Overly Aggressive LEOs This Year?

Share your pictures and video. Tell us about the sights, sounds, and scents, as well as the rumors and truths found at Burning Man.
User avatar
Raoul
Posts: 152
Joined: Wed Dec 11, 2013 5:50 pm
Burning Since: 2014
Location: Around and About

Overly Aggressive LEOs This Year?

Postby Raoul » Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:30 pm

Did anyone notice the LEOs being overly aggressive this year?

Several folks, myself included, had stories of run-ins with them that were ridiculous. Some were undercover (but obviously LEO based on their absolutely horrible acting jobs and lame attempts to dress the part) and some were uniformed. One friend of mine had the acrylic, laser-cut pendants he was giving as playa gifts in a plastic bag. When he pulled the bag out to gift someone, the BLM were on him instantaneously. They didn't believe him that they were just pendants until he offered to give them the whole bag. Then they got pissed off that he didn't have anything they could use to bust him.

I had a couple direct encounters. One of them was an undercover who approached me one evening at the Tree of Tenere and asked me for rolling papers. When I told her I didn't have any, she decided to play the sexy card and proceeded with an acting job that made daytime soap operas from the 70s seem Oscar-worthy. I wasn't about to take the bait, so I offered her some water since she had no water bottle, Camel Bak, etc., and she declined. She ended up walking away in disgust when I still didn't have any rolling papers. Another incident was out near the trash fence at one of the big sound cars. Like so many other people, I keep a copy of my ID taped to my cup, and it was clipped to my backpack. A BLM agent came up behind me, shined his flashlight on my cup and called in my name and address to see if I had any outstanding warrants. I didn't have anything to hide in any of these situations, but it seemed far more over-bearing and invasive as compared to previous years. This is my fourth Burn, and it is the first time I have had any sort of encounter with LEOs other than a "Hi, how are you" when bicycling past their tent on Esplanade.

Others I spoke to on playa and at various stops while driving home on Monday had similar stories. I'm really curious to see the arrest statistics for this year as compared to prior years.

Anyone else experience anything like this?
"No problem is ever solved in the same consciousness that was used to create it." --Albert Einstein

User avatar
TT120
Posts: 1638
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 8:43 pm
Burning Since: 2012
Camp Name: Orphans TOO!
Location: Sacramento, CA.
Contact:

Re: Overly Aggressive LEOs This Year?

Postby TT120 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:57 pm

About 5 of us were sitting around the burn barrel Thursday night around midnight when 2 randoms came up and asked if they could sit down next to the fire for a bit. It's not too uncommon for that to happen so we said sure, sit down and tell us about your burn. My spidey sense started tingling so I was keeping an eye on them. 2 minutes later another random showed up out of thin air and asked if we had any rolling papers.....RED ALERT!!! RED ALERT!!! we all just looked at each other like he was speaking a foreign language and said nothing. He asked again and we all said no, we have no rolling papers. All 3 of them disappeared as quickly as they had appeared. Fucking narcs, go eat a donut somewhere else.
Life's a bitch, then you go to Burning Man - Unjonharley

W6BJD

User avatar
BBadger
Posts: 5620
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:37 am
Burning Since: 2018
Location: (near) Portland, OR, USA

Re: Overly Aggressive LEOs This Year?

Postby BBadger » Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:08 pm

My friends and I were walking by the BLM operations camp (or whatever it's called) on Esplanade and one of the officers out front gave us each a shiny BLM Junior Ranger clip-badge and jokingly told us that it allowed us to arrest and harass other burners for no good reason.
"The essence of tyranny is not iron law. It is capricious law." -- Christopher Hitchens

Hate reading my replies? Click here to add me to your plonk (foe) list.

User avatar
spacetime
Posts: 416
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2014 12:12 am
Burning Since: 2014

Re: Overly Aggressive LEOs This Year?

Postby spacetime » Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:17 pm

We had no run-ins or saw run-ins with LEO this year. Was told by ratty I looked way too clean cut to be bothered by them! Sorry to hear about some of these stories.

User avatar
Token
Posts: 3485
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 2:55 pm
Burning Since: 2001
Location: Gold Country, CA

Re: Overly Aggressive LEOs This Year?

Postby Token » Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:29 pm

Raoul wrote:
Anyone else experience anything like this?


Since you had three LEO-free years prior, what did you different this year that may have drawn attention?

Maybe the way you dressed, places you went, company you kept?

