The ABCs Of The Surveillance State: Six Gun Toting Alcohol Agents Pounce On College Kid Buying Bottled Water [Corrected]

By Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

The Offending Contraband That Almost Got A UVa Student Shot
The Offending Contraband That Almost Got A UVa Student Shot

University of Virginia student Elizabeth Daly thought she was doing a good thing buying some La Croix bottled water and cookie dough ice cream from the Harris Teeter Supermarket to share at a charity event.  It was 10:15 p.m. and the twenty-year-old, along with her female roommate were trying get to a police sponsored “Take Back The Night” event where she thought  she would be listening to stories from sexual assault victims and developing strategies to combat the scourge of most college towns. Instead, as she crossed the dark parking lot and got into her vehicle, she was set upon by six people, one of whom jumped on the hood of her SUV and another who pulled a gun.

“I couldn’t put my windows down unless I started my car, and when I started my car they began yelling to not move the car, not to start the car. They began trying to break the windows. My roommates and I were … terrified,” Daly stated. Not wanting to become a victim herself, Daly heeded the words of her panic-stricken front seat passenger and took off.  As she did, she grazed two of the assailants.

“They were showing unidentifiable badges after they approached us, but we became frightened, as they were not in anything close to a uniform,” she recalled Thursday in a written account of the April 11 incident.

Those badges were from the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and the marauding plain clothes officers were bound and determined to stop the women from underage drinking of  purported alcohol, a misdemeanor.  Apparently, the Keystone cops mistook the blue packaged LaCroix water for something like Labatts beer and  the assault on the citizen was on. Feeling guns were appropriate against this gang of college kids, the agents were reminiscent of another infamous and recent Virginia misdemeanor stop where a panicked female driver was shot and killed while fleeing from an overzealous cop with a penchant for overusing his service revolver.  In a  story that we covered on the blog (here), Culpeper police officer, Daniel Harmon-Wright, was sentenced to  three (3) years in prison by a jury for voluntary manslaughter after he fired 5 times into Patricia Ann Cook’s slow rolling SUV as she left a church parking lot on a supposed misdemeanor arrest for trespass.

Ms. Daly did stop her SUV in response to another ABC agent who approached in his car with lights and siren blaring. Showing an utter lack of common sense, she was booked on three felony charges including two of  assaulting these jacklegs and one counting of trying to elude them. She spent the night and into the next day  in the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail.

Fortunately for Daly, Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney, Dave Chapman, is a grown-up with 34 years of prosecuting under his belt. He immediately dropped the charges and profusely apologized to the rattled young lady. “It wouldn’t be the right thing to do to prosecute this,” he said, noting that no one was hurt during the exchange.

Chapman did however take a preemptive swipe against a possible civil lawsuit that he knows is coming. Standing by the agents’ decision to file charges, and citing faith in a process that yielded an appropriate resolution, he told the Richmond Times-Dispatch newspaper, “You don’t know all the facts until you complete the investigation.”

True enough, unless you were there — like  all six of the ABC agents.

“This has been an extremely trying experience,” Daly wrote. “It is something to this day I cannot understand or believe has come to this point.”  Like every other person who sat through a civics class or read the Constitution, me neither.

When law enforcement forgets it works for the citizens and not the other way around this is precisely what happens. Under what scenario is jumping on the hood of a car and drawing a gun (each an assault given the utter lack of probable cause to stop much less arrest this college kid) acceptable behavior from a state where Thomas Jefferson once reminded us that,”It is to secure our rights that we resort to government at all” ?

The answer is there is none and Ms. Daly hopefully will have the pluck to prove that before seven citizens in a Virginia court of law.

Source: Richmond Times Dispatch

~Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

CORRECTION:  Our good friend, Lindylou22 (love the internal assonance in that name), points out that while Elizabeth Daly had bought the now infamous sparkling water, some ice cream and some cookie dough from the Barracks Road Harris Teeter, the items were for a sorority fundraiser and not the “Take Back the Night (TBN)” event. Daly and her roommate had attended that TBN event earlier that evening and as  the article states were “on edge” after listening to the harrowing stories of sexual assault. As Lindylou22 rightly points out, this sad circumstance made it “worse for those poor girls.” Sorry for the errors but that great spading work shows Lindylou22 has law review written all over her. Thanks for the help.

