Brickbats

Brickbat: Something Definitely Smells Here

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The La Paz County, Ariz., sheriff's office says it is investigating a deputy who stopped a driver because he had an air freshener hanging from his rear view mirror. Video of the stop by that driver, Phil Colbert, shows the deputy tell Colbert he can't have the air freshener hanging from his mirror because it could distract him. It also shows the deputy asking him if he has weapons in the car, if he has marijuana in the car, when the last time was that he smoked marijuana, if he has cocaine, if he has heroin, if he has used drugs in the past two days, if he has a medical marijuana card, and if he will consent to a search of the vehicle. The deputy repeatedly accuses Colbert of being nervous, which the deputy says is a sign of deception. The video ends with the deputy giving Colbert a warning for the air freshener and telling him he should have a more positive attitude towards law enforcement.

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  1. Chief Deputy Curt Bagby of the La Paz County Sheriff’s Office said the agency was aware of Colbert’s complaints and was reviewing the deputy’s body-camera footage for the stop to see if he violated policy.

    Turns out that policy is to unnecessarily escalate traffic stops, employ maddening verbal judo and generally be a disingenuous prick. So, no, Deputy Eli Max didn’t violate policy.

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  2. Bagby did not confirm the deputy’s identity, saying he was only willing to refer to him as “E. Max” for now. He also wouldn’t say if the deputy had received other complaints or infractions, but suggested The Republic submit a public records request for the information.

    Evasive. Evidence of deception.

  3. No dogs were killed. Things are getting better.

  4. The beatings will continue until morale improves.

  5. I’m sure Eli would be cool as a cucumber if while minding his own business and interfering with no one, Mr. Colbert visited him openly carrying a sidearm and bludgeon, in paramilitary garb accusing him of having done wrong.

    1. One of my libertopia fantasies is that these kinds of actions should rebound in similar fashion. Having been such an ass, Mr Colbert should be able to pull Eli over at any time of his choosing over the next year or so (but just once) and berate him similarly for no reason, and with the real power to follow through on the implied threats of searching and arresting, as determined by a coin flip. Or possibly, any random number generator with odds determined by Eli’s record; if 1/3 of Eli’s stops result in searches, and 1/5 result in arrests, there you go.

  6. With an attitude like that, a loaded gun and qualified immunity… what could go wrong?

  7. …and telling him he should have a more positive attitude towards law enforcement.

    No hint of sarcasm in the delivery of that line? This fuckwad should get a gig at the local La Paz county comedy club.

  8. When I was doing ride alongs, one of the cops told me that air fresheners were something they’d look for, because it was a good sign that the person was a marijuana user. Other signs? 3 or 4 teenagers in a single car, black and white people together, yeah, there’s a reason I chose not to be a cop.

    1. Yeah, air fresheners (or anything actually) hanging from the rear view mirror is illegal in IL, along with a ton of other BS stuff who’s only purpose is to allow cops to pull over any person at any time

      1. Yeah, but what about in Arizona? If it’s legal in Arizona, what exactly was the basis for the stop?

      2. “…along with a ton of other BS stuff who’s only purpose is to allow cops to pull over any person at any time.”

        It’s all about safety and any argument to the contrary makes you a safety denier. I just want to make it home safe without getting killed by some selfish marijuana smoking safety denier distracted by a dangling air freshener. (Writer sighs and adds “air fresheners” to an already exhaustive list of daily encountered deadly dangers.)

        “…air fresheners were something they’d look for, because it was a good sign that the person was a marijuana user.”

        Oh, so a state created safety hazard through marijuana criminalization. Your betters would best explain it through a defensive political euphemism, of “unintended consequences” (yet obviously not unknown), without any call for a remedy because FYTW. Kinda like state induced motivation for people throwing beer cans out the car window. If it is only about a pretext to pull someone over then it’s clearly an irrelevant, if real, safety concern to the lyin’ state. (Writer removes “air fresheners” from list.)