Curious to see if there were any "profiling" angles.

Having one incident is rare, having several is like winning the lottery.

User avatar
lucky420
Posts: 7988
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:47 am
Burning Since: I'm not sure
Camp Name: Dye with Dignity
Location: Reno, NV

Re: Overly Aggressive LEOs This Year?

Postby lucky420 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:13 pm

Hardly saw any cops at all
Oh my god, it's HUGE!

maladroit
Posts: 2293
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:37 pm
Burning Since: 2012

Re: Overly Aggressive LEOs This Year?

Postby maladroit » Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:19 pm

I must be out of the loop but when did rolling papers become a target of sting ops? Is that probable cause to search you or something?

User avatar
Ratty
Posts: 5250
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:43 pm
Burning Since: 2008
Camp Name: Tiger Man

Re: Overly Aggressive LEOs This Year?

Postby Ratty » Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:21 pm

I made a dozen LEO swag patches and still have half of them. Hardly saw any this year.
Pictures or it didn't happen Greycoyote
I a recovering swagaholic I have to resist my grabby nature VultureChow
Those aren't buttermilk biscuits I'm lying on Savannah
We're out there to play like adults with no adult supervision CaptG

User avatar
Savannah
Moderator
Posts: 12357
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2008 8:33 pm
Burning Since: 2018

Re: Overly Aggressive LEOs This Year?

Postby Savannah » Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:53 pm

maladroit wrote:I must be out of the loop but when did rolling papers become a target of sting ops? Is that probable cause to search you or something?


I don't know when it started, but I've seen it in Law Enforcement threads before. I don't know if it can actually be used as probable cause, legally, because lots of people roll cigarettes. However, I feel it serves at least three different purposes for them to ask:


* Profiling. Law Enforcement probably associates ownership of rolling papers with likelier ownership of marijuana. (It's a good prompt to look harder for actual probable cause.)

* Proximity. While you're locating rolling papers, they've got a reason to stand next to you, maybe peek into your bag, sniff you, walk near your tent, etc.

* "The Foot in the Door" manipulation technique. When you ask someone for a little something and receive it successfully (and positively reinforce it), you're more likely to receive a future favor from that person, because A) the favor-giver now sees you as Officially Deserving (they don't want to second-guess their own judgment), and b) "what harm does one more little favor do?"


The only time I saw Law Enforcement in full swing this year was at Gate. It was a great place to ding people for speeding 11mph, and then use that crime as a springboard to a search. I kind of expected to see that, and was not disappointed. Definitely sorry for all the people forced to unpack, whether innocent or guilty.

Undercover-wise, I had no run-ins, but a friend of mine had someone approach his camp really ham-handedly. I'm looking forward to him posting his account.
*** 2017 Survival Guide ***

"I must've lost it when I was twerking at the trash fence." -- BBadger

"Snark away, ePlaya, you magnificent bastards." -- McStrangle

User avatar
mudpuppy000
Posts: 1549
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 3:54 pm
Burning Since: 2009
Camp Name: THE BELLIGERENT GAP
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Overly Aggressive LEOs This Year?

Postby mudpuppy000 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:56 pm

We had a green tortoise bus get stopped in front of our camp. Supposedly the license plate was "dusty" so they used that as a pretext to pull everyone out of the bus, unload all the luggage and have everyone stand there for hours as the dogs went through their luggage. Saw a few people in handcuffs before I stopped watching.

User avatar
Jackass
Posts: 1830
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:25 pm
Location: way out in left field

Re: Overly Aggressive LEOs This Year?

Postby Jackass » Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:59 pm

maladroit wrote:I must be out of the loop but when did rolling papers become a target of sting ops? Is that probable cause to search you or something?
It may be a way to see if you retrieve them from an area where your weed may be as well, like a weed box, a jar or a rolling tray... Or it could have been someone that wanted to roll a joint or cig
Sooner or later, it will get real strange...

11th Principle: Depussyfication - Keeping Burning Man potentially lethal. Token

User avatar
Sham
Moderator
Posts: 7945
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2008 2:10 am
Location: The hidden mythical place.....

Re: Overly Aggressive LEOs This Year?

Postby Sham » Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:24 pm

In years past, I have seen extremely aggressive LEO's. They did some bizarre sting on our camp to check ownership of the RVs and trailers. Still not sure WTF that was all about, but before they left, one cop asked me if he could have one of my necklaces. I told him, "under the circumstances, NO".