Kudos, too, Lindylou22!

58 thoughts on “The ABCs Of The Surveillance State: Six Gun Toting Alcohol Agents Pounce On College Kid Buying Bottled Water [Corrected]

  1. This is the type of case a young and energetic lawyer salivates over, at least in the fiction world. However, it is my experience that you really can’t make up stuff as good as it happens. I hope that she finds the right lawyer, who lives this case to conclusion.
    Law enforcement officers are just like the cross section of every other group. All it would have taken is one to stand up an say, “Wait a minute”. Can we find a way to promote good thinking across the entire spectrum, I think not. Thus it is only ex post facto that these matters are addressed. Again, thanks to the Constitution and John Marshall.

  2. Well cops will do anything any more to make you “safe”…
    And the War On Drugs has pushed this type of agenda…time to stop the craziness…
    Like they say Pot won’t kill you, but the DEA might!!!

  3. Not so easy to sue probably depending on the state. The cause of action is malicious prosecution or false arrest and those are very difficult to sue on. Plus, what are her damages exactly?

    I was criminally prosecuted without a written statement of probable cause. The police report said that I accused my neighbors of violating the zoning and the constitution while I was standing on the street in front of my home. I had economic damages. He was the city council president and he was a convicted felon, a fact then kept from the public.

    In Colorado I think the only lawyer taking section 1983 lawsuits is currently Mark Lane and he is in his 70s.

    Richard Fine was taking section 1983 lawsuits and look what happened to him.

    Mark Brennan was taking section 1983 lawsuits and look what happened to him.

    A federal magistrate judge in Colorado already noted that he surveyed pro se litigant cases in federal court and found that none of them ever got a single dollar in damages or an evidentiary hearing.

  4. The ABCs Of The Surveillance State …

    The toxins of power that have poisoned the air took us to the militarization of the police.

    I have debated with some lawyers, albeit not very good ones, about whether the NSA is a military out fit or a civilian outfit.

    The militarization of the police into what more and more looks like an occupation in a foreign land is taking place because of the way the military thinks.

    The NSA is clearly a military outfit:

    The National Security Agency (NSA) is … of the United States Department of Defense … The NSA is directed by at least a lieutenant general or vice admiral … The Director of the National Security Agency serves as the Commander of the United States Cyber Command … (USCYBERCOM) … an armed forces … command subordinate to United States Strategic Command … led by General Keith B. Alexander… USCYBERCOM … synchronizes defense of U.S. military networks … United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) is one of nine Unified Combatant Commands of the United States Department of Defense … charged with … military satellites … information warfare … missile defense, global command and control, intelligence, surveillance … global strike and strategic deterrence … nuclear arsenal … Strategic Command [is] a successor to Strategic Air Command (SAC). It is headquartered at Offutt Air Force Base south of Omaha, Nebraska.

    (see Wikipedia, “National Security Agency”, “U.S. Cyber Command”, “U.S. Strategic Command”).

    The militarization of police thinking leads to episodes like the one Mark E points out.

    And to spying on Americans as if they were an enemy population.

  5. This is about as insane as it gets. I would have done the same thing as those young women if I were in their place. What the same hill kind of
    police force is that? Whoever came up with that brilliant idea should idea should be fired on the spot and yes they should be sued for this Nazi like
    activity. Seems to me that if they were interested in stopping underage kids from buying beer that they should stand outside the door of
    the grocery store & check as people leave. Better still, why doesn’t that grocery store hire an off duty cop, in uniform, and have him checking beer
    purchases instead of terrorizing innocent people & wasting taxpayer money?
    With the supposed shortage of money all over the country for education they manage to find money to pay 6 men and a woman to conduct these acts
    of terrorism ! Now that’s some ffffd up priorities!

  6. For Neighbor Dave: Your statement “Law enforcement officers are just like the cross section of every other group.” really needs to be qualified. From my life experience cops are not a simple cross section of society but have categorical distinctions. One group (idealists) do want to serve the community. One sector surely closest to cross sectioning, simply want a secure job. The majority fall into family groupings that hold local power, and personality traits that seek power for a spectrum of reasons. Some of these are “combat” challenged and want to prove themselves. Others are simply rogues that want to strut their stuff with impunity. The “power” element is not typical in the cross section of community profiling unless of course you control for thugs!

