Friday, November 10, 2006

NCJ Does Burgess

Some of you might have seen the North Coast Journal's cover story this week: A history on the late Chris Burgess, kind of along the lines of the story the Times- Standard wrote not long a go but a bit more detailed.

I don't think you even really need to read between the lines in this story to see the kid had a tendency towards violence.

One thing I don't understand is the part about his first arrest. We've been told it was in regards to possession of a knife at school. The Journal relates that he threatened some other, older kids with the knife. Then it goes on to say "that the knife Chris had had a locking blade, making it a more serious weapon than a simple pocket knife.".

Any law enforcement types out there? I don't remember any difference in the law between a folding knife with a locking blade, or without. I know there's laws against switchblades and "gravity" knives, but never heard anything about knives with locking blades.

Maybe I'm forgetting something? It has been a while. Seems to me, if the kid threatened other kids with a knife, that's "Brandishing A Weapon", or whatever the crime is called. He could be arrested and taken to Juvenile Hall for that alone, regardless of the type of knife used.
As an aside, with regards to knives, I remember one time a girl was brought into The Hall for various offenses. First time she was ever in there, I believe. While inventorying her stuff someone finds a teeny little switchblade in her possessions- must not of even been two inches long opened.

The deputy that brought her in charged her with Possession of a Switchblade Knife. I was thinking to myself at the time, "Lame!".


At 8:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I don't have a penal code to look up the issue of a locked blade knife. But I would think the legislative intent of a law making a "locked blade" knife more serious than a regular folding knife is kind of the same reason locked blade knives are made. A locking blade keeps the blade in place while being used and it cannot fold back on the fingers of the user. The same feature that makes the locking blade knife a better tool makes it a better weapon.

The NCJ article was the most informative and balanced piece out so far on this incident (situation). It is clear that people in the "system" cared about Burgess and took steps to help him along the way. Including the one Eureka Police Officer that played basketball with and read to the kids at the one 'alternative' school. It is also clear that Burgess has had a long history of assaulting people with knives, he has a problem with his temper/aggression, and he has a substance abuse problem.

The NCJ did point out a different side of the story Marjorie Burgess was putting out, which I'm not surprised.

Everyone will agree (I think) that it is sad/tragic when a child has had a bad homelife and ended up making bad choices. What I don't get is how a certain segment of the community can blame the cop that caught up to him and the police department as a whole?

At 8:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Penal Code (tee hee!)
626.10. (a) Any person, except a duly appointed peace officer as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2, a full-time paid peace officer of another state or the federal government who is carrying out official duties while in this state, a person summoned by any officer to assist in making arrests or preserving the peace while the person is actually engaged in assisting any officer, or a member of the military forces of this state or the United States who is engaged in the performance of his or her duties, who brings or possesses any dirk, dagger, ice pick,knife having a blade longer than 21/2 inches, FOLDING KNIFE WITH A BLADE THAT LOCKS INTO PLACE, a razor with an unguarded blade, a taser, or a stun gun, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 244.5, any instrument that expels a metallic projectile such as a BB or a pellet, through the force of air pressure, CO2 pressure, or spring action, or any spot marker gun, UPON THE GROUNDS OF, OR WITHIN, ANY PUBLIC OR PRIVATE SCHOOL PROVIDING INSTRUCTION IN KINDERGARTEN OR ANY GRADES 1 TO 12, INCLUSIVE, IS GUILTY OF A PUBLIC OFFENSE, PUNISHABLE BY IMPRISONMENT IN A COUNTY JAIL NOT EXCEEDING ONE YEAR, OR BY IMPRISONMENT IN THE STATE PRISON.

At 9:00 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Interesting thing is, even in the NCJ story, most of the people quoted were on somewhat good terms with him, and the assaultive history still comes out.

Makes you wonder what the folks who might have been on his bad side might be able to say about him, but they can't talk about it.

If anybody has a penal code readily available out there, I think the section covering knives (dirks and daggers) is somewhere around 12000. I

At 9:04 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Oops. I see the info was posted right before my comment,and I had the wrong section? Actually, probably not. The section you have deals specifically with schools.

Thanks 8:59. Is that a relatively new section of the penal code? I don't recall ever going through that one in the Criminal Law block in at the Redwoods Police Academy.

At 10:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know about school usage being a recent penal change, but I recall a conversation with a peace officer from 10 years ago about locking blades being a special violation. The feeling he expressed was that there are very few legitimate reasons a person carries a locking blade.

At 10:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

8:55 How can people blame the police officer and the entire department? Simple. It's the cop-hating activists. They've latched onto this incident and will milk it for all it's worth.

At 10:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its nice to have the details out finally. Thanks to the North Coast Journal! Too bad 'people' jumped in with conclusions before the facts were in...

