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January 17, 2007

Ninja Fights for His an Apology

We usually stay on top of the Ninja news at UGA. Somehow, this one slipped past the editorial staff. UGA's much-maligned Methodist Ninja is seeking an apology from the ATF agents who violated his civil rights and beat the unshirted hell out of him for...well...nothing.

My first thought is Ninja Dawg should have thanked his lucky ninja stars that he didn't get taken out down in DeKalb County. DeKalb County police officers make overreacting beer-gutted good old boys in the ATF look like pushovers. I know we can't expect much from ATF agents, who after all are still government workers, but the part about the ATF agent accusing him of having a gun is just ridiculous. Who ever heard of a ninja packing heat?

Of course, a real ninja would not seek an apology, he would just take it and leave a few scars as a lesson. But I suppose a Methodist ninja is more forgiving than the run-of-the-mill whirling dervish of death.

Photo Credit: Dan

Think the ninja onslaught is just a local phenomenon? Then you obviously aren't a regular reader of

The worst part of the whole story: "Ransom was treated for injuries, including a large bruise on his back. Marc Jackson, a spokesman for the Atlanta Field Division of the ATF, declined to comment, saying the agency doesn't want to "breathe new life into the story." Marc Jackson, you are a horse's ass. Is it too much to concede that your mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging goons regret any injuries to the kid?

The Jeremiah Ransom was unavailable for comment at press time...or perhaps he was just covertly moving around in your home. Here's hoping he gets his apology.

Bureau Chief
Ninja Division


Chas said...

Can someone tell me again why these asswipes were on UGA's campus...I cannot remember the lie, err, story? Was it a bogus terrorist plot busting or did they have some good "recon" that suggested a terrorist threat? Or maybe they were after some pot-smoking college students?

Anonymous said...

Michael Pigott said...

Now let's give the G-men some credit here.

I'm sure some deranged technical school student finally "snapped the slide ruler" and indicated an attack of Middle Earthian magnitude on the University of Georgia campus. The attack would surely had been on or sometime after November 25.

He writes a manifesto accusing the world of turning a blind eye to the potential of androids. He then implies he was and will continue doing recon work on his "Mother of James T. Kirk of All Battles".

This innocent ninja just gets caught in the following dragnet. Honest mistake. This could happen to anyone.

Just be glad the ATF were there for our safety...and bank records...and internet histories...and soon on.

Anonymous said...

I had to go back and get caught up on the story but I am a little unsettled by the lack of understanding people have for those who protect and serve.

How else are law enforcement officers supposed to detain someone who is suspected of having a gun? It is not like these agents are going to ask a suspect to please get down on the ground 40 or 50 times before they just let everything go and say well we tried to detain him by asking him nicely but he just would not comply with our begging and pleading.

Come on. It is evident that the kneeling on his neck and head is a common tactic used by all law enforcement personnel to control the suspect. Yes, it is intended to control him. I urge you to watch cops and count how many times this will happen.

Someone suspected of carrying a firearm can be a danger to everyone around him. Should we consider it "excessive force" when a person who is running away from a direct command of an enforcer of the law to simply let it slide especially when the suspect is considered to have a weapon?

I think that all the comments here are not looking at the story correctly.

Here is the question. What should these agents have done that would have secured the civilians in the surrounding area and themselves, as well as, detained the fleeing suspect? Yes he was a fleeing suspect when he continued to run away from a direct command by a law enforcement officer.

It seems evident that we are only getting a single frame of evidence about what happened. We have no idea about how things went down but so many are ready to jump to conclusions based upon a single picture. This is fallacious and ridiculous. Basing ones belief upon a supposition or inference is not basing it upon evidence. Can you prove that the knee is on the neck and not on the area between the shoulder blades? No.

JudgeDawg said...

There is nothing illegal about running around in a ninja costume. Just as importantly, it is NOT against the law to disregard a command by law enforcement to stop when that command to stop is not based upon either probable cause that a crime is committed or an articuable suspicion that a crim has been committed exists. Therefore, the ninja was not a fleeing suspect and was in his rights to ignore the cop's command to stop.

A badge is not a license to use bad judgment. The cop should apologize, learn from it, and then we all move on.

Anonymous said...