    These were people in plain clothes with a weapon and with badges that could easily have been fake and the victims were women who were doing nothing wrong. The overpowering force utilized and the indiscretion evidenced by the tactics suggests they are more along the lines of a cross section of thugs with a badge; and unfortunately armed and dangerous!

  7. Mark,

    It reminds me of a scene from one of our favorite movies, only these “officers” weren’t as polite initially . . .

    And they didn’t get the snot kicked out of them by a man in a Guy Fawkes mask.

  8. Police training seems to consist of watching some cop shows where every stop is an occasion for a swat team and the good guys always “bend” the laws for justice! The idea that because they thought some teen agers had purchased beer was enough to rush the car, jump on the car and pull guns on the teens was a proportional and appropriate response is beyond me.

    It is also interesting that the prosecutor said the because no one was injured he would not prosecute. WHAT? So if one of these out of control cow boys had hurt himself these victims of out of control police tactics would be facing jail time? I don’t see this as common sense at all although I am glad he some sense and did not choose to prosecute this young woman. As to no harm done, I beg to differ these “police officers” have done a lot of damage to the individuals in the car. The police officers deserved to be severely disciplined. They could have killed someone!

    Police generally are out of control. Training is clearly nonexistant or worse it consists of telling officers that there are no limits and that everyone is fair game. Under the circumstances we are are fair game and are in danger.

    It takes more than pluck to take the police department to court it takes a good lawyer, money and a lot of courage. Police departments don’t like to be challenged.

  9. The young women were very lucky they were not shot. Modern striker-fired pistols (if that’s what the Va. LEOs were using) have light trigger pulls. At it takes is one cop with a little too much finger pressure, and bang! There will be a cascade of shots as his partners join in and empty their magazines – it happens time and again in situations just like this. IMHO, the Commonwealth Attorney made an excellent judgment in not prosecuting the students – however, that the girls were arrested at all for fleeing an apparent gang assault raises serious questions. Anyone can buy fake police badges – the only crime occurs when one tries to represent oneself as an LEO. Most Virginians, I’d wager to say, have never seen an alcohol law enforcement officer in uniform or civvies, and can not be expected to recognize one on sight. Just because it glitters does not make that badge carry legal authority.

    As an aside, there have been a rising number of home invasions by criminals with tactical vests and gear screaming “police!” just as in the cop shows. It’s my opinion that the militarization of American PDs actually encourages such crimes – the bad guys watch reality TV, find out what to wear and how it’s done…

  10. Bruce, I hear what you are saying about the power and the rogue in the cop cross section. I offer that those same traits are applicable in business and in the practice of law, the two fields in which i have collected personal empirical data. I will note, though, when I worked in steel production that those traits did not survive for long, as you only had one BS card to play there, then your hand was over.
    I am not dismissing the type of behavior you attribute to cops, and certainly group think is more clearly personified there (and in combat) but it applies everywhere even if not as obviously.

  11. Roger J,

    I’m still curious as to what part of their training informed the decision that guns are even required when trying to stop a college student buying beer. ABC agents used to more concerned with the sellers too.

  12. Another reason why these actions occur more and more often is because these police state bureaus have to justify their bloated budgets and it’s easier to punish the innocent or the minor offense than to pursue the real and dangerous criminal types.

    These ‘agents’ have the gravy law enforcement job of trying to bust teens drinking underage. They have to justify their existence by busting as many dangerous beer drinking teens as possible and then they can work their 20 years and receive 70% retirement packages for the remainder of their lives. It’s one of today’s great scams. The people are afraid of shadows so they don’t mind more and more money going to ‘law enforcement’. Those bloated police state budgets have to show results, so the agents bust as many as possible with firearms locked and loaded. Meanwhile, the college rapist crowd is going about their business with little to stop them, since the majority of ‘law enforcement’ is busting beer drinkers.

