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How To (Illegally) Get A Gun And Permit In New York City.

Lichtenstein-NYPD-Badge-ROH
Alex Lichtenstein had a hot business going.

In New York City, where it is down right impossible to get a permit for a weapon, Lichtenstein had a way to get around that little roadblock of permits being denied to honest citizens.

For $18,000 you could pay Lichtenstein and he would come back to you later on and have a perfectly valid gun permit enabling you to go purchase a gun and keep it in the city. The “illegal” part of “How to Illegally Get A Gun and Permit in New York City” comes into play when one sees how Lichtenstein was obtaining the permits.

A Brooklyn volunteer safety patrol member was charged Monday with bribing cops with $6,000 in cash and other goodies to expedite gun permit requests, and three officers were transferred out of the licensing unit as part of the far-reaching NYPD corruption probe.

Shaya (Alex) Lichtenstein, 44, was so cozy with cops in the License Division that he’d spent nearly every day inside the office in police headquarters since 2014, federal court papers say.

Yep. To get the permits, Lichtenstein was bribing police officers who were in charge of the permitting process.

The amount of bribes to the officers were not too shabby when put together:
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Scott, Brown And Gray.

BCPD-Abstract-Colors-ROHEight months after the shooting death Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, the parents of Brown have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the City of Ferguson claiming Brown would be alive if not for the City “foster(ing) a culture of pervasive hostility toward African-Americans that eventually led to the 18-year-old’s death.” (A copy of the lawsuit can be found here.)

The lawsuit is one of those that seeks to shift blame on everyone else. It was the City of Ferguson who forced Brown and his friend Dorian Johnson to commit a strong armed robbery. It was others who demanded that Brown and Johnson walk in the middle of the street. It was others who told Brown to attack Officer Darren Wilson and then later force Wilson to defend himself.

It was that “pervasive hostility” that allowed the grand jury to not indict Wilson. It was that hatred of African Americans that led to the Department of Justice clearing Wilson in the shooting.

Civil trials are funny things where juries can and will ignore facts, but one would hope that if the parents of Michael Brown win one cent, the shop owners and home owners of the City of Ferguson go after any award because of comments made by Brown’s stepfather to “burn this bitch down” to a crowd of rabid protesters looking for any spark to ignite the rage that took over Ferguson.

The death of Brown was not the only death that caught the attention of the American people.

Earlier this month, 50 year old Walter Scott was shot in the back by South Carolina Officer Michael T. Slager as Scott was running away. videos of the events leading up to the shooting, the shooting and following the shooting dramatically contradict Slagers’ statements in the shooting. Slager was fired from the police force and is now facing murder charges.

What is still up in the air is “why did Scott run?”

There is speculation that Scott ran because he was behind on child support payments and would have been arrested and sent to jail for non-payment. How jailing someone for non-payment is going to make a person pay or somehow allows a person who is short on money to make payments is something we cannot figure out. No matter what, we should ponder the idea that Scott’s fear of going to prison over a debt led to an altercation with Officer Slager and ultimately Scott’s death.

Someone is going to have to tell us how killing a fleeing 50 year old and making his kids orphans is a good outcome when the offense is non-payment. One thing is for certain: Scott is not going to make any more child support payments now.

Our friend Walter Olsen (of the CATO Institute and Overlawyered.com) and others from the CATO Institute discuss the rational and effectiveness of jailing parent who cannot afford child support below.
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Good Cop, Bad Cop.

Michael Slager (left) and Walter Scott (right)  Images courtesy of NCPD and USCG.

Michael Slager (left) and Walter Scott (right) Images courtesy of NCPD and USCG.

Except in relatively rare cases, no one wakes up in the morning thinking that their life will end that day. No one thinks that they will end the life of someone that day either.

Yet last Saturday in Charleston, South Carolina, Officer Michael Slager shot and killed Walter Scott. There is no doubt that Slager killed Scott. There is horrific video of the shooting and the aftermath. There is dashcam video that adds to the narrative as well. A second dash cam has come out now as well.

We are a society in which we are quick to judge that is what is happening here in this case. Many people are using the video of the shooting as another example of cops out of control. Some are claiming this is another example of white cops “executing” black men. Many people are saying that if you run or resist arrest, you should expect to be killed by the police. (For the record, merely running from the police does not allow them to legally shoot you.)

We don’t know what was in the mind of Walter Scott when he ran. We don’t know what was in the mind of Officer Slager as he fired the shots that killed Scott.

From the way it looks now, we have to say that things are bleak for Slager. If what shows on the video(s) is what happened during the incident, Slager should go to jail.

And rightfully so.

On the flip side of the coin, take a look at this video from a dash cam. The video is from 2013 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. An officer pulls over a car and asks for identification from the passenger.

Things go downhill from there.
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Everyone Is Under Investigation.

Smart-License-ROHVia Walter Olsen over at the blog Overlawyered.com comes the story of relatively new police technology that allows police to scan, read and check license plates against a database.

