Experiences with Police at Burning Man 2012

Editor’s Note: Check out Burning Man 2012: Creators Spend Countless Hours, Money On Projects. Here’s more pictures.

E Playa Please post any incidents you may have witnesses regarding law enforcement at BM2012. I came home one night to find a bunch of Law enforcement ripping my neighbors camp apart in the middle of the night.

I observed four UNMARKED SUV’s filled with surveillance /radio equipment across the street, and a marked sheriffs’ vehicle in front of the camp. I noticed they were tossing at least 2 or 3 tents and at least one RV. At the end of the encounter, I watched two officers high-five each other with big smiles.

Every year since the early 1990's, as many as 50,000 people have gathered in a temporary "city" in northern Nevada's Black Rock Desert to celebrate art, life and radical individuality.

Every year since the early 1990′s, as many as 50,000 people have gathered in a temporary “city” in northern Nevada’s Black Rock Desert to celebrate art, life and radical individuality.

The next morning I consulted with someone at the camp regarding what happened. They said that they think a virgin camper had said something “bad” to a “hot” undercover cop who then lead a cavalry of officers into their camp. A girl in camp possibly under the influence of something was being held down by a cop’s knee after protesting the search. Two guys had something on them in person and were arrested on the spot , and a third’s passport was found with contraband and he escaped.

Cops took picture of his passport and are looking for him. The person told me the entire camp had been “evicted” and were being told to leave burning man. When I questioned this unheard of practice, he said they tried to get Rangers to help, and it was a “new” rule. I watched a truck (looked like org or dpw) observe their camp break down for hours until they left .

The person also said that the same night “opulent temple was raided” or something to that effect. Later, at the Burn, I saw the same two officers who high-fived eachother and walked up to them and asked them a question regarding speed limits. They answered me incorrectly, on purpose, and were fairly rude. When I called them on it, the guy shrugged and said “How the hell should I know, i’m from Utah” and walked away. They seemed like real douchebags.

Trey Ratcliff took lots of great pics at Burning Man 2012

Trey Ratcliff took lots of great pics at Burning Man 2012

Does anyone know about this eviction rule? I’m curious also to the probable cause and seizure laws regarding tossing what appeared to be the whole camp. I asked someone to contact the ACLU and submit the appropriate feedback, hopefully they will.

A person who works for the ORG told me other horror stories about the BLM giving out DUI’s for people on art cars returning recyclables claiming they were open containers. She has no reason to lie, and has probably the most accurate information of anyone, if this is true then…?

I head from another burner about friends of her’s- a group of virgin co-workers who she said were pulled over before entering BRC. The police pestered them for hours with the same line to the effect of “Just tell us what you’ve got and its a $500 ticket”, but were unable to ever find anything because this group of girls was fairly young and naive, and definitely drug-free. I would love to hear specifics of their encounter, such as if the police had no probable cause and searched their car illegally after a sloppy profile attempt.

I don’t like the police presence I’ve been seeing lately in BRC. It’s too the point where it’s getting Paranoid and not fun anymore. We go out to the desert to do our thing, whatever that may be. If I want to puff off a joint and relax a little- its ridiculous that greed and lust for those $500 tickets turns me into a high school kid sneaking tokes in his closet with a downey tube again. I rather just stay home at that point.

The extravaganza, running since 1986, is an opportunity for alternative thinkers and doers to congregate, discuss ideas and party hard.

The extravaganza, running since 1986, is an opportunity for alternative thinkers and doers to congregate, discuss ideas and party hard.

Where is all the LEO effort towards child abductions, theft, etc? What about stopping fights, oops. We don’t really have any do we? After 60,000 people and 10 days and kegs upon kegs of alcohol, there are no fights. I guess we really don’t need a fraction of the police out there, do we?

The “Drug War” is a joke, stop pestering people who do drugs of any sort. It doesn’t matter. They aren’t hurting anyone. Entrapping people by posing as a “hot burner” looking for ??? is dishonest, un-cool, un-needed, and un-wanted. If someone isn’t hurting anyone, he should be allowed to do something, at Burning Man and here at home for that matter. If Burning Man has to re-locate to stop a county or agency for profiting off it, then so be it.

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