    The new normal is to severely punish the minor offense and disregard the major perpetrators of crime. Shoplifting jeans from Walmart will get you hard time, but banksters who support murderous drug cartels with money laundering are ‘punished’ with fines paid for by shareholders.

    When you are looking for a nice retirement package, why chase the dangerous criminals, or fully investigate the criminal corporation when you can sit in a parking lot waiting for the next teen carrying what looks like a beer container?

  13. The investigation that led to the dropping of all charges too EIGHTY (80) days!! Did the young woman suffer damages? How much did she pay her lawyer during those 80 days? How much emotional distress with these thugs attempting to accost her? How much emotional distress and lost life experience while sitting a jail she never should have been in?

    Since when do underage drinkers require 7 agents to arrest them? One agent, with a prominently displayed badge, in a lighted area right outside the store would have done the job. S/he would have seen that the package was of bottled water and minded her/his own business and no interaction would have taken place.

  14. these ABC cops are a$$holes. I used to deal with them in South Carolina. They use entrapment to do their work. I was once offered $20 [in 1978] to sell a “tourist” a case of beer on Sunday.

    The guy pushed hard too, I told him it was against the law at least 6 times and he kept pushing that $20 on me. At one point I thought he was going to put the cost of the case on the counter with the $20 and leave with the beer and then arrest me for selling it to him on Sunday.

    He finally asked why I wouldnt sell to him, so I told him “because I smell bacon.” He told me to fuk off as he left. I guess he was an “honest” cop in the sense he didnt frame me.

  15. As stated in Mark’s post underage drinking is a misdemeanor in Virginia. There is no presumption that those purportedly committing this misdemeanor are either armed or dangerous. That they could either be is probably the most miniscule of chances. Yet this “team” of six was needed to enforce this possible misdemeanor. Were they in numbers for safety? Possibly, but stupid.
    Did they have probable cause? Um……maybe in the light of the broadest possible reading of the term, but in reality…no. Even granting probable cause did one of them have to jump on the hood of the car and did any of them have to draw weapons? Not a chance. Were they required by law and duty to clearly identify themselves as police officers, given they were out of uniform? Absolutely.

    This is the kind of mentality that I’ve commented on many times previously. The truth is this was a “fun” opportunity for these officers to harass some of those college kids at the University. It is even possible that the real target was the market where the water was sold. This could be for some suspicion about its routinely selling alcohol to underage youths. If that was the case then I could think of many more ways to go about it then terrorizing these young students in this manner. I wonder if there is little crime problem in the area and the police are bored and looking for some action? Whatever the ideas behind this type of procedure they are stupid and they are wrong.

    Here’s another aspect of the problem. Drinking at 18 was legal when I reached that age. Drinking at College was commonplace when I got there in 1962. In truth people drink a lot in college since it has become a rite of passage into what is purportedly “adulthood”. Then came the crusades against various things and the statistics spewed out by reformers and moralists. The drinking age was upped to 21 to deal with this problem based on the same logic that brought us the war on drugs and the other “wars on” to
    follow. These are easy and wonderful issues for politicians to support and they are ramped up by a news media that gains audience through selling fear and terror of modern life. It works because genetically we humans are still back on the “savannah” trying to keep from getting killed by dangerous predators and other humans. Many of us have been taught to fear life itself and so are willing supporters of those who would exploit that fear.

    Can’t you see now the higher echelons of alcohol law enforcement in Charlottesville, a very nice place incidentally, coming up with this plan to combat drinking at the University. “We’ll do a task force and really scare these miscreant kids straight by acting like a SWAT Team, make a few arrests and scare the bejeezus out of them”. Yeah……..that’s the ticket. This is the kind of nonsense that has affected law enforcement these days. It is easy to blame these officers for their actions and I do, but I suspect that their bosses had put this ill-starred plan together and deserve some equal opprobrium. As someone who has supervised many workers, my workers misbehavior not only should have reflected on me, but would have been a mark of my bad supervision. This never seems to happen when we see these many examples of police abuses these days.