“License Plate Readers” (LPR’s) are cameras mounted on a police vehicle. Every time the camera sees a license plate, it scans the image and enters the license plate into a database. The cameras and the technology allows police to scan thousands of license plates and hour without ever lifting a finger. When the LPR has a “hit” on a plate that has been reported stolen, matches someone driving without insurance, has a warrant, etc., the police officer is alerted and they can pull the alleged miscreant over.

The technology has gotten so good that the systems can see through different weather conditions and even at night. Nothing but the on / off switch stops the camera from recording license plates, where they were seen, and the time of day. It doesn’t matter whether you are on a road, highway, parked in a parking lot, parked in your driveway, or parked along the street, the LPR will scan the license plate at an average rate of 60 license plates per second. Cities have been known to mount the LPR’s on every street that comes into the city to be able to track people coming and going. As part of investigations, police can use the data to track the movements of cars and their drivers. If the police suspect someone of dealing or buying drugs, they can use the data to track locations where the deals may be made. A sales video from Vigilant Solutions shows how software can track people using the data from a LPR.

Sounds like a great crime fighting tool, doesn’t it?

The problem is that LPR’s scan and keep data on every license plate they “see.”
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Good Cops, Bad Cops.

An officer of the Webster, Massachusetts is suddenly an internet star after a video was posted by someone trying to show the officer had a “me, not thee” attitude. Watch for yourself:

Looks pretty bad, doesn’t it? A cop parked in a handicapped spot? A cop saying he can park and do whatever he wants?

For a moment, put yourself in the position of the officer. You get picked to make a run for food for people at the station and as you are coming out, someone with a camera rolls up on you, giving you a hard time. How would you react?

For us, it would pretty much be like the cop reacted especially since the cop was in the right.

Yep.

The video doesn’t give the whole story and even worse, the cop was parked legally.

Here is a picture of the parking lot:

(image courtesy Webster Police Department)

(image courtesy Webster Police Department)

The arrow shows where the cop was parked. Notice that there are no signs indicating that the spot is for handicapped parking as required by law.

The Webster Police Department’s Facebook page has more of the details:

Webster-PD-FB-post

The officer is still getting a lot of nasty comments because when asked “so you can do whatever you want?” the cop says “yeah…” and the rest of his answer is muffled because the person filming talks over the officer and doesn’t appear to want to hear the answer anyway. But what if the rest of the answer the cop gave is “….within the law, yeah, I can do whatever I want – just like you can.” No one should have a problem with that type of an answer and we certainly don’t have issues with it here.

The bottom line is that someone decided to make a video to make a cop look bad, and in the process, made themselves look like idiots.

Enjoy your BigMac in the blissful knowledge that you were in the right, Officer.


Contrast that officer to the police out in Portland, Oregon.
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This Is Resisting Arrest?

Jami Tillotson is a public defender in the city of San Francisco. She has worked in that capacity for the last 18 years. On January 27, 2015, San Francisco police Inspector Brian Stansbury tried to question two clients of Tillotson outside a San Francisco courtroom. Tillotson told her clients they did not need to answer any questions from the police. She told the police that her clients would not answer any questions without their attorney being present. Despite her clients’ absolute right to have their lawyer present when being questioned, Stansbury told Tillotson to “stand aside” and move away while he questioned and took pictures of the two men.

When Tillotson refused to move away while her clients were being questioned, she was arrested for “resisting arrest.”

This is what “resisting arrest” looks like as the incident was filmed:

The San Francisco Police Department immediately stepped in and apologized for one of their detectives arresting a lawyer for protecting her clients’ rights.

Nah. Sorry. They didn’t.
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Sanity And Open Minds.

We have said before that all police are not bad and that police departments must work to rid themselves of bad cops. We have also said that all citizens are not innocent and are looking to provoke responses from police.

The best course of action is for everyone to step back, think, and try to put themselves in the other person’s position.

One person did just that.

Jarrett Maupin, a vocal social activist and minister in Arizona recently accepted a Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department invitation to go through some “use of force” training the police go through.

The results are stunning and show that the police are not all bad and have to make split second decisions, and that some protestors are open and willing to see things from a different perspective.

This is something that more departments should think of doing and more activists should do as well.

It is far past the time to start building bridges and understanding.



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Pizza Hut Delverymen Now Carry Guns. And Badges.

We give police a hard time around here sometimes when it is deserved, but this story is not about police behaving badly.

After a pizza hut delivery man was involved in an accident, two Portland police officers delivered the pizza to the couple who had ordered the pizza.

(Courtesy: Steve Huckins)

(Courtesy: Steve Huckins)

Ryan Rakos was delivering a pizza to Steve Huckins and his wife when he was involved in a vehicle accident in which he hurt his back and neck. The accident was unknown to the Huckins who called the PIzza Hut to say their pizza had not been delivered. The manager of the store said he would make another pizza and deliver it personally.

While the Huckins were chowing down on the second pizza, there was a knock at the door. Huckins opened the door to find two officers with the first pizza in hand, completing the delivery.
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