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    •  
      CommentAuthorReverendJoe
    • CommentTimeMar 6th 2008 edited
     (1279.1)
    This month marks the one year anniversary of my being investigated by the United States Secret Service. My two main thoughts during our little three hour chat were "Patriot Act" and "Guantanamo Bay". It took me a good long time to process what had happened, but as time goes by the encounter becomes less terrifying and more amusing. It's still just as surreal, though.

    Has anyone else out there had a similar run in with the Man?
  1.  (1279.2)
    Okay, you're going to have to go into more detail
  2.  (1279.3)
    My friend went out with a crazy girl for a couple of weeks (I warned him that she was crazy, but he didn't listen) and broke up with her after realizing she was nuts. He took it easy on her, but she went loopy and tried to use eye-lasers on him.

    We discovered soon after that the girl’s mother is even crazier and she began emailing him, telling him that he was worse than both Hitler and Hannibal Lecter and calling me his "bookaholic butt buddy". (this is a woman we had both met for a total of maybe ten minutes)

    After a brief back and forth via email, she called the Secret Service and told them that I had threatened Bill Clinton so they sent a couple of agents over. I had a nice three hour chat with one of them while the other (huge) agent poked around my apartment, scrutinizing my books and taking notes and such. The Secret Service didn't seem too fond of readers to me. (I will admit that when they came in there were large amounts of pornography and a number of firearms strewn about the living room)

    They asked me if I was a vampire or if I practiced black magic. They wanted to know about my previous jobs and relationships, and who I associated with. The one thing they didn't ask me was if I had threatened Bill Clinton.

    After they had me take off my shirt and pants so they could take photos of my tattoos, and telling me that "You’ve been warned”, they went to visit my former employer and my mom. They asked my mother if I was in a militia or a cult and to give them a call if I started acting strange.

    I didn’t leave the apartment for about a month, and I still don’t like people coming in my place.

    Ah, democracy.
  3.  (1279.4)
    Ummm...I guess I'll take your word for it, but this seems strangely unlikely. No offense or anything, but I'm just saying, it's a little wild.
    •  
      CommentAuthorDaveNant
    • CommentTimeMar 6th 2008
     (1279.5)
    Bloody hell. That's the sort of thing that really sticks in my throat when you hear wankers like Condi and Bush talking so glibly about freedom and liberty. I wish it was that easy to screw people over with the authorities over here.

    One of my mates proudly came back from his tattoo artist a few months back, showing off the little extra work he'd decided to have done on the spur of the moment. "Look," he said, showing off this flowery Arabic script on his lower right arm, "it says 'Destined to Die!'".

    "Erm, so you aren't planning to take your kids to Disneyland after all, this year, no?"

    The complexities of the American customs system hadn't occurred to him, it seems...
  4.  (1279.6)
    One of my mates proudly came back from his tattoo artist a few months back, showing off the little extra work he'd decided to have done on the spur of the moment. "Look," he said, showing off this flowery Arabic script on his lower right arm, "it says 'Destined to Die!'".


    He could argue that it was meant to read 'Destined to Diet!' but the artist screwed up.
    •  
      CommentAuthorDaveNant
    • CommentTimeMar 6th 2008
     (1279.7)
    I've emailed him with that right now. His kids will be eternally grateful to you!!

    Did you find a record shop in the South Bank area, by the way? I was racking my brains after you posted on Dig, Lazarus, Dig but couldn't think of a single one.
    • CommentAuthorBMTMTC
    • CommentTimeMar 6th 2008
     (1279.8)
    When I was younger a friend of mine and I were doing some computer training in New Hampshire. At the time I had never been out of the country so when we both had the day off we decided to drive into Quebec. When we get to the US-Canada border they ask us the typical questions "Have you ever been arrested?", etc. Well it just so happens is that my friend is a recovering alcoholic who had been arrested for a DUI some 12 years prior to this. As part of his recovery he isn't allowed to lie about his past so he was honest and told them he'd had a DUI 12 years ago, as a matter of fact it wasn't even on his record anymore.