  16. Gene H., you raise an excellent question. Why is weapon deployment even a consideration in the possible arrest of college-age women suspected of a non-violent crime? It sounds like the agency’s training program needs drastic overhaul.

    voltaic, you are right-on. Here, in my college town, we have numerous sexual assaults which are seldom solved. A co-ed was murdered last September in an off-campus apartment, and our less-than-stellar PD is essentially letting the case run cold. They are flummoxed by real crimes, yet 2 years ago a group of unarmed occupy-everything types moved into a vacant building and were rousted out by SWAT officers carrying fully automatic carbines with an effective range of 600+ meters. This happened in a heavily populated district. If this is law enforcement, why don’t we go back to Citizens’ Vigilance Committees as in the Old West? At the very least, the PD could make a concerted effort to prevent the off-campus sexual assaults by heavy presence in the wee hours at the locations where such crimes are known to occur, or even using female undercover officers to catch the predators as is used in prostitution sting operations (entrapment, I know.)

  17. Why, pray tell, does the bloody state alcohol commission (who’s very existence is questionable) have their own police force?!

    Every agency under the sun seems to have their own police force these days; even the fed Dept of Education. To say it’s out of control is quite the understatement. Standing army comes to mind.

  18. Mike Spindell

    You have a good point about the difficulties in stopping the 18-21 group from drinking. However an officer told me once that it is bad public policy to have laws you don’t enforce, such as 15 mph speed limits, because it encourages disrespect for the law.

    There is a lot of bar technology that can limit the volume of alcohol consumption that isn’t being used. What I don’t understand is why bars don’t have convenient blow tests and use tickets to limit the number of serves. The bars could also be encouraged to sell weak drinks as an option by computer controlled liquor dispensers. A lot of people like to drink big fluid drinks with like 1/2 a shot in them. Women in particular can end up with .8 blood content just from having two margaritas in a bar. The ordinances could also require that sides of water be served with alcohol.

    Maybe some college towns could give provisional licenses to serve 18-21 year olds with stricter regulations and better procedures.

  19. We already have enough dumb regulations regarding how much you can drink, and we already have enough bars extremely watering down drinks and ripping customers off, kay sieverding… We don’t need to encourage more of it.

  20. I read that there are computer systems that control liquor inventory in bars and are supposed to ensure exact portion control. So that protects against bartenders setting women up by making their mixed drinks really strong as well as against bartenders skimming on liquor portions for profit reasons.

  21. Jude:

    “We already have enough dumb regulations regarding how much you can drink, and we already have enough bars extremely watering down drinks and ripping customers off, kay sieverding… We don’t need to encourage more of it.”

    ************************

    How about a rule that simply says “If you’re old enough and mature enough to defend your country in some godforsaken place with an M-16, you’re old enough to toast it with a drink.”

  22. Mike: as usual you have listed a comprehensive approach to criticizing this abuse of authority…which is a patterned process of establishing a social expectation of institutional force. I am only surprised that you have not pointed out that this is what many innocent young black individuals have experienced since this is just an extension of that same abuse.

    Aside from that i might also point out that quoter demands often precipitate financing for departments of all categories and is a form of mismanagement and legally questionable …but may well be involved in this case. There is a serious question as to why a team of 6 agents were deployed to cover a store front? At another level I wonder what the total COST to the taxpayer resulted from this misconstrued strategy to inforce the law? It would be interesting to know what OTHER crimes took place in that city while these clowns literally assaulted two young innocent women?

  23. I agree, mespo. Just like when voting was the issue of the day for people who could be sent to war. No reason they shouldn’t be able to toast with a drink.

  24. I was never sympathetic to prisoners but….

    As I blogged before, DoJ kidnapped me and held me without a trial, a bail hearing, a charge, or an evidentiary hearing for more than 4 months as a federal prisoner in a county jail.

    There I met two women doing DUI punishment on weekends. One was a teacher and one a manager of a medical office. Both told the same story. They went skiing and afterwards to a bar at the ski area where they had two margaritas. Then they were picked up in sweeps where the police were giving every single driver a blow test and they both had over .8. Neither was accused of any moving violation other than DUI.

  25. ABC Officers: Already Been Creamed. Run over the schmucks and get out of Dodge. Schmucks can not wear uniforms or show a badge and jump on the car. She could have shot them.

