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Eli Pagunsan’s life changed forever when California officials branded him as a potential school shooter.

By Lee Williams

It’s not easy for Eli Pagunsan to talk about the ordeal that began seven years ago, when he was a high school freshman in Riverside County, California.

His life was destroyed. He briefly considered suicide as a way out. When he looks back, the now 22-year-old feels a mix of “anger, anguish and fear.”

“There’s a part of me that needs this story to be told,” he said. “I’ve been trying to tell people about it. I didn’t understand that what happened to me was wrong until I went to therapy.”

Life has never been easy for Pagunsan. He has always been an outsider and somewhat of an introvert. His parents immigrated from the Philippines. Pagunsan was born in Arkansas. He says he grew up the victim of frequent abuse, which was meted out by his father.

“We’ve reconciled now. I’ve forgiven him, but I remember whenever he was mad at us, he’d strip us naked and beat us with whatever was closest – a vacuum pipe, electrical cord or belt,” Pagunsan said.

At one point, he said, his father made him tell his teachers he was “worthless,” and that he wouldn’t be coming to school anymore.

After his parents divorced, an ex-Army officer who was helping raise Pagunsan told him he would either be a heroin addict or shot by police, and that he would be a “juvenile delinquent.”

All three assessments were wrong.

As a young man, Pagunsan found solace in reading, video games and history. “I used to be a big fan of World War II films like ‘Band of Brothers’ and ‘The Pacific,’ he said. “I played a lot of ‘Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault.’ I found out that my family fought as guerillas against the Japanese, and I’m very proud of that.”

Pagunsan’s great-grandfather was a carpenter on Luzon when the Japanese invaded.

“He had a choice to either run or fight. He fought with the Americans. He was captured and survived the Bataan Death March. He lived until 1978, when he died of lung cancer,” Pagunsan said.

While most kids his age were socializing and interacting with others, Pagunsan was playing video games, reading in the library or writing. He joined a writing club when he was only 12 years old.

“I still get a weird, cathartic feeling creating characters that are based off of experiences I have had,” he said. “I get satisfaction from writing – being able to improve upon it feels good.”

All of Pagunsan’s hobbies and interests would play a role in what was to come.

Potential shooter

Rather than becoming a juvenile delinquent as the Army officer had predicted, Pagunsan gravitated toward law enforcement. He became a police explorer – a hands-on program for kids interested in making law enforcement a career, which offers training, competitions, character development and physical fitness.

One evening in 2014, Pagunsan received a call from his police explorer instructor – a sworn law enforcement officer. “The first thing he asked me was, ‘Are you going to shoot up your high school?’” Pagunsan recalled.

The instructor ordered Pagunsan and his mother to report to his school’s main office the next day, promptly at 8 a.m. There, they were met by another police officer, who told them Pagunsan had tripped the “Kids with Guns” protocol, and that he was now “red-flagged” as a potential school shooter.

They were also told officers would be searching Pagunsan’s bedroom.

Pagunsan knew his rights – especially his Fourth Amendment rights – and he told his mother that police would be looking for anything to support their conclusion that he would become a school shooter. He was particularly concerned about his screen plays, his video games and the fact he enjoyed reading about World War II.

He pleaded with his mother not to allow police to search his room.

Pagunsan’s mother grew up in the Philippines when Ferdinand Marcos was in power. Marcos, a notorious and bloody dictator, ruled with an iron fist until he was deposed in 1986. His military and police had authority to kill anyone who disagreed with the dictator’s policies, so the thought of refusing to comply with police was something Pagunsan’s mother would never do.

“When she grew up, if the police knocked on your door that was the warrant,” Pagunsan said. “If you refused to let them in, you’d be taken out and shot.”

She let the officers in. “That sealed my fate,” Pagunsan said.

The search

Officers tore Pagunsan’s room apart. They found no firearms or other weapons. Neither Pagunsan nor his family owned a gun. Instead, police focused on his screenplays and books.

One of the officers threw a manuscript onto a table in front of Pagunsan. “What’s this? Is this your kill list?” he demanded.

