Friday, December 21, 2018

FBI Agent Who Negligently Shot Bar Patron Dances Away From the Law

The moment Special Agent Twinkle Toes negligently fired his dropped Glock 

That FBI agent who dropped his pistol by doing a backflip on the dance floor of a bar in Denver has been sentenced, and to say the judge let him dance away would be an understatement.

The Denver Post has the details:
The FBI agent charged with accidentally shooting a man after doing a backflip on the dance floor at a Denver bar last summer will avoid jail time after pleading guilty Friday to third-degree assault.

Under his deal with prosecutors, Chase Bishop, 30, immediately was sentenced to two years probation. He was also fined $1,200 and ordered to pay restitution to the victim. Denver District Judge Karen Brody cited Bishop’s lack of criminal history in her decision to accept the plea agreement.

Bishop had pleaded not guilty last month to a second-degree assault charge in connection with the June 2 incident.

“My whole goal in life is to care, protect and serve people,” Bishop told the judge on Friday. “I never expected the result of my actions to lead to something like this.”

That is a strangely garbled sentence. The wounding of the bystander was not something which the results of the agent's actions led to. His actions were to drop a pistol in a crowded public venue and then recklessly snatch it up off the floor, in the course of which he snagged the trigger. The result of his actions was to inflict a gunshot wound on a bystander. Those results led to today's remarkably light sentence.
Bishop, who was in Denver on FBI business when the incident occurred, will serve his probation in Georgia. Brody said she could be receptive to ending his probation after one year if Bishop complies with the terms.

“This is a tragic situation,” Brody said after she announced Bishop’s sentence. “It’s a lesson for everyone: How decisions, when you’re not being conscious of what you’re doing, decisions you make carelessly, with negligence, can turn into really serious consequences.

“I think in the future,” she said to Bishop, “you will never make that kind of mistake again.”

I'm not so sure about that. A prison sentence and a stiff fine would make a much bigger impression on Special Agent Bishop, I say, not to mention on any other law enforcement officers who carry while they drink and party. In fact, today's piddling one year probation and $1,600 fine from a judge who sounded apologetic about giving him even that much is more likely to embolden than to deter other negligent gun carriers.
Reddington spoke emotionally Friday about how that one June night at the bar changed his life. He lost his job at the Amazon warehouse. He has chronic pain in his leg. He doesn’t think he’ll ever be able to run again.

“I have done months of physical therapy,” he said. “I have sought counseling. However, being in public, especially seeing law enforcement with guns, makes me very uncomfortable.”

“I’ve done stupid things at bars to impress girls, too,” Reddington said.

Reddington said he didn’t believe Bishop deserved years in jail for what he did.

“The only thing I’m hoping for,” Reddington said, “Is that he doesn’t carry a gun for a long time.”

Mr. Reddington sounds very understanding. But I'll bet none of the stupid things he ever did to impress girls involved negligently shooting someone. Does he really think he got justice from Judge Brody for his chronic pain and loss of employment? I sure don't.

Most Head Shakingly Bad Thing of the Week

Sapporo blast due to fumes from 120 emptied spray cans - The Straits Times

Imagine the carnage 120 cans of Axe Body Spray could do

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

French Protesters Crank Edith Piaf While Burning a Toll Booth

Now, that's the French way to riot: dancing the night away to old Edith Piaf songs while the police stand by and watch.

I can't quite make out which Piaf song that is but I think it might be this one, because obviously those guys regret nothing.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

A Good Question

Really, are either of those two former Secretaries of States missing the odd million or two?

Saturday, December 1, 2018

'Tis the Season for Bollards and Barricades in Berlin and Beyond

The seasonally secure Breitscheidplatz Christmas market Berlin 

It’s beginning to be a great big fortress
Sandbags everywhere
Take a look at the new steel fence, a tried and true defense
‘Gainst truck attacks within the public square

It’s beginning to be a great big fortress
Threats are evermore
But the scariest thing you see is the carnage that might be
On your own front door

It's Christmas time once more, and that means Berlin and 70-plus other cities and towns in Germany are setting up Christmas markets. Ever since the 2016 truck attack on crowds at the Berlin market, the seasonal decorations of those markets have included anti-ram vehicle barriers. Yes, steel baskets filled with sand bins are now as traditional as hot mulled wine.

Here's a German press report on how the hanging of the bollards is proceeding this year - Extra security measures in place for terror-hit Berlin Christmas market:
It's been almost two years since a lorry ploughed into a Christmas market in Berlin, claiming 12 lives, including the Polish driver of the truck, and injuring dozens of others.

Now, as the market at Breitscheidplatz, western Berlin, gets set to open on Monday November 26th, workers have been securing the area with huge steel baskets, reported local newspaper B.Z.

It’s just one of the new measures being put in place to make the area more safe.

Since Monday, workers have been building more than a hundred square lattice baskets on the sides of the square and screwing them together to form a row.

The baskets will form a protective ring made of steel, sand and concrete around the site that was hit by tragedy just days before Christmas 2016.

The steel baskets, called Terrablocks by experts, are part of a pilot project by the Berlin Senate, reported the Berliner Zeitung.

The Senate is investing €2.6 million in the new blocking elements, which will later become the property of the police.

In addition to the 160 wire baskets, which are connected together and when finished will stand along the side of the Christmas market, 13 heavy steel pedestals will be erected at another part of the square near Hardenbergstraße.

Meanwhile, 70 mobile bollards, so-called truck blocks, will be installed at the pedestrian entrances, leaving space for pedestrians - but none for vehicles.

The steel baskets are prefabricated and linked together 
Sand has the mass necessary to stop a truck

Those perimeter security arrangements look a lot better thought-out and more professionally executed than the rather haphazard ones we saw last year. Also, note that the German Federal government is funding the barriers this time, and that they will become the property of local police after the market closes, obviously for reuse in future years. The German authorities have evidently accepted the permanence of the security threat to public gathering places.