Concord PD Hits For The Cycle: Lemonade Stand + Camera + Wiretap Law
from the and-yet-the-scorecard-shows-this-citizen-pitching-a-shutout dept
Finally, thanks to Reason's Hit & Run blog, we can finally bring you the Holy Trinity of excessive law enforcement: Cops + Cameras + Lemonade Stands! Reason's Mike Riggs has the details:
A Concord man giving away lemonade at a farmer's market was threatened with wiretapping charges last Saturday when he refused to stop filming a police officer and a fellow vendor. Garret Ean didn't have a permit to sell lemonade, which drew the ire of the president of the Concord Farmer's Market. Ean filmed the confrontation, and continued to film when a Concord cop showed up and threatened to arrest him for wiretapping.Ironically, Ean wasn't even selling lemonade. He was giving it away to celebrate Lemonade Freedom Day. So, in response to him showing his solidarity with this cause, he is first hassled by Steve Blasdell, who is apparently in charge (or so he makes it appear) of the Concord Farmer's Market and makes various attempts to bluster Ean out of the area.
When this fails, Blasdell goes for the camera. Unfortunately for Blasdell, Ean remains in control. At that point the only reasonable response is... call the cops! Yes. Exactly. Someone as threatening as a skinny guy armed with a half-bag of plastic cups should be dealt with by professionals trained in the art of subduing skinny guys armed with plastic cups and (unfortunately for them), a printout of the state's wiretap law.
The cops show up and inform him that they "won't arrest him today." Well, god bless 'em. Still, a simple "this looks to be within your rights as a citizen" would be so much nicer than an open-ended threat. In between all the action, some kids take advantage of the free lemonade offer.
At what point, as either the self-appointed mayor of a certain street or as an employee of the city (read: taxpayers), do you find it necessary to curtail this sort of behavior? At what point does it seem like this would further relations between anyone involved? Is it impossible for some people to walk by something that strikes them oddly without feeling the need to enforce something?
There are probably no answers to these questions. I would imagine that the first two questions were never considered and the last question is largely rhetorical. But despite its rhetorical nature, we see answer after answer arriving, often captured on camera.