    Of course we got pulled to the side, had the car dismantled, had the dogs over to sniff everything, a totally wonderful 3 hours wasted. Despite the lack of a police record of anything, and the fact that there was nothing in our rental car, they told us they were denying us entry and that we could petition the Canadian Embassy in Miami if we wanted to get in.

    The worst part is as we're routed back through the US side, the guard looks at the rejection paper and straight up laughs at us. He told us we shouldn't have said anything and that there is no way the Canadian side could have ever known anything otherwise.

    Needless to say, it's pretty embarrassing to have been kicked out by Canada of all places.
    •  
      CommentAuthorDaveNant
    • CommentTimeMar 6th 2008
     (1279.9)
    It's an absolute joke, isn't it? By contrast, any fucker can get into the UK, it seems. Also you can wander around mainland Europe without even a passport, supposedly, but crossing from England to France by rail you're subject to security and customs, and all the annoyances they want to subject you to.
    •  
      CommentAuthormadmatt213
    • CommentTimeMar 6th 2008 edited
     (1279.10)
    @BMTMTC

    Needless to say, it's pretty embarrassing to have been kicked out by Canada of all places.

    From my experiences, you have to work pretty damn hard to do that (for the record, I never have).

    I went to college in Sault Ste Marie, MI, which borders Sault Ste Marie, Ontario (Canada), from 2000-2004. I probably went to Canada (sometimes to drink, since the drinking age is 19, but mostly to watch movies/shop/explore) at least a hundred times, but was actually held up at the customs booth for never more than a couple minutes. And this was the same before and after 9/11. Usually, the officer only would ask where we were going and that would be it. Getting back into America is a whole other story, but I was only ever stopped a couple times, and that's only because friends forgot their IDs or we bought hundreds of dollars of goods and had to pay duty. Luckily, the US Customs officers would go easy on you if you told them you were college students. And especially if you said you were a Criminal Justice student (that gets you out of a lot of trouble with the Man, you know, if you ever get in a bind).
  5.  (1279.11)
    There was an article in the local paper about the new laws regarding crossing from Canada into Maine. One longtime Canadian commuter said one day he drove up to the border, the guard greeted him by name, asked about his wife and kids, and then asked him for identification.
    •  
      CommentAuthorMegaGoosey
    • CommentTimeMar 6th 2008
     (1279.12)
    My friend went out with a crazy girl for a couple of weeks (I warned him that she was crazy, but he didn't listen) and broke up with her after realizing she was nuts. He took it easy on her, but she went loopy and tried to use eye-lasers on him.

    We discovered soon after that the girl’s mother is even crazier and she began emailing him, telling him that he was worse than both Hitler and Hannibal Lecter and calling me his "bookaholic butt buddy". (this is a woman we had both met for a total of maybe ten minutes)

    After a brief back and forth via email, she called the Secret Service and told them that I had threatened Bill Clinton so they sent a couple of agents over. I had a nice three hour chat with one of them while the other (huge) agent poked around my apartment, scrutinizing my books and taking notes and such. The Secret Service didn't seem too fond of readers to me. (I will admit that when they came in there were large amounts of pornography and a number of firearms strewn about the living room)

    They asked me if I was a vampire or if I practiced black magic. They wanted to know about my previous jobs and relationships, and who I associated with. The one thing they didn't ask me was if I had threatened Bill Clinton.

    After they had me take off my shirt and pants so they could take photos of my tattoos, and telling me that "You’ve been warned”, they went to visit my former employer and my mom. They asked my mother if I was in a militia or a cult and to give them a call if I started acting strange.

    I didn’t leave the apartment for about a month, and I still don’t like people coming in my place.

    Ah, democracy.

    Holy shit. If that's all true... holy shit man.
    •  
      CommentAuthorJay Kay
    • CommentTimeMar 6th 2008
     (1279.13)
    Reverand: Woah. That's definately a "so-off-the-wall-and-insane-I-can-only-imagine-it-to-be-true" moment.
  6.  (1279.14)
    One of my Ex-Girlfriend's dad (let's call him Greg) was a Bikie. He never joined a gang because he had a family and stuff, but he still rode with, and had friends in, one of the big ones where I live.

