Police

Homicide Isn't Prosecutable When You're a Federal Agent

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Stop. Look both ways. And watch out for the crazed federal agentw ith the lead foot!

An old joke about committing murders is that "the first is expensive, the rest are free." They can only execute you once, after all. But if they can't even prosecute you, let alone execute you … Well, then, killings are all pretty much on the house, aren't they? And that seems to be the case with Cole Dotson, who won't be prosecuted for killing three women and injuring two children, because he was on the job at the time as an agent with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement when he decided to play bumper cars at an intersection in Imperial County.

According to the The San Diego Union-Tribune:

U.S. District Judge Anthony Battaglia said long-standing federal law gives immunity from state prosecution to federal law enforcement officers accused of crimes committed in the course of their duties.

That means Cole Dotson, a special agent with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, will no longer face three counts of gross vehicular manslaughter brought by the Imperial County district attorney.

On December 29, 2009, Dotson was apparently a laggard member of a surveillance team following a suspected meth smuggler. While trying to catch up with his buddies, he drove "his government car at speeds of more than 100 mph, according to the California Highway Patrol. When he went through the stop sign, his speed was estimated at 80 mph. Though the car had lights and sirens, they were not on."

Stop signs are there to modulate the flow of traffic, and people expect that drivers coming from other directions might actually pause, however briefly. When you blow through them doing 80, you tend to do things like piling into vans containing women and children. Killed in the crash were Sandra Garcia, who was driving, along with Maria Nieto and Patricia Reyes. Two children were injured.

The federal government forked over $11 million to the families of the victims in February — an indication that Dotson's actions were not universally considered praiseworthy. Another such indication was the attempted prosecution by Imperial County officials, who said federal agents get immunity only if their actions are "necessary and proper" to their duties, and that Dotson's didn't qualify.

Battaglia disagreed. While he said that Dotson's actions were negligent, he said making the agent face criminal charges would have a "chilling effect" on all federal law enforcement officers who are in emergency situations.

The most famous such assertion of federal immunity in recent memory is that of Lon Horiuchi, the FBI shooter who ultimately skated away from an attempt by Idaho officials to hold him to account for his lethal conduct at Ruby Ridge only after the case bounced back and forth between courts before being dropped by a newly elected prosecutor.

Spurred by the Horiuchi case, the Yale Law Journal looked for the limits of federal immunity in 2003. Authors Seth P. Waxman and Trevor W. Morrison concluded that there was surprisingly little clear guidance to go on, but that:

[O]nce we are confident that the federal government is competent to act in a certain area, federalism properly imposes few judicially enforceable barriers to that action. Rather, we generally defer to Congress's judgment about how best to reconcile overlapping federal and state power in areas where both are legitimately exercised. … [T]he role of federalism in this area properly becomes quite modest. Rather, the governing constitutional rule is simply that of the Supremacy Clause itself, under which federal law is supreme and the only real question is how the federal government has chosen to express that supremacy.

How the federal government has chosen to express that supremacy? Well, Horiuchi was never prosecuted at the federal level, and Dotson still works for ICE, in an administrative capacity, with no hint of a federal prosecution in the wind.

With the federal government involving itself in ever-more aspects of American life, it might be a good time to look around really carefully at stop signs. Or anywhere else. (HT jasno)

NEXT: Ray Kelly Outlines Measures to Curtail the Illegal Police Stops He Says Are Not Occurring

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  1. And the slide continues apace.

  2. he said making the agent face criminal charges would have a “chilling effect” on all federal law enforcement officers who are in emergency situations.

    No, you shitbag, they’d have a chilling effect on their illegal actions, the same reason why judges throw criminals in jail!

    If your lights and sirens aren’t on, you have to obey traffic laws. If it’s an emergency, you put the fooking lights and sirens on.

    1. Through early morning smog I speed.
      Collisions with the cars I see.
      The pains that are withheld from me,
      I realize and I can see. . . .

      That homicide is painless.
      It brings on many changes,
      And I can take or leave it if I please.

    2. Don’t be naive, tarran. He couldn’t put his lights on because it was a surveillance operation. Blasting through stop signs at 80 mph is still discreet enough to maintain surveillance. I mean, what the hell is wrong with you? Do you want the drug dealers to get away?

      1. Ben Franklin: “[I]t is better [one hundred] guilty Persons should escape than that one innocent Person should suffer.”

