“Magic Knife” Incident Caused NYPD Supporter to Do a 180

Image: Carsten Vogel*

Amanda Warren
Activist Post

If you live in New York, you might be in criminal possession of a “magic knife” too…

When Carsten Vogel noticed the negative social media reaction following NYPD incidents, behavior and the height of the Mayor de Blasio/NYPD face/off – he rushed in to defend the men and women in blue. After all, some of his good friends wear badges.

He too must have thought that “haters gonna hate” and someone should pipe up to defend them from unwarranted criticism.

He wrote in a thread on Facebook, just a few days after debating someone on the topic:

The police in NYC are now refusing to make the mayor look good, I get it. I don’t think the police are abandoning their jobs or responsibilities. I think they are refusing to play the game.

Perhaps he was among the many who also parrot the idea that there are only a “few bad eggs” around. That if you’re not doing anything wrong, there’s nothing to worry about…

Yet, he was about to get a firsthand look into a systemic problem – the real aim of modern-day American policing.

Coincidentally, the afternoon of January 20th would change that on a very personal level – irrevocably – Village Voice Blogs reports.

Vogel’s attention was on the music in his earphones while he awaited a train at the Nostrand Avenue stop. That’s when an NYPD officer appeared and asked what was in Vogel’s pocket. It was a pocket knife attached to a pocket clip. And Vogel responded frankly.



Bear with me for this important note – Vogel is a conscientious citizen, who strives to follow every letter of the law, so he probably only figures there would ever be a problem for rough “bad guys” roaming the streets. Not so. But Vogel is so conscientious that he had already looked up the knife laws. His 2-inch common pocket knife with a wooden handle, available on many store shelves. did not break the 4-inch law. It was not a switchblade which is totally illegal in New York. Not only was the pocket knife well within legal confines, but Vogel, like many others, uses it for his job. It brings him much convenience as he cuts tape and cables setting up PA systems.

Vogel was compelled to hand it over.

With the flick of the wrist, the seized knife becomes “magic” and reveals its “true nature” bent toward committing crimes.

From Village Voice:

When Vogel handed over his knife, the cop who had stopped him went through a routine that plays out thousands of times every year in New York City. Holding Vogel’s knife, the cop raised his arm and vigorously flicked his wrist, in a practiced move. The knife snapped open and into place.

Vogel says he had never in his life tried to open his knife like that. It certainly wasn’t designed to operate that way. He was stunned.

Incredulous, Vogel couldn’t stop commenting on what a “magic trick” he had witnessed. And a well-practiced one at that, he noted.

You’re under arrest – you broke the law.

Not really. Not at all. But the officer said that under NYPD’s legal interpretation, Vogel was in possession of a “gravity knife” and would be going to jail! He would remain in a cell for a few hours and receive a “misdemeanor charge for criminal possession of a weapon. ” This first-ever charge will cost time, work time, in court appearances, and thousands in legal fees.

Even this did not initially change his heart. The “good cop” arresting him was apologetic and tried to comfort him by telling him he’d probably “get off easy” for his criminality. At this point, Vogel’s still thinking they’re just good fellas doing what they got to do. Until…

He overheard their conversation about racking up arrest “numbers” needed to move on up. One of them seemed upset that another was getting promoted after only getting “like, two guns and a burglary and few robberies.” Big light bulb here. “I’m just a pawn,” he said. Even before, he recalled feeling uneasy at the “broken windows” [fallacy] type police work. NYPD has alienated a vocal supporter who now has a stronger bond with his friend whom he had debated. “They turned an ally into an enemy,” he said.



To the best of the media’s knowledge, New York City police are among the only agency that interprets a old state law this way. From Village Voice:

Under an arcane statute first passed in the mid-1950s, any knife that can be opened by centrifugal force can be qualified as a gravity knife. The law was never intended to outlaw the kind of knife Vogel carries — the true gravity knives originally targeted back then were far larger and more menacing. And applying the term to common folding knives is a controversial interpretation, even within the five boroughs. That reading of the law has prompted a federal lawsuit and malicious-prosecution settlements; even the state judiciary says it’s an incorrect and unjust reading of the law. Regardless, the NYPD is virtually alone among major police departments in New York State in its tough enforcement of the half-century-old law.