“It was a list of characters I’d created,” Pagunsan recalled. “None of them were real people. It was titled: ‘Character sheet.’”

Another officer ordered the youth not to move from the couch. “What’s in your room that’s got you so nervous?” he asked, menacingly.

By this time Pagunsan was dying inside.

Police interrogated him about his books: an old Army field manual on infantry tactics and books about World War II and other military subjects. They tried to make him admit he was a danger to himself and other students, and that the best place for him was behind bars in a juvenile correctional facility.

The officers eventually left empty-handed, and Pagunsan believed the ordeal was finally over, until he was ordered to report to the school district’s main office the next day. There, he attended yet another disciplinary meeting, with the vice-principal who had red-flagged him and the school district’s chief disciplinarian.

They explained that Pagunsan had been red-flagged under the district’s “Kids with Guns” protocol, even though he had no guns, and that the school district had acted to “stop a potential school shooter.”

Pagunsan instantly felt shame sweep over him. He began to question himself – he still does – even though he had never even considered violence. These were adults and authority figures, after all. He was a 14-year-old. The district’s disciplinarian looked at the reports in front of him, which had been written by school and police officials, and told Pagunsan he was going to be expelled.

Pagunsan was never charged with a single crime.

The protocol

The School Threat Assessment and Response (STAR) protocol used by schools in Riverside County, California was created by officials from the school district, probation department, District Attorney’s Office, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, social services, the courts and the county’s behavioral health department. Dozens of other agencies have signed on.

The 10-page document, which was last updated in 2017, has a list of 25 “High Risk” Indicators:

  • Typically between ages 11-16.
  • May not have ever been arrested or been to Juvenile Court for a law violation.
  • Few or no friends.
  • Withdrawn, excessive feelings of rejection.
  • May have moved frequently.
  • Feelings of being picked on and persecuted.
  • Depression.
  • May have difficulty coping with significant losses or personal failures.
  • May have suicidal comments or self-mutilated.
  • May be a victim of violence/abuse.
  • Pattern of angry behavior.
  • May have history of tantrums, explosive rage.
  • May have felt bullied, persecuted by others.
  • Violent or dark themes.
  • Discussion, drawings, writings, fantasies, video games, posters, music, computers, internet, text and cell phone activity.
  • Preoccupation with guns, explosive devices or possibly other dangerous weapons.
  • Animal cruelty.
  • Torture or mutilation of animals in the past.
  • Past history of setting fires.
  • Verbal cues.
  • Talks about something “big” happening.
  • Talks about being noticed/becoming famous.
  • Makes specific threats against a person or group.
  • Access to guns and knowledge of their use.
  • Parents may minimize or deny.

“A youth may have more than one high risk characteristic and never commit a violent offense,” the document states. “However, we all want to be aware and to do everything possible to immediately assess a threat to prevent a tragic situation from occurring.”

Pagunsan believes the list is far too broad.

“If you look at that list – other than hurting animals or setting fires – almost every kid in America could be considered high risk, especially boys,” he said.

The aftermath

Pagunsan’s alternative school was 100% online. He worked remotely from his computer at home. “I loved it,” he said. “I did far better than in public school.” There was, of course, no socialization with other kids. “Most of my friends were online anyway,” he said. “We kept in touch.”

During breaks, he would play video games and read history books. Despite his newfound academic success, he could not come to terms with being branded as a school shooter.

“I was scared to tell anyone what happened to me,” he said.

He still suffers the effects today. He has been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder, severe depression and general anxiety disorder. His counselor told him that his young age – he was only 14 when he was red-flagged – may have increased the severity of his disorders.

“I get nervous talking to cops. I’m very polite, but the hair stands up on the back of my neck. I try hard to please other people, because I don’t want to be labeled, again, as the guy who wants to shoot up a school or a business.

“I don’t trust people my own age. They’re too quick to judge,” he said.

He now has a better relationship with this mother. “She didn’t get it. Now she does,” he said. “She’s proud of me. She understands what happened and why it was wrong.”

Nowadays, Pagunsan doesn’t trust anyone in authority. “I did,” he said, “once upon a time.”

