Friday, October 7, 2016

Insane Clown Posse


So today, comes word from all over that because a bunch of douchenozzles have been popping up in 50 states, just like crop circles, dressed as evil clowns,

the Jackasses In Charge Of Everything (In Their Own Mind)
 have decided that Something Must Be Done.

Consequently school districts (usually monumental repositories of ninnies practicing  egregious assclownery in their own right), as well as some of the local law enforcement agencies, with a tenuous grasp of both the Constitution and their own state's penal code, have issued fatwas against people, particularly on any campus, from kindergarten to grad school, and dressed as clowns.

This has occasioned local students on college campuses, armed with numbers, flashlights, pepper spray, and the IQ of a mob, to set out on clown-hunting posses at the drop of so much as a whisper of someone with a large red nose in the same zip code.

This would be funny if it were a Hanna-Barbera cartoon production, and we were all still in grade school
but once we're talking about nominal (i.e. over the age of 18 years) adults, carrying weapons in public with a purpose, and on the prowl looking for people who have violated no criminal statutes, we have graduated past the stage of this being any kind of funny.

So, for the benefit of the legally-challenged, both in general, and in law enforcement, a few pointers:

IANAL, but
1) last I looked, there is nothing in either my state's penal code, local municipal ordinances, nor most schools' governing precepts, that prohibits dressing up like a clown in public.
2) You'd have to prove criminal intent, like trespassing or criminal mischief, to even have probable cause to apprehend any such.
3) The technical legal term in my state (CA) for carrying pepper spray and hunting for any such is assault.
Actually spraying a clown with it graduates to the more serious offense of battery.
Apprehending anyone for the offense of dressing like a clown in public is false imprisonment.
Moving them afterwards, so much as a whit, against their will, is kidnapping, and it is punishable as a federal criminal offense.
That's all before we get to such esoterica as vigilantism, and acting under false pretense or imaginary color of authority.

If someone, as a prank, is dressed as an evil clown, complete with plastic machete, you might, in some universe, be able to get as far as proving criminal mischief. If they're trespassing on private property, that would be actionable as well.

But some silly bastard is going to get beaten up, injured, or killed, by some group of self-appointed fucktards, or the local badged and sworn dimwits - to include the mall campus cops at Whattsamatta U., and then someone else is going to civil court, the hospital, the jail, and/or prison.

The definition of a prank (and this is a lifetime of class clownery talking here) is that
a) no one gets hurt, and
b) no actual damage is done.
So, yes, anyone dressing thusly at the moment is probably a jackass of the first order.
That being said, it's not a license to apprehend, harm, maim, or kill them for public stupidity.

What the current hysteria demonstrates says a lot more about people's mental deficiencies than it does about criminal conduct, and the last time I checked, the number of actual criminal acts committed by people dressed as clowns, was somewhere between zero, and single digits, throughout recorded history (excepting to the psyches of 4 year-olds at circuses).

If, OTOH, we're going to start pouncing on people acting like clowns, we'd have to haul off the entire government, from President to dog-catcher, 50% of law enforcement itself anytime since about 1980, and more than half of every campus, especially the nominal adult supervision of same, judging strictly by the evening news since Walter Cronkite was on it.

So cool your jets, folks. All you would-be clown hunters have fucked it up for everyone; everybody get out of the pool, now, before someone really gets hurt!


Anonymous said...

Last friday some jackass dressed as a clown chased a local girl in Fort Wayne, IN. from her car to her Apt. building. Friday night someone also in Fort Wayne stopped a vehicle and shot someone dressed as a clown- that clown is now in intensive care.

Aesop said...

Uh, NOT.

But thanks for demonstrating why this shit is getting out of hand.
Now go back to your dorm, put away the pepper spray, and STOP getting your news from hoax sites.

Unknown said...

You forgot to mention Anonymous' neck beard should be cleared of Cheeto cheese post haste.

Anonymous said...

What you doing is like apologizing for someone shouting fire in a crowded theatre.
If you're running around in a disguise menacing children, that's certainly violating several laws.

Here's a good example:

I predict more clowns will be hurt. As the saying goes:
Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

Again, you have zero right to run around in a disguise intimidating people, let alone children. You sure as hell don't want me on the jury if you try it.

