back to article Security maven turns tables on fibbing police

A computer security expert used his elite skills to turn the tables on Seattle Police who arrested him for doing nothing more than refusing to identify himself during a drunken street golf game in 2008. Eric Rachner, identified by The Seattle PI as a cyber security expert, fought the charges for obstructing a police officer, …


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  1. Brian Miller

    Seattle police relearn state laws

    I am surprised that the cops aren't familiar with these laws. A few years back there was another "who, us?" incident where a guy photographing the Ballard locks was harassed by Homeland "Security" and the Seattle police. Once again, the cops learn what is actually written in the law.


  2. Nexox Enigma

    Sounds like fun...

    Anyone want to get together for a pickup game of drunken street golf?

    In case anyone is interested, the original article specifies that they were using foam balls, which just seems like it'd take all the fun out of the game...

  3. David 45

    Made up laws

    Sounds very much like what the UK police have been up to of late - making up new "laws" as they go along, especially with reference to harassing hobbyist photographers on the street, even going as far as arresting one in a town near me, after he also refused to give ID, initially to council officials (who had no right to demand it, as he was on a public highway), and then to the police, as he was doing nothing illegal. The arrest, and I would presume also the subsequent handcuffing and detention in a police vehicle, has now been deemed unlawful so I would anticipate substantial compensation.

  4. Steve Evans


    How can the police arrest him for something other than refusing to provide ID and then not elaborate what he was arrested for? Surely what he was arrested for will be on the charge sheet?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mr Plod ... pretty much everywhere, then....

    ...making up his own rules as he goes along...

    At least in the USA there seems to be at least some of the legal system that who won't play...

    Unlike the UK where the judiciary are pretty much onboard with the rest of the Brethren...

  6. Sir Runcible Spoon


    The guy certainly has initiative, and balls. US police are trigger happy goons after all.

  7. Mark McGuire

    This needs to be...

    on Nailed 'em.

  8. John Tserkezis

    As has been said before:

    If you're going to screw someone using technology,

    make sure YOU understand the technology better than THEY do.

  9. James Woods

    missing the point

    I dunno about Seattle but where im from if you refuse to identify yourself you can be arrested for failure to identify.

    That is if they can't verify your identity using cooperating information, however this individual appears to not have cooperated.

    This isn't the first time technology has burned the police.

    The cops are known for lying about where they are sitting for their 'speedtraps'. The gps alot of them have now is working against them showing they are sitting in areas that either prevent a 360 degree view of traffic (as required by most states) and/or in a complete different area then citing for.

    I was once cited for speeding and the officer wrote down his location as he would of been sitting on a road face-to-face with me for my journey up a side street. We all might look around when driving but none of us are going to miss a cop staring you in the face, he simply lied about where he was sitting. He was actually hiding beside a building which is against the law since he would not have a 360 degree view of traffic.

    This video footage is easily tampered with by the police since the camera is usually activiated with their emergency equipment. All the cops have to do is pull out of their hiding spots before activating the equipment and the camera will be none the wiser.

    1. mccp

      I think I missed your point

      You were speeding and you were caught?

      So don't speed - not that big of a deal.

  10. Trevor Pott o_O Gold badge

    Nail them

    to the wall.

  11. Jeff Deacon

    In the UK ...

    what are the log files that one should ask for when told the usual story that its been deleted/camera wasn't working/not entitled/etc? Anyone from PlodIT who could slip us an anonymous tip?

  12. Louis 3


    Arresting police officers typically do not know all the ins and outs of the law; they are not lawyers. In this case however, it seems the police department did not even know the ins and outs of police department policy (claiming that videos are only kept for 90 days) - either that, or they lied. If they lied they should be punished. If they are so incompetent that they can't even remember their own policies they should all be sacked.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    why we're losing

    We Americans like to complain. We put great effort into it.

