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Old December 8, 2016, 11:27 PM   #1
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Mannequin challenge arrests

Ok... I am hoping someone here has some more info than I am able to find.

Recently in Huntsville AL (I grew up near there) some arrests were made, and without more details, I find the circumstances concerning.


Mannequin challenge for those who are not familiar... You reenact a scene and stand still like a wax statue while being filmed.

The incident that prompted the arrests. Several men (various ages, teen to older, black) reenacted a scene that looked like a gang shootout.

They post the video online, it gets passed around, the local authorities and ATF raid the home and arrest two men. One had a small amount of marijuana, the other had a pipe, so one was arrested for possession and since there was firearms in the home, weapons charges... The other was arrested for paraphernalia, promoting prison contraband (what is this, he wasn't in prison, so he can't be charged with contraband) and weapons charges.

Now my concerns...

While tasteless, what they did was in and of itself not illegal. Neither is "black man with a gun".

So what prompted the authorities to obtain a search warrant, and what grounds did they use?

Sure, they were in possession of drugs, but that was not obvious from the video filmed a month prior.

I am vehemently against the idea of ends justifying the means. It is just an excuse to violate the rights of people and the rules established... It, like "for the greater good", are justifications that myself see as very dangerous, if not the most dangerous.

I can accept if one of the local officers seen the clip, and recognized one of the individuals as being a felon... I can accept if the home (the street and address were visible in the video) was already being watched as a possible drug house. (seeing as no distribution or large amounts of drugs were reported, I doubt this one)

Liberal media is talking up the gun possession, conservative media is talking up the drugs and slandering the whole video they made, basically just labeling them "thugs"...

But I have found no details that justify the warrant, or the raid that followed. The most I found was an article mentioned "proper paperwork and permits"... like the probable cause was illegal weapons... but permits are not required in Alabama... And legality is not able to be determined from a video, neither is it possible to determine if they are stolen or otherwise illegal, just from a tasteless video of someone holding a gun.

Is a pic on facebook of you holding a gun enough cause for obtaining a warrant? If so, I find it troubling.

So if anyone has more detail, it would be appreciated, I do not want to make assumptions.
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Old December 8, 2016, 11:50 PM   #2
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I can't help with your post, but I tend to agree that this is kinda bogus. The video mannequin challenge, is more like art than evidence in my mind.
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Old December 8, 2016, 11:52 PM   #3
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It's quite possible that the cops recognized felons in the video.
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Old December 9, 2016, 01:25 AM   #4
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Is a pic on facebook of you holding a gun enough cause for obtaining a warrant? If so, I find it troubling.
If it violates parole or probation, then absolutely.

Heard a story from a while back, a girl somewhere (probably CA) on parole or probation for something that made her a prohibited person.

She did a photo shoot, where real guns were used as props. She posted some of the pics online, parole officer saw them, she got busted.

Photographs of illegal activity are somewhat questionable these days, anything can be photoshopped, but a judge might just decide its worth checking out and issue a warrant. After all, if they don't find anything illegal, no harm, no foul, right?

All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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Old December 9, 2016, 01:53 AM   #5
Frank Ettin
Join Date: November 23, 2005
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Originally Posted by marine6680
...But I have found no details that justify the warrant, or the raid that followed....
The fact that you haven't found such information doesn't mean it's not there. There's probably a lot more information in the hands of the authorities than you or the press have access to.

The reality is the the police had to apply for a warrant and back the application up with one of more affidavits establishing probable cause. Whatever they submitted was good enough for the judge.

Ultimately the sufficiency of the warrant application can/will be tested in court.

In the meantime, without more information trying to guess why things were done and how the police were able to get the warrant is a colossal waste of time. If we don't know, we don't know; and we can't expect to be able to reliably guess.

So I'm going to close this one unless/until we get substantially more information from reliable sources.
"It is long been a principle of ours that one is no more armed because he has possession of a firearm than he is a musician because he owns a piano. There is no point in having a gun if you are not capable of using it skillfully." -- Jeff Cooper
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