Remember, The Policeman Is Your Friend Who Believes Time-Traveling Future People Have Seeded The Earth With Technology That Would Make James Bond Weep With Envy


How else to explain Sergeant Jonathan Burke, of the Delaware County, Ohio Sheriff's Department, who arrested Melissa Greenfield for the crime of possessing a deadly "cell-phone gun."

Sgt. Jonathan Burke wrote that he repeatedly ordered Greenfield to place the "unknown" object in her pocket and keep her hands free. When Greenfield refused, she was arrested and charged with obstructing official business and resisting arrest.

Burke wrote in his report that he feared that Greenfield could have been holding a dangerous object such as a "cell-phone gun."

Here in present time, the cell-phone gun hasn't yet been invented. Our primitive technology has barely reached the cell-phone camera, which is what Greenfield insists she was pointing at Sergeant Burke. As he questioned her boyfriend, who was not arrested, for some reason.

Insidious time traveling woman!  Go directly to Time Prison!

It's good to know that brave officers like Sergeant Burke are on the scene to protect us from not-yet-invented weapons of mass destruction like the cell-phone gun. Of course some, foolish skeptics who probably also believe that the flat earth was created 6,000 years ago, might say that Sergeant Jonathan Burke is a liar who should be fired from his job, prosecuted for obstruction of justice, and sued for false arrest and malicious prosecution.

But I'm glad he's out there, protecting us all from wormhole loops, chrono-vortices, causal paradox anomalies, time meddlers who want to kill baby Hitler, and Daleks.

Last 5 posts by Patrick Non-White



  1. Patrick  •  Jul 30, 2010 @10:55 am

    In all seriousness, the public defender who let this woman plead no contest to the charge of obstructing official business should lose his job too. Though "no-contest" pleas generally aren't admissible as evidence of guilt, so she probably retains her right to sue the Sheriff and Sergeant Burke, this case should have been tried.

    And Burke should be prosecuted.

  2. ano33  •  Jul 30, 2010 @11:01 am

    This is a troubling case of what sounds like a made-up excuse. However, back in my Army days my unit was specifically warned about everyday items that could fire a single concealed round, including a fake cell-phone. I never saw or heard of it after the initial briefing, but at least the cop wasn't COMPLETELY faking it…

  3. Patrick  •  Jul 30, 2010 @11:06 am

    Don't even try to excuse it, ano. Jonathan Burke wasn't arresting a Dick Tracy villain.

    He should go to prison.

  4. shg  •  Jul 30, 2010 @11:27 am

    Regardess of whether there is such a thing as a cellphone gun, Burke's explanation was nonsense. If he believed that she posed a threat, his reaction would have been to point his weapon at her, order her to drop the "gun" and, upon her failure to do so, kill her. Anything less demonstrates that the cellphone gun nonsense is pure post hoc rationalization and nothing more.

  5. Patrick  •  Jul 30, 2010 @11:33 am
  6. SB7  •  Jul 30, 2010 @11:40 am

    Remind me not to bring my sonic screwdriver with me next time I go to Ohio.

  7. The Team  •  Jul 30, 2010 @12:54 pm

    Hey Patrick. In agreement with shg, "If he believed that she posed a threat, his reaction would have been to point his weapon at her, order her to drop the “gun” and, upon her failure to do so, kill her".

    Please allow us to add that this could be history in the making – due to a police officer being quoted admitting to ordering someone to put an object perceived to be dangerous ‘into’ their pockets. Sounds like something Barney Fife would do.

  8. shg  •  Jul 30, 2010 @1:17 pm

    As was noted by a commenter at SJ, Burke ordered her to put her cellphone gun in her pocket. Yep, that's crediblet too.

  9. John Burgess  •  Jul 30, 2010 @1:57 pm

    Cellphone guns do exist, but the cop's reaction was way wrong. He should have cuffed her and seized the phone immediately if he felt himself under threat.

  10. Al  •  Jul 30, 2010 @1:59 pm

    What I want to know is when is Apple going to address the real and legitimate concerns of iGunPhone owners who can't get a shot off when using the Weaver stance?

  11. Brass  •  Jul 30, 2010 @2:08 pm

    I think this the pushback we will be seeing now that police arresting people for just filming a crime scene has become a national issue. Instead of relying on "photography is a crime" they will now just say they feel threatened and arrest them the photographer for that.

  12. KipEsquire  •  Jul 30, 2010 @2:50 pm

    Oi! Don't diss the Sonic!

  13. Corporal Lint  •  Jul 30, 2010 @3:01 pm

    I have a cellphone flask and ain't no cop making me put that away, though I'd probably give him a nip if he asked nice.

  14. Imaginary Lawyer  •  Jul 30, 2010 @4:54 pm

    Thank you, John. I was about to throw a tantrum because goddamit if I can't have my jetpack I want a cellphone gun!

  15. Charles  •  Jul 30, 2010 @7:42 pm

    My guess is that every cop in the country knows about cell phone guns. Their existence is like a gift from god for people who want an excuse to intimidate and arrest anyone recording near a police encounter.

  16. G Thompson  •  Jul 31, 2010 @1:54 am

    All I ever wanted was a rocket powered chainsaw… Now I hear about this Cell-Phone gun???

    OMG!! WANT!!!

    Sgt Burke on the other hand.. wasn't he the first unwilling volunteer for those state run mind control chip thingy's? ;)

  17. Tam  •  Jul 31, 2010 @11:22 am

    The problem is that desk jockey sergeants with middle-age donut spread and all the fine sense of discrimination regarding glurge-ridden chain emails of your grandmother are forwarding these "IMPORTANT! BULLETINS!" about cell-phone guns, full-auto Glocks, and the deadly cop-killer FN FiveseveN back and forth to each other, and have been for decades now.

    These are people who think Reefer Madness was a gripping documentary and Joe Friday is a hep, no-nonsense role model.

  18. Jdog  •  Jul 31, 2010 @12:44 pm

    Well, yeah, it's true that just about any weapon can be either disguised as something innocuous and that just about anything innocuous can be used as a weapon (reverse-edge knife enthusiasts are into that sort of stuff — CD cases, say). But so what? Does the possession of just about anything justify a rousting?

    That said, there are cameras that are very, very hard to spot as such, and don't need to be held in the hand to be effective.

  19. LawDog  •  Aug 1, 2010 @5:30 pm

    Definitely an over-reaction.

    However, this statement:
    "Here in present time, the cell-phone gun hasn’t yet been invented"
    is incorrect.

    I want one.


  20. Jdog  •  Aug 2, 2010 @10:23 am

    Who wouldn't? That said, the idea of "answering the phone" in the middle of the night doesn't give me the warm fuzzies.

  21. Stu  •  Aug 3, 2010 @2:00 am

    They do exist but your unlikely to come across one.

  22. Ian  •  Aug 5, 2010 @8:19 am

    The point here isnt the time traveling future-tech. The point is the the woman in question was actively engaged with the officer. Her bpyfriend was being questioned (and possible her) and once you refuse to co-operate with an officer doing his duty, you have problems. Now, if she was a bystander, she can video to her hearts delight. The officer is not engaged with her in any official way. What if: u get pulled over for speeding and the officer walks up and asks for your license and insurance but you ignore him and just film him with you cell phone camera, how do you think that will play out?

    I have a problem with over-reaching police, but I also have a problem with idiots.

  23. Patrick  •  Aug 5, 2010 @8:23 am

    This new legal concept that one who is "engaged with" a police officer (which I take to mean standing within thirty feet of him) must lie down on the floor and keep quiet, Ian: Where did you learn of it?

    Where is the activist judge who made up this law?