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Put down the sparkling water or we'll shoot!

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47 replies to this topic

#1Alpheus  GDNet+

Posted 01 July 2013 - 01:10 AM

This story is so outrageous. I think you just have to read it.

VA State ATF tries to arrest and almost shoots college students in mistaken beverage identity.

Felony charges were dropped on Thursday against a 20-year-old University of Virginia student who says she panicked when undercover agents from the state's Alcohol Beverage Control division mistook her water purchase for beer.

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#2tstrimple  Prime Members

Posted 01 July 2013 - 01:23 AM

It doesn't matter if it was beer she had purchased. That show of force was completely unnecessary. Drawing a gun on someone you think purchased alcohol illegally? wtf Virginia?

#3Olof Hedman  Members

Posted 01 July 2013 - 01:24 AM

OMG...  That's some fucked up agent... Why on earth would you feel the need to pull a gun on a girl with a 12 pack of beer?

If anyone should be charged, it should be that lunatic.

That was the person endangering the lives of both the girl and his/her fellow agents.

Where's the sense of proportion?

Edited by Olof Hedman, 01 July 2013 - 02:06 AM.

#4samoth  Members

Posted 01 July 2013 - 03:04 AM

Where's the sense of proportion?

As someone recently said (I think it was Gauck?) in context of the Snowden story: "What the fuck, USA? I agree that one needs to protect oneself against harm and maintain order, but not at every price. Not everything that's possible is allowable".

This looks like the same thing in small scale to me. It's the right thing to point a gun at anyone coming out of a drug store. They've probably done something wrong at some point in their lives. Hey, they might be armed robbers. Or terrorists using soda water as explosive. Like you are when you enter an airplane with a bottle of soda...

#5alnite  Members

Posted 01 July 2013 - 03:29 AM

Yay! The world is coming to an end!

More corrupt, self-righteous people.

Revolts in Egypt and Turkey

Never-ending conflicts in Africa and Middle East.

US-EU relationship in jeopardy, thanks to NSA (are you reading this NSA????)

WW3 is probably coming to your door step.

#6samoth  Members

Posted 01 July 2013 - 04:21 AM

Yay! The world is coming to an end!

More corrupt, self-righteous people.

Revolts in Egypt and Turkey

Never-ending conflicts in Africa and Middle East.

US-EU relationship in jeopardy, thanks to NSA (are you reading this NSA????)

WW3 is probably coming to your door step.

Now that sounds exactly like this Bible woman at my door tried to explain to me last week.

Wars and revolts, the Enlightened preaching but nobody listening, greed and arrogance among men ----> the end of the world.

Luckily, as Bible lady explained to me, I'm not going to burn in hell for not listening to her, but Earth is being transformed into paradise again. For everyone, including me.

#7FLeBlanc  Members

Posted 01 July 2013 - 08:26 AM

This is what comes of kids growing up watching Lethal Weapon and Tango and Cash, thinking that "real police work" means blowing shit up and spraying bullets around, repercussion-free. You know what? I'm starting to be in favor of gun control, starting with the cops. Just take fucking guns away from everyone.

#8way2lazy2care  Members

Posted 01 July 2013 - 08:56 AM

Did they pull the gun before or after she hit them with the car? I think that makes a big difference in my opinion here.

#9phantom  Members

Posted 01 July 2013 - 09:40 AM

I agree - the report is confusing and unclear as to the time line.

It says she was 'walking to her car' as they approached and yet at later it says she had to turn on her engine to wind down the windows which caused them to try and break the windows. Even the part where it says one jumped on the hood of the SUV while another pulled a gun implies she had got into the car at this point - so did they pull the gun after she apparently walked away from them, got into a car and started it?

The knee jerk 'omg! agents over reacting!' is predictable given the way the article is structured, the headline used and the way it was written.

Lets say the sequence of events was;
- girl exist store and walks towards car
- 6 people approach holding a badge and ask her to stop
- girl gets into car and locks the door
- agents then ask her to wind window down
- at which point she starts car
- agents react because it looks like she is trying to get away (jump on hood, pull gun)
- at which point she then drives off

Given that sequence of events, where someone is apparently trying to get away from the people in question I'm less inclined to go all 'omg! agents on a power trip!'.

But, as with all things we only get half a muddled story which leads to people biasing it with their own views...

#10samoth  Members

Posted 01 July 2013 - 10:01 AM

Though hitting someone who pulls a gun on me with the car is what I'd try too, to be honest. The car is the only weapon you have at hand, and if some group of presumed armed robbers jumps on you, you need to defend your life.

I mean, seriously, what else can you do if someone points a gun at you, surely not give in and hope that he won't shoot you. Why wouldn't he shoot you anyway, he's got no reason not to. On the other hand, with his chest under your tire, it's kind of hard shooting you.

