Cops: "If we have to get a warrant…we’re gonna shoot and kill your dogs"

Eric CrinnianEric Crinnian, an attorney in Kansas
City, Missouri, says police came to his door looking for parole
violators, and got upset when he refused them permission to tramp
through his house and paw through his possessions. In fact, he
claims, one cop went so far as to threaten to shoot his dogs if he
made them abide by the requirements of the law by getting a search
warrant to look through his home. Remarkably, a criminal justice
professor says the police actions may not be illegal, though they
could be awkward in court.

According to
Fox 4 News in Kansas City
:

Eric Crinnian, a lawyer,  heard a loud banging at his door
Monday night, he was instantly alarmed since a neighbor’s house was
robbed a few weeks ago, so he grabbed a crow-bar.

Crinnian said three police officers were outside his house.

“I open the door a little bit wider and he sees that I have
something in my hand, so he pulls his gun, tells me to put down
whatever I’ve got and then come out with my hands up, so I do,”
Crinnian said.

They wanted to know where two guys were, and Crinnian later
found out police believed they violated parole.

“I said, ‘I have no idea who you’re talking about I’ve never
heard of these people before,’” he said.

To prove it, he said police asked to search his house, Crinnian
refused multiple times.  He said they needed a warrant.

Then he said one police officer started threatening him saying,
“If we have to get a warrant, we’re going to come back when you’re
not expecting it, we’re going to park in front of your house, where
all your neighbors can see, we’re gonna bust in your door with a
battering ram, we’re gonna shoot and kill your dogs, who are my
family, and then we’re going to ransack your house looking for
these people.”

The police department
is following the usual script, insisting it is internally
investigating Crinnian’s Office of
Community Complaints
report, so you can probably safely assume
that officials hope this case will fall into the void where most
grievances against police go to die. Then again, as a lawyer,
Crinnian may have a little more recourse than most, and perhaps a
better shot at keeping his front door on its hinges.

Eric Crinnian's dogJohn Hamilton, an
associate professor of criminal justice administration
at Park
University and a retired Major with the Kansas City, Missouri,
Police Department, told the news station that the officers’ threats
may not be illegal, though they’re inappropriate and it’s possible
they violate department policy. He also pointed to the matter of
appearances, saying that such behavior “makes it tenuous when you
appear in front of the court in a case like that.”

But Jonathan Turley, a professor of law at The George Washington
University Law School,
isn’t convinced that it’s legal to threaten to shoot people’s dogs
and otherwise humiliate them if they insist on the protections of
the Fourth Amendment
. “It would in my view be a little more
than inappropriate and could constitute a crime. While it could be
a tough case on this evidence, one possibility would be a criminal
threat.”

Turley points (accidentally, I think) to a
Kansas statute
regarding “criminal threat.” But Missouri has a
statute
that defines a “credible threat
…against the life of, or a
threat to cause physical injury to, or the kidnapping of, the
person, the person’s family, or the person’s household members or
domestic animals or livestock” as aggravated stalking and might fit
the bill in this situation. However, that law explicitly
exempts law enforcement officers “conducting investigations of
violation of federal, state, county, or municipal law,” which is
more than a little disturbing.

Really? It’s OK to threaten people’s lives, their family, and
their pets if you’re a cop?

If it is legal to threaten people with violence if they
stand on their rights, it shouldn’t be, Turley adds. I’d have to
agree.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/05/cops-if-we-have-to-get-a-warrantwere-gon
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UK Wants EU’s Free Movement Policy Changed

The British
government wants to change one of the only good things about the
European Union.

From the
BBC
:

Britain wants to change the rules governing the free movement of
people across the EU, Home Secretary Theresa May will tell European
ministers.

Mrs May will speak in Brussels, ahead of the lifting of movement
controls on Bulgarians and Romanians.

She says free access to labour markets must not be allowed to
lead to “mass migration”.

However, some countries have already vowed to defend what they
regard as a fundamental EU principle.

EU justice and home affairs ministers will meet in Brussels on
Thursday.

Follow this story and more at Reason
24/7
.

Spice up your blog or Website with Reason 24/7 news and
Reason articles. You can get the
 widgets
here
. If you have a story that would be of
interest to Reason’s readers please let us know by emailing the
24/7 crew at 24_7@reason.com, or tweet us stories
at 
@reason247.


from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/05/uk-wants-eus-free-movement-policy-chang
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UK Wants EU's Free Movement Policy Changed

The British
government wants to change one of the only good things about the
European Union.

From the
BBC
:

Britain wants to change the rules governing the free movement of
people across the EU, Home Secretary Theresa May will tell European
ministers.

Mrs May will speak in Brussels, ahead of the lifting of movement
controls on Bulgarians and Romanians.

She says free access to labour markets must not be allowed to
lead to “mass migration”.

However, some countries have already vowed to defend what they
regard as a fundamental EU principle.

EU justice and home affairs ministers will meet in Brussels on
Thursday.

Follow this story and more at Reason
24/7
.

