Jack Thompson Sues Omaha Police Chief over Mall Rampage Records

December 28, 2007 -
Three weeks ago, a disturbed young man named Robert Hawkins killed eight people along with himself during a rampage at Omaha's Westroads Mall.

While most of those searching for a cause have focused on Hawkins' mental health history and troubled past, Miami attorney Jack Thompson sees a video game connection.

Of course.

Thompson contacted GamePolitics today to say that he was filing a lawsuit against Omaha Police Chief Thomas Warren (left) in regard to the case. Apparently the cops in Omaha haven't been impressed by Thompson's video game theories and the controversial attorney wants to force the issue. In his court filing, Thompson writes:
These [rampages] have occurred, in part... because of the advent of extremely violent interactive media (video games) consumed by adolescents and teens who use these murder simulation devices to rehearse and prepare for these murderous assaults.

Any particular game in mind, Jack?
Some of the Grand Theft Auto games, which are wildly popular among individuals such as Robert Hawkins,  feature what are known as “mall rampages” by which the player can rehearse, for hours on end, entering shopping malls and shooting at random individuals therein.

But, Jack, does this lawsuit mean that the Omaha police are not buying into your theory?
Anyone in law enforcement who does not understand or care to understand the direct causal link between violent video game play and these types of random killing events is living in a dream world...

[The] Police Chief of Omaha... refuses to provide to Thompson... the inventory list of items taken, by search warrant, from Robert Hawkins’ residence.

Thompson has served a written request, pursuant to Nebraska Statute 84-712, upon Police Chief Thomas Warren, and he refuses to comply with his legal duty, under Nebraska law, to provide the inventory.

Although it's not clear how, Thompson maintains that Chief Warren's refusal somehow puts others at risk:
In refusing to comply with the law, defendant Warren demonstrably puts at public safety risk residents of Nebraska and elsewhere... 

Thompson has also been interviewed concerning this suit by Omaha's KETV-7 for its 10PM news broadcast. GP has also heard from Ryan Miller, a vice-president with Gamers, a Midwest game retailer. Miller said that he, too, was interviewed by way of counterpoint.

Meanwhile, Thompson attempted to post a message regarding the lawsuit on the comments section of GamePolitics:
I am... well on my way to destroying [GTA publisher] Take-Two. Tonight’s broadcast is just part of the plan.

GP: We're a bit puzzled by Thompson's action since Nebraska's public records disclosure law appears to specifically exempt police investigation files. The following are not subject to public release according to the statute:
Records developed or received by law enforcement agencies and other public bodies with duties of investigation or examination when the records are part of the examination, investigation, intelligence information, citizen complaints, informant identification, or information used in law enforcement training. 

UPDATE: Thompson has advised GP that in place of the lawsuit he originally forwarded to us, he has filed a writ (MS Word format) with the Fourth District Court of Nebraska. His intent remains the same: to compel Chief Warren to reveal the results of the Hawkins search.

Comments

Thompson, being self important isn't the same as atcually being important.

There was never a video game that had school shootings before major school shootings happened and yet in Jack Thompsons mind a side mission by choice in GTA involving a mall caused this shooting.

@ MacBoy

It'd be even more funnier if Colbert put Thompson on the "Dead to Me" board.

Just when I was calming down after Mike *uckabee made a complete ass of himself by claiming that the number of illegal Pakistani immigrants to the US is second only to Mexican immigrants, when in fact they don't even rank in the top twenty, this crap comes along to damage my calm.

The stupidity points itself out here. The man is this much closer to getting disbarred. He's got nothing. Think about it, absolutely nothing. This may get to you, but in the end he won't succeed yet again. Take comfort in that.

Oh and a sidenote, I was upset by the Mike *uckabee thing because it was in the wake of Benazir Bhutto's assassination. A politicizing statement such as his in the wake of such a tragic event further seals this in my mind: He is not fit to be a national leader.

Looks like the massacre chaser is up to his old tricks

Wonderful! Spectacular! Genius! 5 Stars!

While Jack never ceases to amaze me, he just shot himself in the foot. His disbarment is pretty much assured. He could have waited it out, and maybe, just maybe, had a chance at a suspension and nothing more. Bravo Jackie.

YOU FAIL.

@ BOBBY

As Maddox would tell you, 7/16 of an inch is " the distance you'd have to move your pinky in order to not sound like an idiot". I will just tell you that it is a good way to make your comments down right unreadable.

@ Everyone

Sorry for trolling, but I like to read people's comment and caps lock is just downright unacceptable for that.