Of course it will turn out that the agents were right and the girl was lying. She probably had 200 grams of cocaine in her trunk, too. And a shotgun. No surprise there. Like the agents in that video on tv news last week where 4 or 5 of them were kicking and giving the rod to a person who was helpless on the floor. Sure enough he was a major threat with his face to the ground and his arms around his head. Good police work.

"If you pick up a brick and kill one of those pigs [referring to police] it ain't no loss."

-- Joschka Fischer around 1980 (before his time as Minister).

#11Alpheus  GDNet+

Posted 01 July 2013 - 10:26 AM

I agree - the report is confusing and unclear as to the time line.

It says she was 'walking to her car' as they approached and yet at later it says she had to turn on her engine to wind down the windows which caused them to try and break the windows. Even the part where it says one jumped on the hood of the SUV while another pulled a gun implies she had got into the car at this point - so did they pull the gun after she apparently walked away from them, got into a car and started it?

The knee jerk 'omg! agents over reacting!' is predictable given the way the article is structured, the headline used and the way it was written.

Lets say the sequence of events was;
- girl exist store and walks towards car
- 6 people approach holding a badge and ask her to stop
- girl gets into car and locks the door
- agents then ask her to wind window down
- at which point she starts car
- agents react because it looks like she is trying to get away (jump on hood, pull gun)
- at which point she then drives off

Given that sequence of events, where someone is apparently trying to get away from the people in question I'm less inclined to go all 'omg! agents on a power trip!'.

But, as with all things we only get half a muddled story which leads to people biasing it with their own views...

But even if that's the case, it takes 6 of you? And you jumped the hood and pulled your gun? Over beer? And tried to break the glass. Over beer? Why not just take down their license plate? And it's two girls. Someone's taking underage drinking too seriously. And they even pulled over for actual cops.

But yes, the article is unclear and the timeline does seem to be a bit out of sorts.

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#12Alpheus  GDNet+

Posted 01 July 2013 - 10:27 AM

Did they pull the gun before or after she hit them with the car? I think that makes a big difference in my opinion here.

If you're in your car and people are trying to break in the windows, I don't think it makes much of a difference. This is my opinion of course.

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#13jms bc  Members

Posted 01 July 2013 - 11:00 AM

Standard behavior for much of law enforcement in most of the country.

I'm guessing that the cops here are investigating the store, not the people. Even if these were under-aged adults (what a strange phrase) with alcohol, then the cops would primarily want to use their purchase as evidence against the store/clerk. So, the cops' behavior is even worse and more disproportional than it seems at first (ie, they must have known these women were no threat).

Incompetence + meathead + lazy. Never expect better from law enforcement, and take this into account when prescribing their duties and limits. (Also take into account when dealing with them.) You cannot depend on discretion with this sort.

Hopefully, the attention will have some negative impact on the careers of the officers involved. Doubt it though.

The Four Horsemen of Happiness have left.

#14phantom  Members

Posted 01 July 2013 - 11:36 AM

The car is the only weapon you have at hand, and if some group of presumed armed robbers jumps on you, you need to defend your life.

Except that isn't what happened... in the 'victims' own words - "They were showing unidentifiable badges after they approached us, but we became frightened, as they were not in anything close to a uniform" .

So they weren't 'jumped' at all...

#15jms bc  Members

Posted 01 July 2013 - 12:07 PM

Phantom, the girls could be exaggerating the extent to which they were intimidated. Or they were needlessly frightened by the innocuous.

Or, most probably, these were typical cops. When the girls got close to the car, they came from several directions shouting "Down on the ground!", "Hands up in the air!" and "Don't move!".

The frightened girls hurry into the car and lock the doors. Now the cops, half of whom are dressed like homeless, are shouting at the windows, spraying saliva like rabid dogs. No longer trying to id themselves and angry at perceived lack of respect, they try to take control through additional uncoordinated intimidation. Two of them use tasers on the vehicle, for the heck of it. Guns are drawn. Someone jumps on the hood. It's like zombie survival here.

Edited by jms bc, 01 July 2013 - 12:07 PM.

The Four Horsemen of Happiness have left.

#16phantom  Members

Posted 01 July 2013 - 12:08 PM

But even if that's the case, it takes 6 of you? And you jumped the hood and pulled your gun? Over beer? And tried to break the glass. Over beer? Why not just take down their license plate? And it's two girls. Someone's taking underage drinking too seriously. And they even pulled over for actual cops.

But yes, the article is unclear and the timeline does seem to be a bit out of sorts.

Well to be fair it was 7 (6 men, 1 woman), but again we are vague on details. How did they approach? Was it as a group, was it spread out? At what point did they announce who they were? Reading the article it is unclear as the phase 'after they approached us' is odd; does this mean they approached and stopped at distance? or close? or after they started approaching?