Pagunsan is a licensed security guard in Arizona. He’s single and lives alone, except for his puppy Kelsie, a 50-pound German Shepherd. Before the recent ammunition shortage, he enjoyed shooting at a nearby range, especially when he could take someone who was new to the sport. “I loved taking new shooters out there,” he said.

He wants parents to know that if their child is ever confronted by officials as he was, they should not let police into their home.

“They will try to pressure you. They’ll tell you the search will be quick. It won’t take long. They’ll use every trick in the book,” he said. “Get a lawyer immediately.”

He wants lawmakers to consider the human toll of red flag laws.

“Think about how this affects someone. Maybe the next person this happens to won’t be as strong as me. Think of how this person is going to feel in a world that they already believe is pushing down on them,” he said. “Think about what that does to someone, especially long term.”

Eli Pagunsan today at age 22, touring Japan.

Pagunsan has spoken to a few local Second Amendment groups about his ordeal, but he is not sure if this will continue. Nowadays, his primary goal is getting better.

Said Pagunsan: “Despite everything that’s happened to me, I am doing a lot better than I used to. No one thought I would be, and that’s given me a sense of pride. I’m at a place where people are interested in what I have to say, and that’s a great feeling.”

 

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This story is part of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project, and used here with their permission.

 

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72 COMMENTS

  1. Never trust an army officer. Most don’t even know what “North” means or how to find it. They still lick their fingers for wind direction.

    And that’s just what cops do… Manipulate you into waving your rights. Good for him on speaking up about it.

    But we’ve seen many times the “human toll” on red flag laws. Even before they were red flag laws. This is one of hundreds of thousands.

    Never, fucking ever, wave your rights. Do not incriminate yourselves. Legal council. Nothing else follows when speaking to law enforcement, and the good ones will respect that.

    • Amen brother. Surrender of rights is never rescinded voluntarily by the State..
      What happened to this youngster is appalling.

    • “Never trust an army officer. Most don’t even know what “North” means or how to find it.”

      Bite me idiot.

      • The blind leading the stupid as usual here. Maybe you two should get a room? Most officers I have delt with are polite and professional many being former enlisted, senior enlisted on the other hand…

    • Never trust an army officer. Most don’t even know what “North” means or how to find it. They still lick their fingers for wind direction.

      Damn, Montana Actual, as a neighbor of yours, a former NCO as well as an Army Officer, it’s a shame to see you feel that way. I actually had a lot of respect for you…

    • this 100% and I absolutely do respect it because many cops and DA’s think their job is to charge people whenever and however they can, when it should be charging criminals who harm people. There’s a reason I left that scene to go do something else in the LEO field that assured I wouldn’t have to be placed in a position of utilizing the blu-flu in place of doing things I found unsound/unethical. Stories like this are a travesty and absolutely morally reprehensible.

  2. no way to tell; different folks, different triggers.
    there’s info missing here, but it’s about a juvy at the time so…
    abusive old man is a good start. no surprise that may cause a young teen to seem drug/ homicide bound. hopefully that was tough love to suggest so.
    it’s like the polar opposite of parkland-

    • “A Florida couple regrets ever taking in a disturbed teenager in the months before he was accused of the 2018 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

      In a letter that is part of a legal agreement to settle numerous civil lawsuits, James and Kimberly Snead said they should have believed what they were told — that Nikolas Cruz, now 21, was homicidal, untrustworthy and infatuated with firearms, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.”

      I guess asking for consistency in the viewpoint of the TTAG editors and contributors is just a little too much.

      How does one tell the difference between just being interested in WW2 history and having a pathological Nazi fetish?

      • I have killed many. I stabbed them. Shot them. Gutted them. I even tortured a few. All under the age of 16. When I was playing Dungeons and Dragons.
        I also shot people with my “finger gun” when I was 8 years old. All during “cops and robbers”. Or “cowboys and indians”.

