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Author Topic: Copwatch Invited for Ride-Along - Got Questions for a Keene Police Lt.?  (Read 22423 times)

Coconut

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Re: Copwatch Invited for Ride-Along - Got Questions for a Keene Police Lt.?
« Reply #195 on: May 30, 2008, 09:55 PM NHFT »

I guess being offered a ride shut down the copwatch.

Ian already commented on this, but I just wanted to echo.

There isn't a whole lot to watch. It's hard to find people willing to give up hours of time walking downtown, where we might see 2 pullovers if we're lucky. Me, on a warm night, I'd bike up and down the strip for hours, if I had a bike (I'll probably go to the shop next Friday). I wish we had the infrastructure to have some sort of response team to incidents, but we just don't have that right now.
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Shane Maxfield

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Re: Copwatch Invited for Ride-Along - Got Questions for a Keene Police Lt.?
« Reply #196 on: May 30, 2008, 10:42 PM NHFT »

First, to Dr. Kirk, “You win.”  There, now go play with your blocks and leave the grown-ups to talk.

Now that the flurry of “outrage” and name-calling has subsided a bit, I will speak, given that several people have demanded to know the why’s, how’s etc.  No doubt most will disagree with my views, but you’ve asked and I’ll answer, and civilly.

First, some background.  I have outlined, in detail to Lauren and more basically in these forums, my views on the “Driver’s License” concept.  Call them “papers” if it makes you feel better, but whatever you call them, they are NOT a requirement to live in this country, not even to travel.  However, if you want to be in control of a car, you need a license.  The reasoning behind this is simple: there are lots of people out there who regularly endanger the rest of us (and our families).  Whether they routinely drive drunk, drive recklessly (like the motorcyclist from the other day who initiated the events that eventually led to my arresting Russell), habitually speed etc.  The licensing process attempts to keep them off the roads by having the requirement that everyone needs one to drive, and when you lose your license you lose your privilege to drive that 2000lb hunk of steel on the roads.  The consequences of getting caught driving without a license, or on a suspended license, deter most of those dangerous drivers, in my experience.  And keeps them from driving, and endangering you and me.

“No victim, no crime,” is what is thrown at me now, and I say again, there’s never a victim until BAM, people burn to death or are maimed for life, or just have their car wrecked.  Everyone says “Wow, what a bummer,” but usually it’s not your wife who’s dead, or your seven year old daughter who is decapitated by a drunk driver (exaggeration?  Here’s the link: http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/personal/05/29/o.lifesaving.lesson/index.html ). 

Now, I don’t agree with suspending people’s licenses for non-payment of child support, or for blowing through an EasyPass toll gate.  But I do support the basic premise, and purpose, behind the driver’s licensing system.  Because of that, I do not let people just drive off when I know they’re suspended.  While I have given many people breaks for a joint or baggie of dope or pot pipe, I have not for driving suspended.

Russell’s account of his arrest was quite accurate.  He’s a good man and I’ve yet to find him being dishonest or trying to bullshit, even when it might benefit him.  This is what happened through from my viewpoint:   Two of my officers had stopped a motorcyclist for slaloming through traffic, in the oncoming lane, at over a hundred miles per hour.  Some of you will say “Where’s the problem?”  We saw a problem and addressed it.  We managed to stop him on West Street at Base Hill Road, where the Country Club is.  As the Shift Commander I went over to offer my assistance, and found that my two units and the motorcycle were filling most of a lane, so I got out to help traffic around.  As I was doing so, Russell drove up and stopped at the stop sign, I immediately saw that was him.  I was sure his license was suspended (because it has been since I’ve known him and he’s repeatedly told me and others he doesn’t need a license to drive), so I walked over to him.  He was smiling, and asked me what was going on.  I told him, and told him to pull over near where the motorcycle was, and he did.  He got out, there was some discussion about his license, and I asked why, if he was paying California the child support stuff, they couldn’t reinstate his license?  I think he said something about it would take months for them to do that.  His license was confirmed as suspended, and we arrested him.  A tow truck had been requested for Russell’s car, but he asked if Kat could just take it, I said sure and cancelled the tow.

At the PD, Russell was cooperative and agreed to be bailed.  However, a closer check of his motor vehicle record indicated that this current charge would only be a violation, so I told my officer to cancel the Bail Commish for him and just release him on a Summons.

To sum up: I saw Russell driving, knew he was suspended, detained him and double-checked it, and arrested him.  He was processed and released on a Summons.

I will explain, as I have to Russell probably a couple times.  When people rack up enough points on their driving record, they will eventually be declared a Habitual Offender.  When they get arrested for driving again, they will get charged with a felony and will go to jail, most likely for a year.  The courts don’t give a rat’s ass about anyone’s politics, or their opinion of whether they should be required to have a driver’s license.  It’s the law to have one, and they will put you in jail over it.

As I see it, there’s a sizeable portion of the population who would support reform of the drug laws.  That support seems to be growing, and indeed I support that as well.  However, in regards to driver’s licensing, I think you will find the vast majority of people support it.

