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As a matter of fact, that was a banana in Nathan Rolf Channing’s pants and he was really happy to see two of Mesa County’s finest. While pulling anything out of your clothing and pointing it at two peace officers seems a good way to go if you want more orifices than you woke up with, Nathan Rolf somehow managed to walk away from the encounter un-perforated. “According to an arrest affidavit, Mesa County (CO) deputies Joshua Bunch and Donald Love said they feared for their lives even though they saw that the object was yellow.” As you’d expect, Bunch knows his bananas, but he “wrote in the affidavit that he has seen handguns in many shapes and colors.” It apparently dawned on Channing – just in the nick if time – that pointing the slender curved fruit at a couple of constables was a judgement error. . .


. . .Love was drawing his service weapon when Channing yelled, “It’s a banana!”

The deputies say Channing told them he was doing a trial run for a planned YouTube video and he thought it would “lighten the holiday spirit.”

Yep. There’s nothing much more festive during the holidays than a YouTube flick showing what happens when you draw down on police officers. We’re guessing production has now stopped on Channing’s little film project, which is truly a shame. If there’s anything America needs more of right now it’s another police-involved shooting of someone who upon further investigation, is found not to have had a real gun.

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  1. “If there’s anything America needs more of right now it’s another police-involved shooting of someone who upon further investigation, is found not to have had a real gun.”

    Channing is the wrong race for it to be controversial if he had been shot. I’m sure Holder & Company wouldn’t be trying to open an investigation . . .

    It has really become sad when the White House has driven race to this level and that now immediately comes to mind. 🙁 It wasn’t my first thought five years ago.

  2. It almost happened… We almost had a fatality from a YouTube prank.

    How many comments have I seen saying it would happen?

  3. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. I know it shouldn’t surprise anyone these days, but some people really are too stupid. Like Bob Dylan sang ” you’re an idiot babe, it’s a wonder that you still know how to breathe”

  4. I really liked John Wilkenson’s rant reposted below from here:

    PART 1. Nobody is covered with glory in this story. Let’s look at it.
    Apparently the alleged “perp” is too ignorant to understand that the USSA has become a full-fledged police state in which pointing a banana at a cop is a “crime” potentially punishable by summary execution.
    On the cops’ side, many of the “contacts” they deal with are irrational low lifes who, at best, are behaviorally problematic, and, at worst, from potentially dangerous to an outright clear and present danger to life and limb. So, reasonable “salt of the Earth” citizens should (and do) cut law enforcement considerable slack on that point.
    The problem with Donald Love saying he “was in fear of his life” is that, like the little boy who cried “Wolf!”, that is what all cops will cheerfully lie about to justify whatever anti-constitution actions they want to justify. If they tell the whole truth, they’ll most likely get thrown under the political bus.
    Too few citizens understand that cops are trained to lie about threshhold probable cause. If they don’t, they don’t have a case. It’s called “testilying”. It’s usually used to turn an inarticulable hunch into a “reasonable suspicion” or “probable cause”. Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz wrote about it in his book “The Best Defense”.
    There have been too many cases where an innocent “perp” was killed in a hail of scores of bullets because cops SAID they thought the “perps” wallet – (which he was pulling out of his pocket to show ID as the police had demanded) – was a gun and they feared for their lives. The “in fear of my life” card is the law-enforcement equivalent of the “race card”. It works virtually every time to instantly halt all logic-based discussion about the constitutionality of the behavior at issue.
    Also on the cops’ side is the fact that, as we speak, black racists are looting and burning in Ferguson, Missouri because a white cop who probably legitimately feared for his life shot a huge black bully/thug who was physically attacking him. Meanwhile, there is little or no protesting over Eric Garner, a genuine victim who was “dog piled” by a gang of NYPD and choked to death. Go figure.
    It seems like this case comes down to cops’ “obey or die” primacy-of-the-police-state training. This case is not about the deputies in question fearing for their lives, because in my opinion that claim is merely a strategically worded manipulation designed to maximize the chances that a jury would convict the accused. The REAL question is: would a reasonable person believe their life was in danger just because someone pointed a banana at him or her? The answer to that question is obviously “No”. So where that leaves us is with the question: what is there about police training that causes trained, armed officers to be more afraid for their lives than an ordinary reasonable “common man” on the street?

    Follow the link above for part 2 and 3.

    • Wow, that is an awesome post. Very well said. I posted something similar but without the same elegance and follow a few days ago. I agree 100%.

      IMHO, the police often cause their own problems. When they defend stupid cases like this, they also do not get the benefit of the doubt on cases like Ferguson. Unless there is true accountability, the police will never ever be trusted. And, as long as they have the DA and law behind them, the bad cops will always cross over the line.

      • So a guy stages an incident to cause alarm for a YouTube video, he reaches for something, the police draw down on him, it is recognized as a banana, they DON’T shoot him, and we’re upset? I’m missing something!?!?!?!? What’s wrong with defending their action to NOT shoot him? When brought into an unknown situation with an intentional instigator, what kind of response were you looking for???

