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Arrest the D.A. And the cops.

I haven’t written about the Mark Fiorino story. You’ve probably heard about it elsewhere. Innocent man obeying the law is confronted by ignorant and brutal cops who threaten repeatedly to kill him. He remains polite in the face of horrific provocation and thuggery — and audio-records the encounter (as recommended by The cops eventually have to admit Fiorino wasn’t breaking the law and let him go.

Later, after considering how the “protect and serve” gang treated him, he posts the recordings to YouTube — at which point Philadelphia D.A. R. Seth Williams charges Fiorino with several of the standard, “you embarrassed the cops, so we’re going to get you” offenses.

I haven’t written because plenty of gun bloggers were saying what needed saying. But today Radley Balko stepped out of his usual mode of moderation and reasonableness to really say it like it is. The D.A. should be arrested. And the cops? Well … unspeakable barely begins to describe them. When a peaceable guy like Balko uses this kind of language, you know things are getting bad.

Unfortunately the only surprise in this case is that the cops didn’t erase Fiorino’s recording.

That they accused him of “setting them up” when he was merely minding his own business until some slimy thug aimed a gun at his back … that’s unfortunately typical of the way sociopathic bullies think.


  1. Scott
    Scott May 19, 2011 12:14 pm

    The short-short version is-if you do something legal,and some member of law enforcement gets all excited, it’s your fault? If things go as usual, the cops will “quit” and get hired at some other city..

  2. Wilson
    Wilson May 19, 2011 12:24 pm

    The experience of reading your blog alongside Mas Ayoob’s is too delicious for words.

  3. Erik1904
    Erik1904 May 19, 2011 12:52 pm

    This situation is ripe for an “Open Carry” day in the city. They can’t arrest everyone right? It is always interesting how the cops and D.A. react when one of the flock strays. They act a lot like a shepherd’s dog with much snarling and gnashing of teeth at the offender.

  4. JR
    JR May 19, 2011 1:00 pm

    >>Unfortunately the only surprise in this case is that the cops didn’t erase Fiorino’s recording.<<

    I had a discussion on this case with a friend of mine who is the wife of a police office. She asked, "If the cops are so bad, why didn't they destroy it?" I responded that destroying the recording had the potential to be risky: They said, "You set us up!" But WHO set them up? Who is this guy? Is he a reporter? Is he a Fed? Is he part of an internal investigation? Were cameras trained on them at that moment? Would destroying the evidence be better or worse for the situation?

    So they punted – notice things get quiet. Professional. By the Book. Better call a supervisor. They know they got caught and don't want to make it worse.

    My friend's husband, the police officer, is dead set against any audio or video taping of officers or their activities. "If you don't trust me to do the job properly, then don't give me a badge!" But of course, he doesn't believe in "civilian" overview boards either. He feels he shouldn't have to explain himself to someone who has never been in his shoes.

    I say the more recording, the better. This "us vs. them" from the police is going to blow up on them sooner or later. I'm guessing sooner.

  5. Pat
    Pat May 19, 2011 1:01 pm

    I’m surprised the cops didn’t destroy the recording, too.

    The increasingly blatant use of “legal intimidation” by D.A.s is appalling. So many States seem to have someone willing to step up and wield the heavy hand. And it seems to have snowballed since the Duke lacrosse case.

    Wilson said: “The experience of reading your blog alongside Mas Ayoob’s is too delicious for words.”

    Did Ayoob comment on this? I haven’t read him lately, and am not sure I want to anymore.

  6. Matt
    Matt May 19, 2011 1:24 pm

    It is interesting to note, that when a citizen records a public servant it is always an attempt to “set up” said thug (servant) and is normally said to be taken out of context, misunderstood, fabricated, only one part of the story etc. But, when the citizen is recorded, it shoudl be taken as gospel, not questioned, is perfect in its entirety, would never be edited etc.

  7. Wilson
    Wilson May 19, 2011 1:27 pm

    Pat asks:

    “Did Ayoob comment on this? I haven’t read him lately, and am not sure I want to anymore.”

    On or about April 27 Mas posted “Sobering Knowledge From Cops” which ignited some heated discussion of “Us vs Them”. After a bunch of comments on the issue Mas commented “My goodness, the cop-haters seem to be out in force this week…”

    4 posts and about 300 comments later the fire is still smoldering. Readers of this blog might find the dialog interesting.

    Claire will be happy to know that Mas, when questioned about it, exempted her, Dave, and Oliver from the cop hater category.

  8. Pat
    Pat May 19, 2011 2:05 pm

    OK, thanks. I was aware of the comment exchanges, but didn’t know if he had blogged on this incident in particular.

  9. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal May 19, 2011 2:30 pm

    People only become “cop haters” by paying attention. If that’s a problem, maybe cops should change their freakin’ behavior!

  10. Matt
    Matt May 19, 2011 5:00 pm

    I have been told, repeatedly, that it is not the Cops that have a problem, it is everybody else.

  11. bumperwack
    bumperwack May 19, 2011 11:01 pm

    Bastards deserve a rope…or the bayonet…

  12. dsd
    dsd May 20, 2011 7:20 am

    just happened yesterday – be sure to watch the video here

    i’m sure mas will just say she was a cop hater and there is a whole other side of the story that exonerates the officer who shoved her. i won’t even bother posting on mas side anymore – the view there is if the officer has done something “there is another side of the story we are not seeing that explains it” but a citizen being assaulted is met with silence or “cop hater” comments.

    this has happened before not too long ago

    ironically too here is the quote from the officer “He said on the stand that he repeatedly told her to leave the club and he reached out to touch her arm because he intended to detain her at the club and bring her downstairs, and that’s when the fall occurred.”

    and how it ended up – she was arrested for this “battery on an officer” 5 months later?! (and he was working off duty?)

    and a couple years later this officer was still at it before being reassigned to the airport – wonder what mas would say about that…

  13. Einherjar
    Einherjar May 22, 2011 2:16 pm

    We need to nominate these jack booted thugs to the “Oath Breaker’s” blog.

    It little public shaming goes a long way.

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