        America, 2012: “It is better that a few innocent people die than a possibly guilty person should not be caught.”

        1. It is apparent from your comment that you hate children and are actively wishing for the downfall of the country.

          1. Who needs to actively wish? Me and my popcorn don’t need to do a thing as we watch that downfall proceed apace.

          2. Is it OK if I just hate children?

            1. If it’s wrong to hate children, I don’t wanna be right.

        2. America, 2012: “It is better that a few innocent people die than a possibly guilty person should not be caught followed by a convoy of federal agents.”

          Remember, this was an investigation. Not that I would be forgiving, but it would be a little more understandable if he was in pursuit of a fleeing suspect/making an arrest of a violent criminal.

        3. America, 2012: “It is better that a few innocent people die than a possibly guilty person should not be caught.”

          Hell, it was a surveillance team; it doesn’t sound like they were even trying to catch the guy. To me, that makes it even worse.

          1. “How Not to be Seen.”

            1. “Mr. Pro Libertate, however, has chosen a rather obvious hiding place.”

              *fires cannon*

        4. America, 2012: “It is better that a few innocent people die than a possibly guilty person should not be caught.”

          It’s triple points when they race to the scene, killing innocents, break into the wrong address on the warrant, shoot the dog and probably another innocent person.

          “Law enforcement. Everybody dies!”

          1. and probably another innocent person.

            No One Is Innocent.

          2. [B]reak into the wrong address on the warrant…

            Wait, they actually bother to get warrants these days? I know it’s just the rubber stamp, but that wastes valuable time that can be spent harassing grandmothers and shooting dogs.

    3. The chilling effect on innocent “civilians” driving on roads known to be frequented by psychopath drug cops (redundant, I know), apparently isn’t as important.

    4. If your lights and sirens aren’t on, you have to obey traffic laws.

      Not around here. Cops normally go about 10-15 over the speed limit with no lights on, and I’ve never seen a cop use a turn signal.

      1. I always wait til the MD State Trooper goes flying past me when I’m going 80 in the fast lane on I-95. Then I drop in behind him.

        It’s like a police escort except that the cops don’t have to pay the fines when the speed cameras tag them.

  3. Please don’t tell me the “suspected meth smuggler” was charged with killing the three women and injuring the two children ….

    1. No, because attempting to capture a suspected meth smuggler is worth at least the lives of three innocents, if not more.

    2. In some jurisdictions, I’m sure he would have been.

      And you can bet that the DEA will include the three people killed in their list of people killed by drugs.

  4. There is no logic in the void. Only bootlicking.

  5. No, because attempting to capture a suspected meth smuggler is worth at least the lives of three innocents, if not more.

    Exactly. Plus, think of the “chilling effect” that the operation they were conducting simply had to have had on the local drug trade.

  6. Did he at least get fired?

    1. Dotson still works for ICE, in an administrative capacity

      Nope. Instead he gets a nice cushy desk job and a nice cushy retirement courtesy of taxpayers when he retires.

      1. What he ought to get is a nice cushy truck shoved up his ass.

        1. Preferably the Terex 33-19.

          1. That Terex was a piece of shit. You’d do better with a Cat 797F.

            1. Not technically a truck, but perhaps more appropriate.

            2. Use the Bagger on ‘im!

              http://www.michaelgriswold.com…../Big08.jpg

              1. Say, that thing’s pretty cool!

              2. The company I worked for before my current one sold that machine’s sister out of Texas a couple of years ago. It had a rotary edge with 777 buckets around it with cutting edges mounted on the rear of the beds. It was the coolest thing I ever saw in my life that didn’t have a vagina.

  7. long-standing federal law gives immunity from state prosecution to federal law enforcement officers accused of crimes committed in the course of their duties.

    I’d never heard about this before. Thanks for the nutpunch, I really needed that.

    When he went through the stop sign, his speed was estimated at 80 mph. Though the car had lights and sirens, they were not on.

    WTF? How could this douche-rocket’s actions possibly be deemed “necessary and proper” when he didn’t even have his lights and sirens on to warn other drivers that an “emergency vehicle” might blow through the intersection and to stay out of the way?

    While he said that Dotson’s actions were negligent, he said making the agent face criminal charges would have a “chilling effect” on all federal law enforcement officers who are in emergency situations.