Aesop said...

Brilliant! Way to extrapolate all examples from the shaky evidence of only one!
You win the internetz for the day!!

Kindly define the crime(s) committed; refer to the laws of the state of NY and municipality of Syracuse, and demonstrate for the class the elements of the crimes you allege.

I'll wait, as you attempt to articulate so much as one criminal act from the description you cited:

"A boy was walking to school Thursday morning on Syracuse's North Side when he saw three clowns.

The people wearing clown costumes faced the 10-year-old boy as he walked in the 1200 block of Spring Street toward Grant Middle School, said Syracuse Police Lt. Geno Turo. When they gave him a thumbs-up and started to walk toward him, the terrified boy bolted.

The boy told police he ran "as fast as he could" to get away from the clowns, Turo said. The boy then called 911.

Officers Charlie Lester and Shannon Einbeck arrived at Spring and Court streets around 7 a.m. and saw the boy hiding between two houses, Turo said. When he realized police had arrived, the boy ran to the police vehicle and told the officers he was "extremely afraid."

That is your entire case, Clarence Darrow?
If you brought that to trial, you'd be the only clown in evidence, I assure you.

What crossed the line, in your head?

Giving him the "thumbs up"??
Or the walking towards him...??
Feel free to cite the exact NY criminal statute(s) on which you base your ridiculous conclusions.
Or are you one of the sad little people that think dressing as a clown is malum in se?

Had the police contacted any such three clowns, they would be hard-pressed to drum up probable cause to even question them, as no criminal act has occurred, unless beyond all likelihood Syracuse has enacted sweeping and wholly unconstitutional anti-clown ordinances.

As I said, these incidents say more about the tenuous grasp on psychological reality most people have, than they do about any documented criminal activity.

And people who can't figure that out without a shovel upside the head is why anyone with the wit avoids jury duty with them like they would the bubonic plague.

But they're the exact reason Orson Welles became a household name after a little radio story about Grover's Mill, NJ.

All I've done by fisking their (and your) hysteria is apologize for someone yelling "Movie!" in a crowded firehouse.

One more anonymous rant, and it's going in the next post. Don't make me turn this blog around.

Anonymous said...

Penal Code § 120.45. Stalking in the fourth degree. 1999.
A person is guilty of stalking in the fourth degree when he or she intentionally, and for no
legitimate purpose
, engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person, and
knows or reasonably should know that such conduct:
1. is likely to cause reasonable fear of material harm to the physical health, safety or
property of such person, a member of such person's immediate family or a third party
with whom such person is acquainted;

You could probably also pick: disorderly conduct, endangering the welfare of a child and loitering
And that's assuming the clowns run into cops that won't invent extra charges.

What we're seeing are actions that are deliberately calculated to cause a public alarm.
It might not be illegal to run. It might not be illegal to wear a ski mask. It might not be illegal to introduce yourself to a stranger.
However, when you combine all 3 of those things to run up to a girl in a parking lot all by herself at 2AM, you don't get the benefit of the doubt. Those are actions deliberately chosen to frighten another person. Go ahead and tell the jury that you just wanted to ask if she had found Jesus as part of a "prank", but expect that they may just decide to lock your ass up.

In the Syracuse case we have a small child, by himself, being approached by three weirdos in a rough neighbourhood.
Even a 10 year old knows enough to bug out in those circumstances.
Take a look at the 1 month crime map in the vicinity of that school.

I think it's hilarious how you think that in this particular instance the same police and DA who brought the following case:
just somehow aren't going to be able to come up with ANYTHING to charge these people with.

It's amusing how you think there's some jedi mind trick you're going to play where all of a sudden the same legal system that says "established by the states" doesn't mean "established by the states" is suddenly going stop broadly interpreting laws just for some jackass in a clown outfit. All of a sudden they're going to completely forget about all those extremely broad laws that exist and say "well we couldn't find a specific law against clown outfits, so feel free to disguise yourself and chase that kid tomorrow".

If you want to spend your next blog post acting as an apologist for people who are deliberately trying to make others feel unsafe on their way to school, have at it.

Aesop said...

