Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Seeing is different than reading about

Today I got my first look at the Nygren Golf Classic sweatshirt. Sure, it's old news. But the impact was clear. And worrisome.

Look carefully at the embroidery on the front of the golf classic sweatshirt.

For those with weak eyes it reads, "Sheriff - McHenry County Sheriff's Police". In the blue circle are the words, "State of Ilinois".

Is this not clear mis-use of the badge of the Office of the Sheriff of McHenry County?

Now, imagine wearing this sweatshirt and walking into a 7-11 while it's being robbed. Do you think an armed robber, upon seeing the badge, is going to stop to read "Nygren Gold Classic" before he pops off a few rounds at the "cop" he sees?

Is someone wearing this sweatshirt going to be mistaken in other surroundings for a cop or deputy?

I first complained in 2006 after I received a fundraising letter in an envelope bearing this emblem and the words "Keith Nygren Sheriff". At first I thought the contents might be a subpoena in a traffic case in which I was a witness. Then, with disgust, I found a fundraising letter. Think I could find someone to take an interest in my complaint then?

Then Zane Seipler tried to get a Special Prosecutor appointed to investigate Nygren. No luck. And the State's Attorney won't take Nygren on, based on what he thinks are ethical reasons for not doing so. I kept waiting for Zane's lawyer to ask the judge if the State's Attorney could legally investigate the sheriff, even though he didn't want to on ethical grounds. That question was never asked.


Ray said...

While it is hard for me to show the slightest interest in this topic ... I half read it, but now I want to understand it.

Is it your position that having an embroidered star on your shirt might make someone think you are a police officer? Should we assume that that person is a total moron?

I mean, really, you know someone who would see someone in a 7-11 with a star embroidered on their shirt, and that person would conclude from that, that the person wearing the shirt is a police officer. In what alternate universe does this occur? Cuz it certainly doesn't happen here. Now I might think that they are somehow involved with law enforcement ... (like maybe they went on a golf outing, for example), but I wouldn't assume they were a peace officer.

If this is the claim that whomever was making, it should be dismissed with prejudice--and they should be made to pay sanctions ....

The court already has too much to do (See the The Woodstock Advocate Blog) with normal civil and criminal matters.

Gus said...

OK, Ray. I'm going to loan this sweatshirt to you. Start wearing it around Woodstock, like when you go to the convenience store on Dane St. or South St. or one of the liquor stores late on a Saturday night.

If you walk in on a robbery, some hopped-up junkie might just unload a few rounds on you. He'll see the badge and the hair and say to himself, "Narc. Narc." And then he'll decorate you with his Saturday Night Special.

There is reasonable danger for anyone wearing a uniform with any kind of badge; e.g., rent-a-cop, Corrections Officer, a PD's Community Service Officer, etc.

The Bad Guy will see the badge, not that there is no gun.

Ray said...

You have quite an imagination.

Who said there was no gun. LOL

Actually, I have a favorite t-shirt that says FBI on it -- I wear it all the time, but I'm not allowed to talk about it. Maybe I am impersonating an agent, har har.

I guess the difference between you and me is that I recognize your scene above from the movie "Regarding Henry" (except Henry was just at the wrong place at the wrong time), and just think of it as a scene from a movie.

The funny part is that you actually think these things could reliably happen, when in fact they happen about at often as million dollar lottery wins. It is not reasonable to believe that things that almost never happen are likely. So, no there is not reasonable danger for a person wearing a golf outing shirt with a a star on it.

I don't live my life trying to avoid things that very very very rarely happen. However, I have noticed that you do.

Maybe that's why you are a bit paranoid (like a lot of my gun-nut friends). I own guns but I never expect to use them on a person. They own guns and they are continually shooting at targets shaped like people.

The funny thing to me is that they often talk about how they would shoot a person in this or that (highly unlikely scenario), I always wonder how I could get away without shooting someone. I guess that's the difference.

But, I am 100 percent sure, that I would get the correct, unavoidable shot off while they were busy thinking about it ... I just wouldn't be happy about it.

P.S. To consider your highly unlikely scenario. In a situation where a "junkie" (do those even exist anymore, did they ever?) had a Saturday Night Special in a convenience store ... I would think this ...

1. Is there any way this guy can get out the door without shooting anyone (give him what he wants).

2. There is no need to be a hero here, this guy is going to get $50 it's not worth it upsetting him.

3. How come this junkie can think so quickly ... I thought he was a junkie... (if he mistakes me for a cop)

4. Untrained people (or junkies) like to take a long time to shoot people, because it's hard to shoot people unless your high

5. If they are high ...junkie ain't gonna hit shit with that gun ... and it's probably not loaded (but I will treat it like it is).

6. Lastly, if he does hit me chance are it won't kill me ...

So you can add that to how unlikely this is to ever happen ... to equal, it's really nothing to worry about.

Gus said...

Ray, this sentence right here ("I own guns but I never expect to use them on a person.") will get you dead.

While you are thinking about shooting and deciding, the Bad Guy will be shooting, and you'll die with a fully-loaded gun in your hand.

Of course, our Illinois legislators prevent us from having any chance at all of defending ourselves in a convenience store, sweatshirt with badge or not.

Ray said...

Perhaps I was unclear ... I seem to say that a lot on your blog ...

I own guns but I never expect to use them on a person ... because...

1. I have a brain ....
2. It doesn't take me long to make a decision.
3. I am not easily excited, and
4. I shoot very well.

I think your gun fantasies are born from a misunderstanding of odds.

Secondly, odds are I will not die with a fully loaded gun in my hand. The exact odds are 12,455,284 to 1. I'll take those odds.

Lastly, I do join with you in being disappointed in our legislature with respect to weapons. I am not interested in them making anything else illegal, I am interested in them repealing laws that do...

P.S. People having gun fantasies often talk about junkies and the bad guy ... I can only guess why

1. Do they not want to think of what happens if they shoot a good guy.

2. In their fantasy .... they are fighting evil like batman or superman.

3. Bad Guys and junkies are people that we should automatically hate so that it is ok to shoot them.

but at the end of the day fantasy is just that.

Anonymous said...

"Narc. Narc" Is it 1975?? By your reasoning, no one should ever wear a badge or uniform when entering a convenience store. We all know for a fact that "hopped-up junkies" shoot at cops at every stick-up. Never the clerk, innocent bystander, etc. You are a moron. But also very amusing! Thanks for the giggles, gentlemen.

Gus said...

Kat, get somebody to show you some police training films, especially to one in which the robberw had put on the convenience store clerk's smock and was behind the counter. He had made the clerk stand in front of the counter, as if he were the robber.

Ask any cops you know if they have gotten any training about off-duty wear of t-shirts, jackets, etc. with badges on them and if they are on high-alert out in the public, while wearing them.

Anonymous said...

Your scenario was very specific. That's what I was responding too. The "hopped up junkie with a gun". What are the odds of this particular shirt being worn and walking into this particular scenario?

Gus said...

@Kat, the "odds" don't matter, if the wearer (any wearer) of a shirt with a badge on it walks in on an armed robbery.

It's not going to happen with "this particular shirt", because I don't plan on wearing it around town.

Can't speak for anyone who bought one of those sweatshirts or t-shirts for a donation to Keith. I wouldn't be surprised if a lawyer drummed up a lawsuit against the sheriff and the department for unwittingly exposing the wearer to harm.

Ray said...

I don't think you are going to save yourself with a distraction of blaming "a lawyer" drumming up a lawsuit.

While people generally hate lawyers drumming up lawsuits -- nothing changes the fact that you are changing the subject because you are on the losing side of this argument.