    Kindly go fuck yourself Judge Battaglia. No wonder CA is considering hiding the names of public officials from the public property record. We wouldn’t want the pitchfork wielding mob to know where the cretins live when they get fed up with this shit.

    1. WTF? How could this douche-rocket’s actions possibly be deemed “necessary and proper”

      Simple. He is an agent of the state. Nothing more need be said. Acting as an agent of the state is apparently worth the lives of at least three innocents, and the maiming of two others.

    2. I think the judge was bound by precedent.

      The real question is why this case isn’t up in Federal Court?

      1. The real question is why this case isn’t up in Federal Court?

        Because the lady driving the van is already dead. There’s no reason to charge her with “interfering with a federal investigation” and/or “obstruction of justice” if she’s already six feel under.

        1. If there weren’t so much truth in that, I’d laugh.

        2. Yeah but sloop what about the kids in the van? I bet dollars to donuts they were distracting her, preventing her from seeing the recklessy driving assholedouchebag, and the entire incident could have been avoided if the little brats were behaving themselves.

          That’s who they should go after. Make ’em pay their debt to society for interferring with capture of a suspected trafficker of government prohibited stuff.

          1. Right.

            Should we go for “obstruction of justice” or “accessory to homicide”?

            Why not both?

            1. Disorderly conduct. 3 kids in a car? it kinda goes without saying doesn’t it?

          2. Make ’em pay their debt to society

            I’m sure the settlement money they received will be taxed as capital gains once they reach 18 and are given possession of the money set aside in the trusts.

    3. We wouldn’t want the pitchfork wielding mob to know where the cretins live when they get fed up with this shit

      It’s a good thing the mob is stupid and won’t just follow them home and then use twitter, facebook, and email to assemble, amirite?

      1. Well, that would give a more truthful meaning to flash mob.

    4. No wonder CA is considering hiding the names of public officials from the public property record. We wouldn’t want the pitchfork wielding mob to know where the cretins live when they get fed up with this shit.

      A quick search algorithm can produce all the records lacking names.

      Hiding things doesn’t work, because you can’t hide the hole your initial hiding leaves behind.

  8. Well, I consider a “chilling effect” to be a plus. Or is the government saying it’s unreasonable to weigh up the consequences to public safety? If only those far-sighted-consequence-weighing criminals were held to the same standard.

    Also, note the irony: in trying to stop speed (meth) from killing others, he killed others with speed of his own.

    1. So, I’m guessing the three women’s deaths will be chalked up to the War On (some) Drugs, with no mention of which side killed them.

      1. Definitely another example of the harm that drugs do.

        / sarc

        (Pardon me while I barf.

      2. Don’t be silly. Of course the number will be used to show how we need to step up enforcement even more.

    2. They always say “Speed kills.”

  9. The state needs to pick this man up, charge him with three cases of VM and throw him in an undisclosed jail until trial. He’s an obvious flight risk, so refusing bail seems logical.

    Force the federal government to defend this in the court of public opinion and have this absurd law stricken from the books. If the 4A is alive, hell it could be on life support, this would be thrown out on equal protection grounds.

    The only other solution I can think of would involve violence, which I cannot condone.

    1. The only other solution I can think of would involve violence, which I cannot condone.

      Which is why they will always win. The guy who is willing to kill you has the upper hand if you’re not willing to respond in kind.

      DEATH TO THE MEEK! THE STRONG SHALL PREVAIL!

      1. I didn’t say I would never start condoning it.

        1. “the meek will inherit NOTHING” – Frank Zappa

          1. Maybe Jesus was right when he said that the meek shall
            inherit the earth — but they inherit very small plots,
            about six feet by three.
            — Robert A. Heinlein

        2. Still too meek. Report to your local execution center (aka the closest Sherrif’s, PD, or DEA office) immediately.

          Delivery service only available to dog owners.