A real gravity knife looks like this. NYPD has yet to explain how this is any more dangerous than a folding knife. And it’s certainly not switchblade material. Plus, folding knives are legal. Village Voice was so successful in bring this tactic to light that it spawned discussions among lawmakers and police. See the rest of their report as well as How a 50s-Era Knife Law Has Landed Thousands in Jail.

Clearly, Vogel did nothing wrong. But who was left to speak up for him? Only Village Voice, and if you count this piece – both after the fact.

Are we going to have to wait until each and every single person has an experience like this, or a potentially fatal experience, before unacceptable behavior is called out for what it actually is?

*The friendly knife has been superimposed on the image

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44 Comments on "“Magic Knife” Incident Caused NYPD Supporter to Do a 180"

  1. I suspect Vogel will change his mind about NYC cops when he sees how much it will cost him in legal fees .

    • And they’ll keep his knife; ‘Asset Forfeiture’…..

    • When it comes to highly-controversial cases like this one, many up-and-coming attorneys will do it simply to make a name for themselves — especially if they work for an agency that works to end such injustice.

      The main problem as I see it is the police unions. They will be right there to defend this officer’s actions, you can be sure.

      The cop should have simply given him the knife back after the encounter. But he’s just flexing his muscle and pushing the limits as they are prone to do.

      The odd thing is that the cop actually believes he has to act this way — to project an aura of deadly unilateral force — to keep himself safe on the job. When, in fact, he actually brings about a backlash against such tyranny — thereby putting his safety at risk (as well as the safety of cops who do NOT behave this way, it should be noted). It’s a type of self-fulfilled prophecy.

      • Did you not get it, he was filling his quota.
        The only way to get promotion and increases is to make arrests, when he can’t find a criminal, he criminalizes an ordinary person.

        “The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.”

        Ayn Rand

        • Muhammad Abbass | February 4, 2015 at 9:24 pm | Reply

          This is part of it, but this was offered as an opinion by the person concerned and is not necessarily the absolute truth of the matter. I agree it plays a part. Around here cops I know admit that they are under pressure to raise revenue. All manner of ridiculous minor traffic infringements are being hit these days, whilst it is obvious that people have on the whole slowed down and begun to drive more carefully. Once they would not charge one for speeding up to 10 kms over the limit in most places, but now it is common to get camera trap fines for a couple of kms over the limit. I got one for exceeding the speed by 4 kmh a few months ago!
          On the other hand the fear cops have of the public is real. Their statements whenever they murder someone, even the occupants of the wrong house or some dog who is just within their purview the reason is always the same. They have to protect their own lives. This is I think complete BS. We expect cops to show a bit of courage and act like men and women representing our society, but in truth they are generally most concerned with their own welfare. This goes for the abuse of arrests to gain promotions as it is for killing anything or anybody which looks at them crooked. We used to say better a dozen guilty crooks go free than one innocent party should be abused or killed. Now it is “Better a dozen dead civilians than one dead or even injured cop.”

          • Police funding of all types should be outright, and not based on any sorts of quota system. As it is now, many municipalities are funding police pension funds with monies they receive from parking and traffic fines. And that obviously introduces a conflict of interest.

          • Muhammad Abbass | February 4, 2015 at 11:30 pm |

            Absolutely! Police funding should be fixed like all government spending and it should be based on the work they’re expected to do. If they need more money, they can apply like everyone else. Instead they have been granted a kind of pirate license to pillage as necessary for their increased needs or wants. Same problem here. Once they introduced property forfeiture laws here for anyone merely “CHARGED” with an offense, the cops have been out of control and seemingly interested in revenue raising over all. Not only does a substantial portion of confiscated money (and assets) go to the cop force who made the grab, but this invariably leaves people penniless right when they need to spend big dollars on lawyers. It has the combined effect of making them money and reducing the accused chances of fighting whatever charges they lay on them.

