(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.
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.