Positive LEO moment

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crstophr
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Positive LEO moment

Post by crstophr » Wed Sep 08, 2010 12:52 pm

We were camped at 7:00 and esplanade. As of Sunday night all but three of us had left and our camp was eerily empty. My GF and myself decided to skip the trek out to the temple and just watch from where we were. We were standing about 25' away from our camper with the door open, holding each-other and enjoying the view when a sheriff on an ATV rolled up to us.

"Is that your camper with the door open?" he asked.

"Yes"

"OK, just wanted to make sure nobody was rifling through your stuff. We're on the lookout for that sort of thing during the burns."

"Hey, thank you for looking out for us!"

"Of course, we're not here to harass people. We just want to make sure you're OK."

"Have a great night!"

"You too"

And off he rode....

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Isotopia
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Post by Isotopia » Wed Sep 08, 2010 1:00 pm

It does not at all surprise me that it was the Sheriff.

Of all the various law enforcement agencies that head up to the event the the local sheriff's crew is and has been for many years - the best. The most respectful. The least intrusive. And, unlike their federal counterparts the BLM they aren't inclined to wipe their collective ass on the Constitution.

Glad to hear that you had a positive LEO moment.

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Post by Sham » Wed Sep 08, 2010 1:12 pm

As a person who is not shy about bitching like hell, I would have to compliment the law enforcement at BM this year. I saw them doing the job they were required to do with no heavy handedness whatsoever. I had several nice conversations and positive interactions this year. I am really hoping that others had the same type of experiences this year.

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Post by ZaphodBurner » Wed Sep 08, 2010 2:28 pm

Somebody we know of got ticketed (and searched) on the playa, within the gate, for having a trailer light out on their way in. ...by a K9 unit.

Some Trudy Weigel type wandered into our camp and asked our bartender "Do you have any methamphetamines?" Thank you, lady, for doing your job AND making it very positively comically fucking obvious; if in fact anybody fell for it, they're probably also beercan-in-the-shitter types having a heatstroke.

I appreciate the police. I really do. But, I really didn't ever feel like they were out there to protect me, just trying to catch me doing something wrong.

If you want to get intimate on the deep playa for your (tenth) wedding anniversary, you can't be darktards because you'll get run over: Fine. but, it's difficult knowing that there's probably some cop scanning the playa with night vision looking to issue revenue citations.

Also, I fully realize that it may be because of their effort that I had a safe and secure place to enjoy my burn, but, c'mon. A trailer light on the playa?

If I bring my birth certificate and DD-214 to show that I am an adult American who served in the military, can I pretty please just be a free adult American for a week while I'm away from civilization and no threat to society? Please? Raise the ticket fee $50 and leave us alone. I'm fucking allergic to dogs.
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Post by kickstart » Wed Sep 08, 2010 2:34 pm

I had a great conversation with 2 BLM rangers tuesday night on top of Mal-Mart. One of them was former Secret Service, and the other was an ex Seal. We discussed, among other things, the notion that they really don't want to have to do their job (aka, arresting people). They are there to experience BRC just like everyone else. Its when the citizens are doing something that forces the LEOs to intervene that they become a negative impact.

Seriously, if you don't give them a reason to question you, they won't! These two officers were awesome enough that I invited them for a drink if they had an "off duty" time that allowed them to do so.

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Savannah
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Post by Savannah » Wed Sep 08, 2010 2:58 pm

This was my first year volunteering at Medical, and I discovered (to my pleasure) that law enforcement waved at us every time their vehicles passed. It was surreal & nice. Of course, I also waved at one when I was out of uniform and got a wave there too. I just had to make the first move.

It must be a little weird for the LEOs, being in a place where people are both so jacked up AND (generally) so nice at any one time.

I spotted an undercover agent at Root Society, I believe it was. I wont say why I could tell, but he fixed himself up to blend in better and melted into the crowd. Fascinating. It was a bit of a thrill, like spotting an exotic bird.

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mthyer
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Post by mthyer » Wed Sep 08, 2010 3:20 pm

kickstart wrote:They are there to experience BRC just like everyone else. Its when the citizens are doing something that forces the LEOs to intervene that they become a negative impact.
Not sure I agree with you on this one Kickstart, every day on the playa I witnessed example after example of the BLM in particular exploiting their militarized advantage to intervene and become involved. Usually, they leveraged a minor infraction to push for search. Dogs walking within camps? Night Vision Goggles? Battle Rattle? Blinkies worn on uniforms at Nexus and Opulent Temple? Seriously, watched as BLM LEOs drove around and around the 2:30 area in an unmarked GMC with a gutted pop-top trailer on a hitch just waiting for someone to step out of line. I wanted them to be out there to protect me, and maybe at some level some of them were interested in that as a goal, but more often than not what I witnessed was a group of well-armed men imposing their competitive values system in a mutually exclusive manner while spending heaps of tax payer money.