  26. “There is a lot of bar technology that can limit the volume of alcohol consumption that isn’t being used. What I don’t understand is why bars don’t have convenient blow tests and use tickets to limit the number of serves. The bars could also be encouraged to sell weak drinks as an option by computer controlled liquor dispensers. A lot of people like to drink big fluid drinks with like 1/2 a shot in them. Women in particular can end up with .8 blood content just from having two margaritas in a bar. The ordinances could also require that sides of water be served with alcohol.”

    Plenty of actual esquires to answer your query, but it’s my understanding that bars and restaurants shift more responsibility to themselves for “over serving” when they have breathalyzer capability and, I’m sure some would argue, computer measured alcoholic drinks.

    Someone please correct me if I’m wrong on this. Torts wasn’t my strong suit.

  27. “I am only surprised that you have not pointed out that this is what many innocent young black individuals have experienced since this is just an extension of that same abuse.”

    Bruce E,

    As usual you and I are on the same page. I have pointed that fact out in many comments and in at least two guest blogs, here:

    http://jonathanturley.org/2011/11/26/the-incarceration-of-black-men-in-america/#comments

    and here:

    http://jonathanturley.org/2013/03/30/the-myth-of-black-freedom-in-the-u-s/

  28. It boggles the mind that my child at 17 can join the military and be trained to kill for (lies and bs) rights and freedoms they themselves do not have. they can not smoke a cigarette unless 18 and had better not take a drink of alcohol until 21. but hey lets train them to kill and send them home with a maimed body and body. no pay and a thank you.

  29. sorry for cross referencing but since Blind Faith broke the ice I think everyone would do well to see this video.

  30. I mis-barked. She should have shot them right through the windshield as they stood on her car. One shot is good for the whole day.

  31. As someone who attends the University of Virginia and lives right next to that grocery store, I want to point out that Charlottesville is not a safe place for female college students as we’ve had a string of sexual assaults for the past few years, and at least one girl (Morgan Harrington) who has been abducted and killed in an as yet unsolved case, and a University of Virginia employee who was apprehended by police with a “rape kit” in his van after he failed to abduct a girl. The fact that this girl and her friend were basically jumped by six jackbooted thugs without uniforms makes me furiously angry.

  32. You get what you pay for and cops are not paid much. It’s a very clanish, inbred, narrow minded sub set of society. Gun lovin, law and order, mace the hippies, “Occupy” protesters are smelly commies… I’m not making this up; I went to the training courses. They used the tape of the California Occupy students being sprayed in the face… the instructor added text “watering the hippies”. It was a joke to them. Remember who and what you are dealing with. They not only believe in what they are doing they enjoy it.

  33. Timothy Scott: thanks for that insight, it is typically denied but i also know that is absolutely in line with the truth.

  34. “these actions occur more and more often is because these police state bureaus have to justify their bloated budgets”

    Thanks for putting that in words. In the past, I have often wondered if the over response from some LE agencies is due to over funded, over staffed agencies with not enough real work to keep them busy.

    What else could possibly account for six officers taking down a group of college women? And did I read that correctly – with weapons drawn???? For beer, for a misdemeanor. !?!?!?

    Is this unprofessional and irresponsible, or am I missing something? What next, no knock warrants for dorm beer parties?

  35. I have had very good experiences with people in law enforcement. So they might be surprised to hear me say that I think it is critical that there be sufficient oversight and limitation of powers to keep them honest. But years of social science research back this up. Whenever circumstances create an ‘us vs. them’ mentality, the chances for abuse of power increase dramatically. Good intentions and trust in superior moral character have an appalling track record for keeping this from happening. Sticking the label “good guys” on them misleadingly plants the idea that goodness is a function of office rather than of conduct. We say that responsibility comes with power, but this claim is empty unless there is also accountability.

  36. Hi Mespo, I’m so glad you’re calling attention to this story. One small correction to how this event unfolded, making it all the worse for those poor girls:

    “…The woman was on edge after spending the night listening to stories from dozens of sexual assault survivors at an annual “Take Back the Night” vigil on Grounds, said Daly’s defense attorney, Francis Lawrence.”