The question is then whose probable cause is at stake here. The agents felt that there was probable cause. The suspect did not. Even though there was no crime committed the probable cause in the mind of the agents warrants then to proceed with their attempts to detain the suspect.

One simply cannot say oh I did not stop because I did not commit a crime and then in return ask for an reparations to be made. These agents were going on suspicion of probable cause in their case they were doing what was just in the situation.

It is easy for us to cast judgment upon these agents, drawing and quartering them with endless posts about the neanderthalesque brain activity that so many have decided they have.

To base one's judgment upon evidence gained after the fact and to only consider the suspects mindset is a gross and fallacious error.

It is the nature of law to be gentle, in the greek sense of the word. Gentleness is the a motivation to prevent the seeker of justice from claiming his full right in the realm of justice. The idea is not that we draw back from the law but from the justice it is capable of inflicting.

Using this term in regards to the agents lets give them the benefit of doubt for they were only trying to protect and serve.

To suggest otherwise only focuses upon the one set of evidence and lack any true coherence of truth.

Unknown said...

Well, it's good to see that the ATF's attorney's have found my blog.


Dawgnoxious said...

A reasonable determination of probable cause is based upon the totality of the circumstances. There is virtually nothing unusual on a college campus, so in the context of what one might expect to see college students do, it was quite unreasonable to assume this kid had a gun and proceed to beat him down and accuse him of breaking the law.

If this kid had run through the lobby of a nursing home or a bank, perhaps the probable cause determination comes out differently.

It's the objective facts, not the subjective evaluator that is determinative.

Dawgnoxious said...

Additionally, we all do well to bear in mind Quis custodiet ipsos custodes: who will watch the watchmen.

If some alert student hadn't captured this with a cell phone camera, the enlightened citizenry wouldn't have a chance to check and balance the government's authority.

JudgeDawg said...

I hope the agent felt he had probable cause to detain the ninja. Otherwise his actions would have really been in bad faith.

Objectively, though, what crime did the ninja's presence on campus suggest? It is not a crime to wear a ninja costume. The anonynous guy defending the atf guys does not identify what crime the ninja was probably committing.

I have a profound understanding of the people who protect and serve. I understand that part of their job is protecting kids who run around in ninja gear.

I also understand that if the atf guy can subdue a kid because he is wearing a ninja outfit then he can subdue a white guy dressed in camo because, hey, the Oklahoma City bomber was a white guy dressed in camo, and, after all, you never know if the white guy in camo on campus isn't checking out bombing sites.

The law protects us from being targeted unless the police activity is based upon probable cause, or, to support a lesser intrusion, articuable suspecion. That is the law. I give the atf enough credit to beleive they are capable of following the law.

Anonymous said...

The crime was carrying a gun. We do not know what it was that caused them ATF agents to detain the suspect but what we do know that they cited the crime as carrying a gun. This was the crime we cannot assume otherwise. Both the suspect and agents agree that this was the crime. It is only supposition to state that there was no real evidence of a gun other than a ninja costume until the agents explain themselves.

Clearly, the probable cause was not from a ninja costume; it was from carrying a gun. Are we being blinded by the facts? There are countless stories of toy guns, cell phones and other items that have caused law enforcement personnel to detain a suspect. While this maybe uncomfortable it should be noted that at least the minds and attitudes of our law enforcement personnel are attuned to the fact that there are weapons out there and while average citizens are not looking for weapons these men are.

The argument has never been about ninja costumes it has always been about carrying a gun.

The fact that someone was willing to watch the watchmen is not the point it is the blatant disregard for gentleness and respect that is afforded these men.

Too often conclusions are jumped to without any regard to the totality of the facts. The fact is that the agents had probable cause of a man running on campus who was carrying a weapon. At least they were alert.

The cry of those after 9/11 has been why were we watching. Well here is the problem. Too many wanting to watch the watchmen instead of watching the criminals.

no, I am not an ATF attorney simply a UGA fan who hates to see common sense thrown out the window. I am willing to stand up for those who do their job without the thanks and support of those around them.

Unknown said...

Your reading skills are teh suck.

He wasn't carrying a gun. The article clearly states that he wasn't carrying a gun. He was asked where is your gun. He said, "I don't have a gun."

Why didn't he have a gun? HE WAS COMING BACK FROM A CHURCH SOCIAL dressed as a ninja. The other kids were dressed as pirates. that's the entire point.