        3. I’m really starting to think that someone’s going to soon, tho

  10. it’s obscene on so many levels

    i’m against the entire concept of independent sovereignty etc. (iow i believe in being consistent)

    it’s as wrong here, as it is when it is used to justify trying cops twice for (effectively) the same crime (a la rodney king)

    if he was criminally negligent, and it appears there is an easy case on its face for that, he should be prosecutable in state court.

    period.

    yet another problem with the expansive federal role in law enforcement …

    1. yet another problem with the expansive federal role in everything

      1. i 100% agree. yet another unintended but inevitable consequence of this expansive federal juggernaut that needs to be stopped

        1. Inevitable Consequences Are Not Unintended.

          1. So when you shoot a mugger during a robbery attempt, you intend for his children to grow up without a father?

            1. They’re better off, so, yes.

            2. Sure. Fuck his kids. They’re his responsibility, not mine. And if he didn’t want them to grow up fatherless, then maybe he shouldn’t have gone into mugging as a profession.

            3. Or when Tulpa beats a burning strawman, does he intent to ignite the other ones he has constructed and waiting in his storage unit/studio apartment?

              1. You can’t plausibly claim it’s a strawman when within 8 minutes there were two commenters adopting the supposed strawman position.

                In your zeal to punish the unbellyfeeler with accusations of logical fallacies, you guys seem to forget the meanings of goalpost-moving, strawman, contrarian, and other words you marshal for the attack.

              2. or Mother’s Basement

        2. It’s not just the federal juggernaut that needs to be stopped. Militarizing local PD’s, establishing guidelines and policies that make police off limits to prosecution, union contracts that establish bogus reporting procedures that end up removing accountability for officers that commit crimes or make mistakes (read: are negligent) that lead to death or injury to innocent people: these things have all led to less freedom for “civilians” at the altar of obeisance to the LEO community.

          Sorry, but the local and state police are a much larger problem than federal agents insomuch as their perceived role in society and the ways they interact with the people they (used to be tasked to) protect. They look at themselves as out overlords, and the politicians that pander for their endorsements and negotiate special treatments for the members of their unions only enable their malfeasance serve only to foster this mindset.

    2. Just one more reason why more and more people hate the cops.

  11. oh, and the fact that horiuchi (and his ‘superior’ who authorized a completely unconstitutional ‘shoot on sight to kill’ rule of engagement) was not prosecuted is also obscene

  12. awesome. note to scumbags: don’t help murderous pieces of shit evade capture.

    the prosecutions in the clemons case and this case are great examples of justice being served.

    http://www.komonews.com/news/l…..64095.html

    1. awesome. note to scumbags: don’t help murderous pieces of shit evade capture.

      Now if they’d only charge and convict police that know of crimes but lie or keep silent about it, justice would be served equally. But they don’t do that. They promote them instead to boards that investigate police misconduct.

      Have a nice day, dunphy.

      1. i am having a great day. back to work after this injured leave thing (vehicle collision)

        you know a job is awesome when after a few weeks off, you miss it, and you LOVE coming back to work

        if you can work at a career where you look forward to going to work, and you can (usually) look back on a shift with a sense of satisfaction, it’s a good job

        law enforcement (as well as firefighting) have both left me with that.

        if you could pass the psych exams (doubtful) 🙂 there may be a career for you as a LEO sloopy!

        🙂

        have a wonderful day

        1. My definition of an awesome job is one where I get paid to surf the Internet all day.

          1. It’s not actually all that great.

        2. this injured leave thing (vehicle collision)

          How perfect is that for this thread?

          1. it is , except in my case, *i* was the one who was injured. the guy who t-boned me wasn’t.

            1. it is , except in my case, *i* was the one who was injured. the guy who t-boned me wasn’t.

              Well, I can finally say I read something by you that made me smile.

        3. if you could pass the psych exams (doubtful) 🙂 there may be a career for you as a LEO sloopy!

          FWIW, I was accepted to the FBI 17 years ago, but chose to move to Puerto Rico instead. I hear it was easier to get accepted to an Ivy League school at the time. The director of the field office in the city I lived in when I applied called me raising hell when I told him I was no longer interested.

          Of course, I may not pass a psych exam for a local PD today. IQ’s probably too high for them.

