Category Archives: Uncategorized

Seaton: Adventures in Lock Picking!

I took up lock picking recently.

The idea came in a moment when I was cleaning out the kids’ toy room and came across a pick set I’d ordered a couple years ago but never really used. So I watched a couple of YouTube tutorials, read a manual, and started working on “bypassing pin tumblers.”

It was hard at first. Really, really hard. And because I’m a stubborn son of a bitch and won’t let something go until I get it, I kept a pick set and practice padlock with me all the time. Continue reading

Adam Toledo Complied

He was a 13-year-old seventh grader at Gary Elementary School. He was also a 13-year-old with a gun being chased by cops down a dark alley late at night. There’s an inexplicable compulsion to turn victims into saints these days. They’re not. They don’t have to be. Even kids who do bad things shouldn’t be needlessly killed. Adam Toledo was doing bad things, even though he was just a 13-year-old seventh grader. That shouldn’t have been the case, but it was. And he still shouldn’t have been shot and killed.

Adam Toledo complied. Continue reading

The Soft Coup of the Progressoriat

John McWhorter calls them the “Elect.” Georgetown Palestinian-American feminist law prof Lama Abu Odeh called them the “Progressoriat.” Lacking both the intellectual bona fides of these academics and the identitarian cred, I’ve come up with no new names and have relied on a variety of terms that are invariably seen as pejorative when they come from an old, unwoke, white male liberal lawyer. But then, does the name really matter when someone goes as far out on a limb as Lama Abu Odeh?

Progressive liberals are blind to the fact that there is a regime take-over apace everywhere in academic institutions. A new ruling elite is taking over academic institutions by using its “minority status” to exercise a “soft” coup and is appealing to the minoritarianism of progressive ideology to legitimize its coup—or, if you like, to “manufacture consent.” I will call the adherents of this ideology the “progressoriat.”

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Repercussions At A Personal Level

The killing of Daunte Wright is subsumed by the fact that he was an unarmed young black man who shouldn’t have been shot, shouldn’t have died. There can be no dispute about this. But that doesn’t mean that all other facts and circumstances cease to exist, unless the only thing that matters is that it happened. And to some, that’s certainly the case, Wright’s death coming during the Derek Chauvin trial, following almost immediately upon the stop of Lt. Caron Nazario, both within miles of each other.

Twenty-six year police officer Kimberly Potter has been charged with manslaughter 2 upon her claim that she thought she was firing her Taser when she fired her service weapon and killed Wright. There are arguments that cut both ways as to the veracity of her claim, though there is no reason why she would have wanted to kill him rather than prevent him from fleeing after being stopped for expired tags and having an open warrant in an armed robbery case. The man 2 charge tells us that its premised on the reckless mistake of shooting her gun rather than the Taser. And, indeed, if that’s what happened, it would seem quite likely that she was reckless. Continue reading

Morality and Survival

If the option is kill or be killed, the choice is clear. But the option is rarely so clear. The probability of surviving an encounter with police is vastly improved by complying with their orders, no matter how wrong, confused, conflicting or distasteful they may be. No, no innocent, law-abiding person wants to be forced to lie in the dirt, and any cop who fails to grasp this is an idiot. But better to have to wash your clothes than have your loved ones lay out clothing for a funeral.

And before anyone else points out the obvious, no, compliance doesn’t guarantee survival or even that you make it through the encounter without physical injury. But it still greatly enhances the likelihood you will, and that’s about the best we can do until we come up with a better way to all survive. Continue reading

Cariol Horne, Cop Hero

She was fired from the Buffalo police department before she hit her 20 year mark, and finally was vindicated by a decision almost 15 years in the making that her termination was wrongful. So what did former Buffalo cop Cariol Horne do that was so bad that she was thrown off the force? She saved a life.*

On Nov. 1, 2006, a postal worker flagged down a patrol officer to report an argument between a man and a woman at a two-unit house on Walden Avenue. Among the Buffalo police officers responding was Horne. Continue reading

Tuesday Talk*: Vanishingly Rare

The killing of Daunte Wright, on the heels of the needlessly aggressive actions of officers who stopped Lt. Caron Nazario, during the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd, is a “perfect storm.” For what, however, varies wildly.

Is this the moment to revisit whether police should be involved in traffic stops at all? They are too easily abused as pretext stops. The legal justifications range from trivial nonsense that could be better handled by non-police, indeed, cameras, although they too have significant problems that seem to elude those arguing for alternatives. And drunk drivers, dangerous vehicles, harm others. There’s a long list of concerns which are serious when they’re on the front burner, and insignificant when another problem is front and center. Continue reading

Conflicting Command Conundrum

Is there a “bright side” to the misbegotten stop of Lt. Caron Nazario? Absolutely. He “only” ended up being pepper sprayed and not dead, like Daniel Shaver. Both presented two fairly common themes in police encounters. First, the person is not an “experienced criminal” who knows what to do when he’s confronted by the police, but is an ordinary, law-abiding citizen who has no reason to expect the police to feel antagonistic or threatened by him. Second, the police issued conflicting commands. Or to be more realistic, police simultaneously screamed  directly contradictory orders interspersed with threats and vulgarities.

These two factors aren’t inherently connected, and yet play out together. What’s an ordinary person to do when two police officers, with guns drawn and pointed, engaged you with professionalism, courtesy and respect? Continue reading

Deadly Legal Takes

Ed. Note: This isn’t a post about what happened to Lt. Caron Nazario. I make that absolutely clear up front because I will be brutal about it later in the comments. Don’t go there.

For the most part, the twitter account @BadLegalTakes has a fun, if overwhelming, time, retwitting screen caps of legally ignorant things being spewed on twitter, mostly by non-lawyers, but occasionally by lawyers and even the President of the United States. There is no shortage of legal ignorance, with a certainty of correctness that would make Dunning and Kruger blush. Continue reading

Woke, But Anti-Union?

The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union tried to unionize an Amazon warehouse in Alabama. The employees voted. The union lost. Obviously, that can’t be possible unless Amazon did something wrong, because why else wouldn’t employees vote for a union to take dues from their paychecks?

“Our system is broken,” said Stuart Appelbaum, the union’s president. “Amazon took full advantage of that.”

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