    So one morning at around 4am the cops come around to the house. Greg was a smart guy, so he'd figured out what was going on, so as the cops are banging on the front door he's yelling, "Be with you in a minute" while he's putting some pants on. He starts for the front door to let them in when a cop came running in through the back door with a gun pointed at him shouting "Put your hands in the air!"
    He just said, "Yeah, wait a second, someone's at the door." Proceeded to open the front door to let the cops in while the cop who came in the back way is just standing there looking like a dick.

    So the cops come into the room where my and my (then) girlfriend are sleeping and tell us that we have to go out to the loungeroom. The only problem is that we're both naked and they wouldn't close the door to let us get dressed. Luckily I left my clothes in a pile on the floor next to my side of the bed, so I dressed under the blanket, and got some clothes for my girlfriend.
    Then we went and sat out in the Loungeroom with her two sisters while Greg was in the kitchen talking to the lead detectives. The cop who was asking me for all my personal details also took down notes about my leg tattoo (back then that was my only visible one).

    Because there were some pictures of Harelys up on the wall in the study they asked us if that was "his room", but we told them that no, it was everyone's room. We all used the computer and I was known to spend many an hour in there playing on the Xbox.

    Later on one of the cops escorted me & my g/f back to our room while he searched around for drugs/whatever else (I think we had to be there so that we couldn't say that they had planted the evidence in our absence). So we just sat on the bed and the guys looking through the drawers and stuff; he was a decent cop and by that stage he'd figured out that they were on a bum lead, so he was like "I'm just gonna look around and you can tell me when I start getting warmer." We just laughed and then after a few more minutes he said "I'm not going to find anything am I? Not even a little pipe? Nothing?" "No, sorry."

    According to the Search Warrant they were looking for quantities of Methamphetamine, but all they found was a couple of guns that Greg had from when he lived out bush and used to go hunting. I'm not sure if the guns themselves were illegal, or just the fact that he hadn't bothered to get a licence for them, but either way he ended up going to court for that one.
    But I honestly think the cops were surprised and disappointed to find that there weren't big piles of speed on all the flat surfaces of the house.

    So yeah, that was my biggest/best run-in story.
    •  
      CommentAuthorZ
    • CommentTimeMar 6th 2008
     (1279.15)
    Years and years ago when the world was new, I was called down to a police station regarding a theft at the food court I worked in. I worked for a pizza chain that also sold what were basically tv dinners rewarmed in a convection oven.

    Why is this important? Because the ovens were the only thing that stood between the counter and the small 'back room' that served as a combination prep area and office. The pizza ovens were monsters that served as big walls; the convection oven, however, was on legs. Theoretically all one had to do to reach the back office without a key, was sit on the counter, swing their legs over to the service side, then crawl under the convection oven to the back room and the safe.

    When I pointed this out to the police they told me I'd given it a lot of thought. I told them no, it was just common sense.

    They'd brought me to an interrogation room claiming they 'didn't really have offices'. I'd played along knowing I was innocent anyway.

    They told me if I just admitted I stole the money all I'd have to do was give it back. I told them I hadn't stolen it so really I couldn't give them anything.

    They handed me a document printed in small 6 or 8 pt. font and told me if I signed it I could go. I refused.

    This went on for three hours before they finally got bored.

    Turned out it was a co-worker. There's a surprise.

    - Z
    • CommentAuthorzenbullet
    • CommentTimeMar 7th 2008
     (1279.16)
    The cops in my local area are bored lames. I have been known to complainly loudly about the lack of crime in my area, since I've noticed, in areas where I've lived where there is Real Crime About, the cops tend to focus really well on the problem.

    But I can totally believe that story, America Is Stupid sometimes.
    • CommentAuthoradrian r
    • CommentTimeMar 7th 2008
     (1279.17)
    This happened Quite Some Years Back, when squatting was in the news in the UK because of some new legislation that was going through.

    Some friends chanced on the keys to a very impressive 35 room property in a very exclusive part of Nottingham, overlooking the castle. We later discovered that someone had bought the place, gone bankrupt renovating it, and the builders had left the keys in a bag in the doorway for whoever to find...which turned out to be my friends.