          1. yes, i am aware of that case as well (was it new haven or hartford or?)

            when i took my stanford binet, i purposefully answered a couple of questions wrong for exactly that reason (hopefully unfounded) fear that TOO high an IQ would set off bells.

            the theory amongst some (same thing is seen in military) is that excessively high IQ people are more likely to be troublemakers, and more likely to want to leave for greener pastures, etc.

            regardless, even when purposefully miffing a couple of questions, the psychologist still said i got a ridiculously high score.

            despite your penchant to be an ideologue and willfully ignore facts that run contrary to your prejudices, i have zero doubt you have a high IQ as well sloopy

            i would suggest that libertarians in general, probably have higher IQ’s than the average.

            im hardly elitist in that way, in that i think people with high iq’s often completely lack common sense, street smarts, etc. but from my experience, libertarians tend to be more nerdy than average, higher iq than average, and more social misfit’y than average

            1. im hardly elitist in that way, in that i think people with high iq’s often completely lack common sense, street smarts, etc. but from my experience, libertarians tend to be more nerdy than average, higher iq than average, and more social misfit’y than average

              Just so you know, I was a college athlete, have not read much science fiction, and capable but hardly an expert with computers, had the street smarts to live in some pretty rough areas (where I was a member of a very small minority group) and never be hassled by locals, and have a wonderful social standing.

              Perhaps you should reevaluate your assessment of high-IQ people.

              despite your penchant to be an ideologue and willfully ignore facts that run contrary to your prejudices, i have zero doubt you have a high IQ as well sloopy

              Yeah, well we’re entitled to our opinions on what is a “fact” and who is an “ideologue,” so you can say what you want on that matter and I’ll just have to disagree. I’m pleased with how I am received in my community and by those whose opinions I take stock in on HR. So know that those words coming from you mean absolutely nothing to me.

              1. i am pleased with how i am received in my community, and even amongst bad guys, i have had several say that they respect me as “a good cop”.

                i am pleased with the fact that i have been cited for bravery on multiple occasions, saved lives, and done a lot to further the general good, and help people in need

                that’s one of the benefits of being a cop

                the fact that i am willing to engage in a place where i know i will face constant resistance from anti-cop bigots, also is something i am proud of

                it is far easier to engage in a place where you can circle jerk with a bunch of fellow travelers all you want, such as you do here.

                however, i am more interested in robust debate and the search for truth, and am willing to admit i am wrong when evidence compels it

                that’s why i come here, because i believe in liberty and because i am willing to consider that any of my core beliefs could be wrong… i just require evidence to change those beliefs.

                the reason i am proRKBA, anti-drug war, and pro law enforcement is becausei blieve the evidence compels me to have those positions.

                1. i am pleased with the fact that i have been cited for bravery on multiple occasions, saved lives, and done a lot to further the general good, and help people in need

                  Of course you have. And if asked to prove it, you’ll say you can’t for your safety or some such bullshit reason. Color me skeptical.

                  the fact that i am willing to engage in a place where i know i will face constant resistance from anti-cop bigots, also is something i am proud of

                  You label anything that is not in total agreement with you as bigotry. One of these days you’ll look in a dictionary and realize the true meaning of that word.

                  it is far easier to engage in a place where you can circle jerk with a bunch of fellow travelers all you want, such as you do here.

                  Right, because this must be the only place I ever post.

                  that’s why i come here, because i believe in liberty and because i am willing to consider that any of my core beliefs could be wrong… i just require evidence to change those beliefs.

                  Even when faced with overwhelming evidence, your instinct is to forgive those carrying out wrongs because “the people making the laws are to blame.” I have to say this statement is total bullshit.

                  that’s one of the benefits of being a cop

                  Yeah, and another benefit is to not be accountable for the same laws or to the same standard non-cops are held to. I can give you evidence if you’d like.

                  (cont)

                  1. (cont)

                    You may very well be a good cop on your own, dunphy. I don’t know you and you keep your identity a secret, so we’ll never know for sure. But what I do know is that you make excuses for violence committed by policeman by blaming lawmakers and policies/procedures. You are against accountability and support unions creating sets of rules in collective bargaining that do not apply equally to non-cops. You are quick to shout either support or sit silent when techniques that are clearly unconstitutional are applied by departments, such as “stop and frisk” in NYC. And you trot out racist statistics that you think justifies racist behaviors by police departments because “those people commit more crimes.” For someone that allegedly believes in liberty, you’re pretty quick to defend its dismantling by police departments in the name of public safety.

                    You are a hypocrite, an enabler and a false witness to liberty from a LEO’s standpoint. You are no better than the man who beats a “civilian” in your presence because you do nothing about it. You are, perhaps, even worse than him because you know better and still stand idly by.

