Friday, July 11, 2014

Third Manassas

They backed down.

This time.

The cops in Manassas, Virginia got a search warrant allowing them to medically induce a hard-on in a 17-year-old boy, take pictures of his erect penis, and have some dirty-old-man penile expert compare their pictures to ones they say the boy took himself so that they can prove he made kiddie porn of his own penis.  So they can prosecute him for the felony.

I mean, what's the big deal?  They already forcibly took pictures of his flaccid penis, so it's not like they haven't already sexually abused him once.  And if the first not-quite rape didn't satisfy. . . .

And when they're done?  Prison.  Lifetime registration.  After all, he took a photo of his penis.  (They did, too, but he took his picture willingly and for his girlfriend who first sent him pictures of herself naked, but that's OK because Hoo Ha! Pussy!  For the cops, on the other hand, it's all about inflicting justice on the miscreant, so they can sexually assault the child with impunity, because they seek only to punish him for having a picture of his penis which is altogether different from them having a picture of his penis.)

There was, as you might imagine, some indignation among the usual folks who are soft on crime.  You know, Emily Bazelon at Slate (who doesn't really believe it) and Rick Horowitz and Scott Greenfield.  And apparently everyone else, too.

And so the cops and the prosecutors issued a statement saying that they don't do shit like this and haven't actually done it in this case.
It is not the policy of the Manassas City Police or the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office to authorize invasive search procedures of suspects in cases of this nature and no such procedures have been conducted in this case.
Which seems to be true, since the kid got permission to skip town for the weekend and they wouldn't get to make their kiddie porn until he got back.

But that was so Wednesday.  By Thursday, with the firestorm breaking all around them, the cops backed off.  Matthew Barakat in the Huffington Post.
Police in Virginia on Thursday backed off efforts to take sexually explicit photos of a 17-year-old to prove a sexting case against him.
Police and prosecutors faced a wave of criticism following news media reports that they had obtained a warrant to take photos of the teen's erect penis. Police wanted the pictures to compare against photos he is accused of sending to his 15-year-old girlfriend at the time.
On Thursday, Manassas Police Lt. Brian Larkin said the Police Department will not proceed with the plan to take the pictures and will let a search warrant authorizing the photos to expire.
That's a good thing, of course.  And maybe it says something about the ability of quick and loud and universal scorn to have some effect.

So let's have a moment of pleasure that they backed down.  And then let's remember the rest.  
And they sure as hell intended to execute it.  And if you don't think they won't do it again.  Or the cops a few zip codes over.  Or the ones in your neighborhood.  When they can keep it under the radar a bit.  

Law of Rule.

* * * * *
First and Second Manassas were battles of the civil war.


  1. While most of the country focuses on the conduct the police intended to use on the teen, the least discuss loose end of this nastiness is that a Magistrate approved this conduct. I deeply appreciate your bringing this up, as it's a critical loose end.

    So much for our gatekeepers, standing between the power of the state and our constitutional rights.

  2. Unbelievable.
    Simply unbelievable.
    I´m really upset.

    But, by the way, fine to read blog entries of yours again.
    For some time, there has been no new entry and I was beginning to
    worry if everything was ok with you.

    Have a nice evening!

    1. Thanks. Life (business and complexity, not ailment in this case) has a way of interfering with hobbies (which is essentially what the blog is), but I'm happy to be back at it.