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“Why did you shoot me? I was reading a book”

MaggieD

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“Why did you shoot me? I was reading a book”: The new warrior cop is out of control

http://www.salon.com/2013/07/07/“wh...a_book_the_new_warrior_cop_is_out_of_control/
Sal Culosi is dead because he bet on a football game — but it wasn’t a bookie or a loan shark who killed him. His local government killed him, ostensibly to protect him from his gambling habit.

Several months earlier at a local bar, Fairfax County, Virginia, detective David Baucum overheard the thirty-eight-year-old optometrist and some friends wagering on a college football game. “To Sal, betting a few bills on the Redskins was a stress reliever, done among friends,” a friend of Culosi’s told me shortly after his death. “None of us single, successful professionals ever thought that betting fifty bucks or so on the Virginia–Virginia Tech football game was a crime worthy of investigation.” Baucum apparently did. After overhearing the men wagering, Baucum befriended Culosi as a cover to begin investigating him. During the next several months, he talked Culosi into raising the stakes of what Culosi thought were just more fun wagers between friends to make watching sports more interesting. Eventually Culosi and Baucum bet more than $2,000 in a single day. Under Virginia law, that was enough for police to charge Culosi with running a gambling operation. And that’s when they brought in the SWAT team.

On the night of January 24, 2006, Baucum called Culosi and arranged a time to drop by to collect his winnings. When Culosi, barefoot and clad in a T-shirt and jeans, stepped out of his house to meet the man he thought was a friend, the SWAT team began to move in. Seconds later, Det. Deval Bullock, who had been on duty since 4:00 AM and hadn’t slept in seventeen hours, fired a bullet that pierced Culosi’s heart.

Sal Culosi’s last words were to Baucum, the cop he thought was a friend: “Dude, what are you doing?”

In March 2006, just two months after its ridiculous gambling investigation resulted in the death of an unarmed man, the Fairfax County Police Department issued a press release warning residents not to participate in office betting pools tied to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. The title: “Illegal Gambling Not Worth the Risk.” Given the proximity to Culosi’s death, residents could be forgiven for thinking the police department believed wagering on sports was a crime punishable by execution.

In January 2011, the Culosi family accepted a $2 million settlement offer from Fairfax County. That same year, Virginia’s government spent $20 million promoting the state lottery.
What a pathetic story. Worst part of the whole shootin' match (pun intended) is that they sent in a SWAT Team to arrest the guy. $2 million wasn't enough.
 

Lutherf

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“Why did you shoot me? I was reading a book”: The new warrior cop is out of control

http://www.salon.com/2013/07/07/“wh...a_book_the_new_warrior_cop_is_out_of_control/
The purpose of this militarization of the police is to reinforce the impression that we are all subjects of the state. It's but one more aspect of the nationalization of this country. Our government has simply grown too big, been delegated too much responsibility, been monitored and held accountable too lackadaisically. Tactics like this are the "stick" part of the "carrot and stick" approach to corral us all into the government feed lots.
 

radcen

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Articles like this are why I cringe more and more whenever I read that something... anything... is allowed to be "administratively" enforced.
 

ttwtt78640

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“Why did you shoot me? I was reading a book”: The new warrior cop is out of control

http://www.salon.com/2013/07/07/“wh...a_book_the_new_warrior_cop_is_out_of_control/
Who, in their right mind, thought it necessary to use a SWAT team to "take down" a pencil and paper "criminal"? The morons in VA naturally got suckered into paying the victim $2 million, it cost those actaully involved in the "raid" absolutely nothing. Is the state of VA not guilty of gambling as well? They lost at least $2 million (of taxpayer funds) on a bet that they could send out a team of morons to excute a citizen and then get away with it. ;)
 

ttwtt78640

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What a pathetic story. Worst part of the whole shootin' match (pun intended) is that they sent in a SWAT Team to arrest the guy. $2 million wasn't enough.
$2 million is nothing for the VA gov't employees involved, their paychecks are intact - it was the innocent taxpayers of VA that will take the hit (silently). I agree that the VA gov't should have been forced by the judge, to pay the victim's estate much, much more. The judge should have forced the SWAT leader to go door to door taking $10 cash from each VA resident (at gunpoint?) to drive the point home to those VA taxpaying morons that their gov't is totally out of control.
 

Spartacus FPV

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... this police state has really got out of ****ing hand.

Edit: Oh look, reading forward they did a very similar thing in my county just a few years ago.
 

Goshin

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Absolutely appalling. Terrible abuse of authority. Arguable entrapment.

A SWAT team to take down a middle-aged professional who does a little gambling on the side? When the hell did that ever make sense to anyone with an IQ higher than their shoe size?
 