      2. I’m eagerly awaiting to find out what’s going to happen to Kelly Thomas’ murderers. It’s bad enough that the guy’s only being tried for murder in the 2nd degree when it should be a capital case.

        1. i don’t know enough about california law to say whether it SHOULD be a capital case under their penal code, but i agree that the evidence is compelling that they committed murder and justice should prevail.

  13. Cole Dotson killed some folks. So what? The real horror about this man is that Cole Dotson allegedly fucks sheep. And occasionally dogs I have heard.

  14. We have to destroy public safety to protect public safety.

  15. The local government should have arrested the fucker and prosecuted him anyway — completely ignoring the federales. Sloop’s right. I mean, what the fuck are they going to do, send the 101st Airborne to “quell the insurrection”?

    1. so you are fine with ignoring rule of law when it’s a pet issue…

      fascinating.

      so, if the courts say a confession must be suppressed because there was no miranda warning, it would be ok to use it anyway and lock the guy up because the ends justifies the means

      the pesky thing about rule of law is that so many people are willing to ignore it and get all results (not process) oriented given a pet issue

      personally, i agree 100% that the law should NOT be this way, and that it’s a gross miscarriage of justice, from a results angle.

      however, the proper remedy is legislation.

      because it doesn’t destroy rule of law to save it

      1. The rule of law was destroyed when the judge decided that flagrant negligence was A Necessary Proper part of law enforcement.

        1. damn ampersands. *shaken fist*

      2. It’s hard to believe we have to have a trial to determine whether we can try this guy for vehicular manslaughter. I’d be curious to see the exact language of the “long-standing federal law [giving] immunity from state prosecution to federal law enforcement officers.” That makes it sound more like a tradition.

      3. “so you are fine with ignoring rule of law when it’s a pet issue…”

        Me and you have markedly different conceptions of the rule of law. Your presumption seems to be that the source of the issue in this case–the particular law–is somehow legitimate. Try again, Officer.

        “fascinating”

        There’s nothing quite as fascinating as a cop whose daily routine unfailingly and consistently includes engaging in fantastical logical and intellectual contortions to conjure justifications for the injustices committed upon a supposedly free society by his comrades. It’s just a great fucking sight. Twisting an argument (usually ones based on a deontological premise) by stringing together a hugely complex web of esoteric technicalities and coming to weird conclusions is your specialty.

        “so, if the courts say a confession must be suppressed because there was no miranda warning, it would be ok to use it anyway and lock the guy up because the ends justifies the means”

        The courts haven’t had a chance to do shit, Dunphy. That’s the fucking point.

        1. you just play the machiavelli card all you want.

          in your twisted world, it would be ok for cops to plant evidence, or lie about plain view or whatever because you disagree with case law or whatever.

          some of us respect rule of law, even though it clearly benefits the obviously guilty.

          that’s the tradeoff we make to live in a free society. i accept it

          1. sloopy’s world aint the twisted one (in this case at least).

            A twisted world would be the one where the rule of law requires that we let human-shaped meatbags off the hook for killing people simply because they carry a badge. Which is what this judge is attempting to do.

          2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_of_law

            Rule of law implies that every citizen is subject to the law. It stands in contrast to the idea that the ruler is above the law, for example by divine right.

          3. some of us respect rule of law, even though it clearly benefits the obviously guilty.

            Sorry Dunphy. I try to hear you out on here, and I am not a huge fan of the people that try to bait you on certain articles, even though I like about 2 cops in all of America (and that is by blood and not necessarily by choice).

            But the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment means everyone is equal regardless of federal or state law. So this cop is getting a pass by a sympathetic judge, who is doing mental gymnastics rather than allowing prosecution to move forward.

      4. however, the proper remedy is legislation.

        It always comes back to “just following orders” with you, dunphy. And FWIW, the rule of law was ignored when the 4A was ignored and police (be they federal in this case) were deemed to be special and were able to act without consequence.

        You care about the rule of law? If the answer is yes, you would support the state prosecuting this guy.

