'Hot Felon' Illustrates Culture of State Supervision, Incarceration



The booking photo of Jeremy Meeks became kind of a thing ("meme") on the Internet last week. Since then, his bail has been raised to $1 million. According to friends, Meeks' wife is upset with the attention his mugshot has gotten. "She's furious. Her man is in there and people are taking it as a joke, thinking it's funny talking about his looks, saying all kinds of crazy things," a friend told CBS Sacramento.

More interesting, however, is what led to Meeks being booked and what his arraignment hearing last week was about. Via CBS Sacramento:

Meeks was arraigned on eleven felony counts related to firearm possession, street gang membership, and violating his probation.

Stockton Police said he's not a good guy. Meeks is a convicted felon, having spent two years in prison for grand theft in 2002.

So the police label Meeks "not a good guy" based on a conviction more than a decade ago, for which Meeks has done his time. Now he is in the crosshairs of law enforcement largely because he has been before. None of the felony charges listed above are for violent crimes. Firearm possession is a Second Amendment right, street gang membership arguably a First Amendment right, while probation is largely a jobs program built on the backs of felons who have done their time but whom the state wants to keep under adult supervision anyway. One of the charges, not mentioned above, appears to be called "street terrorism." It's a dangerous perversion of the word "terrorism" to include not just politically-motivated violence by non-state actors but violent crime in general.

And yet in this case, Meeks is not accused of any specific violent crime, while Stockton apparently has a serious crime problem. The community may be better served if cops target suspects accused of specific violent crimes rather than engaging in the kind of pseudo-preventative law enforcement that leads them back to the same low hanging fruit over and over again while crime remains a problem.

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  1. Stockton apparently has a serious crime problem.

    *Shocked face*

    The radio host who replaced Kennedy apparently got scolded by someone on twitter for being misogynistic after they did a call in spot on why women like jerks (related to this story). Apparently the the woman that scolded him had something like “OMG he’s so hot! #FelonFriday” on her twitter.

    1. Pretty much all comments by women about this picture are along the same lines.

      1. It’s a little weird, but folks do seem to come out of the woodwork for crazy. Look at how people got all up on that Tsarnaev kid.

    2. I saw one twitter post from a woman who said, “Never before has a criminal been so popular!”

      Clearly, she doesn’t follow politics.

  2. “Her Him?

    1. Gay guys and straight women are the most confusing demographic.

  3. Is it the tear and neck tattoos that make him hot?

  4. while probation is largely a jobs program built on the backs of felons who have done their time but whom the state wants to keep under adult supervision anyway.

    Probation is one of the worst revenue schemes ever thought of, and the POs are even bigger assholes than cops.

  5. Now he is in the crosshairs of law enforcement largely because he has been before.

    It’s not law enforcement’s fault that the correctional institutions didn’t do their job probably.

  6. So I hear the Ex-Im Bank is going away and Repuketards are doing it because they hate small mom and pop exporters like Boeing.


  7. Thanks for pointing this out Ed. I hadn’t heard about the story. The charges against him seem…aaa…modern. Has anyone been successfully prosecuted just as a “street terrorist” or is it always one of those piling-on kind of charges?

  8. This seems like Ed Krayewski’s morning stretch. Yeah, I suppose you could look at this case and talk about the First and Second Amendment, which seems like the libertarian equivalent of a leftist seeing poverty and racial discrimination, or a conservative talking about broken homes and loss of religious values. But for those of us whose ideology does not overrule our common sense, those tattoos and that record tell us things about this fellow. And who thinks that record is complete? That’s only what they caught him for.

    1. If the cops didn’t catch those other things you think he did, in spite of having him in custody, I’d say that’s a pretty good sign they are incompetent, and there are probably many times more people who did the same things and were never caught.

      Which means you think they should keep on piling on this guy rather than hunt down other criminals who they don’t have in custody.

      1. Getting caught and convicted multiple times for real crimes is hardly “piling on.” As for incompetence, perhaps, but it’s often the case that cops know specific crooks are guilty of things they can’t arrest and convict them for. They got Capone for tax evasion, and no, I don’t care that Prohibition should never have happened.

        It’s obvious that this guy is a dangerous felon, and it’s stupid to defend him.

    2. I’m not seeing your point. To me the charges seem more than a little creative. I mean – If someone is charged with shooting person X at place Y at time Z…That’s a charge. Every charge would need to contain references to the instance(s)when the crime was committed. There should be no “bad man” charge, and referencing his past as sufficient reason to hold him is just weird.

      1. In many states, I believe, convicted felons can’t legally own guns and people on probation can’t associate with other criminals. He appears to have done both. The charges seem pretty legit, to me. I’m as big a second Amendment supporter as anybody, but a state law saying people who’ve been convicted of serious crimes can’t own guns seems entirely sensible to me.

        1. I would say people who have been convicted of violent crime not being legally allowed to possess a fire arm for an extended period of time seems sensible to me but, I get your point.

          1. What about their right to keep and bear arms?

            Common sense? How about the fact that there is no exception for convicted felons set forth in the 2A?