Um...hmm...er.....shit. I've got nothing. There simply isn't anything left to say about this fruitcake anymore.

Does he even have one iota of a case here?

The shooting took place in Omaha, Nebraska...

Thompson resides in Miami, Florida....

And unless I've mistaken something, he has no license (let alone right) to practice law in Nebraska.

That and the fact that he has no evidence to prove that the shooter played any video games and that he's blatantly ignoring the fact that the said shooter had a big record of mental illness.

But I guess at this point it can go without any saying... :/



No-no Jack... at the very least, fight smarter, not harder. It's like you're a school bully who punches the first person he sees every day.

But really, I don't know what I hope to achieve by saying that; Jack doesn't care and there is a 99.9% chance that he is doomed anyway. Not to bring up the belief stuff again, but trust me when I say he doesn't even have God's support in all this, despite whatever religious claims he may make. (As if it wasn't obvious given his consistent failure.) Really, as Penny Arcade has said, God is metal and brings those blue sparks in Mario Kart: Double Dash; he doesn't hate everyone on the planet like Jack seems to.

I should also say something more original while I'm here... hm...

How about this: If Jack was a Jedi, Darth Vader would be proud of his turn to The Dark Side.

@Waffles: You don't need to be a licensed lawyer to file a civil suit on your own behalf, and it seems like he's basically suing to make the PD comply with an information request. But, like GP said, it's an ongoing criminal investigation and police records are not public records in all instances.
@Jack, wherever you are: Determining what motivated the killings and how they were allowed to happen is police work. You're not a policeman. So stop telling the policemen how to do their job.

Anyone in law enforcement who does not understand or care to understand the direct causal link between violent video game play and these types of random killing events is living in a dream world of his or her own construction...


Anyone who believes in a direct causal link between violent video game play and these types of random killing events is living in a dream world of his or her own construction...

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

@playitbogort

These things are rare, it's just that the media just loves to leech off of them for weeks on end.

@Bobby
First off use caps locks

Secondly as much as I would hate to derail this topic into the race issue when did the arian brotherhood kkk or black panthers become a problem again? As far as I know most of them have disbanded or at the very least are so small they are no longer a threat.

@Immortal1982
I sincerely apologize for the error. Thanks for the clarification.

I'm taking 50:1 odds that Jack's lawsuit ends in success for him, and thats being generous.

Seriously, I'm taking those bets right now, and I will in fact pay those who take the bet. Anyone feeling brave?

if everyone will please excuse me its time to let the men in white coats know about their next "pick-up"

@gp

umm i wouldnt talk to jt anymore who know what kind of brain damage you might suffer if you listen long enough

@Tye (sorry for the double-post; I just couldn't resist)
Fox News (or Noise) might as well hire Thompson. One of their legal analysts, Mark Fhurman, dropped the N-bomb repeatedly during O.J. Simpson's 1995 trial, which I think led to his acquittal.

@ Bobby

Stop screaming.

@rukon

50:1 odds? Are you kidding I'd give it at least 100:1 odds unless he gives in out of fear and nothing more.

I think that the Omaha Police Department basically laughed at Jack Thompson when he brought up this GTA issue so now he wants to get revenge by trying to make the police chief look bad just like how he tries to get revenge on Take-Two because he did not get his way.

of course he waited this long, now the Omaha police can't file a bar complaint against him to be used as evidence in his current case.

@GP,
so when, exactly, does Thompson's continued attempts to bypass your bans become cyberstalking?

The omaha police chief is a tough cookie, I don't think he'll be easily bullied by the likes of JT.

I think we need to have a pole. How many people/companies will JBT attempt to sue in 2008 or before he gets disbarred. Enter your numbers please for 100 internets.

Note that Infinite is not acceptable

I'm sure this has been mentioned before, but we need to get someone on the air about this. We need to be able to show the public that Jack Thompson is a decitful, offensive person. We should really call him out on this stuff.
Clearly, the things that we know about Thompson is far different than what the mainstream public sees. We need to be able to show that the gaming culture can be positive towards american society and can be beneficial. It's how deaf people and Deaf culture got the mainstream eye when they marched at Galladuet university for the "Deaf President Now" movement.

Although it's not ALL about Thompson, we need to approach the public about him. It can't be done in a libel and slanderous way, but we can be the other perspective, the other part of that argument. I don't want to hear from a professor, I'd rather hear from a credible gamer on telivison who can provide a great arguement and point out things.