And which "specific person" were these people dressed as clowns knowingly targeting, Clarence?
The stalker has to be targeting a "specific person" as the stalkee, not "some random kid at an intersection". Otherwise anyone out in public walking towards you - which is your jackassical standard here - is guilty of a crime.
And you've leapt to the assumption they had no legitimate purpose. Maybe they wanted to give him a balloon animal. Or congratulate him for staying in school. Or three million other legitimate purposes. You're assuming - let's be serious here, you're hysterically imagining, and not for the first time - facts not in evidence.
There is no basis for assuming, or for anyone to reasonably know, that dressing like a clown would give ANYONE (except you, and certain 10 year olds) reasonable fear "of material harm to the physical health, safety or property of such person, a member of such person's immediate family or a third party with whom such person is acquainted".
(That's the difference between people dressed as clowns, and people in keffiyehs, with explosive vests and wielding AK-47s at the mall yelling "Aloha Snackbar!". One has the weight of historical perecedent behind it, and the other has nothing but the fevered delusions of substandard mental health to back it up.)
What's never been in question is that it may cause unreasonable fear in the mentally deficient, but that's why we try not to let delusional paranoids write the penal codes. So thanks for playing, and we have some lovely parting gifts for you.

Aesop said...

Describe their disorderly actions. I'll wait.
Then try to explain how they endangered the welfare of a child.
Then explain how people moving could be charged with loitering.

Pinning your wishers for a clown-free world on the hope of cops who will testi-lie and "invent" (your word) extra charges, is the last refuge of a jackbooted fanboy. Best wishes with your society, though I'm sure at least the trains will run on time.

What we're seeing here is YOU, solely in the fevered imaginings of a suspect mind, IMAGINING "actions deliberately calculated to cause public alarm".

In a rational world, putting on a clown suit is not, anywhere covered by the actual Constitution and Bill of Rights, tantamount to waving an AK-47 at a mall and screaming "Aloha Snackbar!" though given your limited grasp of such concepts as the elements of a crime, understanding of mens rea, and your lack of total clairvoyance regarding someone else's state of mind, it's not hard to see why this is kicking your ass.
And hey, thanks for trying to bootstrap another totally irrelevant hypothetical into the discussion, as though it had any bearing on the facts of this case.
Award yourself the Strawman Fallacy Ribbon as well.

We have nowhere in evidence that these people are "wierdos". Point Dismissed.
We have nowhere ion evidence that this is a "rough neighborhood". In point of fact, It's so safe that young children routinely walk to school there unattended. Point dismissed.
Your attempt to drag in a 1-month crime map is irrelevant, unless those are only the crimes that took place at 7AM on a school day (read the story), not what goes on blocks away, at night, at 3AM. Point dismissed.

Bonus for trying to dragoon the cops into this, on the grounds that they've done unconstitutionally jackassical things before, and therefore should follow your Imaginary Penal Code now. But nonetheless, point dismissed.
The case law that says recording people in public, including law enforcement, delivered from every court in the land all the way to SCOTUS, is legion, BTW.

It's hilarious how you think that just because you were frightened at 4 years old at the circus and dropped your ice cream cone, everyone wearing a clownsuit is de facto an axe murderer or child molester, absent a single case of such ever actually happening in the real world. Pardon, your irrational hysteria and phobias are showing.

But it's sad that you'd try to bootstrap "walked toward", at a public intersection, as being equivalent to "chasing a child", purely on the evidence of the wild hysteria of a 10 year old child with an overactive imagination, who evidently shares your hysteria and phobias.

Both of you should seek serious professional psychological help, or at least, STFU about your hysterical clownphobia, and suffer on in silence.

Case dismissed.
Don't quit your day job Homer.
And for the love of sweet suffering Shiva, stay the hell off of any jury pool you're ever called to, on the grounds of mental incompetence.
I'll leave your rants here, in case you ever need to point a judge to them for substantiation of your claim.

Arthur said...

Barney Fife: "Nip it in the bud! You got to nip it in the bud! ... Nip it! You go read any book you want on the subject of child discipline, and you'll find that every one of 'em is in favor of bud-nippin'... Only one way to take care of it."

Andy Taylor: "Nip it."

Fife: "In the bud."