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joya
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Post by joya » Wed Sep 08, 2010 3:50 pm

Not exactly a positive experience, but definitely felt appreciative on the night of the burn. We were close to the man, around 12-ish, seated on the ground, watching the pre-burn fire extravaganza when I heard someone yell "Stop that man!" ... seconds later some dude rushed over us, dropped some sort of pill container on the ground right in front of me, and broke through the barrier line only a few feet before being tackled to the ground by an officer. (Police? Ranger? I dunno)

I don't know what the man was running from, if he was violent or had violent intentions, a bomb, a gun, or what -- and it was all very frightening, but only for a moment since it was quickly over. The man was on the ground, I think he was handcuffed, then taken away. I appreciate the law enforcement doing their job.

Shortly thereafter I brought the dropped container up to a ranger and handed it over, telling her that the gentleman had dropped this as he ran past. No idea what was in it -- but shit, I did not want to be connected to whatever was inside, as it was obviously something incriminating. (Though a fellow burner near me commented he would have looked inside first before deciding to hand it over. Maybe I should have?)

Anyway, curious if anyone knows anything more about this particular happening... or what became of this man?
Burning Man: I'm over it.

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Isotopia
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Post by Isotopia » Wed Sep 08, 2010 3:52 pm

They are there to experience BRC just like everyone else. Its when the citizens are doing something that forces the LEOs to intervene that they become a negative impact.
You are completely naive in your assumption.

Nothing is further from the truth.

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swampdog
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Post by swampdog » Wed Sep 08, 2010 4:51 pm

I had some very pleasant LEO encounters. I stopped to chat with 3 BLM Rangers in full gear and announced, "Hi, I thought I'd stop for a chat since I'm doing absolutely nothing illegal". They laughed, and we talked awhile. Some of what they said was self-serving bs, but they seemed sincere. For instance, "If we weren't out here protecting you this place would be overrun by bad biker drug sellers preying on you poor hippies" Probably some truth there, but I know enough bad bikers (and DPW types) out there that I'm wondering who's left to protect us from. They had on full body armor and I said it must be hot as hell to wear. They said, as long as they carry a weapon they have to wear the armor in case they lose control of their gun and it gets used on them. Fair enough. We agreed that a big part of their job was to make people pay the stupid tax.

My other encounter was out by a fire art sculpture, the flowers-and-plants one. I started chatting with 2 women who were standing apart. I introduced myself and one woman said, "I'm Undercover Government". I laughed, and she said, "I'm trying to be boring and inconspicuous, is it working" I said, "I don't know how to answer that, you look interesting to me." we chatted a bit more and they gave me a pin and walked off. It wasn't until I realized that they had given me a BLM pin that I realized, yes, they really were undercover government. I'm still laughing at myself over that one.

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dinks
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Post by dinks » Wed Sep 08, 2010 5:34 pm

Their presence did not directly interfere with my burn.

But.... it did annoy the shit out of me that they were there in such numbers. I heard about their presence at opulent on friday night and earlier that day when 8 of the flew across the playa nearly hitting a group of lamp lighters to do god knows what.

They are there to catch you doing something stupid, not to protect you.

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Savannah
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Post by Savannah » Wed Sep 08, 2010 5:36 pm

My other encounter was out by a fire art sculpture, the flowers-and-plants one. I started chatting with 2 women who were standing apart. I introduced myself and one woman said, "I'm Undercover Government". I laughed, and she said, "I'm trying to be boring and inconspicuous, is it working" I said, "I don't know how to answer that, you look interesting to me." we chatted a bit more and they gave me a pin and walked off. It wasn't until I realized that they had given me a BLM pin that I realized, yes, they really were undercover government. I'm still laughing at myself over that one.
I'm so jealous of you right now. :shock:

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Mosin
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Post by Mosin » Wed Sep 08, 2010 7:01 pm

joya wrote: Anyway, curious if anyone knows anything more about this particular happening... or what became of this man?
I'm not sure, but for better or worse, I think you handed the LEOs "Exhibit A" for the upcoming trial. I would have just left the bottle where it was since it wasn't mine and I wasn't involved, but that's just me...
Come down with fire - Lift my spirit higher -Someone's screaming my name - Come and make me holy again....