Our gamer initiative goes beyond Jack Thompson. We need to be able to show the public that we are credible and respectible people, restore our image that he has broken down and move beyond Jack Thompson and inform our public correctly. We should hold debates, speakings (people from the industry, credible psychologists, credible lawyers) that should focus on the legality, morality and design of videogames.

I have always had three questions about videogames and politics. I have no true answers to any of them. I think the answers, at least in part lie with the public opinion.

Within what boundaries are videogames legal? (This has been a nagging question of mine since discovering gamepolitics and reading about videogames bannings in the U.S., UK Austrailia, etc.)

Are videogames moral?

Is videogame design considered art?

I know a friend that I am going to talk to make videogames a central subject on a radio station in a small town. I want to see our rights supported much more strongly.

This is really getting fun, he just won't stop. I can't wait for the next installment!

The next time on Jack Thompson's legalass theatre...

I'll say that JBT will sue around 20 people/companies before he Gets disbarred. 100 internets please.

In all seriousness, the guy is loosing it, too many "assassination" attempts from gamers I guess...

I am looking forward to seeing what new situations Jack Thompson would come up with in 2008.

I hope that he has his own website where people could challenge him. THAT WOULD BE FUN.

I think Cidas has a good idea in getting someone out there on the air. I'm thinking the best way is to have the ECA groom and prepare someone specifically for tv appearances. I know they are located here in Connecticut, as are several readers here (I met one of our other readers in person yesterday actually). Maybe we could arrange tryouts or a contest to become an ECA spokesperson on tv, radio, etc?

is it libel to say someone is a liar if they are a liar? i mean, isn't that called the truth?

Oh wow. DoD and the police in a week. Who's next? The White House?

When there is no ambulance to chase, sue the ambulance company?

We at Gamers knew it would just be a matter of time before Jack Thompson would wail like a banshee and point an icy cold finger towards the video game industry over this tragic incident. I has not at all surprised when I received the call for the interview today from the local news to comment on Jack’s latest, frivolous escapade.
Gamers, Inc has been selling value video games in Omaha and across the Midwest for over 14 years. People here look to us as THE place to purchase new and used video games. Never has a local incident shocked the hearts, minds, and souls of so many Nebraskans as this recent shooting at the Von Maur store in the Westroads Mall. It is very disheartening that Jack Thompson would use this horrific, heartbreaking event to further his agenda.
Jack Thompson is trying to make the facts conform to his mission or “crusade” instead of having his mission conform to the facts of the matter.
-There is no causal link between video games and participating in real-world violent acts. For example ANY one who consumes alcohol heavily will experience an impairment regarding operating a motor vehicle. There is a causal link here. However not everyone who plays video games acts out violently. There is no causal link here.
-People do not train on video games anymore than I could train to be an attorney by playing the video game, Phoenix Wright, or could train to be a mob boss by watching the Sopranos.
-Video games are INTERACTIVE media. I am playing a GAME. Since I am interacting, I know it is not real.
-Since the advent of video games into mainstream, violent crimes have gone down. We believe this is due to people being able to act out their aggressions in the virtual world as opposed to the real world. If I ever have a rough day, I pop in Call of Duty 4 (game of choice at the moment) and finish my day refreshed.
- This killer had several issues with theft, drugs, isolation, and parental abandonment. With this large stack of issues, it seems futile to look at the shooter’s video game habits. What is next, finding out what this shooter ate? I see a much greater correlation between shootings and lack of parental restraints and supervision than with shootings and video games.

I wish that Jack would see this issue for what it really is and seek to find/ fix the true causes of these tragic events instead of trying to distort the facts to blame video games. If Jack wishes, he can contact me as I would love to explain to him how he is helping to create more incidents by allowing sub par parents to focus on a scapegoat in video games instead of examining their own parental shortcomings. Dennis has all my contact information.

I'm betting there was milk in the kids fridge. Why won't anyone believe me that there is a direct causal link between violence and milk? I bet if you could interview every sadistic murder ever recorded in history, milk figured into their lives at some point.

We've got to stop MILK!

Venzent you crazy fool, it's not the milk, its the TOILETS! Every single person in the industrialized world who has killed someone has used a toilet at some point in their lives! Further, ever person who has ever had CANCER in an industrialized world has used a toilet! We must stop praying to these porcelain gods and DESTROY them, for the good of us all!

