News and Commentary

Defense Attorney Outraged When Relatives Give His Small Son Police Toys

On Sunday, a Brooklyn defense attorney vented on Twitter when his “well-meaning relatives” gave a Thanksgiving gift to his son: a set of toys representing police that included a helicopter, a gas mask, three handguns, a machine gun, a baton, an asp, a set of handcuffs, and a flashlight. Scott Hechinger confiscated everything but the helicopter, which he said his three-year-old son loved, commenting that he didn’t understand why the rest of the toys were included.

Hechinger began his rant by listing the items his son received, writing, “Cache of weapons that came with @playmobil’s police helicopter/motorcycle given to my son by very well-meaning relatives. 1 gas mask. 3 handguns. 1 Machine gun. 1 baton. 1 asp. 1 set of handcuffs. 1 flashlight. Loves the helicopter. I confiscated the rest. Why are these included?”

Hechinger then segued to a gun control argument: “Approximately 2900 people have been shot dead by police in America since Michael Brown’s killing in 2014.”

Then a personal recollection as to the insidiousness of the “asp” as used by police officers: “An ‘asp’ is a retractable metal baton used to subdue people with brute force. When an officer broke into my client’s house in 2015 & couldn’t get his asp open, he jabbed him in the back repeatedly w/ the sharp base, taking chunks of skin out of his back. Wounds haven’t healed.”

On to the baton, a memory from the 1990’s, and the snide comment that police might decide “someone might need a beating.”: “After Rodney King’s horrific assault, the baton became a symbol of law enforcement abuse. Its use has declined dramatically. In 1990, it was used 741 times by LAPD. By 2015, that number declined to 54. Still necessary for these toys though. Someone might need a beating, I guess.”

The gas mask? A perfect opportunity to rip border agents trying to deal with illegal immigrants: “This image. This gas mask. This anonymous officer. In light of what we’ve seen with violent suppression of peaceful protest historically & what we’re hearing & seeing now on the border with @CBP agents hurling poisonous gas at unarmed women and children seeking asylum. Too much.”

Handcuffs were problematic because they might be too tight: “Even the more ‘benign’ common items are all-too-familiar tools of capture & invasion of privacy my clients face everyday. Early morning home raids with the strobe light effect of officer flashlights bounding off bedroom walls. Too-tight cuffs on young black men up against walls.”

And the insinuation that police are armed, suppress people’s voices and violate their rights: “These officers are militarized. Armed to exact violence. To injure. To terrorize. To suppress voice, violate rights. In many ways, they’re a reflection of the reality of police forces, force & violence. But Don’t think it’s meant as a political statement. Nor would 3 y/o get it.”

A quick note of caution for Playmobil: “Note: I *LOVE* @playmobil. Their toys gave me great joy & my son cannot get enough. They also were always way ahead of the curve w/ representation of diverse ethnicities. That’s why this surprised me all the more. I’ll keep buying. But hope that they’ll think critically on this.”

But then, the realization that Playmobil is more sinister than it seemed: “Oh man. Went down the rabbit hole. They have a prison too. It’s bad.”

The list again: “4 handguns. 2 machine guns. 2 sniper rifles. 2 battons.1 weapons locker.”

And the gruesome imagination: “Here is a sociopathic smiling guard holding a sniper rifle in his torture chamber full of weapons & handcuffs with a prisoner already missing half his body.”

Hechinger’s stirring conclusion: “But at least they’re only locking up ‘real’ bad guys like this crazed monster with what looks like bloody shanks attaches to his legs.”

H/T Twitchy