This year, I hardly saw a single LEO except when I went by the LEO coral on the esplanade. I got a plastic badge to prove it. 8)

User avatar
Savannah
Moderator
Posts: 12357
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2008 8:33 pm
Burning Since: 2018

Re: Overly Aggressive LEOs This Year?

Postby Savannah » Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:40 pm

Sham wrote:In years past, I have seen extremely aggressive LEO's. They did some bizarre sting on our camp to check ownership of the RVs and trailers. Still not sure WTF that was all about, but before they left, one cop asked me if he could have one of my necklaces. I told him, "under the circumstances, NO".


YIKES. What cheek!
*** 2017 Survival Guide ***

"I must've lost it when I was twerking at the trash fence." -- BBadger

"Snark away, ePlaya, you magnificent bastards." -- McStrangle

User avatar
mgb327
Posts: 1006
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:20 pm
Location: Somerset, Va.

Re: Overly Aggressive LEOs This Year?

Postby mgb327 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:04 pm

I also got one of those plastic swag-badges they had on the table on the Esplanade. I gave them all a lanyard/laminate. I had 4 contacts with LEOs this year, all were very friendly and pleasant. One was on entry. My GF and I were standing at the flag rope looking out onto the playa, and this LEO pulled right up to us and started telling us how much he loved the burn. He told us he was retiring in 5 months. He then said, excitedly, that next year he gets to go to the burn as a "participant/civilian". He was truly a gracious, kind person. I wish I could remember his name, he really set our expectations for the burn this year. Wonderful interaction.
Dogs are the leaders of the planet. If you see two life forms, one of them’s making a poop, the other one’s carrying it for him, who would you assume is in charge?
" I am a controlled substance". Savannah.

User avatar
Token
Posts: 3485
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 2:55 pm
Burning Since: 2001
Location: Gold Country, CA

Re: Overly Aggressive LEOs This Year?

Postby Token » Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:51 pm

If I recal, NV zero tolerance laws include all drug paraphernalia. Possession is a crime.

The rolling papers may be the technicality they need for the broader search.

The papers being with contraband also sounds reasonable as they can always claim the "smelled" it.

User avatar
Raoul
Posts: 152
Joined: Wed Dec 11, 2013 5:50 pm
Burning Since: 2014
Location: Around and About

Re: Overly Aggressive LEOs This Year?

Postby Raoul » Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:53 pm

Token wrote:Since you had three LEO-free years prior, what did you different this year that may have drawn attention?

Maybe the way you dressed, places you went, company you kept?

Curious to see if there were any "profiling" angles.

Having one incident is rare, having several is like winning the lottery.


All of my encounters this year were in the proximity of the same large, well-known art car but on different days. Thinking back, I've never really spent any time near that car in past years.
"No problem is ever solved in the same consciousness that was used to create it." --Albert Einstein

korierika4
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun May 28, 2017 9:00 pm
Burning Since: 2017
Camp Name: Temple of the flying spaghetti monster

Re: Overly Aggressive LEOs This Year?

Postby korierika4 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:42 pm

Ratty wrote:I made a dozen LEO swag patches and still have half of them. Hardly saw any this year.

Dam, I would have loved one of those for my journal.
The answer may not be at Burning Man, but shouldn't we at least check :?:

User avatar
EGAZ
Posts: 589
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2016 8:44 pm
Burning Since: 2016
Camp Name: Camp2 -Doin' What We Do!!
Location: Arizona
Contact:

Re: Overly Aggressive LEOs This Year?

Postby EGAZ » Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:47 pm

One completely random undercover contact last year, no contact at all this year. I guess I'm of no interest to them.... Which is fine by me..... :mrgreen:
2nd time better than the first. And the first was pretty Freakin' Great!
I am Camp2. - A solo camp - Stop by and say Hey!, 8) Gotta beer?

If you are another Solo Burner & very 'Radically Self Reliant' - Maybe we can 'Do What We Do!' :P

Blueschaser
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:44 am
Burning Since: 2013
Camp Name: Elliot's Bike Service

Re: Overly Aggressive LEOs This Year?