    They were actually returning from having attended the Take Back the Night program. Their minds were freshly full of stories of assault. Not having any idea that they had done anything wrong, they were apparently attacked by a bunch of men in plain clothes. Horrifying!

  37. Bunch of rookies.

    This is sometimes what happens when limited authority officers who spend most of their days doing paperwork try to pretend they are taking down bank robbers. So quick they are to jump the gun.

  38. What Darren said. I have noticed over the past ten years there is a large turnover in police department personnel. Lot of rookies out there, and this incident smacks of a combination of lack of training and experience. If they have training, then the training officer needs to have a sit-down talk with somebody who knows what they are doing.

    Prosecutors in cases like this ought to know better, but over the years the over zealousness of some prosecutors never ceases to amaze me. Thank goodness they are not all like that, but there are enough of them out there to give one pause.

  39. Don’t appologize for these Gestapo goons. They are not much of an exception to the rule. You are living more & more in a police state. Don’t tolerate it. Don’t put up with it. Fight back or find somewhere safer.

  40. They were lucky they didn’t get the 137 rounds Cleveland cops dealt to two people whose car drove toward them after a chase. Assaulting an officer with a vehicle gets instant justice most anywhere, even without touching them.

  41. I don’t think you actually mean “instant justice” literally, but I have to agree it is a spontaneous decision of self defense that calls for true professional judgement. But as this particular case demonstrates there is a lot of room for error if rage, bravado or false pride is involved.

  42. My comment was directed to mr.ed, but I would also like to add that the links provided that can backtrack into the horrendous miscarriage of justice and abuse of power by Culpeper police officer, Daniel Harmon-Wright we can surmise that some individuals are simply brutal thugs that will use any excuse to kill when they think they can get away with it.

  43. The girls were terrified, so it follows that the “officers” are terrorists. Why isn’t Obama droning those terrorists?

  44. Magginkat (@Magginkat) 1, June 30, 2013 at 8:47 am

    “Seems to me that if they were interested in stopping underage kids from buying beer that they should stand outside the door of the grocery store & check as people leave. Better still, why doesn’t that grocery store hire an off duty cop, in uniform, and have him checking beer purchases instead of terrorizing innocent people & wasting taxpayer money?”

    This is probably the best example I could ever find of what is wrong with our culture. You think it is a good idea to have police checking up on what you buy? Our current police state isn’t good enough for you??? How about inviting them into your home to inventory your refrigerator?

    HELLO. THE ONLY ANSWER IS TO REPEAL THE STATE. Let adults, which I put at younger than 21, decide for themselves how to live their lives, including what they ingest.

  45. “How about a rule that simply says “If you’re old enough and mature enough to defend your country in some godforsaken place with an M-16, you’re old enough to toast it with a drink.”

    –And we have a winner.

  46. College Girls, Bottled Water and the Emerging American Police State

    By John W. Whitehead
    July 08, 2013

    https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/college_girls_bottled_water_and_the_emerging_american_police_state

    Excerpt:

    This mindset that any challenge to police authority is a threat that needs to be “neutralized” is a dangerous one that is part of a greater nationwide trend that sets law enforcement officers beyond the reach of the Fourth Amendment. It also serves to chill the First Amendment’s assurances of free speech, free assembly and the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    It’s bad enough that the police now look like the military—with their foreboding uniforms and phalanx of lethal weapons—but they function like them, as well. No longer do they act as peace officers guarding against violent criminals. And no more do we have a civilian police force entrusted with serving and protecting the American people and keeping the peace.

    What we are dealing with is a militarized government entity that has clearly lost sight of its overarching duty: to abide by the dictates of the U.S. Constitution and act as public servants in service to the taxpayers of this country rather than commanders directing underlings who must obey without question.

    End of excerpt

  47. Radley Balko:

    Questions For Virginia’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board

    — Is it standard procedure for ABC agents to jump out on college students in the parking lots of stores that sell alcohol?

    — Even if that is standard procedure (and if it is, that’s outrageous), how did these particular agents know that Elizabeth Daly was underage?

    — If Daly hadn’t realized the men who just confronted her were cops, and if she’d attempted to drive away, would the agents have fired their guns at her?

    — Why are ABC agents armed in the first place?

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