            1. It doesn’t say prisoners can be deprived of the RKBA either, but common sense tells you that’s not what the authors meant. A restriction on arms outside of prison for those convicted is merely an extension of that.

        2. Let’s take into account that the main business of the gang is probably the drug trade.

          Which shouldn’t be illegal anyway. And because it is illegal, the only way of enforcing contracts is with violence. Thus the guns.

          Should people who have been convicted of selling illegal drugs be denied the right to own weapons? Probably not.

          1. Prohibition was wrong, too, but that doesn’t mean it was wrong to convict Capone etc. for their various crimes.

            And come on, “enforcing contracts”? That’s a rather anodyne way of referring to what gangs do.

            1. Gangs do a lot of different things, but enforcing agreements between parties in a drug transaction is a huge role. Retaliating for failure to pay debts, and stealing drugs or money from the gang is part of that.

              Of course they also fight over territory, which wouldn’t be allowed in a libertarian society, but the above two ARE essentially things that we would want courts to do anyway.

              1. They also intimidate and threaten witnesses, which is not very libertarian, and which was one of the reasons for passing the “street terrorism” law.

                1. But we don’t know if the witnesses in question are drug informants or murder witnesses.

                  It’s not clear if what this guy is involved with is effectively self-defense or aggression.

                  A lot of the violence surrounding the drug trade is defensive in nature, and it’s not clear if whatever this guy was doing was a defensive aspect of that trade or something that objectively violates someone else’s rights.

                  1. I don’t think a teardrop tattoo and a Northside Crips tattoo are symbols of self-defense.

                    1. Depends on whether the person he killed was aggressing against him, doesn’t it?

    3. Yep. Slow news period, I guess.

  9. while probation is largely a jobs program built on the backs of felons who have done their time but whom the state wants to keep under adult supervision anyway.


  10. Meh.

    I’d need to know more before forming an opinion.

    Anyone ever had a run-in with a “bad man”? It might change your thinking. I hired a contractor who turned out to be a convicted felon. (Yes, I should have run a background check and didn’t.)

    Long story short, he stole $32k from me. Turns out he did 2 years for fraud and had been arrested over 10 times for passing bad checks. He is essentially a con-man who has ripped off nearly everyone he’s ever worked for.

    The DA won’t touch him unless you sue him first. It would cost more in attorney fees than he owes me, and even if I win he won’t pay as he has nothing on paper. He’s been sued repeatedly by others who haven’t seen a nickel.

    If you met the guy on the street, you’d like him. Some people are so loathsome they do not belong in society. He is one. I’m sure there are others. Don’t be quick to take the felon’s side just because you hate cops. They might be doing it because they can’t get him on anything else.

    1. I don’t like the sound of “They might be doing it because they can’t get him on anything else.”

      1. Me either.

        But I really don’t like the sound of…you just took it in the ass for $32k and you can’t do a fucking thing about it, while this shitbag moves on to his next victim.

        1. Yes, the laws need to change.

        2. Why not put up a website telling the facts about him? It would put a big crimp in his activities, and isn’t truth a good defense against libel? He might sue you, though that could work out in your favor.

          1. We posted his criminal record on Angies list. He did threaten to sue us over it, but has not, as I told him my next stop after winning our counter suit would be the DA.

            Thing is, he’ll just fold up his current company and open his “business” under a new name. Our subsequent research (God, how I wish I’d done it on the front end) shows he’s had multiple businesses under different names. He has been sued and filed nuisance lawsuits so many times the county clerk knew him by name. Our lawyer knew all about him.

            And he walks free…

            1. Put the same info on a free website like Blogspot or Tumblr so that it can be Googled. In fact, tell him you’ll do that unless you get your money back. Tell him you know about SEO (search engine optimization) and that anyone who Googles him, forever, will see his full history on the first page of results. (I’ll be happy to send some tips if you’d like.) He might fold.

              A few years ago I had a used car dealer try to screw me over the registration/plate fee after our deal (which supposedly included included those fees). I simply pointed out that it was inadvisable to try to screw someone who puts up websites for a living, because I could do that and make sure that anyone who searched for his name or business would find out what I had to say. He cried “blackmail!” (which it isn’t) but delivered the plates the next day.

  11. He could be part… time… model.

    1. He’s the most beautiful boy in the room.

    2. He does seem more model good looking than anything with the high cheekbones and striking features.

      1. The tatts are a huge fucking warning sign, though. I don’t like ’em period, but especially on the face they scream “criminal” and/or “batshit insane”.

        1. Yeah. There’s no way I’d walk up to him in a bar and chat him up. The fine features mixed with danger would probably get the fashion world’s collective panties wet though.

          They fell all over Rick Genest, who is much more extreme.

  12. One of the charges, not mentioned above, appears to be called “street terrorism.”

    “I see a man walking down the street in that hat, I say to myself, ‘There goes a guy who ain’t afraid of NUTHIN’.”

    1. That sounds like the sweetest hat ever.

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