Spice up your blog or Website with Reason 24/7 news and
Reason articles. You can get the
 widgets
here
. If you have a story that would be of
interest to Reason’s readers please let us know by emailing the
24/7 crew at 24_7@reason.com, or tweet us stories
at 
@reason247.


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About Minimum Wage and Today’s Strikes at Fast-Food Chains

In
a Daily Beast column yesterday
, I wrote about a labor action
planned for today in which protesters show up outside fast-food
outlets and clamor for a $15 minimum wage (the current federal
minimum wage is $7.25). Events are planned for 100 or more cities
and some
have already taken place
.

Here are some things to think about:

  • Fewer than 3 percent of all workers in the United States make
    the minimum wage. The percentage drops further if you’re talking
    about full-time employees.
  • 77 percent of minimum wage earners belong to households above
    the poverty line.
  • 51 percent of minimum wage earners are 24 years or younger. Of
    the minimum wage earners over 24, less than a quarter are below the
    poverty line and 62 percent live in households that are at or above
    150 percent of the poverty line.
  • Even economists who question whether hiking the minimum wage
    causes significant unemployment for low-skilled workers tend to
    agree that doubling wages will reduce jobs.
  • A recent New York Times story titled “Life on $7.25 an Hour”
    centered on a man who had a job paying $13 an hour and who owned a
    $500,000 house.
  • The protests are organized by groups affiliated with the
    Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and inlcude calls for
    unionizing fast-food workers along with the demand to double the
    minimum wage to $15 an hour.

As I write in
the Beast piece
, none of this is to minimize the difficulties
faced by many minimum wage earners and fast-food workers. But most
minimum wage earners are not supporting families and in fact, most
move up from the minimum wage with their first year on the job. As
important, doubling wages isn’t feasible from either a
political or an economic angle. The whole program reeks of cynicism
coming from the SEIU, which has a history
of organizing workers in high-turnover, low-skilled industries

and then failing to deliver on contracts that radically improve
things for its members.


Read the full Beast story here
.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/05/all-about-todays-planned-wage-strike-at
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About Minimum Wage and Today's Strikes at Fast-Food Chains

In
a Daily Beast column yesterday
, I wrote about a labor action
planned for today in which protesters show up outside fast-food
outlets and clamor for a $15 minimum wage (the current federal
minimum wage is $7.25). Events are planned for 100 or more cities
and some
have already taken place
.

Here are some things to think about:

  • Fewer than 3 percent of all workers in the United States make
    the minimum wage. The percentage drops further if you’re talking
    about full-time employees.
  • 77 percent of minimum wage earners belong to households above
    the poverty line.
  • 51 percent of minimum wage earners are 24 years or younger. Of
    the minimum wage earners over 24, less than a quarter are below the
    poverty line and 62 percent live in households that are at or above
    150 percent of the poverty line.
  • Even economists who question whether hiking the minimum wage
    causes significant unemployment for low-skilled workers tend to
    agree that doubling wages will reduce jobs.
  • A recent New York Times story titled “Life on $7.25 an Hour”
    centered on a man who had a job paying $13 an hour and who owned a
    $500,000 house.
  • The protests are organized by groups affiliated with the
    Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and inlcude calls for
    unionizing fast-food workers along with the demand to double the
    minimum wage to $15 an hour.

As I write in
the Beast piece
, none of this is to minimize the difficulties
faced by many minimum wage earners and fast-food workers. But most
minimum wage earners are not supporting families and in fact, most
move up from the minimum wage with their first year on the job. As
important, doubling wages isn’t feasible from either a
political or an economic angle. The whole program reeks of cynicism
coming from the SEIU, which has a history
of organizing workers in high-turnover, low-skilled industries

and then failing to deliver on contracts that radically improve
things for its members.


Read the full Beast story here
.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/05/all-about-todays-planned-wage-strike-at
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Video: The Giving Tree vs Atlas Shrugged – YA Author Arin Greenwood on “Save the Enemy”

“The Giving Tree vs Atlas Shrugged: YA Author Arin Greenwood on
Save the Enemy” is the latest from ReasonTV.

Watch above or click the link below for full text, links,
downloadable versions and more.

View this article.

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Video: The Giving Tree vs Atlas Shrugged – YA Author Arin Greenwood on "Save the Enemy"

“The Giving Tree vs Atlas Shrugged: YA Author Arin Greenwood on
Save the Enemy” is the latest from ReasonTV.

Watch above or click the link below for full text, links,
downloadable versions and more.

