Just Above Sunset
August 8, 2004 - Oklahoma and Los Angeles - Details, details, details...

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Items on the Reuters wire Wednesday, August 04, 2004?

From Oklahoma we get this -


OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - An Oklahoma ice cream man opened fire on a customer after a summer ice cream sale turned sour, police said on Tuesday.

Police in Enid, about 75 miles north of Oklahoma City, said they arrested Markus Miller, 29, an ice cream truck driver for Summer Song, on Sunday on two misdemeanor charges as well as a felony charge of pointing a firearm.

… According to police, an 18-year-old woman approached Miller's ice cream truck and the conversation degenerated into a heated argument.

Miller is suspected of taking out a pistol and firing two shots at the feet of the woman. She was struck on the collarbone-area by either a bullet fragment or debris from the shots, police said.

Miller was arrested in his ice cream truck a short distance from the incident and police recovered a hand gun from the vehicle, they said.

"It is not a normal or legal thing, anywhere in the country to carry a handgun without a permit while selling ice cream," said Sgt. Eric Holtzclaw, a spokesman with the Enid Police Department.


Oh really?  Has Eric checked the statutes?  I sense a second amendment issue here.

Anyway, one cannot be too careful as some professions are inherently dangerous.

Don’t ask Markus for a “Nutty Buddy.”  He gets this wild look in his eyes, and…

And from here in Los Angeles we get this -


LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Fortune-tellers of Los Angeles, relax. Your future is safe from unwanted government regulation. But you probably knew that anyway.

Los Angeles police commissioners on Tuesday rejected a proposal to regulate the fortune-telling industry by requiring soothsayers, Tarot card readers, psychics and the like to obtain government licenses.

The commission rejected the idea because issuing licenses would have the unintended effect of misleading consumers into believing that "these people are somehow qualified to practice their trade," Commissioner Rick Caruso said.

The proposed law, modeled after a similar ordinance adopted in San Francisco, was suggested by vice squad police who say they get about 50 complaints a year about tricks practiced by those who claim to consort with spirits.

The average loss per victim was $5,000 but the true number of shakedowns was not known because victims are sometimes too embarrassed to admit being taken, police said.

Unlike the San Francisco law, which bans fortune-tellers from performing certain tricks that require customers to hand over "cursed" money, the Los Angeles ordinance would have required those who traffic in the mystical for profit to get a license, and post their rates and complaint procedures. …


Our police commission here has far too much time on their hands, but then again, clarification is always welcome.  Of course you do not regulate and license what is, essentially, foolishness – and thus imply such foolishness is legitimate.

And our police commission can now return to thinking about its officers beating unarmed suspects in custody while the cameras roll – which is a larger issue out here.

But we’re on it.

Bratton to Ban Metal Flashlights
Praise - and skepticism - greet LAPD chief for his action in response to videotaped beating of suspect
Andrew Blankstein, Richard Winton and Monte Morin, The Los Angeles Times, August 4, 2004


Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton said Tuesday that he would prohibit officers from carrying large metal flashlights of the type used by an LAPD patrolman to club car theft suspect Stanley Miller — a beating that was captured on videotape and broadcast internationally.

Bratton told members of the Los Angeles Police Commission that he would soon require officers to carry smaller, rubber flashlights that could not be used as weapons.

"There is a stigma attached to these flashlights that won't go away," Bratton said after he displayed a metal flashlight like the one used to hit Miller and compared it to a much smaller one measuring about 6 inches.

… In deciding to ban large, club-like flashlights, the LAPD is following major metropolitan police departments including Philadelphia, Chicago, Miami and Detroit, which have banned them after highly publicized incidents involving their use as weapons.

Bratton said he will enact the ban after he receives a report now underway reviewing policies of other police departments.

The move drew a mixed response from civil rights advocates, several of whom had compared the Miller case to the 1991 beating of Rodney G. King. …


Ah, the Los Angeles Police Commission rules on soothsayers, Tarot card readers, and psychics.  We will not regulate.  And agrees with the police chief on large metal flashlights.  Bad flashlights, bad.  All in a day’s work.

Now, will the appropriate commission in Enid, Oklahoma take a stand on whether a nervous and insecure and quick to anger ice cream truck driver there can carry a concealed large metal flashlight in lieu of a concealed handgun?

In government as in all of life, the devil is in the details.


Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
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