  5. FTA:

    A man is facing a felony menacing charge after two western Colorado sheriff’s deputies say he pointed a banana at them and they thought it was a gun.

    I’m not intimately familiar with Colorado’s statutes, but I’m just guessing that those charges aren’t going to stick. I’m just guessing that a banana doesn’t meet the standard for “menacing”.


    I found this description at some self-defense lawyer’s site (so it must be true, natch):

    Menacing is the criminal charge that arises if you “knowingly” place someone “in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.” In other words, you try to make someone believe they are going to get seriously hurt right now – not at some future date. In Colorado, the District Attorney must prove that you knew your actions were likely to make the person afraid, even if the person was not actually afraid.

    Historically, in Colorado, it was necessary for the prosecutor to prove that you intended to cause fear. Now, however, the prosecutor only needs to prove a “knowing” state of mind, in other words, that you knew that you were likely to cause fear.

    Menacing can be charged as a Class Three Misdemeanor (M3), or as a Class Five Felony (F5) in Colorado. It becomes a felony when it involves the use of a Deadly Weapon. It does not matter if the weapon is real. You can commit menacing with a toy gun, if you handle it in such a way that you make the person believe it is real. You do not have to point the weapon (real or not) at someone to be found guilty, simply holding it “in a manner that causes the other person to fear for his safety” will suffice. You can also be charged with Menacing with a Deadly Weapon even if you do not have a weapon! Simply telling someone that you are armed may result in a Menacing charge.

    So, if he intended to prank police officers, that implies intent. So, a misdemeanor menacing charge could stick. Maybe. (?)

    But felony menacing requires menacing with a deadly weapon (or the credible threat of a deadly weapon). That the officers immediately saw and realized that it was a banana would seem to preclude the allegation that he made them believe that his banana was an actual, deadly weapon.

    The thing I’m wondering, though, is: what precipitated the altercation to begin with? The article doesn’t seem to say.

    • Chip, I appreciate your comments. As someone who has been an LEO in CO (now only a reserve and in private enterprise), I thought I would post the actual statute.

      18-3-206. Menacing

      (1) A person commits the crime of menacing if, by any threat or physical action, he or she knowingly places or attempts to place another person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury. Menacing is a class 3 misdemeanor, but, it is a class 5 felony if committed:

      (a) By the use of a deadly weapon or any article used or fashioned in a manner to cause a person to reasonably believe that the article is a deadly weapon; or

      (b) By the person representing verbally or otherwise that he or she is armed with a deadly weapon.

      Knowingly, for those that aren’t familiar with “Mens Rea” is the 2nd from the top for mental culpability (with intent, knowingly, recklessly, and negligently). In this case, the defendant as pointed out, did knowingly do this action to create a Youtube video, and arguably to cause fear of SBI to the officer(s) in order to create this video. If you fashion your finger as a gun and stick it inside of your jacket to rob someone or cause fear, you can be charged and convicted of felony menacing. As seen in subsection (b), a verbal threat (“I’ve got a gun and am going to kill you!”) can also up it to felony menacing.

      To the deputies’ credit, they DIDN’T shoot! This idiot intentionally acted in order to create a YouTube video that could have created a deadly result! He is wasting taxpayer resources and creating a very hazardous situation to the general public for 30 seconds of fame. He admits this was a “stunt.” WHY would you intentionally place anybody in that situation just to see their reaction for a film??????

      There was an officer safety bulletin that was circulated back around 2007 when the Cerakote coatings ( were first becoming popular. Several incidents occurred around the US where guns were painted like toys and used in robberies. I think this guy is an idiot, and these charges should be brought.

  6. If there’s anything America needs more of right now it’s another police-involved shooting of someone who upon further investigation, is found to be fatally stupid.


  7. In the wake of this near disaster, a Colorado legislator has proposed a law that would distinguish bananas from firearms by requiring all bananas to be brightly colored.

  8. “As you’d expect, Bunch knows his bananas, but he ‘wrote in the affidavit that he has seen handguns in many shapes and colors.’ ”

    Annnnnd…how many of those firearms have been the size and shape of a banana?

      • :Facepalm:

        And no, this is not going to go away. Maybe the SO feels as though they’re backed into a corner. Have many friends within that organization, and as a whole, they’re a crackerjack bunc…, eh, group of folks.

        Round and round it goes, where it stops, no body knows.

  9. Mae West would have been proud considering her question, “Is that a banana in your pocket or are you happy to see me?”
    If the yellow rascal causes that much consternation among police perhaps they need to consider another profession. Keep it it your pants son!

  10. Pointing a banana at a cop might be stupid but it’s not felony stupid. By ratcheting this up a notch the roid raged cops and the DA have just handed the guy what he needs to win a lawsuit for wrongful arrest. And the
    “i feared for my life” excuse needs to be legislatively changed to require PROOF that the fear was based on reality and not wishful thinking. Otherwise it’s a convenient rubber stamp for murder by badgemonkey.
    Time to end the double standard. The law applies to badgemonkeys ALL THE TIME….or it applies to NOBODY.


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