CanadaJohn

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I have to say that this, to me, is a prime example of the government doing everything possible within its power to ensure that no individuals or groups horn in on their gambling business. All over television, radio and other media sources, the government advertises its casinos, lotteries, etc. and other vices, encouraging everyone to enjoy a little fun, but if you try to get a cut of their action, watch out - the full force of the law will bury you, quite literally in this case.
 

specklebang

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:soapAs far as I know, police are specifically trained to use overwhelming force and fear tactics. I went out to breakfast a few years ago and in the parking lot, at least 20 police cars had gathered and cops were standing around shooting the ****. By herself, handcuffed in back, was a scrawny female speedfreak maybe in her teens.

So, a lot of factors affect what police departments become the enemy.

First of all, with all due respect to any LEOs here, what kind of mentality does it take to want a job like policing? You've never tried drugs. You think you're "tough". You like giving orders. You like carrying a gun, boldly and openly. They don't make you a bad person, but you're so different from me that I feel like you're a different species, and you know that, and you hate me for it. So I'm your enemy. Your fellow officers are your brothers, the rest of us trash, liable to commit a crime at any moment (or take a video of your ugly behavior)

Many actual bad guys own weapons and you do not want to get shot. So, no matter the crime (in NLV they sell crack out of a parked car and as soon as you pay them and take the crack in your hand, like 8 cops with rifles descend on you screaming) they react with massive force.

As we've grown and grown police departments in the search for safety, we've created powerful unions - unions of the only people that are allowed to kill. Unions of the only people that can get away with being dicks. It's inevitable that there will be horrific confrontations.

Disclaimer: by no means do I think all policemen are, well, assholes. I do think that most policemen do tolerate their fellow assholes. I think that's part of the blue line or blue wall thingy. Some police are there because they're noble and want justice done. But your mean cops taint all of you.

Disclaimer: By no means do I think I know what I'm talking about. Your disagreement is welcomed.

Law and order.
 

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To serve and protect.



What I can't understand is why I and others get called looney, crack pot, paranoid, etc, went ranting about the evils of our government, yet stories like this are practically daily.
 

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I have to say that this, to me, is a prime example of the government doing everything possible within its power to ensure that no individuals or groups horn in on their gambling business. All over television, radio and other media sources, the government advertises its casinos, lotteries, etc. and other vices, encouraging everyone to enjoy a little fun, but if you try to get a cut of their action, watch out - the full force of the law will bury you, quite literally in this case.
Know what it says to me? We've got too many coppers.
 

CanadaJohn

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Know what it says to me? We've got too many coppers.
Actually, the number of traffic and parking tickets issued here in Toronto, and likely other large cities, solely for the purpose of raising money for city government, tells me we have too many coppers or at least too many coppers who aren't actually fighting or preventing crime.
 

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And the time marches ever closer where shooting government officials will become necessary to show that freedom must be paid for in blood.
 

Captain Adverse

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“Why did you shoot me? I was reading a book”: The new warrior cop is out of control

http://www.salon.com/2013/07/07/“wh...a_book_the_new_warrior_cop_is_out_of_control/
This also raises the issue of the use of "agent provocateurs," an agent of, or employed by, the police or other government agencies to act undercover to entice or provoke another person to commit an illegal act or falsely implicate them in partaking in the illegal act.

This seems to be happening more and more, perhaps as a reaction to our growing resistance to government interference in out daily lives.

This article contains several examples supporting why, whenever I hear people say "the law is the law," I have to pause and think "did they really say that?"
 

MaggieD

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And the time marches ever closer where shooting government officials will become necessary to show that freedom must be paid for in blood.
^^You'd better lose that **** from your vocabulary.
 

Goshin

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:soapAs far as I know, police are specifically trained to use overwhelming force and fear tactics. I went out to breakfast a few years ago and in the parking lot, at least 20 police cars had gathered and cops were standing around shooting the ****. By herself, handcuffed in back, was a scrawny female speedfreak maybe in her teens.

So, a lot of factors affect what police departments become the enemy.

First of all, with all due respect to any LEOs here, what kind of mentality does it take to want a job like policing? You've never tried drugs. You think you're "tough". You like giving orders. You like carrying a gun, boldly and openly. They don't make you a bad person, but you're so different from me that I feel like you're a different species, and you know that, and you hate me for it. So I'm your enemy. Your fellow officers are your brothers, the rest of us trash, liable to commit a crime at any moment (or take a video of your ugly behavior)

Many actual bad guys own weapons and you do not want to get shot. So, no matter the crime (in NLV they sell crack out of a parked car and as soon as you pay them and take the crack in your hand, like 8 cops with rifles descend on you screaming) they react with massive force.

