Man tells deputies aiming a banana was stunt; he’s jailed, anyway

Nathan Channing

Two deputies with the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Fruitvale man Sunday who they initially thought had threatened them with a gun.

Call it, instead, a case of drive-by fruiting.

The man was pointing a banana at them.

The deputies, Joshua Bunch and Donald Love, said they feared for their safety when the man, 27-year-old Nathan Rolf Channing, pointed a banana at them while crossing the 29 Road bridge on foot, according to Channing’s arrest affidavit.

Both deputies said they saw that the “gun” was yellow, but feared for their lives nonetheless, the affidavit says.

“I immediately ducked in my patrol car and accelerated continuing northbound, fearing that it was a weapon,” Bunch wrote in the affidavit, which lists Love and him as victims. “Based on training and experience, I have seen handguns in many shapes and colors and perceived this to be a handgun.”

What started as a joke, however, had the potential to turn deadly, the affidavit says.

“Deputy Love stated that he was in fear of his life at this point and was in the process of pulling out his handgun when Nathan yelled, ‘It’s a banana!’ ” Bunch wrote.

Channing told the deputies he is a stand-up comedian and was doing a trial run for a planned YouTube video, something he said he did often, because he thought it would be funny.

A search of YouTube turned up no prior comedy stunts by Channing, but it did show a video of him performing on the guitar that was recorded in February on Colorado Mesa University TV.

The banana incident was not recorded, Channing told the deputies.

“I informed Nathan there were multiple cars in the area and he did not point anything in their direction, but only in our direction,” Bunch wrote in the affidavit. “Nathan’s only explanation for pointing the banana at law enforcement was it was a joke to post on the Internet that was not recorded. Nathan explained that he thought it would, ‘lighten the holiday spirit.’”

The deputies, however, said in the affidavit they didn’t find the incident at all funny, saying, “Nathan by physical action, knowingly placed Deputy Love and I in imminent fear by use of an article fashioned in the manner to cause us to reasonably believe it was a deadly weapon.”

They jailed Channing on suspicion of felony menacing, a Class 5 felony punishable by up to three years in jail and a $100,000 fine.


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PART 1. Nobody is covered with glory in this story. Let’s look at it.
Apparently the alleged “perp” is too ignorant to understand that the USSA has become a full-fledged police state in which pointing a banana at a cop is a “crime” potentially punishable by summary execution.
On the cops’ side, many of the “contacts” they deal with are irrational low lifes who, at best, are behaviorally problematic, and, at worst, from potentially dangerous to an outright clear and present danger to life and limb. So, reasonable “salt of the Earth” citizens should (and do) cut law enforcement considerable slack on that point.
The problem with Donald Love saying he “was in fear of his life” is that, like the little boy who cried “Wolf!”, that is what all cops will cheerfully lie about to justify whatever anti-constitution actions they want to justify. If they tell the whole truth, they’ll most likely get thrown under the political bus.
Too few citizens understand that cops are trained to lie about threshhold probable cause. If they don’t, they don’t have a case. It’s called “testilying”. It’s usually used to turn an inarticulable hunch into a “reasonable suspicion” or “probable cause”. Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz wrote about it in his book “The Best Defense”.
There have been too many cases where an innocent “perp” was killed in a hail of scores of bullets because cops SAID they thought the “perps” wallet – (which he was pulling out of his pocket to show ID as the police had demanded) – was a gun and they feared for their lives. The “in fear of my life” card is the law-enforcement equivalent of the “race card”. It works virtually every time to instantly halt all logic-based discussion about the constitutionality of the behavior at issue.
Also on the cops’ side is the fact that, as we speak, black racists are looting and burning in Ferguson, Missouri because a white cop who probably legitimately feared for his life shot a huge black bully/thug who was physically attacking him. Meanwhile, there is little or no protesting over Eric Garner, a genuine victim who was “dog piled” by a gang of NYPD and choked to death. Go figure.
It seems like this case comes down to cops’ “obey or die” primacy-of-the-police-state training. This case is not about the deputies in question fearing for their lives, because in my opinion that claim is merely a strategically worded manipulation designed to maximize the chances that a jury would convict the accused. The REAL question is: would a reasonable person believe their life was in danger just because someone pointed a banana at him or her? The answer to that question is obviously “No”. So where that leaves us is with the question: what is there about police training that causes trained, armed officers to be more afraid for their lives than an ordinary reasonable “common man” on the street?