    Anyway, over the course of a week or so, a group of us helped them (there were 3 initially) settle into the place. To do so, we used a pick-up truck that someone borrowed from their employer. And they've got themselves settled in by the Friday night, and are getting lightly toasted together in a huge living room upstairs, when all of a sudden we become aware of visitors. Uniformed visitors. With dogs.

    They were very friendly when they realised what was going on, and didn't actually want to do anything with us at first. Turns out they'd turned up mob-handed because of reports from neighbours that we might be an IRA cell (told you this was a while ago) intent, as was the practice at the time, on blowing up gasometers. So when they found out we were harmless, they relaxed. But sadly, there wasn't enough crime happening in the city that night, so HQ made them bring us in for interviews. Cue comedy scenes of me (very tall) being handcuffed to a friend a foot taller looking for his asthma inhaler while trying to control his dog, which wanted to make friends with the police dogs.

    This happened around May, at which point I'd got a bad case of hayfever, and my pockets were full of sodden tissues which the police had to check in just in case I felt like hanging myself from them. I got stripsearched too, including a cavity search, but only a couple of us got that treatment. Then I was interviewed, only the tape machine wasn't working properly so I tried to be helpful and get it working for them.

    The interviews went on through the night, and we all met up at an all night cafe, most of us amused by what happened. And we stopped by before heading back to one guy's house, to discover a mystery at the mansion...at the point we were taken in, a huge joint was in mid-construction in a rolling mat. When we got back, it was finished. The only reasonable explanation is that one of the cops had done it as a welcome home present.

    After that, the squat ended up in the national and international media, because of the thing about the legislation, and the sheer audacity of squatting somewhere so grand. And the police were good with everyone involved, to be fair: the real problems came with the private security people employed in the exclusive area the squat was, who made serious threats of violence against one of the residents. The other problem was the networking ability of the well-heeled neighbours, who pulled strings to get power disconnected and so forth: if anyone was The Man in this scenario, it was them, and not the legitimate authorities.
    •  
      CommentAuthorUnsub
    • CommentTimeMar 7th 2008
     (1279.18)
    I'm having a time out until I can learn some manners.
    Private security is WAY worse than public cops as far as civil rights and violent excessiveness. It is also a huge growth industry along with private for profit prisons(slave ships that don't go anywhere).

    It is interesting the things different countries find important. In Western Canada the cops really don't care about drugs but go nuts over firearms. My upstairs neighbour in east van had a small grow op(about 60 plants) and the cops found it while looking for his roommate(an armed robber) and all they did was break the light bulbs and take the plants. It was not worth the paperwork for a few pounds of weed.
    •  
      CommentAuthorKPeff
    • CommentTimeMar 7th 2008
     (1279.19)
    Four years ago when I was in college, I opened my school newspaper up and found this.
    Mark Miller had slept three hours in his parked car after a long night at an anime festival in a downtown hotel.

    Then, the call. A number and a voice he didn't know.

    "Hey Mark, we're at your dorm," the voice said. "We want to talk with you."

    "Who are you?" asked Miller, a physics freshman.

    "Law enforcement."

    Two men met him in the hotel lobby and flashed badges: FBI. Secret Service. The questions began.

    "Do you belong to any student activist organizations?"

    "Have you ever thought of joining any student activist organizations, like UT Watch?"

    He wasn't an activist. Nor a suspect or the messenger of a bomb threat, for that matter.

    What interested the agents, from Austin's Joint Terrorism Task Force, was an open records request he filed with UT administrators for information about the underground campus tunnel system.
    There is an urban myth I think we only tell freshmen that underneath Austin are secret tunnels. It's really just a few tunnels for maintenance and utilities underneath the University of Texas in Austin campus. Mark was just curious.

    Obviously, he didn't get the information he wanted. Then he started filing requests to see the report they wrote about him. Those were denied, too.
  7.  (1279.20)
    Private security is WAY worse than public cops as far as civil rights and violent excessiveness


    You might want to mark down another instance of me agreeing with you Unsub.

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