As we've grown and grown police departments in the search for safety, we've created powerful unions - unions of the only people that are allowed to kill. Unions of the only people that can get away with being dicks. It's inevitable that there will be horrific confrontations.

Disclaimer: by no means do I think all policemen are, well, assholes. I do think that most policemen do tolerate their fellow assholes. I think that's part of the blue line or blue wall thingy. Some police are there because they're noble and want justice done. But your mean cops taint all of you.

Disclaimer: By no means do I think I know what I'm talking about. Your disagreement is welcomed.

Law and order.

I might, as ex-LEO, quibble over some of the phrasing or certain details... but you're not entirely wrong.

I saw the change coming when I was in LE, and I didn't like it. Yes, there's always been a certain "Us vs Them" mentality, but it has grown beyond all reason. When I was a cop, I had a pair of cuffs, a radio, a pouch containing rubber gloves, two speed loaders, and one revolver on my belt. Today I see guys with two or three 15 round mags, Taser, pepperspray, two sets of cuffs, expanding baton, and more pouches with I dunno what in them. More and more, what we used to consider routine ops requiring two uniforms are today performs by 3-12 cops in tactical gear... of course, all of it black, armored and intimidating looking.

Apparently stuff I used to deal with solo, with my voice and authority as my primary tools (backed up by my hands and if need be my sidearm), now requires a heavy-weapons squad.

PDs are getting millions in Fed funding to buy all the tacti-kool SWAT and anti-terrorism gear and weapons and vehicles, then the dept feels obligated to USE the stuff to justify its purchase and maintenance... and you get situations where you have a platoon of cops looking like black-masked Storm Troopers on the street just to arrest a small time pot dealer.

That's not what I signed up for, and I'm glad I'm out, is all I'm saying.
 

radcen

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Absolutely appalling. Terrible abuse of authority. Arguable entrapment.

A SWAT team to take down a middle-aged professional who does a little gambling on the side? When the hell did that ever make sense to anyone with an IQ higher than their shoe size?
This also raises the issue of the use of "agent provocateurs," an agent of, or employed by, the police or other government agencies to act undercover to entice or provoke another person to commit an illegal act or falsely implicate them in partaking in the illegal act.

This seems to be happening more and more, perhaps as a reaction to our growing resistance to government interference in out daily lives.

This article contains several examples supporting why, whenever I hear people say "the law is the law," I have to pause and think "did they really say that?"
In lay terms, entrapment is the encouraging of the committing of a crime which the criminal would not have otherwise committed on their own. The first example in the story, IMO, fits the description of entrapment. There was no reason to believe the level of gambling would have escalated to the point of triggering the higher offenses without encouragement.
 

Captain Adverse

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In lay terms, entrapment is the encouraging of the committing of a crime which the criminal would not have otherwise committed on their own. The first example in the story, IMO, fits the description of entrapment. There was no reason to believe the level of gambling would have escalated to the point of triggering the higher offenses without encouragement.
The problem with using the term "entrapment" is that police agencies will claim the people in each case were already either breaking the law (like claiming the $5.00 entree fee was a "rake"), or in a grey area of possibility because they were engaging in an activity that was already heading toward violating the law (like they probably did in most of the other examples.) "Hey, I saw they were making fairly large private bets, so I hung out and talked about sweetening the pot and he did it. Geez, that means they coulda been doing it all along before I ever got involved."

My point is, you had no business getting "involved" at all.
 

Sarcogito

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This story is insane. What freaking business is it of the government if friends want to make a friendly wager on a game? Or have an office pool? Or get together for a friendly game of poker? I best the majority of the people on this very forum have done at least one of those things.

Police need to spend their time going after violent criminals and thieves. Leave everyone else the F alone. And using SWAT teams on non-violent criminals is a horrible idea.
 

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The expansion of SWAT anw d SWAT para-military clothing and gear has had a disasterous psychological effect on law enforcement on a vast scale. Stories of police abuse and people beat and shoot without justification or necessary are so common now that people just yawn.
 

blackjack50

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^^You'd better lose that **** from your vocabulary.
I didn't say I was grabbing my gun and fertilizer. But anyone who thinks that they could oppress American citizens against their will doesn't realize how much fun rednecks have with gun powder, gasoline, and some matchstick fuses.
 

molten_dragon

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Things like this would dry up almost overnight if the individual cops involved in things like this were held legally and fiscally responsible for it when it happened, rather than letting the city pay the lawsuits and allowing things to be investigated internally.
 

blackjack50

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Things like this would dry up almost overnight if the individual cops involved in things like this were held legally and fiscally responsible for it when it happened, rather than letting the city pay the lawsuits and allowing things to be investigated internally.
Of course every POS criminal would claim "police brutality" when the cop takes then down after they tried to run.
 
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