Many editorialists following this narrative case suddenly noticed, as if for the first time, how much mischief can arise from the fact that a person may be arrested at any time for "failing to obey a lawful order," which in the heat of the moment can mean just about anything. But this same kind of logic has underpinned modern community policing in big cities all over America for decades now. Under Broken Windows and other "zero tolerance"-type enforcement strategies, police move into (typically nonwhite) neighborhoods in big numbers, tell people to move off corners, and then circle back and arrest them for "loitering" or "failing to obey a lawful order" if they don't.
Some cities have tried to put a fig leaf of legal justification on such practices by creating "drug-free" or "anti-loitering" zones, which give police automatic justification for arrest even if a person is guilty of nothing more than standing on the street. Failing to produce ID – even in the halls of your own building, in some cases – or being seen in or around a "known drug location" can similarly be grounds for search or detention.—Rolling Stone
Devon and David’s Las Vegas hadn’t lost its sheen in the recent recession; it had none to begin with. It was a Vegas of dollar stores, check-cashing services, EZPawn shops, gas-station slot machines, and storefronts stripped of fancy names — they offered DOG GROOMING and NAIL TIPS, nothing more. Everywhere there were apartment complexes painted in earth tones, their nameplates missing letters, their yellow welcome flags frayed. It was a Vegas of frustrations and resentments, of second and third chances squandered — the Strip’s opulence in sight, but always out of reach.
The warehouse was similarly glamourless, building B in a warren of squat structures. Scott worked there at a fledgling video-production business, near Code Red Emergency Plumbing and H&J Trophies. His boss didn’t mind if David and Devon stopped by. They mostly huddled in a backroom, on three couches arranged in a U, mapping out the mission until the sky was black and the Strip ablaze.
The mission: Kidnap a cop at a traffic stop. Jail him (or her, but likely him) at a house in the burbs. Hold their own trial. And then:
“Put a bullet in his head,” David said. He grinned.—The California Sunday Magazine