Postby Blueschaser » Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:05 am

Had WAP through GPE, set up camp at corner of J & 5:30 Friday pre-event. No other campers there yet to impede view across the block back to L street. After sunset, we had an LEO lightshow: saw AT LEAST 15 stops, in only the 2 hours we were paying attention. Talk about a speed trap! One stop must have resulted in an injury: ambulance and 4 different agencies of 8 LE pick-ups. After a while it became "oh, another one..." Continued for next couple of days.
"I wash with gasoline, and then I play with fire.">>>>Lil' Ed

User avatar
Chowski
Posts: 284
Joined: Fri May 18, 2012 2:35 pm
Burning Since: 2009

Re: Overly Aggressive LEOs This Year?

Postby Chowski » Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:56 am

We had a lurker come through our camp at 7:30 and C asking for drugs, as we shooed him away. He came back a few days later, and we quickly passed the word that he was a narc, so no one interacted with him. One other night, my husband and I were clearly, visibly intoxicated at the Tree of Tenere when a small group of burners started chatting with us and quickly asked if we had drugs. Because I had practiced my response, I blurted out "I DON'T DO DRUGS AND I DON'T KNOW WHERE TO GET DRUGS" and quickly walked away. I actually don't think they were narcs, based on the embarrassed, awkward farewell they gave us, but I was proud of myself for having remembered the speech in my deep, deep intoxication.

User avatar
Savannah
Moderator
Posts: 12357
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2008 8:33 pm
Burning Since: 2018

Re: Overly Aggressive LEOs This Year?

Postby Savannah » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:46 am

Chowski wrote:We had a lurker come through our camp at 7:30 and C asking for drugs, as we shooed him away. He came back a few days later, and we quickly passed the word that he was a narc, so no one interacted with him. One other night, my husband and I were clearly, visibly intoxicated at the Tree of Tenere when a small group of burners started chatting with us and quickly asked if we had drugs. Because I had practiced my response, I blurted out "I DON'T DO DRUGS AND I DON'T KNOW WHERE TO GET DRUGS" and quickly walked away. I actually don't think they were narcs, based on the embarrassed, awkward farewell they gave us, but I was proud of myself for having remembered the speech in my deep, deep intoxication.


Well done!! :lol:

Self-preservation game = strong.
*** 2017 Survival Guide ***

"I must've lost it when I was twerking at the trash fence." -- BBadger

"Snark away, ePlaya, you magnificent bastards." -- McStrangle

User avatar
spacetime
Posts: 416
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2014 12:12 am
Burning Since: 2014

Re: Overly Aggressive LEOs This Year?

Postby spacetime » Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:42 am

Chowski wrote:We had a lurker come through our camp at 7:30 and C asking for drugs, as we shooed him away. He came back a few days later, and we quickly passed the word that he was a narc, so no one interacted with him. One other night, my husband and I were clearly, visibly intoxicated at the Tree of Tenere when a small group of burners started chatting with us and quickly asked if we had drugs. Because I had practiced my response, I blurted out "I DON'T DO DRUGS AND I DON'T KNOW WHERE TO GET DRUGS" and quickly walked away. I actually don't think they were narcs, based on the embarrassed, awkward farewell they gave us, but I was proud of myself for having remembered the speech in my deep, deep intoxication.

We were at that tree late burn night. Folks were, deep into their burn, so I wouldn't be surprised if some foolish person would think it would be a good place to ask.

User avatar
Bodmin
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:46 pm
Burning Since: 2013
Camp Name: Point V
Location: Portland

Re: Overly Aggressive LEOs This Year?

Postby Bodmin » Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:13 am

Huge presence at the airport this year. When the burner express planes pulled up all the bags were put onto carts and the dogs were walked up and down. I did hear that they were only confiscating, not issuing citations, and that they were looking for large quantities rather than personal use amounts.

After a couple of days of not finding any big scores they moved the operation to the other side of the airport ramp and focused on the little 4 place Cessnas and Pipers and gave them the same treatment as soon as they landed. Still no big score so they seemed to give up by Thursday.

User avatar
fireheadwhale
Posts: 82
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2014 8:15 pm
Burning Since: 2014
Camp Name: Pen is Mightier
Location: Central California
Contact:

Re: Overly Aggressive LEOs This Year?

Postby fireheadwhale » Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:04 pm

I saw this guy hitchhiking after the "Ticketed Personnel Only" electronic sign around Wadsworth.. I stopped for gas I think it was in Nixon, and then I saw the same guy beside the road hitchhiking again. I didn't dismiss the paranoid thought he was a cop. Something about his look. Like contrived scruffiness and the fact he popped up so quickly in different spots. Wouldn't the first ride more than likely take him all the way? If he was a cop, it was a clever ruse.
You can apply any terms to any situation to rationalize bias or perspective.

