May 26, 2010

SEIU Thugs’ Protective Blue Line

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 3:10 pm

SEIUpurplePeopleBeaters(Image found at PurplePeopleBeaters.com)

If the goal of law enforcement officials in America is to breed disrespect among the law-abiding for what they do, they could hardly do better than remain silent  about what District of Columbia police allegedly did on Sunday, May 16 to assist the goon squad formally known as the Service Employees International Union.

Before getting to the question of police involvement, the incident itself is deeply offensive. As reported by Nina Easton at CNNMoney.com (HTs to BigGovernment.com and Flopping Aces):

Last Sunday, on a peaceful, sun-crisp afternoon, our toddler finally napping upstairs, my front yard exploded with 500 screaming, placard-waving strangers on a mission to intimidate my neighbor, Greg Baer. Baer is deputy general counsel for corporate law at Bank of America, a senior executive based in Washington, D.C. And that — in the minds of the organizers at the politically influential Service Employees International Union and a Chicago outfit called National Political Action — makes his family fair game.

Waving signs denouncing bank “greed,” hordes of invaders poured out of 14 school buses, up Baer’s steps, and onto his front porch. As bullhorns rattled with stories of debtor calls and foreclosed homes, Baer’s teenage son Jack — alone in the house — locked himself in the bathroom. “When are they going to leave?” Jack pleaded when I called to check on him.

Baer, on his way home from a Little League game, parked his car around the corner, called the police, and made a quick calculation to leave his younger son behind while he tried to rescue his increasingly distressed teen.

… Now this event would accurately be called a “protest” if it were taking place at, say, a bank or the U.S. Capitol. But when hundreds of loud and angry strangers are descending on your family, your children, and your home, a more apt description of this assemblage would be “mob.” Intimidation was the whole point of this exercise, and it worked-even on the police. A trio of officers who belatedly answered our calls confessed a fear that arrests might “incite” these trespassers.

… After Baer’s house, the 14 buses left to descend on the nearby residence of Peter Scher, a government relations executive.

… The rest of the message these protesters brought was personal-aimed at frightening Baer and his family, not influencing a broader public.

… A lifelong Democrat, Baer worked for the Clinton Treasury Department, and his wife, Shirley Sagawa, author of the book The American Way to Change and a former adviser to Hillary Clinton, is a prominent national service advocate.

The blogosphere has mostly overlooked the liberal Democrat pedigree of the target. But you can take it to the bank, so to speak, that folks on Wall Street noticed, and that incidents such as these have contributed to their currently icy relationship with the Obama administration. It’s no coincidence that, as John Hellemann recently wrote at New York Magazine, “The speed and severity of the swing from enchantment to enmity would be difficult to overstate.”

The lesson is that nobody is safe from this Gangster Government — a term first coined last year by Michael Barone as Obama administration bullies in suits were intimidating certain disfavored creditors of bankrupt Chrysler Corporation — when its thugs select their targets. Party loyalty won’t spare you if you’re seen as being in the way.

A further lesson may be that said thugs will arrive with their own public employee protection.

“The police” whom Easton noted as responding to the incident were from Montgomery County, Maryland. What she missed, but others including Archy Cary at BigJournalism.com are alleging, was that another police department was already there (bolds are mine):

At least two Metropolitan Police Department units from the nearby District of Columbia were already at the scene when they (Montgomery County cops) arrived.

Why? Because police cars attached to the Washington MPD’s Civil Disturbance Unit had escorted the SEIU protesters’ buses to Baer’s home. Such cross-jurisdictional escort activity is not uncommon for both departments according to (Montgomery County spokesperson) Dan Friz and Metro Police Department spokesperson Officer Eric Frost. Still, the District police did not inform their colleagues of what was about to happen in one of their Maryland neighborhoods.

The primary role of the Washington cops in this event was to protect the protesters. The D.C. officers had no authority to act to disperse the protesters even had the homeowner been present and asked them to vacate the private property.

… the District police don’t have any authority to enforce Montgomery County laws.

Had the mob decided to torch the house, the D.C. police would not have been authorized to intervene. Not their jurisdiction. They’re just escorts.

In updates at a Washington Examiner editorial, the DC Fraternal Order of Police is denying that its members were involved in protection at the protest site, while the DC Metro Police Department is saying that their escort service ended at the DC-Maryland boundary.

Cary at BigJournalism.com is sticking to his story:

Two police departments offer varying accounts of the involvement of the Metropolitan Police Department in the SEIU protest at the home of the B of A executive.

