Up, Up and Away!
From Talking Points Memo:
Dem Congressional Candidate's Event Raided By San Diego Sheriffs
By Eric Kleefeld - June 29, 2009, 3:07PM
Now this is a truly bizarre story, about a Democratic Congressional candidate's fundraising event being raided by a whole squad from the San Diego Sheriff's Department -- including pepper-spray and a helicopter!
The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that a fundraiser for Francine Busby, who previously ran for the deeply-Republican Fiftieth District and came close to winning in the 2006 special election and subsequent regular election, was raided by sheriffs after an unnamed neighbor made a noise complaint. Busby now calls it a "phony" noise complaint, and the article says that multiple neighbors said there was no great noise at all.
Here's the twist: The fundraiser was hosted by a lesbian couple, and shortly before the sheriffs came a particular neighbor had shouted anti-gay slurs at the assembled crowd. "It was a quiet home reception, disrupted by a vulgar person shouting obscenities from behind the bushes," Busby says.
As one neighbor told the paper: "We didn't hear anything until the sheriff came, with eight patrol cars and a helicopter."
The sheriff's department claims that somebody kicked an officer. By the time it was over, multiple people were pepper-sprayed, one of the hostesses was arrested, and the whole neighborhood got to see quite a scene.
One of the officers defended the department's conduct -- turning the blame on the candidate: "The place got out of hand. If Francine Busby was there, why not take a leadership role, step up, and nip this thing in the bud?"
Late Update: An earlier version of this post referred to "tear gas." It has been changed to "pepper spray" to be more clear and specific.
Ed here: Study that photo from the San Diego Sheriff's Department. It looks like a paperback cover for a kick-ass science fiction novel. It's a fantasy and I think a dangerous ones.
Whatever happened to Protect and Serve? There were always crooked cops and violent cops but in general in popular culture cops were presented as hard-working, sensible, reliable people. Today popular culture generally depicts cops as the drama queens of Law and Order etc or the stormtroopers of Dirty Harry etc. And a lot of police departments seem to be buying into it. Remember the police department that tried to buy tanks?
The heavily photoshopped picture from the San Diego Sheriff's Department is laughable on the one hand, a masterbatory fantasy. But on the other hand I think it's an insult to the cops who just do their jobs day in and day out without dreaming of becoming comic book heroes.