Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Celebrating Independence Day in Marshalltown

A letter to the editor (lacking some editing skills by both the writer and editor) describes an incident in Marshalltown, IA during Independence Day celebrations this year.
About 9 p.m. Fourth of July evening, my daughter, her son and grandson, were at her brother's home, they had been invited to watch the fireworks with him and his two sons. It could be seen clearly from where he lived on the east side of town. My daughter was sitting on the ledge of the flower bed attached to his house. The sidewalk was almost against the wall of the ledge.
Sounds like an innocent place to watch a fireworks display.
All of a sudden, a white truck stopped in the middle of the street, two guys went running up to her flashed something in her face and quickly stuck it in their pockets, and said, "I'm a cop, your coming with us." She asked what for, and they said for drinking on public property. She did have a can of beer sitting beside her on the ledge.
Uh, oh, a can of beer. I may have missed it, but didn't Prohibition get repealed a few years ago?
She said I'm on private property. They said she was on the sidewalk because her legs were dangling down from where she was sitting.
That's a pretty strict interpretation there.
Her brother told them he lived there and it's private property. He was told to shut up or he'll get arrested too. My daughter asked to see their badges because she didn't get to see it before. They told her son and nephew, they were going to too.
And since they were driving a pickup, they could have hauled them all away.
Her brother said her was going to call the real cops and went into his house. My daughter thought it might be a gag, that she was being "punked" so she badge a third time and was ignored a third time. The guys started getting loud, and my daughter got scared. She was afraid they would start beating on them like you see on the news or even taser them. She was afraid to ask for their badge again, or they would charge her with resisting arrest too. So, she said "I'll go with you, but I wasn't on the sidewalk."
The woman gave in to the fear and intimidation tactics. Luckily, some smarter LEOs showed up:
They were searching for cuffs when the city police officers arrived. They all talked for a few minutes and the two guys and city officers left. My daughter was not arrested. Thank the lord her brother called 911.
But the author had to bring a little swipe at Arizona:
They were watching the celebration of what our county had won, freedom and liberty, and those two rough cops were set to take her away. That is a perfect example of what can happen with the law in Arizona that will give a reason to say where are your papers. By the way, we are white citizens whose ancestors have been in the country since the 16th century.
Cops don't need a law in Arizona to act like this, I've seen it several times in my life. I've also been privileged to know some fine LEOs as well.

Unfortunate Fourth incident

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