What did the agents do to identify themselves? Did the lead agent say they were ATF offices? Why wasn't the girl able to identify the badge? Did she not recognise it? (in which case there is an education issue) was it too dark? Did they just flash it or hold it badly? When did they identify themselves? Was she in the car at the time? Or did she get in afterwards?

Before she turned the engine on what was the lead up? Did they say wind the window down? Or get out? or did she do it without instruction?

If they identified themselves then starting the car would look like they are trying to leave/escape at which point the situation escalates because it goes from a simple 'check for beer' to 'why are they running? what are they hiding? Is something else going on?' thus the reaction, which might well be standard ATF training to prevent a vehicle, and an SUV at that, from leaving in that situation?

Also, it wasn't "two girls" - again the article is maddeningly unclear but it clearly states "as her roommates seated inside" & "My roommates and I" which implies there was more than 2 in the car. Now, this could have been only 3 people in total, or there could have been 4 or 5 in there.

As for the licence plate, I dare say as they drove off they would have called it in however from their point of view the people in the car are trying to run which means even if they pull the licence plates that could have just escalated into a chase which could have ended in an accident with more people hurt - logically the thing to do is to try and prevent this from happening by stopping the vehicle leaving and containing the situation - imagine the news report if they had been hiding something, got into a chase, refused to stop, lost control and crashed into someone/group of people killing someone and it came out that the agents didn't even try to stop them?

As also 'over beer' is what we can say with hind sight but in this situation but what if they had been running because they had a load of drugs in the car? or some other reason they didn't want to be stopped by the agents? If they had been the case we'd never hear of this story because suddenly they are just doing their job correctly - If the girls had just beer with them and the agents believed they had identified themselves clearly the fact they appear to have tried to run suddenly makes it about more than 'just beer'.

According to that article they didn't pull over for the police but for another agent in a car with 'sirens and lights', although no mention of it being marked.

The fact is the lack of coherent time line and lack of full details from both sides makes any one taking any clear position as 'right' nothing more than them projecting their own issues onto the situation - there is no objective way to say who was in the right here.

One of the key things I'd like to know is why no one could identify the badge because that is a key event which triggers the rest...

#17samoth  Members

Posted 01 July 2013 - 12:18 PM

The car is the only weapon you have at hand, and if some group of presumed armed robbers jumps on you, you need to defend your life.

Except that isn't what happened... in the 'victims' own words - "They were showing unidentifiable badges after they approached us, but we became frightened, as they were not in anything close to a uniform" .

So they weren't 'jumped' at all...

So you're a 20 year old (or the like) girl, and some beefy definitely-not-uniformed guys that probably look more like pimps than cops come running at you, shouting "police" and show something that might be a library pass, or a blockbuster video club card, or something they've printed on their inkjet down in the cellar where they keep young women as hostages.

Now tell me you're not trying to get into the car and get the door shut.

Next, they draw guns, and one of them jumps onto your car's hood. Oh fuck. Now tell me you're not scared to death and you're not panicking.

#18phantom  Members

Posted 01 July 2013 - 12:28 PM

So you're a 20 year old (or the like) girl, and some beefy definitely-not-uniformed guys that probably look more like pimps than cops come running at you, shouting "police" and show something that might be a library pass, or a blockbuster video club card, or something they've printed on their inkjet down in the cellar where they keep young women as hostages.

Now tell me you're not trying to get into the car and get the door shut.

Next, they draw guns, and one of them jumps onto your car's hood. Oh fuck. Now tell me you're not scared to death and you're not panicking.

Interesting... so tell me where you get...
- beefy definitely-not-uniformed guys that look more like pimps
- running
- shouting 'police'
- information on the id they showed
- _they_ draw guns

... from?

Because ALL of that you just made up to fit your view of the events.
The article makes :
- no mention of their appearance besides 'not in uniform', also one was a woman
- no mention of 'running'
- no mention of how they identified themselves
- identification was just unidentified; no mention of what or why... maybe the girls simply didn't recognise it?
- only one person drew a gun, which might well have been in response to them appearing to try to flee the scene

The lack of critical thinking in this thread is frankly shocking from a group of people who are apparently interested in a field where critical thinking is a key skill.

Edited by phantom, 01 July 2013 - 12:29 PM.

Posted 01 July 2013 - 12:42 PM

Phantom, are you saying that, if 7 people come up to you and start giving you orders, the first thing you will think of is "Oh, they are undercover cops.". No. You will think "I'm getting robbed. / Potentially raped / Maybe just harassed" The badge is irrelevant, no way for me to know its not fake.

Probably would have turned out differently if only 1 or 2 of the cops went to check things out.

I think the fact that the felony charges against the girls were dropped tells you everything you need to know.

#20tstrimple  Prime Members

Posted 01 July 2013 - 12:48 PM

I think the fact that the felony charges against the girls were dropped tells you everything you need to know.

This.

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