Anonymous said...

The reason he was asked to produce a gun was because the agents believed he had one.

You can't take what we know in hindsight and apply it to the entire situation. The comments about the agents being roguish thugs and such are based upon the supposition that they knew he did not have a gun and tackled him anyway.

The fact that they asked him to furnish the gun is grounds to infer that there was enough probable cause that he was carrying a weapon.

You have chosen to run these agents into the ground because of your inability to understand a simple timeline of the facts.

We know in hindsight from where he was coming. But the agents did not at the time of the detention.

The point is that you have chosen to deface the character of the law enforcement profession based upon evidence that could not have been known at the time of the apprehension. You have also chosen to report the events in a manner which skews the timeline to hide the fact that the crime was carrying a gun.

Hindsight does not give one license to alter the facts of the case. Neither should it be used to skew the evidence such that information that is only obtainable after the detention is applied to the events prior to the arrest.

The sarcasm is rough and I can handle it but please leave the ad hominem attacks out they prove nothing except that you have to use them to prove your point.

Unknown said...

So if I'm an ATF agent, I can clobber anyone at anytime and as long as I ask them "Where is your gun?" I'm ok because I can retroactively say that I had probable cause.



Anonymous said...

Thanks for making my point.

Your response leaves me with little else to say.

To conclude one's premise is a basic fallacy. Let's see: The agents were in the wrong because they detained a suspect because he did not have a gun. It is wrong for agents to detain someone because they don't have a gun. Therefore the agents were in the wrong because the suspect did not have a gun.

It's called begging the question.

JudgeDawg said...

What facts observed by the ATFR agent would cause an ordinary, cautious, reasonable person to conclude that there was a probability the kid was carrying a gun? Don't just answer, "The agent thought he was carrying a gun." The agent must be able to point to facts which support a conclusion he had a gun. What were they?

Anonymous said...

I guess the overriding lesson to be learned is that if you are dressed like a ninja do not under any circumstances run through downtown Athens with a hard on. You could be shot.

Just the fact that alcohol, tobacco and firearms are considered a problem worthy of the creation of another unaccountable agency should give you a hint as to where we stand in relation to the United States Constitution.

Just google "Branch Davidians" and "Ruby Ridge" if you really want to see the ATF at their best.

So if I'm an ATF agent, I can clobber anyone at anytime and as long as I ask them "Where is your gun?" I'm ok because I can retroactively say that I had probable cause.

Yessiree Bob!

Unknown said...

That reminds me...Booze, Smokes and Guns....

Aren't those the three pillars of our society? What sort of agency is focused only on removing the cool stuff from our society.

Why not just create one master organization called the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, Boobies, College Football and Orgasms.

Then you can make a clean sweep of awesomeness.

Anonymous said...

What facts? Well, I don't have the transcript of all the events which transpired. You certainly don't have them either. The point is that because all the evidence is not in then why are we so willing to conclude that the ATF agents were in the wrong.

This is where begging the question comes in. The lack of support for the first premise makes it the conclusion for the argument.

As far as the Waco Fiasco and Ruby Ridge goes, they were disasters but in the face of the evidence looking in hindsight what would you have done?

It is one thing to simply criticize a law enforcement branch because of mistakes but if you have constructive criticism about how to get the job done better then leave it alone.

You would not want to simply complain about how horribly this site reports the news and that all the facts are wrong and the articles here call into question the character of other people with no supporting facts. However, if I offered some criticism constructively then the statements would mean more.

Please get off the high horse. As a matter of fact the way that you have argued your points reminds me of the shooter at ruby ridge who seemed to fire indiscriminately at whomever was coming out the front door.

Looks like you and he have something in common. Stop taking pot shots when you don't have the evidence. Your points strike a feeling in most people about civil liberties but if you can only evoke an emotional response because you are without all the facts then you are no better than David Koresh shouting at the top of you lungs that the government is wrong and we have to arm ourselves against a threat.

What threat and where is you evidence that there is one? See once again you seem to have a little "Branch Davidian" in you.

The facts are the agents had probable cause because we have a system of innocence before guilt. An until you can prove WITH EVIDENCE that there was not probable cause then the agents were within their legal bounds in detaining the suspect. You can't argue from a picture or conjecture only the evidence.

