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Jun. 30 2010 - 5:10 pm | 1,937 views | 0 recommendations | 5 comments

CBS affiliate: Pot activist Barry Cooper ’still at large’

Photo credit: WILLIAM DESHAZER / Dallas Morning News

A West Texas CBS affiliate dedicated a segment last night to Candi Cooper’s arrest by the Texas Rangers. It was actually quite comprehensive and good, and none of what’s to follow in my ruminations should be considered a slight to their work.

Still, the reporter’s final words made me choke with laughter and surprise: “Barry Cooper, himself, is still at large.”

Still at large. For a Class B misdemeanor? We’re talking about a citation-level offense, not Al Capone. These people are not felons and they are not violent, but Barry is “still at large”? I love that this comes from a CBS affiliate. Yes, this is in fact accurate, but it also illustrates the Benny Hill-like nature of this weird tale.

While I appreciate the political sensitivities at stake for our resident power structure, it’s offensive to think that a minor infraction like False Report to a Peace Officer deserves attention by the Texas Rangers. I’m certain the Odessa police are more than capable of handing their own affairs.

The Rangers occupy a position of greater lore in this state, and stooping to this level … is below them. Worse yet, by their mere presence they make Cooper notable again. They’re helping to turn a minor thorn in their side into an anti-prohibition rock star, just like I suspect Barry has planned all along.

Here’s what Michael May over at the Texas Observer had to say

Barry also posted a video on youtube that shows a conversation he had with a Ranger who threatened to “whup his ass.” The video shows Barry’s charm with law enforcement . . . he’s clearly taunting the Ranger, calling him “son” and “boy” and swearing at him several times. It’s not surprising that the Rangers want to put him in his place, but our police should be above petty vendettas — and it’s hard to see how putting elite officers on the trial of a misdemeanor offense is anything but a petty vendetta. In short, they’ve done nothing but prove Barry’s contention that law enforcement priorities in this state are skewed at best, and corrupt at their worst.

And furthermore, ‘Cheers!’ to him for transplanting my ‘drug war insurgent‘ meme into the Observer’s headline.

Yes, Barry Cooper “is still at large,” though I’m told he’ll be turning himself in sometime rather soon.

Regaining his freedom via bail bond will cost $200: a paltry sum compared to the value of the ironclad image our most elite law enforcement unit decided to tarnish this week. A swift, snarling reaction should have been expected from Williamson County, which raided the family’s home on a Class B misdemeanor, but every Texan holds the Rangers in higher regard than this.

Barry and Candi are weaving a modern day Bonny and Clyde story, and we all get to watch. Thanks to Williamson County and the Texas Rangers, this man could well soon be the goddamned Erin Brockovich of pot.

Until there’s more to tell, enjoy this video from CBS 7 in West Texas.


4 T/S Member Comments Called Out, 5 Total Comments
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  1. collapse expand

    I hope he remains at large, getting larger and larger all the time.

  2. collapse expand

    Yup. Go, Barry. Where do I send my contribution?

  3. collapse expand

    Barry should coordinate with his lawyer to surrender if the bail is only $200. It will make him look good and keep him from looking over his shoulder repeatedly.

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    My name is Stephen. I am a News Junkie and an assistant editor at RawStory.com. My work has appeared in publications both printed and online, including The Dallas Business Journal, the cover of Fort Worth Weekly and in the pages of The Dallas Morning News, Austin Monthly, Envy Magazine and others. I also covered the rebirth of the U.S. peace movement first-hand for The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, starting with the city's first public screening of 'Fahrenheit 9/11' all the way through the end of Cindy Sheehan's stay. I've seen my reporting discussed in publications such as Time, Wired, Reason, The Washington Post, D Magazine, The Guardian UK, Media Matters, ThinkProgress, Alternet, Cannabis Culture, 1-UP, Destructoid, Kotaku, GameSpot, G4TV and many others. I am currently open for freelance assignments and actively seeking a literary agent. You can follow me on Twitter @StephenCWebster, or from Facebook.com/StephenCWebster.

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