      • Muhammad Abbass | February 4, 2015 at 9:17 pm | Reply

        Thankyou, your last paragraph helped put things into place for me. I’d not thought of the exact angle of fear as motivation for the sort of overactive and extreme policing we’re seeing, but I think you’re correct. It is as you say counterproductive and that’s just an example of a self defeating policy by the elite segment of society who in reality use the cops to control us. By ensuring none of them are too bright, they have severely hampered their ability to act with tactical intelligence. This certainly worsens their situation, the backlash is growing in potential every day, but it also practically ensures their failure to handle the backlash when it comes. They will be as lousy at actually winning the conflict as the US military is in it’s turn. The problem for the elite scum is that intelligent cops would offer them a better chance of surviving the eventual backlash from a public approaching the last straw, but intelligent cops might have realised by now how they are being used and the consequences to themselves and families.

        • What will be will be, even if it is only temporarily sustainable for them. The world is a big place. They have many places to hide if things do get too bad for them in any particular country. They’re fascists.

          I think the main problem we are seeing lately with the police is directly attributable to the police unions. They have never had any push-back from society and have therefore sided with police in even the most ridiculous of cases. This has systematically, via incremental encroachments, created an effective environment of simply zero accountability — and needs to be fixed yesterday.

          I do think the Stanford Prison Experiment (which would not be legal to reproduce today) tells us quite a bit as well. The simple reason is: We’re no longer seen as sovereign citizens, but as prisoners who need guards. We’ve arrived as peasants in our own lands…

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_prison_experiment

        • I am also in favor of a law that FORBIDS granting favoritism to former soldiers when hiring police. That seems like such a no-brainer to me, but they twist it around to make it seem like you’re somehow hating on our troops. No. I simply recognize that civilian police learn habits and reflexes which are inappropriate in wartime soldiery. And wartime soldiery learn habits and reflexes which are also inappropriate in civilian policing. I would go so far as to make them mutually exclusive entirely, through an attrition system.

          My previous post is awaiting moderation probably because of the link I put in about the Stanford Prison Experiment. I think it says quite a lot about what’s going on with our police. And their unions have basically effectively lobbied to allow police to treat citizens as equipment to be ignored and abandoned at the slightest sign of possible trouble. They’re shooting dogs as a matter of POLICY, because nobody wants to stand up to the police unions and say this is unacceptable.

          • Muhammad Abbass | February 4, 2015 at 11:55 pm |

            I know about the Stanford Prison experiment. I’d also come to recognise the exact same flaw in people before I read about it. I was an outcaste at school and from my outsiders position was able to see that most of the kids picking on me, were just following the chosen leaders ad as such they were going along to get along. Having no option from an early age but to stand on my own and set my own standards, I could see how the majority could as easily have been friends with me if they had not abrogated responsibility for their social behaviour for the sake of being with the “in crowd”. Cops are not the most independent thinkers, they will invariably be the least imaginative, the least courageous about confronting popular beliefs and the most inclined to go along to get along.
            The rot begins the first day they are in uniform because the us and them mentality has become a fixture with all police departments.

            I think you’re onto something with the police and military being mutually exclusive roles. It is the exact opposite of the assumption the system makes, but that’s because they are not looking for the same things in police, as we the public are. The scum at the top see nothing but similarities in Police and Soldiering. Both are stupid dumb animals whose purpose is to fulfil policy of their corrupted leadership..

  2. Sad, but needs to happen until the sheep wake up to what is going on around them in the “freest nation on earth”.

  3. The liberal morons only ever change their minds WHEN IT FINALLY HAPPENS TO THEM OR SOMEONE THEY CARE ABOUT!
    THE POLICE ARE NOT OUR FRIENDS! THEY ARE OUT TO GET YOU!

    • Dr_Michael_Savage | February 3, 2015 at 1:17 pm | Reply

      Yes, the liberals are the ones defending the police…

    • Muhammad Abbass | February 4, 2015 at 10:14 pm | Reply

      Yes because conservatives are always right and they never would mistake the police for true servants of society.
      Good grief! How can people be so stupid as to still think the problem is just Conservatism VS Liberalism? These are just teams, red team, blue team. The only reason is to divide the population roughly down the middle, thus ensuring an equal and opposite reaction from one half of society against the other half. A simple concept, first preached and practiced within Talmudist circles. Divide and conquer.

  4. TARDISOFGALLIFREY | February 2, 2015 at 11:14 pm | Reply

    Yep, Police are SCUMBAGS!

  5. If this policy is allowed to persist respect and trust of the police will be destroyed. Then it is just a matter of time until the police will have become our enemy rather than our defenders.

