.

    Permits for public events are not issued for the Jefferson Memorial except for one specific event: The official annual commemorative Jefferson birthday ceremony. In other words, the condition is: "Be that specific event, or you can't get a permit." No other event will meet the condition.

    It's not surprising the group was ordered to disperse, based on the above. Failing to do (or indicating they would immediately do so) is probably what resulted in the charge.

    Can she beat the charge? If she gets a sympathetic judge, sure. I wouldn't personally want to bet on that though.

  • Dave W.||

    Really? I didn't see a single one.

    Well, his words are still up there for review. Trust me, this is how a lot of ppl who aren't libertarian see you guys. However, Cook missed the most important points of all, which is:

    Get better video and audio if you want to complain later.

  • ||

    Left a word out: Jefferson probably would have railed against public DANCING at his memorial being illegal...

  • ||

    My apologies. In the second to last sentence I should have said, "I've all but given-up hope that a peaceful revolution is feasable."

  • Fluffy||

    Argentium,

    That set of regulations is absurd.

    Look, even if you don't accept my usual argument against the concept of "time, place and manner" restrictions on assembly, I think that it should be pretty straightforward that the power to place time, place and manner restrictions is not the power to destroy, and that a set of permit requirements designed to make it impossible to actually obtain a permit are automatically invalid and void.

  • ||

    Nov. 2.
    The Warren Harding Memorial and Tomb in Marion.
    Be there.

  • ||

    This is a job for a flashmob if I've ever seen one.

  • Hooter_McBoob||

    A couple weeks ago a friend of mine got in a fight at a bar. Me and my buddies step outside the bar, as my friend who was in the fight is taken away in an ambulance. While we're outside the bouncer/owner starts getting into it with a kid in our group who he believed to be underage. The bouncer was flipping out, screaming at my buddy, as cops looked on. I support dissent. I was not about to let an abuse of authority take place. Afterall, what authority does a bouncer have on a public sidewalk? I run up to the bouncer to let him know that he can't demand to see ID at this point, nor should he talk so disrespectfully to an adult. We start cussing. I point at the bouncer. I cop comes up to me and smacks my arm down. I turn to the cop and ask him "who the fuck" he thought he was. Then I proceeded to inform the police officer that he is "just a fucking cop." I then demanded that he either arrest me and my friends or stop abusing his authority and let us go. He gets in my face and says "my authority isn't the only thing about to be abused." At this point another police officer pulls the cop away from me and we all leave. This is how you must interact with cops. Show them who is boss. Let them know that you have rights. The worst case is that they arrest or beat you - a small price to pay, IMO.

  • Hooter_McBoob||

    I've no idea why these weenies in the video acted so passively.

  • Richard||

    I am so sorry that your friends were arrested for trespassing on government property after-hours. It's a shame that we have laws in this country that we have to abide by. If only there was some way we could change that....

  • Ken||

    The worst case is that they arrest or beat you - a small price to pay, IMO.

    I'm sure Abner Louima feels exactly the same way.

  • ||

    Richard. You don't sound sorry at all. What's up with that?
    Oh, you were trying to make a joke?
    Oh.
    HAHAHAHAHAHA!

  • ||

    And remember.
    Harding's Birthday.
    Harding Memorial.
    (But just 24 of us.)

  • Richard||

    Oh, you were trying to make a joke?
    Oh.
    HAHAHAHAHAHA!


    Granted, it's hard to hear a sarcastic tone when just reading words. The park has established operating hours which would be from 9:30 am to 11:30 pm. They were there at around midnight? And they have the nerve to act surprised when the cops show up? Please, they were trespassing. They broke a law and now they have to pay for it, plain and simple.

  • Richard||

    However, I am man enough to admit when I am wrong and in the case of the hours of operation I am wrong (thanks to Cog for pointing that out to me). The park is open twenty-four hours, it's just that the rangers are there until 11:30 pm. In that case, let's go back AND DANCE NAKED!!

  • Guy Montag||

    What is reason doing for Vladimir Lenin's Birthday, aka, tree hugger Festivus, aka, Earth Day?

  • ||

    These cops are petty tyrants obsession with squelching anything that they perceive as unorderly or "against the rules".

    And nothing will every be done about it. Any supervisor of these cops would just consider it another annoyance of dealing with "the public" and send a due diligence memo/email restating whatever vague regulation this woman is suppose to have violated. I hate to be a pessimist, but that's what always happens and will happen again.

    Also, naive liberals will claim it would never happen under Clinton or Obama.

  • ||

    "I am man enough to admit when I am wrong."
    Yes, Richard, but are you man enough to dance, dance, dance, at the Harding Memorial?
    We shall see.
    Yes.
    We shall see.

  • ||

    "The Harding Tomb is a circular monument of white Georgia marble containing the remains of President and Mrs. Harding.

    "The monument, set in ten acres of landscaped grounds, is similar in appearance to a round Greek temple. The simple Doric features and spacious surroundings combine to create one of the most beautiful presidential memorials outside Washington, D. C."

  • Paul||

    the Memorial is open to the public 24 hours



    Ah, there's the problem. I was waiting for the punchline.

    "This is public property!!! You can't be in here!!!"

    All public property is theft.