        1. no, that’s your strawman. it comes back to rule of law.

          if i thought miranda was stupid law, it doesn’t give me the authority to ignore it, and lie about reading somebody their rights so i can get a confession, sloop

          either you believe in rule of law or you don’t

          personally, i follow the LAW even if it means a bad guy gets away. that’s the price we pay for civil rights, and IN MY OPINION, it’s a fair tradeoff.

          but machiavellian people like you think as long as it’s YOUR pet issue, it’s perfectly fine to subvert the law

          you are the kind of person who would plant evidence on a bad guy you knew was guilty, because it served a greater good in your warped opinion

          i, otoh, accept that even if i know a guy is guilty as fuck, i will never lie in court, in a police report, etc.

          if that means the obviously guilty get a pass, as they often do, that’s a tradeoff i accept

          1. dunphy, I usually defend you because we both get a lot of unjustified shit on this site.

            However, your behavior here can only be described as false piety. The rule of law is supposed to make the govt and its agents subject to the law, which is the exact opposite of what’s happening here; the judge’s ruling is exempting this so-called human being from following the law because he is a govt agent. It’s a travesty to paint this as upholding the RoL.

          2. I guess equal protection under the law is my “pet issue”, sorry.

      5. I guess the proper remedy for the Fugitive Slave Law was petitioning Congress to change it.

        When the abuse of power is this egregious, extreme actions must be taken. And I’m not clear those would be contrary to the rule of law anyway, as rule of judge is not the same thing.

      6. Those fucking colonists! They should have asked the British Parliament to please, please, please grant them representation. The rebellion was just ignoring the rule of law.

        Do you consider yourself a British subject that has wrongfully had American citizenship thrust upon you by those that would ignore the Rule Of Law, dunphy?

    2. what the fuck are they going to do, send the 101st Airborne to “quell the insurrection”?

      Depends, are the 101st home from Afghanistan (or wherever Obama is wasting their lives) yet?

      I don’t doubt they would. At the very least, swarms of FBI/FDA SWAT. The first time a State tried to assert any measure of authority over the feds, they would be branded secessionists and traitors to the crown, and therefore deserving of all the skullcrushing our taxdollars could pay for.

      1. In a battle of state and local police vs. federal agents, the police probably win. The feds are spread too thin.

        1. sure, they would have to pull personnel from other fronts, but the example made out of the hypothetical unruly State would more than mitigate any draw down in other locales.

          And that’s accepting that your “spread too thin” assumption isn’t laughable.

          1. And while they’re putting down that one state, what about the other 49 that are thinking they could be next if they let that shit continue?

            There simply aren’t enough federal agents to do what you describe. Particularly if the rogue state is a big one.

            Obviously, the military getting involved would be bad news. But you’d have mass desertions.

  16. OK, the “chilling effect” argument makes no sense. That language is used when talking about constitutionally protected activities like speech and assembly and such, not chasing criminals. This smacks of legislating from the bench.

    1. Are you saying that Federal Agents don’t have a Constitutional Right to end lives while driving negligently?

      1. Yes. Sorry, I know that’s contrarian trolling.

        1. Is there any other kind?

        2. actually, chilling effect is often used in law enforcement in regards to policies that disincentivize cops from catching bad guys (vs. be reckless drivers who should be tried for homicide)

          for example, i again defer to heather mcdonald’s excellent work on the concept of “depolicing” and how it has applied.

          to give an extreme example. assume that there was a law that said that if an officer made a terry stop, with a good faith belief he had reasonable suspicion, BUT a court later ruled he did not have reasonable suspicion, that the officer would spend 2 days in jail and lose a weeks pay.

          would that have a chilling effect?

          sure

          personally, even if i was 99% confident i had RS, would it be WORTH it to risk those consequences to make a terry stop vs. NOT making a terry stop (iow ignore it)?

          based on my game theory – it would not be worth it

          that’s an extreme example, but the balancing issue is clear

          we want to hold law enforcement accountable. but we do not want them afraid to act in good faith and do what they think is the right thing.

          officers have qualified immunity. they do NOT have absolute immunity. that’s an example of the balancing test

          note that in mcpherson they stripped the cop of qualified immunity.

          (but the scotus overruled that) 🙂

          1. If the police officers feel a chilling effect from being subject to state laws when not performing their official duties, maybe they should lobby Congress to change the law like the great unbadged are expected to do.

          2. Somehow, every time I see you post here, I become more convinced that we should abolish your “profession”, and just arm ourselves for our own defense.

            -jcr

            1. ^^THIS!!!!^

  17. The federal government forked over $11 million

    Come on Reason! Taxpayers forked over $11 million ($0.10 per family and 3 times what was spent on bear DNA research in Montana).

