America, I love you but some of your police actions are not helping you. Today I read about police officers in plain clothes grabbing people off the streets, putting them into unmarked vans, and driving away. How is that any different from a kidnapping? And, more to the point, how is the average citizen supposed to know the difference?
I have so many questions about this that it is hard to know where to begin. However, let’s start with the notion that they are trying to prevent crime before it happens. This seems to this onlooker to be quite bizarre. The police, no matter how clever, are not clairvoyant. They cannot possibly know what is in someone’s mind or what their intentions are simply judging from their appearance. In any case, arresting someone who has not committed a crime is surely illegal. If it isn’t, it ought to be.
One likely outcome from this kind of action is that potential kidnappers will now have a fine example of an effective procedure. Never mind coaxing children with candy or sweet-talking young women. Just grab them in daylight in full view of the public, shove them into a van, and say you are a police officer. Who could argue with that now?
I also read today that libraries in Nevada’s Douglas County were planning to publish a statement in support of diversity and inclusion. That seems perfectly fine to me but apparently it did not seem fine to the Tahoe sheriff. He wrote to the librarians to say: “Due to your support of Black Lives Matter and the obvious lack of support or trust with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, please do not feel the need to call 911 for help. I wish you good luck with disturbances and lewd behavior.”
That took my breath away. Wow. It takes a serious twist of logic to connect those dots.
Can a sheriff threaten to withhold policing services for political reasons? Is that legal? Apparently, the threat was sufficient for the librarians to cancel the meeting at which the statement was to have been discussed. And that, my friends, is more troubling than I can say.
In a nutshell, then, we have police kidnapping people at will and we have a sheriff threatening to withdraw services from people whose views he dislikes. Those actions sound like despotism to me.