        My friends and I also read the novels of Robert E (Conan the Barbarian) Howard. As well as the Bible. Both of which have plenty of blood, guts, and gore. Interesting how the atheists want to ban the Bible. And the Christians wanted to ban Dungeons & Dragons. And I knew a lot of christian children who played Dungeons & Dragons just like I did as a kid.

        I’m surprised that the Atheists and Christians haven’t gone after the story of Hansel and Gretel. The story of a cannibal who wants to cook and eat two children.
        The Dungeons & Dragons rule books used to have rules, that allowed a character to rape another character, and children were encouraged to read Greek mythology in school. Where the Greek gods Regularly raped girls and impregnated them.

        It was Al Gore and his wife Tipper, Democrats, who went after the lyrics of rock music. And once again it’s the Democrat (atheists) who are now going after the video game industry. To censor them. And it was democrats who first passed racist gun control laws.

        You can complain about the Christians all you want. But the Left has always supported forced government censorship. And they still do. Which is why they’re going after a child because of the books he reads.

        btw
        I do remember a writer in Reason Magazine. Who supported the rules that allowed rape in the Dungeons & Dragons game. They were against removing those rules. I can tell you that when a player in the game tried to rape a game character, the rest of us in the game would gang up on all of his characters. And kill them off. As young boys we would not allow that to happen to a female character in our game.

      • Mostly by using observation and some sense, which you lack utterly, so there’s little explanation that will help you, I’ll try though.

        If a kid likes historical/period books and manuals, Hollywood shows about ww2, and thinks the guns and tanks and bombs are cool (yes, even the Italian and Wehrmacht ones) that’s pretty standard fare since boys often think military stuff is cool, and is not related to endorsing National Socialism. When they start disliking minorities, busting Roman salutes, and talking about the positives of National Socialism, then you should be worried. I hope this was digestible for you, read it slowly a few times if you need.

        • Your type has never supported the 1st amendment. Nor have you supported the rest of the Bill Of Rights. I learned to be worried back when the atheists got music banned in schools back in the 1960’s.
          The music record burning atheists were way ahead of Tipper Gore.

          Onward Christian Soldiers 3 min long

  3. According to the high risk indicators in this article, every rapper out there should be on that red flag list. Other than that, this is a very good reason to get your kids OUT of public schools.
    Private, charter or parochial schools are the way.

    • According to the high risk indicators in this article, every rapper out there should be on that red flag list.

      Can’t have that, because reasons…

    • according to that list, every boy I went to school with back in the 60s and 70s including myself would have been red-flagged we all handled guns went hunting got into fights, of course, there were no video games but we skipped school to go to the woods to hunt or fish or go to the pool hall to shoot pool a lot of them drank had strict fathers that put a belt or whatever on your but and in my case, my father was a working drunk and I turned out fine never wanted to kill anyone quit the opposite do not want to even think about killing anyone even though I carry a gun and have a few I like to shoot but to shoot someone it would have to be because somebody was going hurt somebody like my Wife or myself my children or grandchildren or somebody else and then afterward it would bother me

        • how interesting that you post nothing insightful, useful, or capable of nuanced critical thinking, ever.

  4. I would’ve been high up on the red flag list. Abuse and bullying led me to having very few friends, withdrawn, feeling rejected, depressed, difficulty with coping, feeling angry. What’s surprisingly not on the list is “incel” (involuntarily celibate), that’s a big one; gotta make sure you’re labeled as bad cuz you can’t get laid cuz you’ve had a bad life experience .. also you’re not destroying yourself morally by being male whore.

  5. Thank goodness he didnt have a yoyo.

    Poor kid, that’s fckd up. The system was bound and determined to make him a criminal.
    ✌ OUT to you, Eli

  6. This story made possible by the same geniuses who think “zero tolerance” and “remote learning” are great ideas.

    Each passing day provides more evidence educrats are the least qualified to be in charge of educating our youth.

    • As for remote learning, I’m in favor of anything that puts distance between children and the “progressive” retards who infest the public school system.

      • Kids need to be socialized with their peers, that is what school dances were all about. There are enough kids today that play video games and do not leave the house at all. These kids might be good engineers some day, but there is much more to life that a computer, drafting board, or a slide rule.
        If you want to home school, you need to get the kids together for social interaction. Many home schooled kids do not get this and then go crazy if and when they go to college.

