Why you should never talk to the police

I bring this video to you with a heavy heart.  Yesterday, Benjamin Wassell was made a felon for possessing a semi-auto AR-15 and standard issue 30 round magazines, and for agreeing to exchange that rifle for money with an undercover police officer who cajoled him into selling them to him.

Sounds wacky, right?  Well, if you guessed that sounds normal for the Empire State of New York, you were right.  Neither Wassell nor the detective were felons at the time (though Wassell is one now technically and actually, and the rat weasel… who pursued and cajoled him into selling is guilty of a misdemeanor).  But that rifle, well, it was a scary “assault weapon” and the standard size magazine, well it was a “large capacity ammunition feeding device.”

I have it on good authority that unfortunately Wassell contributed to his legal demise by talking to the police about the sale after he was taken into custody.  He thought naively “I didn’t do anything wrong, so I have nothing to hide.”  I wish he had watched this video below.  Take the time to do it.  It may save your life someday.  And when you are done with that, read the two definitions from the New York State Penal Code.  I think unpolite words to the detective, the prosecutor, the NY State Attorney General, and the beloved state legislators of New York.

S 40.05 Entrapment.  (A defense to a crime)

In any prosecution for an offense, it is an affirmative defense that the defendant engaged in the proscribed conduct because he was induced or encouraged to do so by a public servant, or by a person acting in cooperation with a public servant, seeking to obtain evidence against him for purpose of criminal prosecution, and when the methods used to obtain such evidence were such as to create a substantial risk that the offense would be committed by a person not otherwise disposed to commit it. Inducement or encouragement to commit an offense means active inducement or encouragement. Conduct merely affording a person an opportunity to commit an offense does not constitute entrapment.

S 100.05 Criminal solicitation in the fourth degree.

A person is guilty of criminal solicitation in the fourth degree when:

with intent that another person engage in conduct constituting a felony, he solicits, requests, commands, importunes or otherwise attempts to cause such other person to engage in such conduct

Criminal solicitation in the fourth degree is a class A misdemeanor.

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2 thoughts on “Why you should never talk to the police

  1. You are blaming police. Your grievance needs to be directed at the New York State Senate and New York State Assembly members. Further, once the proper channels of elected lawmakers have been contacted, request they, inform police administrators of what to pursue and what not to pursue as a fair amount of political direction is involved.

    I will say this, that despite being long retired, and so much of policing has changed, there are bound to be one or two isolated incidents of personnel somewhere in a vast number of law enforcement, that unfortunately will be doing something other than what is authorized or deemed as normal procedurally. The remaining balance of that sum, 99.9975%, will be professional in conduct and deportment.

    The gun control issues, I am no fan of. Responding to shootings and events where shooting are involved, such as robberies, assaults, domestic disputes, to name a few, I have seen what the misuse of firearms results in. I was the guy, tasked with knocking on doors and informing people that someone in their family was the victim of a shooting, and what disposition awaited their attention.

    The correct way of resolving the issue in question is through the ballot box, and by having contacted lawmakers to civilly file grievances. Sting operations, in general, are directed towards issues of dire concern, which adversely impact a community. Incidents such as narcotics sale, and unlawful transfer of a legislated forbidden item of either firearm or component. The sting operations are authorized by police administrators and contest of same have resulted in the operations being upheld by the New York State Appellate Court.

    Cops never stopped being concerned about any community. Is something going on that is radically different from when I wore a badge in the 20th Century? I would say so, but politics, are heavily involved, more than any misdirected feelings towards anyone. Don’t blame the cops. People complain to politicians and laws are made, laws are modified, laws are repealed. The lawmakers are the only lawful body to address your concerns to.

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    • Yes, I am blaming police in part. What was the police’s part in this? They performed the entrapment and went looking for someone to ensnare. They also have personal responsibility for their actions. Just as members of the armed forces have the duty to NOT obey unlawful orders, the same applies to police and other public servants performing their duties.
      If you watch the second half of the video, there is a police detective, nice guy, who talks about how he facilitates people incriminating themselves.
      I will say this, that despite being long retired, and so much of policing has changed, there are bound to be one or two isolated incidents of personnel somewhere in a vast number of law enforcement, that unfortunately will be doing something other than what is authorized or deemed as normal procedurally. You state that policing has changed. I agree with that assessment. I used to buy the “it was a rogue cop” argument, but the totality of the facts of police misbehavior and the acceptance of asset seizure by the police culture make me think differently.
      You emotional appeal to the horrific consequences of gun violence I understand. I have been there and seen that too in my time as a soldier. Just because someone is killed with a household tool like a knife or hammer does not mean that we should ban them.
      You say that resolving the issue is through the ballot box. Well and good, but there is great danger in the will of the majority being thrust upon the minority. And when was the will of the people more explicitly displayed than in the opposition to the Affordable Care Act, but it got passed anyways. Voting at this point only adds legitimacy to the existing political racket.

      Civility only gets you places when others are being civil with you. Political decisions only have meaning when they are enforced. You can have self enforcement, or you can have the force applied by an external force. You say don’t blame the cops? In America today, that force devolves to, in the end, a police officer pointing their “assault weapon” “patrol carbine” with a 30 round “high capacity” magazine at you to force you to do what the politicians say.

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