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David Griffith

David Griffith

David Griffith has been editor of POLICE Magazine since December 2001. He brings more than 25 years of experience on magazines and newspapers to POLICE. A Maggie award-winning journalist, his byline has appeared on hundreds of articles in POLICE and other national magazines.

Melanie Basich

Melanie Basich

Managing Editor Melanie Basich joined POLICE Magazine in 2000 (when her last name was still Hamilton). An award-winning journalist, she has covered such topics as agency budgets, officer suicide, emerging law enforcement technologies, and active shooter tactics. She writes and manages the product section of POLICE.

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Editor's Notes

'Genius' Arrested at Boston Airport Wearing Fake Bomb 'Art'

September 21, 2007  |  by - Also by this author

I'm sure you've heard about this one. It's burning up the Net today. But I just had to comment on it.

Massachusetts State Police arrested a 19-year-old MIT student earlier this morning and charged her with disturbing the peace and possessing a hoax device. Here's what Star Simpson reportedly decided was an artistic masterpiece that she had to share with the world.

According to official reports, she went to Logan Airport—departure point for two of the 9/11 flights—wearing a black hooded sweatshirt accessorized with a flashing circuit board attached by visible wires to some Play-Doh, which probably looked an awful lot like C-4.

State Police Maj. Scott Pare told a gathering of reporters that Simpson saw the bomb rig as art. "She was proud of the art and she wanted to display it," he said.

Simpson was stopped outside Terminal C when her "suicide bomber" rig caught the eye of an information booth staffer who called the cops.

A group of State Police troopers, some armed with subguns, confronted her on a traffic island outside of the terminal.

"She was immediately told to stop, to raise her hands, and not to make any movement," Pare said at the press conference. "Had she not followed the protocol, we might have used deadly force."

Major, I'm glad you didn't have to shoot this girl. But um…if she had been a suicide bomber, then your agency's protocol would have just resulted in a lot of severed limbs, shrapnel wounds, flail chests, burning cars, shattered glass, and other really colorful "art."

To be fair, your officers did a good job of stopping her outside of the terminal.

But their actions afterward show how ill prepared we are as a nation to counter the waves of suicide bombers that are sure to be detonating soon at movie theaters, restaurants, grocery stores, and shopping malls near you.

Your protocol begs the question, What would your officers have done if she had made a move? You say they "might" have used deadly force. I hope you really mean that they would have.

And BTW, if she had been a real suicide bomber, commands of "Don't move!" won't work. By the time an officer says "don't," he and everyone nearby will be dead or dying.

Like I said, I'm glad your men didn't have to kill this young woman. It sounds like she did a really stupid thing but did so without malice.

But anyone who thinks that a suicide bomber costume is appropriate apparel for a trip to the airport, should think again. After the first Palestinian-style suicide bomber hits in America, someone wearing "bomb" components for art had better plan on exiting this world as a Jackson Pollock splash of brains and blood on a nearby wall because our nation's cops will have to be strong enough and mean enough to double-tap first, ask questions later.

If that's not enough to darken your dreams, ladies and gentlemen, consider this: Our "artiste" reportedly rode the subway to Logan. It's unknown if she wore her "bomb" on the way. But if she did, that speaks volumes about how vulnerable we are to jihadists who want to meet Allah after being blown to pieces by their own hand.

Have a good weekend.

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