        • I worked in student recruitment for a university for 14 years, and we found that home-schooled students were above-average achievers in college. It’s an advantage in almost every way, not a detriment.

          “Kids need to be socialized” is a canard the “progressive” educrats have drilled into the public for one reason only: to keep themselves in sole charge of socializing — that is, indoctrinating — children.

          The thing that makes the canard so effective is the truth that kids DO need to be socialized…but there are a million ways to do it, and 99.9% of them are better than being forced to attend schools that, in the grip of the inhuman “progressive” left, function as prison camps for young minds. School dances without the school would be a great thing.

        • Yeah, that poor misunderstood Nicky Cruz didn’t need any socialization.

          And Adam Lanza was doing just fine staying at home with his mom, playing video games, look how well he turned out.

        • Actually Miner49er the parents of these two kids went to the government for help. But we’re turned down on numerous occasions by governmental authorities.

          Just as it was government authorities who failed to update the felony records of the two Church Shooters. One in South Carolina and one in Texas

  7. No surprise….it’s always been part of their operational progression.
    1) Name an actual or potential violent event.
    3) Claim to have a way to spot those ” at risk”- of either being perpetrators or victims.
    4) Present a list of indicators – some of which are legit to the point that Ray Charles could see it coming, others which are so vague and broad as to literally ” catch” anyone if you want to lump them in badly enough due to perceived risk or flat out bias/ prejudice or contempt
    5) Tie it into policy implementation, necessary for budgetary enhancement/ matching federal and state funds etc.
    5) Flat out ignore the miniscule number that” Ray Charles could see coming” and when they go off use it to justify an ever broadening net,more intrusive powers and a bigger budget.
    Rinse, Lather And Repeat

  8. What was done to this guy when he was a kid was criminal. Sadly some of the very worst people in this country are the teachers and school administrators we trust to teach our kids. If you can’t get your kids out of the school system, pay very close attention to what they are learning and the materials they are given to study and kick up a fuss every time the school tries to push some leftwing political crap.

      • This is literally my mindset if I seek a chemistry degree. I know attempts will be made to indoctrinate me with the WOKE but I shall resist. I may even clip in a patch of orange hair which will feign kind of mental illness as camouflage.

        Be a greyman.

      • There it is. Good plan that all should embrace.

        The US dept of miseducation is failing us, costing hundreds of billions, and never should have been established. The education system is horrendous, and nothing but indoctrination in leftwing idiocy.

    • Sadly, it’s not just progressives who get very soft on 4A, 5A, and 6A when the boogieman is scary enough.

      • True…but who is whipping up the boogieman and doing the scaring? (We both know the answer: the same people who tortured this poor kid with their pseudo-moral inquisition.)

    • “Progressivism is an evil, regressive totalitarian ideology.”

      Coming to school district near *you*…

      • Already in a school district near you. Has been for decades. There are no public schools and precious few private ones that haven’t been infiltrated at this point.

  9. When you complain about the FBI and or Broward County not stopping Cruz from shooting up a school in Florida, you’re demanding that they do this to more kids.

    • The difference here is he was arrested multiple times and did present an actual threat. They simply ignored it and had worthless security at the school, basically the perfect storm.

      • Have to agree with “FedUp”. We don’t like pre-crime punishment, but our response to situations where “all the red lights were flashing” is truly unhelpful, as in we don’t have any solutions to prevent school shootings that involve self-identified threats, but instead fall back on statistics that support the line, “Every unnecessary death is a tragedy, but statistically X, Y, Z present a greater threat.

        It is natural that humans look for “balance” in every interaction, but as humans we are incapable of actually finding it. There is not a cure for every disease, or every human failing, yet humans desperately cling to the idea every bad outcome can be mitigated, or avoided. Presenting this fact to other humans is, in the end, ineffective.

        • Cruise threatened people with his guns on numerous occasions. That was not science fiction out of a movie. He should have been arrested. And prosecuted.