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Mosin
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Post by Mosin » Wed Sep 08, 2010 7:03 pm

joya wrote:Not exactly a positive experience, but definitely felt appreciative on the night of the burn.
To get back to the OP, what was it about that experience that made you feel appreciative? That you weren't the guy tackled by cops who had evidence provided to them by a fellow burner after the fact?
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thirt33n
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Post by thirt33n » Wed Sep 08, 2010 7:06 pm

...she did say she brought it to a ranger. i'd think the ranger had a better chance of simply chucking the goods and not further incriminating a fellow citizen. but wtf do i know.
mosin,.....don't forget to remember. jk bud. i'm feeling goofy.
blow.

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Mosin
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Post by Mosin » Wed Sep 08, 2010 7:10 pm

thirt33n wrote:...she did say she brought it to a ranger. i'd think the ranger had a better chance of simply chucking the goods and not further incriminating a fellow citizen. but wtf do i know.
mosin,.....don't forget to remember. jk bud. i'm feeling goofy.
A) I won't forget
B) You're right, she did say ranger. My bad!
C) Still remembering...again!

:lol:
Come down with fire - Lift my spirit higher -Someone's screaming my name - Come and make me holy again....

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joya
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Post by joya » Wed Sep 08, 2010 7:46 pm

Mosin wrote:
joya wrote: Anyway, curious if anyone knows anything more about this particular happening... or what became of this man?
I'm not sure, but for better or worse, I think you handed the LEOs "Exhibit A" for the upcoming trial. I would have just left the bottle where it was since it wasn't mine and I wasn't involved, but that's just me...
aw shit, my intent wasn't to incriminate a fellow burner...

I just didn't know what to do.

One: it was moop. Regardless if it was mine or not, I didn't feel right just letting it lie there on the ground. But I also didn't want to put it in my pocket to discard later, since I'm not prone to carrying stuff on my person that can land me in jail.

Two: the ranger seemed cool. Right after that happened, she came back to our area and told us that if anyone had any illegal substances (or something to that effect) to give them to her because the police were searching (or something like that - heh, my memory is coming back too.) That's when I spoke up.

And three: I didn't know what was in there... honestly, the thought of explosives of some sort crossed my mind, since the man seemed to be rushing the fire dancers / man site.

I would never intentionally throw another burner to the wolves.
Burning Man: I'm over it.

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Mosin
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Post by Mosin » Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:06 pm

Having not been there I won't judge/speculate. I just really hope that was a Black Rock Ranger and not an official Nevada Ranger. As for "explosives" in the pill bottle, with all due respect, what have you been smoking sista? :?
Come down with fire - Lift my spirit higher -Someone's screaming my name - Come and make me holy again....

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Post by jofezasa » Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:45 am

I generally make a point of chatting up LEOs (I work for ESD, like Savannah above) and BLM agents in particular seem to be friendly and engaging. I also interacted with them at our dispatch center and I had an overall positive experience this year. There are a few that are "enthusiastic" for sure. I heard about some rapid responses with a number of officers arriving in vehicles, kicking up dust, etc. and I do think that there is a learning curve for new officers as there is for new burners.

When it comes down to it, if you are not doing anything illegal and you know how to interact with LEOs, you should not have a problem. Learn your rights, be smart, and take responsibility for your actions and words. I did see a number of undercover officers (I believe, who knows?). I am reminded of a comment that a friend made: Burning Man is a typical city over the course of a year compressed into 8 days. It may SEEM like there is a lot of LEO action, I think it is just prorated over a shorter time.
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Post by Fire_Moose » Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:54 am

I got pulled over in Nixon on friday early morning for speeding.

The cop was waiting at the bottom of the hill, caught me doing 40 in a 25.

He was very nice and knocked it down to 10 over. I knew i was going over but didn't realize it was by that much! 65 gallons of gasoline + 15 or so of water will get you rollin pretty good.
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Post by Lassen Forge » Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:07 am

Oooh... Moose.... OUCH! At least the fine goes to help their community, and not the uggy gubbermint elsewhere...

I prolly PO'd a bunch by following the posted signs in Nixon to the letter, but I'm hoping it saved having to pay the Paiute tax... Still, I owe a historic debt to the PL Tribal PD, from decades ago (when Nixon was a collection of rusty quansets) and seewhat great trhings they have done.