    This story is an example of why Americans are losing when it comes to defeating terrorism (both foreign, and especially domestic) stopping cross-border violence driven by the trade in illegal drugs and workers, and in the general increase in both property and violent crime.

    If our police spent as much time on actually doing their jobs as they do on covering their own behinds we'd be in a much different place. Of course they're only following the lead of their politician masters, who are in turn following the lead of their corporate executive masters. The problem isn't that these people are stupid (although in this case and many others they clearly proved to be) it's that they're so self-absorbed that they've lost sight of what they were hired to do.

  14. Da Weezil

    Modern Cop

    Seems to be a world wide problem, gone is any vestige of respect when the police speak to members of the public (their paymasters) preferring to employ an arrogant and hectoring tone, while demanding subservience and submission from all unlucky enough to encounter them.

    We seem to be turning out a new generation of Dredds all with the certain belief implanted on their heads - "I AM the law", but remember Mr Policeman, you only police with the consent of the community which you serve, and are OF the law - NOT above the law!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      More likely

      The police are getting fed up in some places of trying to police a population filled with pub lawyers and people who try and push them as far as they can. Every single police worker (Both the police and civilian staff) have been nice people, but realy fed up of the attitude of people. For every person who is stopped by the police in error there is 100 more complaining about imagined laws and made up rights - think the problems teachers have. It seems there is a large chunk of scocioty who have no respect for others. no thoughts for anyone but themselfes and far too much anger about the world. A sense of entitlement.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Poh Lice

        Well maybe the police you know are like that but to say they are "fed up" with "the attitude of people" kind of implies they are in a seriously wrong job.

        The police are there to serve the public. This is something they often seem to forget. Staff at McDonalds have to smile and put a brave face on, even when being abused by toerags who think its funny to mock those on minimum wage. Why should police get to arrest you because you dont like being shouted at by them?

        Would you think it was acceptable for your MP to be fed up with the attitude of the people he was representing and mistreat them?

        There is indeed a large chunk of society with no respect for others, no thoughts for anyone but themsevels and far too much anger about the world as well as a false sense of entitlement.

        Sadly this chunk wears a uniform. (*)


        (*) once it was a smart blue uniform they could be proud of, but now they dress like Serbian paramilitaries with black combat fatigues, assault boots, baseball caps and utility belts. Wonder what effect that has on their mindsets....

  15. Anonymous Coward


    So if the Seattle police have not told the truth under oath, shouldn't the officer concerned be suspected of, and possibly trialed for perjury?

  16. gimbal

    Something for the next April Fools edition of "COPS - Bureaucrat Edition"? But seriously....

    Maybe folks in the UK might not all be aware of it - there's been a sort of reality TV show on the networks, for a while, called "COPS", wherein the viewer gets to see what the police and sheriffs of the US have to put up with, on a daily basis.

    I don't seriously believe they'd feel like showing footage about this, but it was nice to joke about, for a moment.

    So maybe they were trying to "save face". I understand that in regarding the police in their unique roles in regional structure and community , their ethics might be put under constant scrutiny, especially by the most tedious *#$#$# of the area.

    But who else doesn't like to try to "save face" at work, though, I mean really? They aren't an army of Robocop(TM) after all, Cops are people too.

    1. The First Dave


      The beauty of programs like that is the ability to control what is seen - much like this case, the video only ever gets shown to the public when it is deemed that the 'criminals' are behaving worse than the cops.

  17. Charles Smith

    Biter bit.

    I listened to the video. What a nice polite policeman. He was not aggressive and treated the arrestee well. What pity that the person arrested hadn't committed any offence other than refusing to open his wallet for the policeman. Meanwhile the person who committed the "offence" of hitting someone in the face with a foam ball walks away.

    The police Establishment then make matters a whole lot worse by trying to lie about their use of the technology for recording the scene by using excuses than would fail basic training in a Help Desk school.

  18. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

    The police, corrupt

    Who knew?

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