… The MCPD (Montgomery County Police Department) states, through its spokesperson, that when its four patrol units arrived on scene at the private residence, at least two D.C. units were already present.

The FOP’s and Metro Police’s limiting assertions, even if true, are far from fully comforting. What self-respecting police agency in its right mind would agree to perform this kind of “service,” even if only within its home territory (even if compensated, about which nothing that I know of has surfaced)?

It’s one thing to hire off-duty cops to protect property or otherwise provide security at private businesses. It’s quite another to provide protection in another jurisdiction (or even part of the way on their journey) to a group whose obvious intent to use extralegal means to assert its influence. A police protective presence or involvement could be seen by the targets of such actions as indicating that they will find no refuge in the law. Maybe that’s the point.

One might expect that other police departments would be expressing outrage at how willingly DC cops appear to have sacrificed their integrity. It may be out there, but I haven’t seen it.

If police departments won’t police themselves, perhaps it’s time for city councils and county governments to do it for them by passing laws strictly limiting the scope of activities permitted to use police resources, especially when they involve crossing jurisdictions.

There already is a financial pushback underway against the excessive costs of basic county and municipal services. Nothing will accelerate this trend faster than the majority of citizens concluding that the cops are spending their time giving cover to mobs of fellow public employees instead of protecting the public.

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6 Comments

  1. Speaking of police not doing their job, I heard that either some Arizona police officers or some higher-up police officials (I missed that part of it) are complaining about the Arizona law. Apparently, they trying to make the case that the law “diverts” attention from fighting crime because it “requires” officers to investigate peoples immigration status. This makes me want to puke.

    First of all, last time I checked, entering our country illegally is a crime. So fighting illegal immigration and fighting crime is the same thing. Second, what rock have these people been under? Illegal immigration has brought a hell of a lot of crime (not to mention drugs) into the country. I wonder how those Americans who live near the nightmare that is the border feel hearing that their situation is not worthy of the cops attention. Hell, many of the illegals themselves are victimized and abused by their smugglers. That sure sounds like a hell of a lot of crime going on to me.

    As for the “require” part, I guess along with our Attorney General and our Department of Homeland Security head, we can categorize Arizona law officials as people who should have been among the first to read the bill but have not got around to it. (Seriously, has anyone besides conservative pundits and the conservative blogosphere read the thing?) It does not “require” officers to do squat. It *authorizes* them (big difference, folks) to investigate further if they *personally* have come to the conclusion that reasonable suspicion exists that someone(s) who they have come into lawful contact with is an illegal.
    And seriously, how much time does it take for a policeperson and/or department to do a basic background check on a suspected illegal? We’re not talking a six-month investigation here for crying out loud.

    Sheesh.

    Comment by zf — May 26, 2010 @ 8:32 pm

  2. #1, What I think most of them are really saying (unfortunately, in context of the above) is that they are afraid of becoming personal (and family) targets if they do what they’re supposed to do.

    While I sympathize, it’s not a popularity contest, and someone’s got to stand up. The real answer is that if every cop does his or her job, there would be too many targets for the thugs to go after — and the thugs themselves.

    Comment by TBlumer — May 27, 2010 @ 5:38 am

  3. I have a former brother-in-law who is a sheriff, and if one of his officers said that, he’d either demote them or toss them out. That’s like a fireman saying he or she will only fight small fires, because, gosh golly, they might be burned fighting larger fires.

    Anyway, I saw those comments on the tail end of a news ticker and did not see the concern you mentioned listed as a reason. And is investigating illegals really going to subject the cop to more personal threats more so than going after murders, rapists, gangs, etc? The line of argument you mentioned could be used to justify police not going after virtually any type of criminal. ‘Murderers tend to be vindictive, so we’re not going to go after them anymore. They might go after me after they serve their sentence or send someone after me while in jail.’

    Comment by zf — May 27, 2010 @ 11:35 am

  4. #3, Esp in light of the points you made, I agree that my comment cut the refusenik cops way too much slack.

    Comment by TBlumer — May 27, 2010 @ 12:33 pm

  5. [...] drafted it to give the council’s victims no meaningful legal recourse. The SEIU’s “purple people beaters” will then be able to move on to other targets, as their “services” in the cause of [...]

    Pingback by What Does the Government Control? More of Almost Everything « CWN – Conservative Watch News — June 1, 2010 @ 2:08 pm

  6. [...] it to give the Council’s victims no meaningful legal recourse. The SEIU’s “purple people beaters” will then be able to move on to other targets, as their “services” in the cause [...]

    Pingback by BizzyBlog — June 3, 2010 @ 11:52 am

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