Arkansas: police state

[C]itizens in an eastern Arkansas town could soon see city police patrolling the streets with assault rifles and asking them to show identification and answer questions as to why they’re out and about.

The martial law recommended by the mayor and police chief of Paragould, in response to recent property-related and violent crimes, has begun seeing some backlash from those believing it infringes upon their civil rights.

[T]he department’s response to citizens concerned about their rights: “Many citizens, through various media outlets, have expressed a concern about the police ‘violating rights’ or ‘violating the Constitution’. We have to abide by the same rules, regulations, and laws that our citizens do.

So …
y’all won’t mind if’n law-abidin’ folks stroll around all peaceable-like with their ARs slung, then.
Right?
Riiiight?
Didn’t think so.

13 Comments!

  1. SondraK, Queen of my domain
    Posted December 18, 2012 at 5:34 pm |

    I dunno, is it legal for me to walk around with an ASSAULT!!! rifle asking people what they’re doing and why?

  2. DougM (Progophobe)
    Posted December 18, 2012 at 5:48 pm |

    ^ Yep,
    there’s the little problem of misinterpretation.
    Open carry is often legal, but it’s usually inadvisable.
    Having a weapon openly visible may not be illegal, as such;
    but you’re gonna get asked WTF you’re up to.
    In addition, you may be inviting a lawman’s or citizens interpretation that … well, let me list the ways:
    Disturbing the peace,
    Brandishing, or
    Going about to the terror of the people (an old English common-law provision often incorporated into State statutes; see: ridin’ around in the back of a pickup with shotguns).

    Oh, yeahhh … we’re talkin’ face-time with a magistrate.

  3. Justin Credible
    Posted December 18, 2012 at 6:02 pm |

    So, you don’t think telling the local law enforcement officials that you’re simply abiding by the same rules, regulations and laws that they are would suffice to go peacably about your business?

    Askin’ for a friend.

  4. rickn8or
    Posted December 18, 2012 at 8:11 pm |

    Wow. Hometown finally makes a splash in the news, and it’s for this.

    In Arkansas, open-carry of handguns for us peons is not an option. “We call it a Concealed Carry License for a reason, son.” I would imagine carrying a loaded “Patrol Rifle” would elicit the same response from the po-leece. Also, you can’t carry in church, if you’ve a mind to.

    The town may be reacting to it’s first two home-invasion robberies (in less than a six-hour period)just before Thanksgiving one of which resulted in the cold-blooded murder of a 90 year-old man. That it happened two blocks from my former home was particularly unsettling. Like a lot of Southern towns, it has a meth problem which leads to a theft / robbery problem. On the surface, this seems like old-fashioned street police work, but I didn’t particularly care for the “building a data base of go-to suspects” part of it.

    Last year, just before my surgery and medical adventures, was over there and drove around with the Proverbial Girl Next Door from my elementary school days, playing “remember this, remember that” when we were stopped in front of my former home and interrogated by the current resident meth head. Quite paranoid. Didn’t like my explanation about being in his (rental) house twenty-five years ago.

    I left there in 1972, buried Dad in 1981 and Mom in 1986, and was only there sporadically after 1993 when I retired from the Navy. My job took me there occasionally from 2008 or so until I left work in late 2011. Every time I’d go over there, I’d make a tour of familiar places, see how they’d changed in 40 years, and beat myself up an swear I wouldn’t commit that particular mistake again. And I wouldn’t… until the next trip.

    I guess the author was right, you really can’t go home again.

  5. Posted December 18, 2012 at 9:58 pm |

    rickn8or : Not only can’t you go back again, most times you really don’t want to.

    Here’s another privacy issue story (from a Scientific American column): Writer had his cell phone stolen. He texted to the phone “reward if found & returned”. No reply. Through the magic of cell-phone technology, he found out where the perp lived. Posted his address online, later called the police, who paid the guy a visit. Wrote about it in his column. Didn’t press charges.

    Some people eMailed him, scolding for violating the perp’s privacy. Some people…….

  6. apotheosis
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 7:55 am |

    “going about to the terror of the people” is something I’d actually enjoy seeing on a rap sheet.

    It brings to mind “gallavanting in one’s skivvies.”

  7. DougM (Progophobe)
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 9:34 am |

    ^ Yeah.
    *hmmm*
    “Going about to the terror of the people”
    I wonder if that’s one’a ‘em laws the department is subject to.

  8. Colonel Jerry USMC
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 9:53 am |

    Times from my yoot have changed, as if I was growin up in the Middle Ages. My cousin and I usta plan a squirrel hunting trip in a set of woods that was near a small town (…about a hundred…). Reason: Would get into the woods afore daylight, hunt until late morning (…when the fox squirrels had stopped feeding…) and then walk down to a German restaurant in that village to get something to eat. We`d clear our weapons (cousin = shotgun/me= .22 scoped lever action rifle…) and walk in, park our guns in a corner, order and eat. Then wander over to hardware store (w unloaded guns…) and shop for stuff, like ammo, fishing lures, etc. Late afternoon, back to woods for hunt and then walk about 5 miles down a 2 lane highway back to the farm.

    Nor were we unique in that regard, in them days. Haven`t been back there since I joined the Crotch in 1962, but I know we could not do that in these paranoid times—-for risk of: arrest and/or getting into a fucking firefight!!!!!!

  9. Posted December 19, 2012 at 10:32 am |

    This is what they do, instead of finding a volunteer to sit at a desk in a school office with a holstered pistol.

    Give him POST cert, and he can also chase off non-custodial parents and molesters trolling the parking lot for underaged junior high dates.

  10. mojo
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 11:01 am |

    People have died from “contempt of cop”, yannow.

  11. rickn8or
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 11:32 am |

    Yes, COL Jerry Sir! I can recall riding through this selfsame town on my big bad Honda Super 90 with my .22 across my lap, (try it, it’s not as easy as it sounds), no case (couldn’t afford it), going to and from the town dump to shoot rats. Not an eyebrow raised.

    High school days, parking lot, trunk of my ’56 Chevy open to get something for a buddy of mine. Principal wanders by, sees cased shotgun in trunk. Conversation follows:
    “What’s in the case?”
    “Shotgun, sir.”
    “Unloaded?”
    “Of course.”
    “Don’t be late to class.”
    (But if he’d spotted the beer behind the spare tire, it would have been a whole different story!)

    That was then; today, the principal would call out the National Guard to help the SWAT team.

  12. Stick
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 6:33 pm |

    Sooo…

    Making people THINK they are drowning: Bad
    Putting a rocket up their ass: Good?

    jus checkin’

  13. Posted December 20, 2012 at 1:49 am |

    We had Rifle Team in high school. Practice twice a week. In the gym! We had this bunch of traps that we set-up on one side of the gym, and we fired from the other. I think it was 25 yards. All you had to do was buy your own ammo (.22 short). They supplied the rifles. Nice ones too, as I remember.

    Then, after practice, we liked to go out and shoot a bunch of people and small furry animals. Oh wait, no we didn’t. If only we’d had an unlimited supply of Ritalin back then…