    1. To be precise, the federal government forked over $11 million of the taxpayer’s money (or some money they just printed), the taxpayers did not get a choice in the matter.

      TBS, it is a shame this didn’t come out of Eric Holder’s own pocket.

      1. Inflated currency is still stolen from the taxpayers. Inflation is just a slimier way to tax people.

        -jcr

    2. They could have said it more directly, but most of us are aware that the federal gov’t gets all its funds from the taxpayers.

  18. Dotson still works for ICE, in an administrative capacity

    What’s especially frustrating about this is not the immunity aspect, it’s the he-still-has-a-job thing. I argue against this type of blanket immunity, but regardless of my opinion, we’ll just set that aside.

    But it’s the fact that he remains an employee in good standing with the agency.

    If I were this guys boss, I would say, “Look, Dotson, you escaped criminal prosecution. Bully to you. But you just can’t kill innocent people while in the capacity of your job. What if it hadn’t been your car, but you shooting wildly at a suspect? The result is the same. Sorry Dotson, you’re gonna take one for the team. Pack up your things and chuck your filthy muck into the street. You’re finished in this town.”

    1. Yes, but anyone who would say something like that would never have the chance to be the boss of someone like this. They make sure to weed people with actual ethics out.

  19. what’s unusual about this story isn’t what happened… that’s the kind of brave selfless stuff law enforcement officers do every day. the unusual thing is that they wrote an article on it

    btw, i personally know this mulligan guy. years ago, i went to a tactical (yes, a god forbid SWAT) class with the guy and other officers from throughout the pac NW and even (god forbid) a few canadian cops!

    1. BURIEN, Wash. — There were several heroes in Tuesday’s Amber Alert case in Burien. The group of dedicated law enforcers who stayed on the trial of two kidnapped boys, and LoJack.

      LoJack exploded on the scene in Western Washington in the mid 90’s, the same time the stolen Lexus with the two boys inside was built.

      King County Sheriff Steve Strachan says when Michael Riley III drove off in his ex-girlfriend’s car, with their 7 month old son Jamier Riley, and the woman’s 2 year old son Jeremiah, he did not know the car had the factory installed LoJack tracking system.

      The Sheriff’s chopper, Guardian One, was able to pick up the beacon and direct ground units to the car, which was parked in a driveway in the Three Tree Point area of Burien.

      One of the first on the scene was Deputy Paul Mulligan. He and another deputy wrestled Riley to the ground and rescued the children.

      The Sheriff says it appears Riley had been smoking crack in the car, with a loaded gun at his feet, and the two children in the back seat.

      “It’s the best day of my job right now,” Mulligan said. Beaming he added, “We got two kids back to their mom and we got a dangerous guy off the streets. So yeah it’s a great day.”

  20. I think I’m going to start bringing this up any time Lon Horiuchi or HS Precision are mentioned:

    Do not buy anything HS Precision. Fucktards used Lon Horiuchi as spokesperson and got indignant when called on it. They stopped using him, but only because they were getting lots of orders canceled (even by Remington, no less), and it’s pretty evident that the owner is a friend of his and would still be using him as a spokesperson had they not lost a lot of money.

    I intend to boycott them at continue spreading the word about this at least until they change ownership, or until HS Precision ever shows any actual contrition over it.

  21. I was wondering where everyone was. Then I asked myself, “maybe they’re on *this* thread?” Guess I was right!

  22. BTW, whatever happened to Whoriuchie? Did he die from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head when he faced up to what he had done, or is he still alive and employed as an assassin for the federal government?

    -jcr

    1. Last I heard, he was still with the FBI. Teaching FBI snipers.

      Because the guy you want to train your snipers is the guy who, depending on you ask, either 1)completely missed the innocent guy he was trying to shoot in the back and killed an innocent woman holding a baby at a distance of less than a hundred yards, or 2) purposely shot an innocent woman holding a baby.

      Oh, and occasionally he does spokesperson jobs for fucked up companies who don’t understand the people they’re trying to sell stuff to. See my previous post for details on that fuckup.

      1. That’s a pretty strong argument for making the FBI an unarmed investigative agency.

        -jcr

  23. So right after this case was dismissed, DOJ prosecutors filed federal charges against him just like the Rodney King cops? No?

  24. Land of the free, home of the brave.

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