Uh, I'm not a huge GTA player but I don't remember them having any shopping mall killing spree missions in the games. Someone please correct me if I am wrong, but it sounds to me to be nothing more than his usual lies pulled out of his ass. I guess it's just like Counter-Strike supposedly trained that person to chain the doors shut in his school despite there not being any option to do so in the game.

And with each story about him he gets more annoying.

Does anyone else find it odd that Jack Thompson intends on exposing the truth by impeding an official police investigation?!?

Another note I forgot to add. A large portion of our proceeds of all Wii Bundles sold this holiday season in Omaha are being donated by us (Gamers, Inc.) to the Von Maur Victim's Fund.

Yet another way that video games are helping others!

@Ryan "Ryno" Miller aka GamersRyno

All good points mate. Except.... well we ARE dealing with JBT here. N Ot exacly Man of the Year materal. All the other issues relating are not of interest to him after he heard (or even not heard but imagined) games. He is sueing for money and possibly for fame. He is trying to do to games what other lawyers did to big tobacco.

His normal rant includes his line about how "M" rated games are being sold to minors. ie Have to save the kiddies. Except he has shown that he does not much care for or about children. Only the games and the money they can bring him.

While I admire your desire to speak with consider his statement when attempting to sue for the records.

"Anyone in law enforcement who does not understand or care to understand the direct causal link between violent video game play and these types of random killing events is living in a dream world of his or her own construction…"

Megalomania at its finest. He is right the rest of the world (those that do not agree with him or admit he is right) is wrong. Besides you are a gamer and according to JBT sub-human at best and not worthy of his time.

@ Rukon Zappa

I would love to be the first to volunteer for the position of ECA spokesperson! In fact, I was talking with Hal about it at the VGXpo last October as I have a degree in Mass Communication, I'm articulate and have an excellent speaking voice. Personally I was thinking more in the direction of voiceovers for any commercials or PSA's they might want to do, but a spokesperson position sounds great too. And even though CT is a few states away from me, it would be worth the trip to audition.

@ Black Manta

I would vote for/support you as spokesman. Hell you have been in the same room and within striking distance of JBT and he can still walk (and sue) Only I wonder, JBT has proven not to hear anything he does not .want to so would it be worth the effort?

In Vice City there was a Mall mission. So Jack is tecnicaly right that you get to shoot up a mall. As I recall though, the Mall was stock full of Cops and it was a side mission so you had to choose to do it.

@Cheese

I am betting 16 on that one. He can do just that much damage before he has to convince someone else to do it for him.

people die of natural causes and accidents everyday. where is Jack's accident?

Vice City had a shopping mall in it.

Yes, Vice City had a mall in it. But 1) I don't think you are compelled to shoot everyone in the mall, and 2) the argument would have a lot more weight if JT didn't say that EVERY high-profile crime can be rehearsed in GTA.

@ neoSpider

Sorry if it seems like I am yelling. All caps is a military format in which I am use to. If you read maddox's book, he goes on to say that even though all caps seems like yelling, it is a lot easier to read.

@ Father Time
Are you from Mississippi? I would think not. Also ask the people in illinous and california. I am sure they would tell you other wise. Just because they don't show it on tv, doesn't mean it's not arround.

@ MacBoy
Please don't use mac in your name. Apple is well known for not supporting third party aps and video games. A lot of these guys are pc gamers, and hate the very thought of owning a mac because of that.


This is an analogy the way I see it.

JT: Those shoes are uncomfortable.
Me: Excuse me!
JT: Those shoes are uncomfortable.
Me: No they're not.
JT: Yes they are.
Me: Have you ever worn these shoes.
JT: No.
Me: Then how do you know.
JT: I’m an EXPERT.

Is that better.

If I had to guess, Jack Thompson is referring to Rockstar Games', the publishing division of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., video game State of Emergency. The first level of this game contains chaotic scenes in a mall setting. This game came out in 2002, though.
I have played this game myself. I have not since been inclined to engage in a mall shooting whatsoever nor do I feel better trained to conduct a mass shooting in a mall. I am sure the vast majority of those who purchased this title are the same.
This Christmas I played Guitar Hero 3 on the Xbox 360. I then attempted to play a real guitar immediately after (no joke). Let's just say I will be sticking to Guitar Hero. My real guitar playing skills are no better than Yoko Ono's singing skills (sorry to offend anyone). I suppose Guitar Hero failed to train me.
Well I am off to play Sim City in the hopes that it will train me to be mayor of Candyland (come on, who wouldn't like that job)!

Hey, jacko, three words for you:

JUST

F***

OFF!