At 12:34 PM, Blogger Fred said...

10:23 wrote, "The feeling he expressed was that there are very few legitimate reasons a person carries a locking blade.".

Boy, I don't know about that. I've carried one for years and I suspect thousands of people in this county do as well.

At 2:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For what utilitarian purpose did you carry a locking blade Fred? I mean, except for its stabbing and slashing value?

At 2:38 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Lock knife blades are probably the most commonly used knives carried nowadays. No matter what you do with them, be it for fishing, hunting, camping or work purposes, you don't have to worry about the blade closing on you, or parts of your hand, when using it.


How long have you lived up here?

Perhaps your're from the Bay Area? Back in the '70s, when I was considering joining the Regular Army, I used to carry a fixed blade Buck pathfinder. That might be the same knife Burgess was carrying.

The recruiter told me if I got caught carrying that in Oakland, where the Armed Forces Entrance and Exam Station was at the time, I'd be arrested. Figure that must be why you know so little about knives. You come from down there?

At 4:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Huh? Lock blades for camping and fishing? Are you crazy? I guess if you come up against a bear it might come in handy. Otherwise, Jebus Fred, I\'m never going camping with you. You\'re scary. There\'s a reason these things are illegal. They aren\'t as common as you\'ve made yourself believe.

At 4:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lock-back knives are very common because they work well and are safe to use.

They are used in hunting. Small ones are handy for doing household and garden chores like cutting string or ribbon at Christmastime.

One thing more I can tell you about my little lock-back knife, if a police officer told me to drop it, it would be on the ground in no time.

At 4:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yes, I bring a lock-back knife every time I go hunting on the streets of Eureka. Yep.

At 5:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And Freddy why did you carry a big fixed blade Buck knife in the 70's?

Just had a memory that answered my question. I too went to the Armed Forces Induction Center in Oakand in the early 70's. Taking the bus from Eureka to SF to Oakland for a draft physical was a mini nightmare. Hadn't thought about that experience in years.

At 5:13 PM, Blogger Fred said...

4pm wrote, "There\'s a reason these things are illegal.".

Sorry. You have no knowledge of the subject.

Assuming we're talking about the same thing, lock- back knives are the most popular knives around, and totally legal. The exception being, apparently, in government schools.

Buck, Uncle Henry, Gerber...just about any good knife maker nowadays (and for some time, seems to me) has offered a number of lock back knives in their line of wares.

I've carried a number of them through the years, as I'm sure thousands, if not millions, have.

I love this: We seem to have an Authoritarian here who knows nothing about an issue, but feels that certain things should be illegal simply from one thing he's read.

I'm not going to go where others have and say you're someone you're not. But, I can't help but think you're one of the regular hits I get from the Bay Area.

Oh, I might also add I carry my Gerber Gator in San Francisco all the time. Don't know if it's because no one's noticed, or maybe no one cares.

At 5:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now if you boys were to go to the Bayshore Mall and I have seen a few youngsters in the knife shop-Todd-who will probably wait on you (I think he is the manager) will mention these lock blades are very safe for the user. The blade won't come back on your fingers.

I purchased a $58 job, very nice about 4" locking blade for 'mushroom' hunting. Chanterelles.

At 5:19 PM, Blogger Fred said...

5:11 wrote, "And Freddy why did you carry a big fixed blade Buck knife in the 70's?".

The Pathfinder wasn't that big. A four inch fixed blade, which is about the same size of my current lockblade gater, as far as blade length. Not sure how long it was overall. Don't know if it made ten inches, or not.

I did a lot of fishing at the time. That knife worked well for me. Only problem being Buck knives were, and still are, really hard for me to sharpen well.

At 5:23 PM, Blogger Fred said...

I'll have to say; This is pretty wild this suggestion (as I see it) that lock blade knives are illegal, or if they weren't, they should be.

I can't help but wonder if this is coming from the cop- haters, who think Burgess was murdered (even though he had that- should be illegal- knife), or just some flakes from the Bay Area?

I suspect it's just from Authoritarians, from wherever, and whatever side of the aisle.

At 5:24 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Another aside:

Some of these knife comments are some of the most OUT THERE comments I've seen since I've started this blog.

At 5:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, you guys are nuts. It's completely normal to carry a locking blade around town. I carry a locking blade in my back pocket and my hunting rifle slung across my back. Yes sir, it's completely normal. Everyone does it. And for good reason. You never know when you'll have to gut a fish or fight a bear while shopping at Costco.

Sorry Fred, you're flat wrong.

At 8:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't think of carrying a lock blade knife ! I carry a 9mm instead.

At 8:40 AM, Blogger Halitosis said...

It is easier to snort meth off of a locked blade knife.

At 7:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll bet young Burgess smoked his meth !

At 8:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe the NCJ could do his Mom !!


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