The retort I get to this is “Mob rule.”  Fine, but be honest…if the “mob” agreed with your views you wouldn’t have a problem with it.

While we’re talking about laws and change, I’d like to take this opportunity to discuss just that.  No intent to insult or put you guys down, just my opinions.  I see, as I’ve said before, many good ideas in this movement, much correct thinking.  I also see disorganization, lack of leadership and a hodgepodge of actions limited to the tactical level (that’s the local stuff, like the open-carry litter pickups, copwatch, puppet shows, “I’m gonna drive on my suspended license”  etc.).  In some ways this is good (it’s difficult to smash an organization that is as decentralized as you guys, to put it bluntly).  However, tactical actions alone will not affect much change.  You may attract individuals to join your movement from here and there, you may get individuals from within the hoovernment to join you, or at least agree with you on some levels (as I do).   Some tactical actions might attract negative attention from the very citizens you’re trying to “wake up,” making them think you’re a bunch of kooks (even before they check out some of the more, uh, extreme personalities on this forum!).

In order for you guys to affect change (change or eliminate certain laws or whatever), you’re going to need the support of the general population, or at least a goodly portion of it.  You just don’t have the numbers or support for a “revolution” if that’s what you’re after.  To think you’re just going to rip down the current political structure of this state or the nation is a pipe dream, at least for now.  You should get some people thinking “strategic,” which means putting your own reps and senators in the state house, or at least winning many more current ones over to your thinking.  Then you can work to repeal laws to your heart’s content.  I suspect once people around the country see “it” working in NH, you may spark efforts in other states, and eventually the nation.  It will take time, and effort.  And if eventually it is legal for Russell to drive around with no license, and with a huge doobie hanging on his lip, I’ll be more than happy to wave to him as he drives on by.

Lastly, for the three of you who have listened to this point, I came to this forum looking for neither “buddies” nor the subversion of your cause.  I came because I agree with many of your views, and I thought that communication (I called it détente earlier) could only benefit us all.

Enjoy your weekend, I’m going camping.
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FTL_Ian

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Re: Copwatch Invited for Ride-Along - Got Questions for a Keene Police Lt.?
« Reply #197 on: May 30, 2008, 11:16 PM NHFT »

On licensing:

Private road owners and auto/road insurers would have incentive to certify drivers and restrict them as necessary.  Safe roads are important.

As a former professional driver, Russell could easily pass certification.

If he chose to get one from a recognized area driving school, that should be more than sufficient to satisfy any competency concerns the police have with him.

Would you arrest him if he was privately certified?  If yes, you are not protecting anyone, but acting as a govt revenue enforcer.


Post moved per coconut's suggestion.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2008, 09:42 AM NHFT by FTL_Ian »
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Coconut

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Re: Copwatch Invited for Ride-Along - Got Questions for a Keene Police Lt.?
« Reply #198 on: May 30, 2008, 11:51 PM NHFT »

Maxfield posted an identical post in the "Russell Arrested" thread on Civil Disobedience. I suggest we keep all comments to his post on that thread.
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Fluff and Stuff

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Re: Copwatch Invited for Ride-Along - Got Questions for a Keene Police Lt.?
« Reply #199 on: May 31, 2008, 12:11 AM NHFT »

Ian and anyone else involved with Copwatch in the Keene area, I'll be in Keene for several days this year, likely just before Burning Porcupine and I'd love to help with Copwatch.  I don't own a video recorder but I do have a car and I'd love to do Copwatch with someone that has a recorder.  I may even be in Keene right after Pocfest to do this.
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David

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Re: Copwatch Invited for Ride-Along - Got Questions for a Keene Police Lt.?
« Reply #200 on: May 31, 2008, 01:05 AM NHFT »

woo hoo, I didn't see you last year at porcfest such and such.  It'd be cool to see you in Keene.   8)
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Fluff and Stuff

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Re: Copwatch Invited for Ride-Along - Got Questions for a Keene Police Lt.?
« Reply #201 on: June 01, 2008, 03:09 AM NHFT »

David, I was in summer school so I missed Porcfest 07.  So, does that mean you wanna do some cop watching?
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Coconut

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Re: Copwatch Invited for Ride-Along - Got Questions for a Keene Police Lt.?
« Reply #202 on: June 01, 2008, 08:44 AM NHFT »

David, I was in summer school so I missed Porcfest 07.  So, does that mean you wanna do some cop watching?

It's hard to know where to look. I know that 101 is a pretty popular road for pullovers, but it's long. I saw a 3 cop pullover there yesterday, but didn't stop to record it or anything.
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littlehawk

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Re: Copwatch Invited for Ride-Along - Got Questions for a Keene Police Lt.?
« Reply #203 on: March 10, 2010, 02:09 PM NHFT »

What an interesting thread. What happened to these two policemen? Are they still abusing their power and disrespecting the oath they took?

Were the charges against Mr. Kanning dismissed?

Littlehawk
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