  • Guy Montag||

    So, if the rangers shift ends at 2330, why were they still there at 2355?

    And you guys thought my NSA comment was just a joke.

  • Lights Out||

    Prissy? No. Weenies? Maybe. Passive and whiney? Most definitely.

    "All the tongues waggle but we just smile
    That'll keep the little buggers going for a while...
    Such horror, oh such a farce, a little bit of broken glass
    You should think yourself lucky that this was done
    You'll have something you can whine about for years to come"
    NMA - Chinese Whispers

  • Richard||

    Citizen Nothing: Yes, Richard, but are you man enough to dance, dance, dance, at the Harding Memorial?
    We shall see.
    Yes.
    We shall see.


    Sadly I already know I won't be able to make it up there for that. So on Nov 2nd I will post a video of me dancing on Youtube. I'll even include my Youtube url so you guys can remind me.

    http://www.youtube.com/clownboy1138

  • ||

    "Warren Gameliel Harding
    Playing cards in a smoke-filled room
    Winning and losing, filling the time
    I just want someone to talk to
    To talk to
    To talk to

    Don't go down to the docks tonight
    The cops are nosing around for the site
    We moved the booze just before daylight
    They won't find it now, it'll be alright

    Warren Gameliel Harding
    In Alaska running out of days
    Leaving the ladies, God moves in strange ways
    I just want someone to talk to
    To talk to
    To talk to"

  • ||

    that's irony, and I bet he's rolling in his grave at the fact that the police either hid or refused to show their badge numbers, and were abusive. I hope her lawyer helps show the ones that did this, that abusing that lil badge will someday come back upon you bigger and worse than what you did.

  • atomic jo||

    "Footloose" part deux?

  • robc||

    Just need to add this on to everything else:

    [begin rant]

    Flash CROWD. The term is Flash CROWD. Not flash mob. Read your fucking Niven.

    [end rant]

    I believe the story in which the term was first used is The Last Days of the Permanent Floating Riot Club.

  • Billy Beck||

    "If you don't want to be arrested by the Park Police, don't go to the Jefferson Memorial. "

    Can I get that on a T-shirt, you fucking asshole?

  • Hooter_McBoob||

    :::I hate to be a pessimist, but that's what always happens and will happen again.::::


    It doesn't have to happen. If you stick up for your rights and fight the abusers of authority tooth and nail, this b.s. will eventually end.

  • ||

    you know 30 or 40 years ago, this kind of thing would have lead to an uproar ... people would be dancing in the streets, etc. at least some kind of shit would have hit the fan and at the VERY least, we would have heard about it on the news. its just too poetic. but no.

  • Robert Stacy McCain||

    I am flabbergasted at the number of commenters here -- at Reason, for crying out loud -- making The-Bitch-Got-What-She-Deserved arguments.

    Let me see if I've got this libertarian thing right:
    1. Legalize dope.
    2. Criminalize dancing.

    That pretty much cover it?

  • Mad Max||

    "Let me see if I've got this libertarian thing right:
    "1. Legalize dope.
    "2. Criminalize dancing.

    "That pretty much cover it?"

    Yes. Unless you want to watch a bunch of stoners try to dance, while the police stand by helplessly.

  • Guy Montag||

    chris duncan,

    you know 30 or 40 years ago, this kind of thing would have lead to an uproar ... people would be dancing in the streets, etc. at least some kind of shit would have hit the fan and at the VERY least, we would have heard about it on the news. its just too poetic. but no.

    This generation is why we have so maney problems in the world.

  • ||

    This needs to be picked up by the media. (ahahhahahahhahaa.... ahhh... well, it was a thought...)

  • ||

    "A revolution without dancing is a revolution not worth having!"

    -V

  • ||

    I don't mean anything particularly political in terms of comparing the governments, but having just returned from 3.5 weeks in China one of the top five things that struck me was this:

    I saw more police smiling at and interacting friendly, on the job, with regular civilians, in any single day in a big city in China than I have seen in *34 years* in Ann Arbor. Absolute truth.

    I also saw people arguing with Chinese cops, quite loudly and aggressively, in ways that would have gotten them tasered in Chicago or LA, but the cops just remained calm and polite.

    We have a problem with our cop culture.

  • ||

    So it's not ok to dance quietly with some friends in a place open to the public all the time?

    Why?

    Oops. Did I ask that?
    Should I call my lawyer?

    We know why. Welcome to russia in the 50's folks.

  • ||

    Never question an American cop, at least. These guys are encouraged to behave like jackbooted thugs.

  • UsedtheWeb||

    http://www.reason.com/contrib/show/458.html

    Brooke Oberwetter is the woman in the picture. There are photos up on Flickr of the incident.

  • ||

    Argentium:

    If I read those regs correctly, there can never be a demonstration or special event permit that would allow, say, Marion Anderson to sing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, or Martin Luther King to address a March on Washington from those same steps.

  • ||

    And people wonder why the DC cops don't want it's subjects... er, I mean "citizens"... owning or carrying guns? Heavens forbid that they be able to fight back!

  • ||

    "If you don't want to be arrested by the Park Police, don't go to the Jefferson Memorial"

    So, if I don't want to be arrested by any police, I shouldn't go anywhere at all?

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