Feb 13, 2007 Beware Barry Cooper’s “Never Get Busted” video, part II
The NIH’s caption to this drug dog photo is enough to turn the stomach: "Nice to nose you: Flyer, NIH’s only certified drug-sniffer, serves on the K-9 team along with 10 bomb-sniffers. A dog’s nasal cavities contain over 220 million olfactory receptors; the human version has 5 million." (Image from the NIH’s website).
Originally, I was inclined not to comment further on Barry Cooper’s "Never Get Busted" video without seeing the video first. (See my original blogpost here).
However, after having read the following two blogs about Mr. Cooper’s video, I did not wish to wait to see the video before addressing the following two issues here, particularly after having contacted and heard back from Mr. Cooper (as reprinted below) on these two issues:
– FlexYourRights reviewed the video, and shares my deep concern — dissent, actually — about Mr. Cooper’s recommending rampant waiver of people’s right to refuse a police "consent" search. Mr. Cooper’s purported interest is in showing people how to conceal drug crimes, whereas my interest is in helping people know and exercise their Constitutional rights, whether or not they have anything to hide.
A person may be risking more than s/he realizes when consenting to a police search. I believe it is all too common for people in a car to throw their drugs and weapons (if they have any) into another passenger’s or driver’s area of the car when a traffic stop takes place. No matter how innocent the car’s driver may be, consenting to a search risks the police finding contraband that someone else secretly left there.
I start off by saying just say know concerning your rights in dealing with the police, and by saying that nothing beats the advice of a qualified criminal defense lawyer concerning one’s specific situation in dealing with law enforcement. For that reason, our webpages are informational only, are not advice, and do not provide black-letter approaches for dealing with the police. In any event, FlexYourRights has encouraged Mr. Cooper to remove his blanket recommendation to consent to police searches, and I agree. Mr. Cooper does not, as re-printed below.
– Blogger and marijuana rights activist Loretta Nall at her blog of the same name shows she has an axe to grind with Mr. Cooper after having reviewed his video. Likewise, Mr. Cooper’s e-mail to me, re-printed below, shows he also has an axe to grind with Ms. Nall. My preference is not to help re-air their axes, but I do not know how to do that without remaining silent on their messages, because I do not believe in providing their comment excerpts in a censored format. In any event, Ms. Nall makes a good point in showing that her video hardly got sent in a plain brown wrapper, seeing that "NeverGetBusted.com" is prominently displayed on the return address. With confidentiality as lax as that, who knows if Mr. Cooper truly will do his best to protect his customers’ confidentiality? I raise this out of a concern for all his customers’ confidentiality, whether or not they are involved in drug activity, seeing that an innocent buyer of his video — just like the drug using/selling buyer of his video — has no interest in a knock on the door from narcs investigating the reasons for the person’s subscribing to the video in the first place.
Finally, below and uncut is my February 12 e-mail exchange with Mr. Cooper, starting with his reply, followed by my original message:
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Monday, February 12, 2007 3:30 PM To: Jon Katz Subject: Re: Concerning confidentiality of mailing
Being an attorney I can understand why you disagree with my Consent to Search recommendation. My attorney, Bobby Mims, a very successful criminal defense attorney said it best when he stated…"Barry is trying to keep people from going to the courtroom. He is not preparing people for the courtroom."
Based on my experience and hundreds of other law enforcement, when a person refuses consent, cops go crazy searching. It is a good idea to give consent if one has a small amount hidden really well. I stand by what I say because it is the truth.
Your way works for you because you are an attorney and cops are afraid of you. If the general public does as you suggest in you email, they will get searched harder and longer.
Please view the dvd and don’t listen to Loretta. Make your own judgement. If you think my dvd is worthless as a mad woman suggested then email me and I will give you your money back. She has another agenda and it is not about helping people it is about attacking me.
She feels she must attack me to cover herself for all the horrible things she said about me months ago. HER REVIEW OF THE DVD IS THE ONLY NEGATIVE REVIEW WE HAVE RECIEVED. This should tell you something if you are a reasonable person.
Below is my response to the NEVERGETBUSTED label on the packaging. We are eblasting all our customers this today:
I am sooooo sorry about the return address on your order saying "NEVER GET BUSTED." My dvd is manufactured and mailed by a fulfillment company in Illinois. I am in Texas. They made the mistake and I quickly corrected the problem. Future orders will say "Barry and Candi Promotions."
To our surprise, mainstream America is ordering the dvd more than the counter culture so maybe one day NEVERGETBUSTED will seem normal to everybody.
I do care about your privacy and am very sorry this happened. Please forgive me, I fixed the problem.
Barry, CEO/NeverGetBusted, The Most Trusted Name in Anti-Prohibition. Thanks for your interest. Barry
Quoting Jon Katz firstname.lastname@example.org:
Dear Mr. Cooper:
Having read the reviews of your video at FlexYour Rights’ and Loretta Nall’s sites (I have not purchased it myself), I comment as follows:
– I share FlexYourRights’ strong disagreement with giving a blanket recommendation for people to consent to police searches. (As I wrote on our website before the D.C. sniper suspects were arrested: “My own script when the police want a consent search is ‘No. I won’t tell you why I’m refusing. I won’t tell you why I’m refusing to tell you why I’m refusing. Am I free to leave?’"
– Ms. Nall’s site says her video of Never Get Busted included “NeverGetBusted.com” in the return address, which seems to be inconsistent with your FAQ page’s following assertion: “Q. How are the orders packed for shipment? A. The orders are packaged very discreetly in a plain packaging envelope. No logos or images!” Is Ms. Nall’s foregoing assertion correct? If so, how does this jibe with your foregoing FAQ quote?
For full disclosure, I blogged about your tape in early January, here: http://katzjustice.com/?p=208.
If you reply, I will treat your response as being on the record unless you request otherwise. Thanks. Jon. Jon Katz.