      3. Illinois is a bullshit state. My girlfriend was pulled over in Glencoe for having one of the two license plates lights out. (The real reason was she was driving a late-model car with an ugly rusted dent because she decided to pocket the insurance money instead of repairing the car.)

        That was just an excuse to run her license and registration. They then told her that her Illinois drivers license was suspended because she hadn’t gotten an emissions test for her car. But she didn’t have an Illinois drivers license or tags, she had moved to Indiana and had an Indiana license and tags that were both perfectly valid. Nevertheless they still arrested her for having a suspended Illinois license.

        They then asked me if I could drive her car. I replied: “Yes, I’ve never had an Illinois license.”

  9. “and telling him he should have a more positive attitude towards law enforcement.””

    It’s wrong for you to think I’m an asshole, when I treat you like I’m an asshole.

  10. The deputy repeatedly accuses Colbert of being nervous, which the deputy says is a sign of deception.

    If I weren’t nervous before, I sure as hell would be nervous after that statement. At some point under such badgering, I might even fear for my life.

  11. Racially profiled my ass. I’m white af and that shit used to happen to me all the time in Arkansas. And I never used air fresheners. The cops would find any excuse to pull me over and try to search me. Sometimes they just went ahead and did it anyway without probable cause or my consent. They knew I couldn’t do shit about it. This was before cell phone cameras.

    This happened in Arizona, right? They are notorious for fucking with people just to get them into the clutches of their racket they call the justice system. They hit people with fines and fees and that’s just the beginning. Any interaction with the cops there is likely to result in your being out thousands of dollars eventually, or some sort of forfeiture. It’s all about money to them and has nothing to do with your race, unless your race can make them more money.

    1. “Racially profiled my ass. I’m white af and that shit used to happen to me all the time in Arkansas.”

      The joy of intersectionality is that it transforms any interracial interpersonal upset into fuel for racial hatred generally.

  12. The deputy repeatedly accuses Colbert of being nervous, which the deputy says is a sign of deception.

    Or maybe it was a sign of having an over-aggressive cop all up in his face? Nah, that would only make you nervous if you were a filthy criminal dope fiend, right?

  13. What kind of obsolete slack-jaw is surprised by a black man’s nervousness during a pretextual police stop in remarkably white, remarkably non-black, predictably backward, intolerant, and Republican La Paz County?

    The kind of replacement-worthy, bigoted authoritarian who is issued a badge by La Paz County, it appears.

    1. Hey, you have to be fair here – this is LaPaz county. Deputy’s probably never seen a Black man before.

  14. A negative attitude towards law enforcement is earned. Show me someone with a positive attitude towards cops and I’ll show you someone who has never been a crime victim, nor been accused of a crime. Crime victims know cops don’t do dick to investigate, and the accused know that cops will make up anything to get a conviction.

  15. It also shows the deputy asking him if he has weapons in the car, if he has marijuana in the car, when the last time was that he smoked marijuana, if he has cocaine, if he has heroin, if he has used drugs in the past two days, if he has a medical marijuana card, and if he will consent to a search of the vehicle.

    And the proper place to refuse to answer additional questions and tell him to get a warrant is…

    1. …right after you show him your license, registration, and/or proof of insurance (requirements vary by state). Oh, and don’t tell him to get a warrant. Just stop talking.

      1. My “Don’t Talk to the Police” tweet:
        A US law professor explains why you don’t talk to the police. Most of the principles seem applicable to other countries.
        They weave the rope to hang you out of you words, their *recollections* of them, and the *recollections* of others of events.
        Don’t Talk to the Police
        https://youtu.be/d-7o9xYp7eE

  16. Chief Deputy Curt Bagby of the La Paz County Sheriff’s Office

    Jeez. I didn’t know LaPaz county had three whole law enforcement officers. That’s like one cop per 5 people for that county.

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