I met a few LEOs this year, and I agree, they were remarkably more friendly and open this year than in years past. Some of the UC LEO's are getting their costume thing down cold (tho there were still the few with that "just showered at Bruno's" look and far too clean clothes for Wednesday!) , so be careful!!

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thirt33n
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Post by thirt33n » Thu Sep 09, 2010 12:17 pm

I've only had good encounters with all of the separate "branches". Made a rookie/virgin pershing co sheriff chick git down facing me, do a push up then down and roll, roll, roll and back up and hugged her. It was her veteran partner who brought her to me cuz she saw that i was a "HARD ASS GREETER". one of my many most memorable 'greets'.

just like you don't mess with a sleeping dog or a mama bear with cubs...there are times to keep your distance and mind your own business.

*i am 100% against anyone in an authority position going too fast on vehicles to non-life threatening "emergency" situations. I went to Shambhala this year and it was inSANE how bad that security force is. I saw them come within inches of ankles while racing 4 wheelers through crowds. no emergency lights. no sirens...just overzealous powertrippin muscleguys. the WORST.
blow.

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Miles
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Post by Miles » Thu Sep 09, 2010 1:01 pm

Yah im sure some raver popping e tabs was a real threat to our safety :roll:

[quote="joya"]"Stop that man!" ... seconds later some dude rushed over us, dropped some sort of pill container on the ground right in front of me, and broke through the barrier line only a few feet before being tackled to the ground by an officer. (Police? Ranger? I dunno)

I don't know what the man was running from, if he was violent or had violent intentions, a bomb, a gun, or what -- and it was all very frightening, but only for a moment since it was quickly over. The man was on the ground, I think he was handcuffed, then taken away. I appreciate the law enforcement doing their job.
[/quote]

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robrob
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Post by robrob » Thu Sep 09, 2010 3:31 pm

Two: the ranger seemed cool. Right after that happened, she came back to our area and told us that if anyone had any illegal substances (or something to that effect) to give them to her because the police were searching
:shock: i'd consider yourself very lucky. normally when people ask for volunteers to hand over drugs and you do, you're going to jail, period. They aren't your friends. They can't "make things easy". They are there to arrest you. You should watch this now, and in the future, I'd avoid picking up strange things and handing it to authorities. http://flexyourrights.org/

Yah im sure some raver popping e tabs was a real threat to our safety :roll:
let's go ahead and get the "LAW BREAKERS DESERVE...blah blah" out of the way. I do appreciate the healthy sense of paranoia I gleaned from folks here and elsewhere. Having said that, I didn't think BRC was the police state i was fearing. I am curious about the folks that said they saw drug dogs in camps at night- was this on esplanade, or somewhere else that felt more "public" than the backstreets?

My overall impression was the cops were just there to deal with dumbasses that flagrantly taunted the law. It would be easy enough to put dogs at the front gate, but I think if folks were discreet and did their partying in their personal space, it seemed pretty hassle free to me. I did nearly flip out on one camp mate who was smoking a join in our shade structure- he insisted it wasnt a big deal- everyone else who really wasn't keen on the idea of camp getting searched insisted otherwise.

I only saw 1 thing all week that raised my eyebrow- first, there was a guy in a brand new tie-dyed shirt, riding his bike back and forth down the street a couple of times, drinking a can of coca-cola out of a beer koozy. He just gave me a bad vibe. Each time he was also followed by a couple of cops on ATVs not far behind. It may have been a coincidence, but he looked an awful lot like the dude who posted the "fly your supplies in with me" thread that amused everyone here. ANyhow, whether or not tie-dye was an undercover, the 2 ATVs pulled over at the edge of the camp across the street and just stared at their camp for a few minutes before riding off. It made everyone a bit uneasy, and I don't see why they had to pull over there, instead of the corner or the nearby porta potties. (for the record, the camp across the street was an 18 person strong family that was having a wedding that week- awesome peeps).

on a positive note, a local sheriff got out and took pictures of the double rainbow with us. he seemed nice enough. but i still wouldn't want to chit chat with him when i'm tripping. And in general, keeping off esplanade at night kept me away from a large amount of ATVs and guns and general law enforcement activity. plus the portapotties were cleaner. bonus!

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Post by VeganChoirGirl » Thu Sep 09, 2010 3:51 pm

I will say, I am not a fan of such a large force of LEO's on the playa, it makes me nervous, even when I am not doing anything wrong.