User avatar
motskyroonmatick
Posts: 1834
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2006 11:37 am
Burning Since: 2004
Camp Name: B.R.C. Welding&Repair
Location: Aurora Oregon

Re: Overly Aggressive LEOs This Year?

Postby motskyroonmatick » Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:51 pm

Savannah wrote:* "The Foot in the Door" manipulation technique. When you ask someone for a little something and receive it successfully (and positively reinforce it), you're more likely to receive a future favor from that person, because A) the favor-giver now sees you as Officially Deserving (they don't want to second-guess their own judgment), and b) "what harm does one more little favor do?"


This was used on me this year and my alarm bells went off big time. Nice to hear it as a laid out technique. Easier to recognize now that I know the pattern and workings of it.
Black Rock City Welding and Repair. The Night Time Warming Station. iGNiTE! Bar.

Card Carrying Member BRCCP.

When you pass the 4th "bridge out!" sign; the flaming death is all yours.-Knowmad-

User avatar
some seeing eye
Posts: 2609
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 12:06 pm
Burning Since: 1999
Camp Name: Woo
Location: The Oregon

Re: Overly Aggressive LEOs This Year?

Postby some seeing eye » Sun Sep 17, 2017 11:56 pm

Savannah wrote:
* "The Foot in the Door" manipulation technique. When you ask someone for a little something and receive it successfully (and positively reinforce it), you're more likely to receive a future favor from that person, because A) the favor-giver now sees you as Officially Deserving (they don't want to second-guess their own judgment), and b) "what harm does one more little favor do?"


Reverse the footsie. Why did you volunteer for this? What does your family think of you going? Would you bring them? Have you been camping in the wilderness? What's the food like for you? How are your shoes holding up? How does day/night shift work? What's been your most memorable experience here? How long does it take you to get back to your regular job? How do you do uniform washing? Have you been tempted sexually?
Last edited by some seeing eye on Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
increasing the signal to noise ratio with compassion

User avatar
some seeing eye
Posts: 2609
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 12:06 pm
Burning Since: 1999
Camp Name: Woo
Location: The Oregon

Re: Overly Aggressive LEOs This Year?

Postby some seeing eye » Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:01 am

Bodmin wrote:Huge presence at the airport this year.... They moved the operation to the other side of the airport ramp and focused on the little 4 place Cessnas and Pipers and gave them the same treatment as soon as they landed. Still no big score so they seemed to give up by Thursday.


Wow weird. They don't understand pilots.
increasing the signal to noise ratio with compassion

User avatar
Sham
Moderator
Posts: 7945
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2008 2:10 am
Location: The hidden mythical place.....

Re: Overly Aggressive LEOs This Year?

Postby Sham » Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:54 am

Weren't the police playing postal carrier a few years back, and delivering packages to camps thinking the boxes MUST be stuffed with illegal drugs. I don't think that turned out to be anything worthwhile for them.

User avatar
some seeing eye
Posts: 2609
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 12:06 pm
Burning Since: 1999
Camp Name: Woo
Location: The Oregon

Re: Overly Aggressive LEOs This Year?

Postby some seeing eye » Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:00 am

Pershing County is conservative and they elected a new sheriff:
http://www.rgj.com/story/life/2015/08/2 ... /32155029/
Then Trump changed out the Interior Secretary (and Attorney General), the old BLM director (who was burner friendly and a former Reid staffer) has been replaced by an acting director from the BLM Energy, Minerals & Realty Management Directorate, then the Winnemucca field office changed:
http://www.rgj.com/story/life/arts/burn ... /95393576/
So likely the event will be in this pattern for some time.

(Edited to fix acting director, thanks Bless)
Last edited by some seeing eye on Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:31 am, edited 2 times in total.
increasing the signal to noise ratio with compassion

User avatar
Bless
Posts: 1170
Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:43 pm
Burning Since: 2012
Location: District of Columbia

Re: Overly Aggressive LEOs This Year?

Postby Bless » Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:18 am

some seeing eye wrote:Then Trump changed out the Interior Secretary (and Attorney General), who changed out the BLM director (who was burner friendly)


Trump hasn't nominated a new BLM director, yet. Kornze stepped down in January, as is typical for political appointees.
FUCK YOU, I'M A WIZARD. FUCK YOU, I'M A SHARK.


Return to “Stories”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests