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Icky Thump

Longtime readers know of Phoenix Jones, a "real life" superhero.  There's been a trend lately of people putting on costumes and doing good deeds, tying in with the success of comic book movies in the theaters.  One guy in England was operating for two whole days before a Wikipedia article, complete with his real name and enough info to dox him, came out.

Jones operates in Seattle, WA.  There are a couple of "super groups" there, the result of a schism.  One group basically wanted to be Boy Scouts in loud colors.  The others, led by Jones, wanted to actually go after criminals like drug dealers and car thieves.  A lot of us comic readers know the old story of, "What happens when reality intrudes?"  You know, like legalities and such.  You are talking vigilanteism, which is illegal, and violation of personal rights.  For someone really easy to track and identify.

Reality just came a-knockin'.  Jones has been arrested for assault.

On October 10 at 230AM, Jones pepper sprayed a bunch of clubbers.  They say they did nothing.  Jones says they were involved in a street fight.  Once the spray went out, two of them chased Jones, and a fight ensued until police stepped in.

Jones was being tailed by a camera crew making a report or documentary or something about him.  It does seem to back up Jones' claim.  MY WIFE AND I HAVE DECIDED TO POST THE VIDEO OF THE RECENT INCIDENT THAT HAS BEEN IN THE NEWS THE VIDEO WILL BE POSTED IN ITS ENTIRETY UNEDITED RAW FOOTAGE THERE WILL BE SCREEN SHOTS TO BETTER VIEW THE CRIME I WITNESSED AND STOPPED ALSO IF YOU KNOW THE PERSON INVOLVED IN THE HIT AND RUN/ATTEMPTED MURDER OF THE MAN I SAVED PLEASE CONTACT YOUR LOCAL POLICE (I HAVE A SCREEN SHOT OF THE LICENSE PLATE AND WILL PROVIDE IT TO THE POLICE ALONG WITH YOUR STATEMENT)

(Personal bitch -- goddammit, LJ, why am I not able to embed media here anymore?!?)

I'm sorry, but sooner or later, someone is going to get hurt or killed.  People want cops to be tough guys.  They don't understand part of police training is to defuse situations without violence.  And this nutball who is living out a Batman fantasy (a camera crew?!?) is the most likely to be the first martyr.

The big problem, though, is people are turning this into a referendum on the police.  I know that, in big cities, there are plenty of problems with cops.  Chicago has the Burglars In Blue.  The Seattle Police Department has had a lot of bad press lately.  But debating whether some dipstick in a costume is better for the protection of the local populous than the officers misses the point.

If a private citizen is so great for stopping crime, what about the rest?  Other people could have tried to intervene.  Other people can do things like come forward with tips or start a neighborhood watch or something if the level of distrust in the police is that high.  Instead, they are talking about what is basically a private enforcer, just with a more general clientel.  Yeah, let him face the bad guys.  We'll be watching him on the news.

It ain't just Phoenix Jones that needs to take a good look at what he's doing....

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