    • WRONG!
      Cruz threatened people, had something like 23 interactions with police, and was a clear threat. But, lib policy was to molly-coddle kids so they didn’t have a criminal record early in life. This was pushed by BHO, particularly for non-Whites. The lib molly-coddle policy resulted in the Cruz shooting.

  10. With the glaring exception of the “animal cruelty” outlier essentially everyone I went to high school with checked off that list nearly in full. Oddly enough the one guy with a penchant for animal cruelty was a very popular, very social, very athletic extrovert who “had it all.”

    Leave it to a bunch of experts to make this shit up.

    As a BIPOC I imagine fleets of Democrats and their teams of lawyers (who aren’t trying to stop audits) are on their way to save this kid from all the police brutality and white supremacy he has endured.

  11. One MORE reason why you don’t live in Kommifornia. That list had to have been written by a coven of radical fem broads. Could be applied to at least 50% of all HS males. Ever

  12. Wow. I would almost certainly have been red-flagged had such a list existed when I was in High School. Gee, the most awkward time in a kid’s life, and things like depression, awkwardness and not being the BMOC are danger signs you might be a mass killer in waiting? Sheesh.

    All that said…there could be more to this story than we’re seeing. I tend to think he’s telling the truth, and I don’t have any trouble buying that he was given the heavy-handed treatment by police. I remember all too well the the local PD pulled when I was in school. But it’s possible we aren’t getting the whole picture, too.

  13. What a stupid mother. This is why you don’t import the third world; the Philippines are the third world.

    • The reason given for her behavior was pretty compelling and easy to follow. Pretty sure you’re just a fucking asshole.

    • As someone who has been in country and almost married one they tend to obey authority. Would not consider the Phillipines to be third world maybe like the US in the 1950s and much closer to the former USSR and Ukraine are now and yes I have been there too. You should know if you live in Nevada there are thousands of Filipinos living there working in the Casinos and entertainment industry.

  14. I would like to see a list of every other kid and stats that Riverside County authorities went after using the same criteria. I would love to dig into the backgrounds of these so-called teachers, administrators, police that put the kid through this just to provide an example of how effed-up people like that are.
    Heck, I check many of those boxes as I’m sure many do. Such B$ it all is.

  15. Too many in the educational establishment regard boys as defective girls. The only items in the list that hint at a future attack are temper tantrums, cruelty to animals, arson and specific threats. Some of the others suggest a youth in pain who is likely to harm himself but not others. My wife and I never had children. One of the fringe benefits was not having to deal with the idiots in the school system.

  16. I was one of those kids that the police had their eye on. I was white, living in a black neighborhood, I did not take the shit handed out to me by anyone and the police did not like that. They told my parents that I was out of control, because I walked home at night through that neighborhood(my father was not going to drive us anywhere), they told my parents to keep me at home. No wonder I left at 17.
    I learned when I was 14 that the police were not my friend.

  17. There, they were met by another police officer, who told them Pagunsan had tripped the “Kids with Guns” protocol

    This is the point at which you inform them they’ve tripped your family’s “Assholes With Badges” protocol, that they need to come back with a warrant, and that your lawyer will be present.

  18. The list of 25 so-called “High Risk” Indicators includes:
    2) “May not have ever been arrested or been to Juvenile Court for a law violation.”
    25) “Parents may minimize or deny.”

    So the fact that a child has never been arrested makes him or her “high risk”?
    And the fact that his parents rightly deny that he’s “high risk” makes him or her “high risk”?

    1) Being “between ages 11-16.”
    15) “Discussion, drawings, writings, fantasies, video games, posters, music, computers, internet, text and cell phone activity.”

    Um, those things make him a typical 21st century high school student, or at worst an intellectual nerd, not a “high risk”.

    The majority of this list (all except for a few near the end) seems designed to label every single boy in middle school or high school a “high risk”, expel them, ruin their life, and make them hate authority figures.

  19. That list is ridiculously broad. Emos, goths, furries, D&D club, gaming club, writing club, anyone who likes airsoft, paintball, three gun, or just prefers to be an introvert / hermit is covered by that list and probably too many more to even name.

