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Philly Cops Violate Open Carrying Citizen – GOP Financiers Fund Gay Marriage Push

May 17, 2011

Philly Police Harass, Threaten to Shoot Man Legally Carrying Gun

by John Stossel | May 16, 2011

 A story in today’s Philadelphia Daily News shows why it’s so important that citizens be allowed to videotape cops – it can be citizens’ only way to fight back against police abuse of power.

This incident happened several weeks ago in Philadelphia to Mark Fiorino, a 25-year-old IT worker who carries a gun on his hip at all times for self defense. He got the gun after several friends were mugged.

But he didn’t count on attacks by police:

On a mild February afternoon, Fiorino, 25, decided to walk to an AutoZone on Frankford Avenue in Northeast Philly with the .40-caliber Glock he legally owns holstered in plain view on his left hip. His stroll ended when someone called out from behind: “Yo, Junior, what are you doing?”

Fiorino wheeled and saw Sgt. Michael Dougherty aiming a handgun at him.

What happened next would be hard to believe, except that Fiorino audio-recorded all of it: a tense, profanity-laced, 40-minute encounter with cops who told him that what he was doing – openly carrying a gun on the city’s streets – was against the law.

“Do you know you can’t openly carry here in Philadelphia?” Dougherty asked, according to the YouTube clip.

“Yes, you can, if you have a license to carry firearms,” Fiorino said. “It’s Directive 137. It’s your own internal directive.”

Fiorino was right. It was perfectly legal to carry the gun. But that didn’t matter to the cop:

Fiorino offered to show Dougherty his driver’s and firearms licenses. The cop told him to get on his knees.

“Excuse me?” Fiorino said.

“Get down on your knees. Just obey what I’m saying,” Dougherty said.

“Sir,” Fiorino replied, “I’m more than happy to stand here -“

“If you make a move, I’m going to f—— shoot you,” Dougherty snapped. “I’m telling you right now, you make a move, and you’re going down!”

“Is this necessary?” Fiorino said.

It went on like that for a little while, until other officers responded to Dougherty’s calls for backup.

Fiorino was forced to the ground and shouted at as he tried to explain that he had a firearms license and was legally allowed to openly carry his weapon.

“You f—— come here looking for f—— problems? Where do you live?” yelled one officer.

“I’m sorry, gentlemen,” Fiorino said. “If I’m under arrest, I have nothing left to say.”

“F—— a——, shut the f— up!” the cop hollered.

The cops discovered his recorder as they searched his pockets, and unleashed another string of expletives.

Fiorino said he sat handcuffed in a police wagon while the officers made numerous phone calls to supervisors, trying to find out if they could lock him up.

When they learned that they were in the wrong, they let him go.

But only temporarily. Fiorino posted the audio recordings on youtube, and now they are harassing him again:

A new investigation was launched, and last month the District Attorney’s Office decided to charge Fiorino with reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct because, a spokeswoman said, he refused to cooperate with police… He’s scheduled for trial in July.

If one listens to the audiotapes, it’s hard to imagine how a reasonable person could charge Fiorino (and not the cops) for disorderly conduct.


GOP Heavy Hitters Now Batting for “Gay” Marriage

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Written by Jack Kenny
Monday, 16 May 2011 17:36
The push to establish same-sex marriage in the state of New York is being backed, financially and otherwise, thNew York Times reported Friday, by “an unexpected source: a group of conservative financiers and wealthy donors to the Republican Party, most of whom are known for bankrolling right-leaning candidates and causes.” Their donations totaling about $1 million, delivered in recent weeks to a coalition of “gay rights” organizations “could alter the political calculus of Albany lawmakers,” theTimes noted, “especially Republican state senators in whose hands the fate of gay marriage rests.”The donors named by the Times include hedge-fund manager Paul E. Singer, a “top-tier Republican donor,” and financiers Steven A. Cohen and Clifford S. Asness. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (pictured above), a billionaire businessman and philanthropist, plans a fundraiser for the cause at his Upper East Side town house and will be giving $100,000 of his own money, as well as lobbying lawmakers at the state capital and giving a speech on the issue. The contributions from the traditionally Republican donors total about two-thirds of the same-sex marriage coalition’s fund raising, Times reported, “making New York the rare state where a lobbying campaign in favor of legalizing gay unions is not being financed primarily by liberal donors and Democrats.” Ken Mehlman, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee who has since announced he is “gay,” is himself a contributor to the coalition and has recruited other donors, the Times reported.The money will be used to fund a combination of heavy TV advertising and a grassroots campaign to persuade the Republican majority in the state Senate to support same-sex marriage legislation. The Democratically controlled lower house, called the State Assembly has passed numerous same-sex marriage bills only to see them die in the Senate. The Senate last defeated the effort in 2009.Michael Bloombergmichael bloombergAs the Times noted, the Republican donors see the legalization of same-sex marriage as consistent with the GOP message of limited government and personal freedom.  “I’m a pretty straight-down-the-line small-government guy,” Asness, a self-described libertarian, told the New York paper. “This is an issue of basic freedom,” he said.”We believe in social justice for all Americans,” said Cohen, who runs SAC Capital Advisers and is a frequent fundraiser for Republicans. Some also see it as a means of broadening the party’s appeal and expanding the coalitions of voters covered by what some like to call the party’s inclusive “big tent.”

“I think it is important in particular for Republicans to know this is a bipartisan issue,” said Daniel Loeb, who, the Times reported, has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the cause. “If they’re Republican, they will not be abandoned by the party for supporting this. On the contrary, I think they will find that there is a whole new world of people who will support them on an ongoing basis if they support this cause.”

But the issue will almost certainly continue to be a source of contention throughout the Grand Old Party, in New York as well as elsewhere in the country. In the 2009 special election to fill a vacancy in the state’s 23rd congressional district, Republicans in the conservative upstate district deserted in droves candidate Deirdre Scozzafava, nominated by the party’s state committee. Scozzafava’s social agenda included a defense of abortion “rights” and support for same-sex marriage, positions that drove much of the Republican base to Doug Hoffman, the candidate of the Conservative Party of New York. Republican leaders nationally were divided over the contest, with some, including Tea Party favorite Sarah Palin, endorsing Hoffman, while former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and the Republican National Committee urged support for the Republican nominee. Invoking party loyalty in support of Scozzafava proved embarrassingly futile, however, when the candidate, running a distant third in the polls, dropped out of the race on the weekend before the election and endorsed Democrat Bill Owens, who defeated Hoffman in a close race.

In that same year, the New York Senate, by a vote of 34 to 28 defeated a same-sex marriage bill after proponents had spent a year of intense lobbying for the bill and $1 million in legislative races to elect candidates in favor of it.

Supporters are hoping for a favorable vote in the current session. On Sunday, supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage held competing rallies in Manhattan and the Bronx.

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