PART 2. For me (at least), the beef in this case is too thin. If it is a crime to point a banana at the police, next it will be a crime to point your finger at them, or stick your tongue out at them. That a dangerous slippery slope to start down.
If I were on the jury, I would acquit the accused for the simple reason that it is not reasonable to feel in “imminent” fear of your life just because another person points what is obviously a banana at you. As I said, if you do feel in fear of your life under that situation, there was something very, VERY wrong about the training you received to become a certified police officer. And that deficiency needs to be addressed and corrected immediately.
For me, such a deficiency is logically inferred by cops so frequently lying about whether or not it is legal to film them in public places doing their jobs. According to the ACLU, it is perfectly legal in all 50 states, yet cops very frequently lie about that, falsely charging people with “disorderly” or “obstructing” or “interfering” in situations where the “perp” was only trying to make a record of what actually happened so cops couldn’t lie about it later.
In my opinion, any cop who will arrest you for merely pointing a banana at him will most likely help the federal agencies if they decide to conduct house-to-house raids confiscating guns.
Call me a conspiracy theorist if you like, but, in view of the ongoing currency collapse, the bursting of the global debt bubble, combined with the mathematical fraud of ObamaCare, I believe this case is most likely a strategic trial balloon to see how much police-state BS the desensitized general citizenry will tolerate at this particular point in time. If pointing a banana (or your finger) at a cop has become a crime in the USSA, the logical inference is that the alleged crime it is SOLELY a “thought crime”. According to the 1st Amendment – which means nothing because the U.S. Constitution has already been killed deader than a doornail by the fraudulent so-called “war on drugs” – thought crimes cannot exist under our constitutionally-limited-republic form of government.
In any free society – (which the USSA no longer is) – there must of necessity be a bright, inviolate line between ACTION and THOUGHT/SPEECH. The former is the legitimate concern/provence of government. Thanks to the 1st Amendment, the latter is a private matter and none of the government’s business. The parameters of said doctrine are laid out in such U.S. Supreme Court decisions as Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444 (1969)  and Yates v. United States, 354 U.S. 298 (1957).
Bad cases make bad law. Do I think Nathan Channing is guilty of incredibly poor judgment and bad manners? Yes. Do I believe he committed a crime? No. The political health of Mesa County will be indicated by a the decision of a Mesa County jury if the case gets that far.

Not Freida Cook:  Am a relative - Patrick Rodgers -  Wow, I wonder if there is not any real crime or criminals in Grand Junction when seeing this kind of arrest.  Felony menacing with a bananna, good luck convincing a Jury on that one.  Sounds more like the suspect might have had an attitude problem when contacted by the deputies and was arrested for “Contempt of Cop.” Be interesting to see if the District Attorney has the male body parts to take this case to trial?

PART 3. I suspect that cops are being trained to view the general public as “domestic terrorists” merely for dissenting against the debt-as-money central banksters flagrant crimes against humanity. Arresting a person for pointing a banana would seem to constitute evidence of that kind of inappropriate training. That is why some of us tried to elect a constitution-friendly sheriff here in Mesa County instead of a sheriff who lets his deputies arrest people for pointing bananas.
Here are a few censored books which tell a history the 1% establishment doesn’t want you to know:
1. The Phoenix Program, by Douglas Valentine
“Take heed, reader: Phoenix has come to define modern American warfare, as well as its internal “homeland security” apparatus. Indeed, it is with the Phoenix program, that we find the genesis of the para-militarization of American police forces, in their role as adjuncts to the military and police security forces engaged in population control and suppression of dissent.”
2. The Lords of Creation: The History of America’s 1%, by Frederick Lewis Allen
3. Blowback: America’s Recruitment of Nazis and Its Effects on the Cold War (1st Edition), by Christopher Simpson
4. The hidden history of the Korean War, 1950-1951 (A Nonconformist history of our times), by I.F. Stone
5. Underground To Palestine, by I.F. Stone
6. Dupont Dynasty: Behind the Nylon Curtain, by Gerard Colby

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