  6. Jeff Pearce Sr. | February 3, 2015 at 7:21 am | Reply

    The sheeple deserve the government they have. That includes the strong arm tactics of their enforcers. Change the names in the story from government to Mafia, from officer to capo. If you see a difference between the two, you are still a “Carston Vogel”.

    • Why do the people deserve it?
      If YOU were to turn bad, would the people you harm “deserve it” too? Is this your way of thinking?

      • There are always these macho idiots who say with such bravado that the people “deserve” the crap they get from government. I suspect it makes them feel special, as if they alone have a handle on the true situation. What these morons don’t get though, is that they are no different from the rest of the public as far as LEO’s are concerned, and therefore just as likely to get their head kicked in by them. In my opinion, morons like Jeff Pearce Sr are the ones who actually truly deserve such treatment from LEO’s because of their crappy attitude towards other people being abused by LEO’s. I hope he gets to be on the receiving end of it in the near future.

        • Muhammad Abbass | February 4, 2015 at 10:11 pm | Reply

          You’re mostly correct but I think there’s another angle. I for one often say what he has, and I believe it. People DO get the governments they deserve. In the West mainly by inaction and lack of interest, because even if people are misled by government and media (they are) it is still possible to find the truth these days and to recognise it. There is no excuse for ignorance, except laziness and that is no excuse, it become the means by which we earn what we get. Some of us may have been battling the ignorance and blindness of our fellow citizens for years and our own lives also may reflect that different outlook such that we cannot in any way be held accountable for what has happened regarding the slippage of freedom and true democracy. It is an expression of frustration with the inertia of the public more than a personal statement of bravado.

        • Jeff Pearce Sr. | February 5, 2015 at 9:13 am | Reply

          So Jo Brown is a vindictive individual. Nice Jo Brown. Anger much? Is it law enforcements job to kick heads in? According to wanna be dictator Jo Brown, yes, indeed. Don’t say anything that Dictator, er,, Jo Brown doesn’t agree with. He will likely send in his enforcers to “kick your head in”. In the authoritarian state of “Jo Brown” your opinion is deserving of having “your head kicked in”. Anger needing of release Mr Jo Brown. Perhaps a welfare check on your spouse Mr. Jo “prone to violence” Jo Brown. Not my words. Your prediliction towards violence toward those you disagree with is palatable. YOU SAID SO. READ YOUR OWN WORDS. With great anticipation, waiting to read some more of you exposing your latent animus and tendencies towards violence. Of course, I risk being shot, beat, “head kicked in” for speaking against Dear Leader Jo Brown. Dear Leader? Yes!! Your obvious inclination towards violence toward someone whom’s “WORDS” alone causes you to desire violence towards that individual is palatable. Hmmmm. Trying to think…..kinda sounds like a muslim’s excuse for violence against those whose “WORDS” they disagree with. Waiting for some more illuminating dialogue. Fascinating.

          • Hahahaha! Can dish it, but can’t take it, aye?
            Don’t forget that it was you who said that people deserve the strong arm tactics of the government’s enforcers, so you’re the one who was promoting violence upon supposedly “deserving” people. I merely turned it around on you and suggested that people with attitudes like you deserve to get a taste of what you wish upon others. You might not think it so nice then. As indeed your whiny reply confirmed.

          • Muhammad Abbass | February 5, 2015 at 11:16 pm |

            You’d do well to read my reply. You were almost there but you miss the point when you presume to know the motives of people who say as Jeff did. There is where your entire argument collapses. I didn’t read any desire on Jeffs part for anybody to be harmed by anybody. He merely pointed out the well known and oft repeated idea that people get the governments they deserve. The point which is being made, is that it is up to us the people to change things if we’re not happy.

