Open Letter To Chief Barney Fife

To:  Chief Barney Fife, Dwight Schrute, Frank Burns, David Kolb, Champlin Police Department
From: Mitch Berg, Mere Peasant.
Re:  Do They Only GIve You One Bullet?

Chief Kolb – one of the Metro area DFL’s pet cops – had to say in testifying before the Senate’s bipartisan vote in favor of Tony Cornish’s “Stand Your Ground” bill yesterday:

“This bill provides a loophole for a defense of what I would call cold-blooded murder,” said Champlin Police Chief David Kolb of the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association.

Kolb recounted being 10 years old and sneaking onto a neighbor’s south Minneapolis property to steal apples from a tree.

Based on the proposal, “now the property owner can use force, and even deadly force, against that 10-year-old apple thief,” Kolb said. “You can see the disconnect here with reality.”

Indeed, Chief Kolb, we can.  The disconnect with reality is like a rhetorical taser to the groin..

Would that 10 year old Davie Kolb have been a “Reasonable Threat of Death or Substantial Bodily Harm” to that property owner – where “Reasonable” means “a jury would buy it?”  If someone in Champlin shot a ten year old kid who was stealing apples, would the prosecution today hinge on the failure to retreat?  Or perhaps the fact that the property owner was under no lethal threat whatsoever, and that lethal force was utterly unjustified?  How, precisely, would that change with the passage of Cornish’s law?

Would that 10 year old Kolb lad’s actions have justified, to that reasonable cop, prosecutor and juror, the use of lethal force, notwithstanding the exact location of the incident?

If so, then why are you alive, not to mention a cop, today?

If not, then I think the citizens of Champlin might wanna do a quick review of their chief of police’s investigative skills, knowledge of the law, and – given his apparent willingness to misrepresent the law when the metro DFL asks him to – his priorities..

That is all.


(Via regular commenterTerry)

9 thoughts on “Open Letter To Chief Barney Fife

  1. Maybe Chief Kolb is admitting to a crime here: perhaps he did threaten the lives of his neighbors while stealing their apples. Would that make him a more or less reliable witness?

  2. What Kolb didn’t mention is that he still goes to S. Minneapolis on apple-stealing sprees.
    Only now, he’s packing heat.

  3. Dave Kolb, working tirelessly to keep criminals safe.

    Puts a different spin on “Protect and Serve” doesn’t it?

  4. Kolb is right that the law intends to expand the “no duty to retreat” zone. Now, it’s your four walls. Under the new law, it would also cover your back yard.

    He’s also right that I could shoot a kid there; but heck, I could do that now. The question isn’t where I pull the trigger, it’s whether I go to prison for it. That depends on whether pulling the trigger was justified.

    To be justified, I still have to be in danger. He’s right that the law changes one presumption – I don’t have to prove I was in danger, the prosecution has to prove I was NOT in danger – but only as to specific fact situations. I’m presmed to be in danger if someone is kidnapping me from my home or car. I’m presumed to be in danger if someone is breaking into my dwelling or car when I’m in it. But that’s only a presumption.

    Chief Kolb is right about a lot of individual things but when put together, they don’t quite work. I agree, a kid sneaking over the fence is entering the expanded dwelling by stealth and the homeowner has the presumption of danger. But that doesn’t mean he’s really in danger. If the homeowner shoots and prosecution can prove there was no danger, the homeowner loses.

    The Chief is using an old tactic here, arguing the hard case that makes bad law. He doesn’t talk about the run-of-the-mill home invasion robbery or carjacking because everybody agrees self-defense is appropriate there. The weakness of the argument in opposition illustrates the strength of the argument in favor.

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