Michael Pigott said...

Maybe this will clear up any further confusion.

Anonymous said...

"The facts are the agents had probable cause because we have a system of innocence before guilt."
What does this mean? Because I am innocent it stands to reason that I am therefore guilty?

As far as constructive criticism I have some.

Dismantle the ATF. From top to bottom and everything in between. Get rid of it completely.

And be honest. If they had shot the kid in the back of the head you would still be arguing their case.

Benefit of the doubt and all....

JudgeDawg said...

Anonymous, it is not up to citizens to walk around proving that there is no probable cause to suspect that they are committing crimes. That is constitutionally backwards.

What you and I know the facts to be are that the kid was running on campus in a ninja get-up. The ATF officer, who happended to be on campus, called for him to halt. The kid did not halt and was subdued. The officer let the kid go and did not take his observations of facts giving rise to probable cause to a judge.

This in not a difficult call.

The kid wants an apology, and should get one. If the ATF issued a letter saying, "I'm sorry, we were sensitive to terrorist attacks and overreacted to the sight of a person dressed unusually running through campus. We will be cautious to balance the obligation to protect the innocent with the need to provide security," then the matter would blow over and be forgotten. By taking a "we are right and you are wrong" approcah the ATF comes off as arrogant and insensitive to the protects provided by the 4th amendment.

Unknown said...

Anon - Innocent until proven guilty applies to the citizens. Not the cops. The burden of proof is on them.


Anonymous said...

"I'm sorry, we were sensitive to terrorist attacks and overreacted to the sight of a person dressed unusually running through campus. We will be cautious to balance the obligation to protect the innocent with the need to provide security,"

Had they shot the kid in the back of the head then maybe, just maybe, you would have gotten such a letter.

But as far as kicking some nameless nobody around they do it all of the time so no apology will be forthcoming.

Why apologize for standard operating procedure? Hell, "it looked like he had a gun" is a part of their creed.

Anonymous said...

Suppose for a moment the agent did shoot him in the head. The investigation would center around whether or not the officer had probable cause or not to detain or even call to the suspect to stop.

The moment these blogs went up the agent was not longer a law enforcement agent he became a defendant. As a result the presumption of innocence is afforded to said agent.

Since these blogs have set out to crucify these agents the burden of proof is upon the "watchmen" to provide substantial evidence that the probable cause was without merit.

Certainly, judgedawg, the avenue you suggest would be a target of conspiracy theorists and those who claim that the spin doctors have been at work manipulating the media. By taking a "we're right and you are wrong" approach suggests that we should be thankful for the fact that these law enforcement agents are looking out for issues and problems of terrorists.

I digress. The issue at hand has nothing to do with the suspect and whether or not he had a gun. The issue is whether or not the agents had probable cause.

If they had no probable cause then they were in the wrong. If they had probable cause then this in an unfortunate incident. The problem with this blog is that the presumption of innocence has been cast aside to crucify a damaged part of the federal government.

Once again, the burden of proof is upon those who say that the agents were wrong to produce such evidence to support their theories. So far this has not been done. Consequently, my rebuttal of the arguments for the condemnation of the agents in question.

Judgedawg, who upon appearance of the material in this blog, is most likely a judge. Consider the fact that he concludes that there is no way for us to know the evidence which would have support the agents having probable cause because the charges were drop and a judge was not called into question.

The burden of proof is upon those who have attacked these agents to prove that their was insufficient ground for probable cause. The presumption of innocence extends itself to all citizens including cops who have been accused of wrong-doing.

Anonymous said...

Okay. I give up.

What was the "probable cause"?

He was dressed funny and running therefore it stands to reason that he had a gun and was a jihadist?

The simple fact of the matter is that had the guy been wearing an Armani suit and carrying a briefcase if an unidentified ATF agent yells "Freeze" and you don't freeze then suddenly it is open season on your ass.

Expect a knee in the neck to be forthcoming and be glad it wasn't a bullet in the brain.

I not only want to crucify a damaged part of the federal government. I want it dismantled completely.

Put all of those guys to work in a new agency. Maybe the Federal Department of Animal Control. They could have jackets with FDAC embroidered on the back and they could carry BB pistols.

I don't think they would mind as long as they could keep their retirement and insurance benefits.

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