    Should have never let them in through the door.

    • Wrong! You are innocent until proven guilty.

      Do not EVER let the police in your house for any reason. Only exception might be if they have a warrant, and even that is questionable.

  20. Five or six things on that list are indicators of a potential killer–the key word being POTENTIAL–but the rest of it… I’ve worked closely with local law enforcement helping rape victims get justice and every officer in our small department thinks that list is ridiculous. And every single one hit on twenty of the twenty five ‘indicators’–none of them hit on the cruelty to animals one. And that was the only one my Aunt Ruth might have hit on; she had a ‘killing jar’ for collecting butterflies for a science project. Now the ‘Homicidal Triad’ of cruelty to animals, obsession with starting fires, and frequent bedwetting well into the teens is often present in sociopaths and violent serial killers but there’s little empirical evidence to back it up as an indicator of future violence.

    As far as police searches go, our Police Chief tells everyone to “make them get a warrant”. And “get a lawyer”. A warrant must list what the police are looking for and where they are looking for it. Broad ‘fishing’ warrants are illegal in most states and if they’re coming with a warrant you want a lawyer to meet you at the police station or be present for the search, if possible. A warrant and legal representation protect everyone involved.

    There is also another ‘indicator’ that was not on the list: being a minority. Minorities are usually the first ones targeted by these things.

  21. Police lie as a normal course of their work. Trusting one is a horrendously bad decision. There is no attorney, even ones that were police or worked for the police that would advise you ever to give the police information or permission to search anything.

  22. That list of “red flags” basically profiles every Asperger’s kid out there.

    I’m Asperger’s, and when I was 11 my father died.

    Combine the effects of that and go through that list…

    The fucking idiot “counselor” in my school did the same thing to me – he’d never even met me at the time. I still remember him saying “I don’t want you to blow my brains out” to 11 year old me the first time we met. He had the shittiest kids in the class write fantasy stories about me beating up bullies on my scooter.

    Really glad the police in my neighborhood were level headed (though today they might be too paranoid to tell his guy he’s a fucking asshat so quickly) – sat down with the sergeant for what felt like 10 mins and he went out and cleared things up.

    Took a huge toll on my mom, too, who at the time was also dealing with my father’s passing.

    Almost 30 years later, of all the humans I’ve come across in my life, and some have done QUITE shitty things, that guidance counselor is the only one whose memory makes me angry. You can’t be angry a lion for hunting anything it perceives as prey, with a dog for defecating when you fail to take it for a walk, but I genuinely want to see that dude in a cage with a burly dude thinking he’s a child molester, because he had the same effect.

    • Addendum for clarity: Did not own guns until well into adulthood and could not see well enough to ride a scooter much less own one until corrective surgery in adulthood either. Hence the colorful language choice…

  23. This reads more like “how to create school shooters through persecuting the lonely and rejected” to me.

    Congrats on not doing that. They sure made it easy for you to warm up to the idea.

    • I was just thinking that myself.

      “If you can’t find the dangerous people to justify this program, just make them with these few easy steps! Shake and bake an isolated and rejected mass killer in no time!”

  24. Everyone who has any sense gets nervous when talking to cops. I use to drink coffee in the morning with a couple retired cops.
    They told me never talk to cops. They are not your friend. There job is to arrest and make revenue for the city/parish. If you say something you think is correct and it turn out it’s wrong they can have you charged with making a false statement or obstruction of Justice. Play it smart and don’t say anything.

  25. I went through trauma when I was 14 and it’s like permanent bleeding wound. All those officials should be charged with child abuse and have 10% of their monthly income be split between Pagunsan and a charity that helps abused kids.

    • Many kids were bullied at school in the past. They got thru it and it probably made them tougher. Today, you can’t bully kids or they will run off bawling to a safe room. I think the old ways produced better citizens.

      Today, we have websites, even firearms websites, that heavily censor comments to avoid offending people who hate guns! The WOKE crap has gone way too far. It’s producing a nation of pu$$ies.

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