View this article.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/05/video-the-giving-tree-vs-atlas-shrugged
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NYC Health Commissioner Says E-Cigarettes Must Be Banned Because They Look Like the Real Thing

Yesterday the New York City Council held what
The New York Times
describes
as “one of the most scientifically vague and
emotionally charged health committee hearings in recent memory.”
The scientifically vague part was the justification offered by
supporters of a ban on the use of electronic cigarettes in “public
places” such as bars and restaurants. The main sponsor of the
proposed ban, Councilman James Gennaro, has
said
it is aimed at protecting children who might mistake
e-cigarettes for the real thing, conclude that smoking must be cool
again, and proceed directly to a pack-a-day habit that will
endanger their health and shorten their lives. Perhaps recognizing
that some people might deem this scenario implausible, ban backers
offered a few more arguments at yesterday’s hearing:

The health commissioner, Dr. Thomas A. Farley, said electronic
cigarettes were such a recent invention that he could not say
whether they were hazardous to the health of those smoking them or
those who might breathe in secondhand vapor. He said that they do
put out fine particles and chemicals, and “I certainly can’t
guarantee that that is safe.”

He said the problem with e-cigarettes was that they made smoking
socially acceptable, and that they were a “bridge” for people who
went back to smoking regular cigarettes.

“Does it help people quit, or does it help people not quit?” Dr.
Farley asked, rhetorically.

Then Dr. Farley indulged in a bit of theater himself, fishing
around in his shirt pocket, saying, “Just to give you an idea, I’ve
got one here somewhere,” before pulling out an electronic cigarette
that he pronounced “indistinguishable” from a real one. He and
other supporters of the ban say e-cigarettes confuse
people like bartenders and restaurant owners who have to
enforce the existing smoking ban, making that ban harder to
enforce.

The rationale for the smoking ban was protection of bystanders,
and Farley concedes there is no evidence that e-cigarette
vapor—which consists
almost entirely of propylene glycol (an FDA-approved food additive)
and water, plus nicotine and flavoring agents—poses a risk to
vapers, let alone the people around them. Still, he “can’t
guarantee” it is safe, since  e-cigarettes “do put out fine
particles and chemicals.” So do cooking, perfume, and diner
flatulence. Can Farley guarantee those are safe? If not, shouldn’t
he be demanding a ban on these emissons as well? 

Farley supplements Gennaro’s concern about confused children
with sympathy for confused bartenders and restaurateurs, who might
tell a patron “you can’t smoke in here,” only to discover that he
is in fact vaping. To spare them the embarrassment of such a faux
pas, Farley proposes making it illegal to impersonate a smoker.
That is one approach. Another would be for the managers of bars and
restaurants to instruct their employees in the differences between
a burning stick of dried vegetable matter and an e-cigarette, which
contains no tobacco and produces no smoke. It is even possible that
waiters and bartenders have begun to figure this out on their own.
But if bar and restaurant owners do not want to deal with this
hassle, they can always ban vaping in their establishments, keeping
in mind that they might lose some customers to vaper-friendly
competitors. 

Farley’s third argument is that e-cigarettes are a “bridge” that
leads former smokers back to conventional cigarettes. As with
secondhand vapor, there is no evidence whatsoever to support this
hypothesis, and the hearing room was full of former smokers who had
the opposite experience: E-cigarettes helped them stop smoking,
thereby dramatically reducing the health risks they face. That was
what made the hearing “emotionally charged”: A bunch of
self-righteous, know-it-all politicians and bureaucrats want to
legally ostracize people who have found a much less dangerous way
to get their nicotine fix. By lumping vaping in with smoking, an
e-cigarette ban will discourage other smokers from trying a product
that could literally save their lives. All in the name of
health.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/05/new-yorks-health-commissioner-says-e-cig
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Canada to Cop: It's OK to Smoke Pot, Just Not In Uniform

As marijuana grows more socially and legally acceptable, the
political issues around it evolve:

Dude, I'm so high right now.Cpl Ronald Francis, an officer with more than 20
years’ service in the eastern province of New Brunswick, has a
medical prescription that allows him to take up to 3g of the drug
daily to treat symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, Canadian
broadcaster CBC reports. While senior officers have said that his
marijuana use is fine under Canadian medical and human rights laws,
they have drawn the line over smoking in public while wearing the
[Royal Canadian Mounted Police]’s famous red serge uniform.
Assistant commissioner Gilles Moreau told CBC that “it would not
portray the right message to the general public, it’s definitely
not something we would support or condone.”

If only all our drug debates were like this one.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/05/canada-to-cop-its-ok-to-smoke-pot-just-n
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Canada to Cop: It’s OK to Smoke Pot, Just Not In Uniform

As marijuana grows more socially and legally acceptable, the
political issues around it evolve:

Dude, I'm so high right now.Cpl Ronald Francis, an officer with more than 20
years’ service in the eastern province of New Brunswick, has a
medical prescription that allows him to take up to 3g of the drug
daily to treat symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, Canadian
broadcaster CBC reports. While senior officers have said that his
marijuana use is fine under Canadian medical and human rights laws,
they have drawn the line over smoking in public while wearing the
[Royal Canadian Mounted Police]’s famous red serge uniform.
Assistant commissioner Gilles Moreau told CBC that “it would not
portray the right message to the general public, it’s definitely
not something we would support or condone.”

If only all our drug debates were like this one.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/05/canada-to-cop-its-ok-to-smoke-pot-just-n
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