Hey, wanna lump Call of Duty 4 into this "conspiracy"!? If thats the case, i am very well fucking trained, so just send me off to Iraq and i will have Osamas head on a spit by morning! Im saying this also in response to his attacks on "modern themed" fps's.

In case you didnt get the message before, let me say it again:

JUST

F***

OFF!

Now that i have come back to my senses, people, its high time we fight back against this dipshit and others like him! Hees wasting our time, his own time (like he cares), and ultimately THE COURTS TIME! Every time he brings this bullshit up, its another murderer on the loose, another woman raped, and another child sodomized! In the time he wastes, he keeps another criminal out of jail, or another pedophile on the streets! This has gotten to the point where he is grasping at straws! Hees finding every excuse to stir up the hive, so i will address my fellow gamers! People, THE TIME TO FIGHT BACK IS NOW!
(dont take what i said at face value, but realise the main point, please. i dont mean to stir up trouble)

Now Thompson messing with things in the state I live in... good friggin lord...
 
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MaskedPixelanteNumber 3: Night Dive was brought to the attention of the public by a massive game recovery, and yet most of their released catalogue consists of games that other people did the hard work of getting re-released.04/17/2014 - 8:46pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 2: If Humongous Entertainment wanted their stuff on Steam, why didn't they talk to their parent company, which does have a number of games published on Steam?04/17/2014 - 8:45pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 1: When Night Dive spent the better part of a year teasing the return of true classics, having their big content dump be edutainment is kind of a kick in the stomach.04/17/2014 - 8:44pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.giantbomb.com/articles/jeff-gerstmann-heads-to-new-york-takes-questions/1100-4900/ He talks about the future games press and the games industry. It is worth your time even though it is a bit long, and stay for the QA. There are some good QA04/17/2014 - 5:28pm
IanCErm so they shouldn't sell edutainment at all? Why?04/17/2014 - 4:42pm
MaskedPixelanteNot that linkable, go onto Steam and there's stuff like Pajama Sam on the front-page, courtesy of Night Dive.04/17/2014 - 4:13pm
Andrew EisenOkay, again, please, please, PLEASE get in a habit of linking to whatever you're talking about.04/17/2014 - 4:05pm
MaskedPixelanteAnother round of Night Dive teasing and promising turns out to be stupid edutainment games. Thanks for wasting all our time, guys. See you never.04/17/2014 - 3:44pm
Matthew WilsonAgain the consequences were not only foreseeable, but very likely. anyone who understood supply demand curvs knew that was going to happen. SF has been a econ/trade hub for the last hundred years.04/17/2014 - 2:45pm
Andrew EisenMixedPixelante - Would you like to expand on that?04/17/2014 - 2:43pm
MaskedPixelanteWell, I am officially done with Night Dive Studios. Unless they can bring something worthwhile back, I'm never buying another game from them.04/17/2014 - 2:29pm
PHX Corphttp://www.msnbc.com/ronan-farrow/watch/video-games-continue-to-break-the-mold-229561923638 Ronan Farrow Daily on Video games breaking the mold04/17/2014 - 2:13pm
NeenekoAh yes, because by building something nice they were just asking for people to come push them out. Consequences are protested all the time when other people are implementing them.04/17/2014 - 2:06pm
Matthew Wilsonok than they should not protest when the consequences of that choice occur.04/17/2014 - 1:06pm
NeenekoIf people want tall buildings, plenty of other cities with them. Part of freedom and markets is communities deciding what they do and do not want built in their collective space.04/17/2014 - 12:55pm
Sora-ChanI realize that they have ways getting around it, but one reason might be due to earthquakes.04/17/2014 - 4:42am
Matthew WilsonSF is a tech/ economic/ trade center it should be mostly tail building. this whole problem is because of the lack of tail buildings. How would having tail apartment buildings destroy SF? having tail buildings has not runed other cities around the US/world04/16/2014 - 10:51pm
Matthew WilsonAgain the issue is you can not build upwards anywhere in SF at the moment, and no you would not. You would bring prices to where they should have been before the market distortion. those prices are not economic or socially healthy.04/16/2014 - 10:46pm
ZippyDSMleeYou still wind up pushing people out of the non high rise aeras but tis least damage you can do all things considered.04/16/2014 - 10:26pm
ZippyDSMleeANd by mindlessly building upward you make it like every place else hurting property prices,ect,ect. You'll have to slowly segment the region into aeras where you will never build upward then alow some aeras to build upward.04/16/2014 - 10:25pm
 

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