          • Muhammad Abbass | February 5, 2015 at 11:13 pm |

            Muslims cannot commit violence against someone they do not agree with. The actions and words of Wahhabis and Takfiris represent the corrupted 1% of Islam and the same segment which owes its existence to the Rothschild Banking Dynasty. The wealth and authority of the Saudis is entirely reliant upon US and Israeli patronage and if they didn’t have that the Muslims of the world would have gotten rid of those vile hateful rats a long time ago. The Saudis are in fact Jewish “converts” to Donmeh which isn’t real Islam but better described as Satanism. Yet these mongrels are presented as the face of Islam and the lying Zionist Western media carries the water for the lying corrupted governments as they spread propaganda and lies against Islam in a clear cut and transparent attempt to start a war between East and West. The eventual aim is to destroy Islam from within, because the Zionist/Satanic monster which has world domination within its grasp, knows that it’s only true adversary is Islam. Islam has aspects which are the antidote to Jewish suprematism and that includes the ban on Riba (interest) as well as the inflexible moral code which renders attempts to pervert and corrupt the society (as we have in the West) ineffective. Believe what you want but if you persist in merely repeating false propaganda on behalf of the same war pigs you no doubt loathe and oppose in your heart, then you are just the flip side of the coin to those vile idiots of ISIS who despite their supposed beliefs are in fact puppets of Washington and Zionism and being used to hurt all Muslims and Islam especially. Whether you’re a Western bigot buying into the nonsense which your own honest research could easily debunk, or a half baked Muslim Jihadi whose experience of Islam is mostly just exposure to extremist imams and even Western lies, both groups are in fact working towards the same ends and for the same people and both groups serve the devil.

  7. Be real, folks…. As soon as the judge sees the name” Vogel”, he will realize he’s a member of a protected species and will let it go. There is a double standard of justice in this country. Some pigs are more equal than other pigs.

  8. If you live in NY move! this place is a total police state as are most cites.. live in the a rural area where the cops do not revenue. At this point its a life and death decision.

  9. should of slit the pigs throat

    • Muhammad Abbass | February 4, 2015 at 10:22 pm | Reply

      Before or after the pig shot him? If before then the cop was justified and if after, then your concept of death is different from mine.

      • the dude was not shot in this instance, but cop needs his throat slit just because he is a thug

        • Muhammad Abbass | February 5, 2015 at 12:06 am | Reply

          Crikey you’re right. Sorry mate I was confused after reading another story of cops shooting a guy and his dog after he called them because his wife had been stabbed. I superimposed the one over the other by the time I got this far. I do agree completely that the cop deserves nothing less than execution and I am of the opinion that things have gone far enough that all cops should be fearing for their lives for real. You don’t decide not to go to war against an enemy state just because some of the people in it are not your enemies. There may be a few goods cops and a lot even who are not actively bad in their own right, but they are in the wrong team now that war needs to be declared.

          • No worries mate, I read that other story also , sad we just have to let everyone know we are paying attention and will win sooner then later. Be safe

  10. BellsNwhistles | February 4, 2015 at 7:05 am | Reply

    If Vogel just rides this one out with no help, that little knife will cost NY a million for jail time. The city could send Vogel to college for the cost of this useless arrest.

  11. My friend who is a suburban cop told me once that there are so many motor vehicle laws they could find a violation on every single person driving if they want to. Why doesn’t anyone ever run on getting rid of nonsense laws such as where it’s illegal to have ice cream in your back pocket (I read this somewhere)? But just like other areas they’ll keep passing laws while ignoring the current laws that don’t work either.

    • Muhammad Abbass | February 4, 2015 at 10:21 pm | Reply

      Easy question. Most politicians are lawyers. You know what makes lawyers anything except the most useless eaters on earth? LAWS.

  12. I was a cop when I was young and we were not after people for nothing. In the south, we don’t care about your pocket knife. Carry one you feel comfortable with. You can even wear a gun in a holster (if you are not a felon). Northern cities are really police states; (and they always portray the Southern cops as bullies). That is wrong. I see police shows and see the way people are treated and the little crap the cops look for in the north and I have to laugh. Don’t talk about the South. We are not that petty.

    • Muhammad Abbass | February 4, 2015 at 10:16 pm | Reply

      Sure, you never kill people or dogs or rape and steal from the public, that’s only the Northern cops. 🙂

  13. everyone thinks they are free, until they come up against the machine. then they find out the truth. i had $12,000 and my truck taken away from me after a traffic stop. they got around 4th amendment and searched my vehicle by lying and saying canine had indicated presence of contraband. dog indicated nothing, did nothing. no contraband found, no laws broken, but they took my property anyway. they were pissed (and i mean pissed!) that i had refused to allow them to search, so they showed me. land of the free? hahaha… that’s hilarious. and yes, virginia, ALL cops are bad.

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