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There are now 32 comments... what are your thoughts?
  1. Gabriel says

    Looking back, It seems like the only details the train-operator (Conductor, Engineer? Or would his title be something else?) had to go on were white guy, medium build, red knit-cap, brown winter-jacket, blue-jeans. Nothing particularly identifying.

  2. DanielLC says

    No, but all together it’s pretty identifying. Most of the people in that area are probably white. Half of them are guys. Knit caps are pretty rare. Most of them aren’t red. Brown may be a common color of winter jacket, but it’s not *that* common. None of the other people are wearing brown jackets. Evidence doesn’t add. It multiplies. I’m not sure how accurately someone can be expected to remember clothes, but if he can remember it well, I’d say that’s at least probable cause.

    • Not if probable cause means more likely than not to be the culprit. The illustration makes it clear that this is happening in New York city, so the starting population is ~8 million for the city proper. NY is about 50% white, 50% male, so that gets us to 2 million. Medium height and build gives us very little, say down to 1 million. Blue jeans, red cap, and brown coat (in winter) may be somewhat unusual, but very far from a 1 in a million combination.

        • Proximity is in both time and space. The culprit was seen seen at some kind of train yard; the arrested suspect was seen “a few hours later” somewhere downtown. In that time, the culprit could have traveled anywhere in the city, or to any of several states. Also, the culprit could have changed clothes, and would have reason to do so. The greater the separation in time and space, the more likely that a clothing-only ID such as this one is a coincidence.

    • It is probable cause to detain/question him, but not nearly enough to charge him with anything. While a jury might take the eye-witness testimony, this procedure shouldn’t be proof beyond reasonable doubt.

  3. Nova says

    I love the rat robbing another rat in the first panel. And is that an alligator getting out of the sewer?

  4. Reminds me of a scare at my college campus a few years ago
    Report went out looking for “5’10 white male, jeans, and wearing the COLLEGE sweatshirt”

    Literally described 3 people in the room as we watched the report

  5. UsaSatsui says

    Something here bothers me (well, a lot of things here bother me, but something that isn’t likely about to be covered). All of a sudden, a couple of armed men burst out of a car, don’t identify themselves, all this guy knows is they’re charging at him with guns and calling him an asshole. If you try and defend yourself in this situation, perhaps by drawing a weapon of your own, are you in serious trouble? Or are you acting as a reasonable person might act?

    (Also, big clue you got the wrong guy – when you go to arrest him, he yells for the police. Wanted murderers tend to not do that).

    • I was under the impression that it is always the arresting officer’s responsibility to identify themselves as a police officer. So if the suspect drew a weapon before the police identified themselves, then he would not be in trouble.

      • I beg to differ… unless you mean he would no longer have any troubles, but his next-of-kin would know he was (possibly) legally justified. Police have been known to kill people for presenting objects which are vaguely gun-shaped (eg, hairdryers)… draw an actual gun during an arrest? Hopefully for you, the cop is feeling lucky and doesn’t want to try emptying his magazine…

        • Well, yes, I’m talking legal repercussions. Clearly reacting in that situation will lead to gunfire, but the person being approached might think that he’s about to be shot anyways.

        • I didn’t mean that the cop wouldn’t shoot him. I meant that if he attacked the cop before the cop shot him and before the cop identified himself as a police officer, it would be self-defense. The officers were in plain clothes so the suspect would have had no way of knowing that they were police but he did know that they were trying to grab him.

    • …tend not to…. But guys in the middle of resisting arrest have been known to call for the police even as they struggled to get away from known cops trying to arrest them. The odds likely favor innocence, but nowhere near enough risk the collar, much less to forget him and go look elsewhere for suspects.

  6. reminds me of a movie, “my cousin vinny”. 2 young men falsely identified as the thieves in a robbery because of their peculiar green car which was similar to the perpetrators’ car. “witnesses” all claim that, yes it was those two guys.

    • That movie’s also has a really good example of why you should never speak to the police and always insist upon a lawyer first, even if you did absolutely nothing wrong (“I shot the clerk?” “While interviewing the suspect, he stated he shot the clerk…”)

      From what I understand, the movie’s actually very popular with people in the legal profession because of the accurate and fair portrayal of the system.

  7. David Argall says

    The joke goes…
    Bang! Bang!
    Bang! Bang!
    Bang! Bang!

    In theory, he can pull a gun [if local law allows] without being in legal trouble, but that assumes the police don’t have selective memories and judge and jury do some serious listening to his claim. His lawyer is likely to not be happy with that gun being drawn.

  8. OK, no one else mentioned it, so I will: “Jim Bob’s School of Law and Air Conditioner Repair?”
    Hey, in this economy, it’s good to have a backup plan!

  9. Rufus Shinra says

    You know, something I just realized and which is pretty frightening is that, during a quite dynamic stop, the cops have their fingers in the guard, on the trigger. That’s something which is terrifying in terms of gun safety here. They should not do that until they have taken the decision to shoot, period.

      • Yep, and it’s awful. Though not as much as the time I visited a military base with a bunch of MoD-related civilians and they were allowed to handle assault rifles. Of course those were discharged, of course there was no mag and of course they did not act like complete retards, but seeing someone handling a rifle without checking the chamber first and keeping their finger away from the guard… I had cold sweat the whole time.

        But I’m not surprised this happens IRL, given the number of movies and series being as realistic with fire safety as they are with law (though there are exceptions, like Red October).

  10. Burke says

    At least one of the plainclothes cops in this page has his badge presented in plain-ish sight on his belt. The other one probably does, as well. While the guy they stopped doesn’t seem to have seen those badges, I would imagine the police argument in the situation you describe would be that having their badges in plain sight was identification enough to make any violent resistance unwarranted.

    • I noticed that, and while that badge is on his belt later on, it’s conspicuously absent when he’s rushing the perp, gun drawn.

  11. fluffy says

    I love that there is a rat robbing another rat in the first frame. I hope the rats show up again.

  12. Derek says

    Came to comments to say this, was not disappointed. Trigger discipline, do you speak it? This is why NYC has a 12 lb trigger, because cops were shooting people too accidentally, and now they can’t shoot straight when they need to, thus shooting more accidentally.

    Also, the proper term is “negligently”, but because they’re cops, it goes on the perp’s tab.

  13. Tim says

    I’ve often said that if I opened a diner, I’d call it Sam and Ella’s.

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