HOWEVER! This year while I was working a perimeter shift, I made "friends" with Ranger Funk (a BLM ranger from the So Cal area). This is his 7th burn. He totally comes because he loves the event. He is certainly pretty strict with the rules...it's his job for a reason!

He did sort of follow me around like a puppy dog. I think he enjoyed the banter and conversation. He also brought a HUGE stack of BLM Ranger patches and gave me one. He was certainly wanted swag....just like any other burner.

It was an interesting and unique experience.
Finally moving to SF...can't WAIT!

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Post by ygmir » Thu Sep 09, 2010 3:55 pm

VeganChoirGirl wrote:I will say, I am not a fan of such a large force of LEO's on the playa, it makes me nervous, even when I am not doing anything wrong.

HOWEVER! This year while I was working a perimeter shift, I made "friends" with Ranger Funk (a BLM ranger from the So Cal area). This is his 7th burn. He totally comes because he loves the event. He is certainly pretty strict with the rules...it's his job for a reason!

He did sort of follow me around like a puppy dog. I think he enjoyed the banter and conversation. He also brought a HUGE stack of BLM Ranger patches and gave me one. He was certainly wanted swag....just like any other burner.

It was an interesting and unique experience.
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Post by Stickygreen » Thu Sep 09, 2010 4:01 pm

joya wrote:Not exactly a positive experience, but definitely felt appreciative on the night of the burn. We were close to the man, around 12-ish, seated on the ground, watching the pre-burn fire extravaganza when I heard someone yell "Stop that man!" ... seconds later some dude rushed over us, dropped some sort of pill container on the ground right in front of me, and broke through the barrier line only a few feet before being tackled to the ground by an officer. (Police? Ranger? I dunno)
I was sitting right there to. your trust in the coppers seems to be a little over zelous, as my interpretation of the scene was simply the pill selling raver got caught, and ran, then tackled by the police man, end of story. but thanks for informing me of the outcome, with your handing over of the evidence, i'm sure he is spending his days getting ready to defend himself in the local court room.
)'(

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Post by Lord Of Ruin » Thu Sep 09, 2010 4:17 pm

VeganChoirGirl wrote:I will say, I am not a fan of such a large force of LEO's on the playa, it makes me nervous, even when I am not doing anything wrong.

HOWEVER! This year while I was working a perimeter shift, I made "friends" with Ranger Funk (a BLM ranger from the So Cal area). This is his 7th burn. He totally comes because he loves the event. He is certainly pretty strict with the rules...it's his job for a reason!

He did sort of follow me around like a puppy dog. I think he enjoyed the banter and conversation. He also brought a HUGE stack of BLM Ranger patches and gave me one. He was certainly wanted swag....just like any other burner.

It was an interesting and unique experience.
Ranger Funk is a cool cat. As you say he's out there each year.

A general rule of thumb: BLM Rangers out on the perimeters are generally there because they want to be. That's a coveted spot and generally the more senior or craft get them. I can't think of a single one outside the fence that wasn't that way.

Inside, ...ummm...not so much. Again, you have so many different LEO and each have different levels of tolerance, etc.

It should be mentioned that as states go, Nevada seems to have some pretty strict drug laws...so it sorta figures. And yes, most LEO out there believe fairly strongly that unchecked BM would become a huge drug selling fest....

But I'm not a drug guy, so who knows...maybe it already is and I just don't get invited to the cool parties.

LoR
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Post by Mosin » Thu Sep 09, 2010 4:29 pm

Stickygreen wrote: I was sitting right there to. your trust in the coppers seems to be a little over zelous, as my interpretation of the scene was simply the pill selling raver got caught, and ran, then tackled by the police man, end of story. but thanks for informing me of the outcome, with your handing over of the evidence, i'm sure he is spending his days getting ready to defend himself in the local court room.
But what if the Evildoer had made it to the Man with his dastardly stealth exploding pill-bottle-device? You can thank Joya for saving the Man--and potentially all of us-- from sure destruction. Plus, the female cop asking for drugs to be handed over for Burners' own protection seemed cool, yaknow?! IMO she will step up in court and give the guy a break like all cool cops do. I'm just...appreciative!
Come down with fire - Lift my spirit higher -Someone's screaming my name - Come and make me holy again....

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Post by lucky420 » Thu Sep 09, 2010 5:17 pm

i would not have turned that pill bottle over to the leo. If what was inside the bottle wasn't my thing I would have given it to someone who wanted it or thrown it away...

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