Aspie with Attitude

Sure, I'm just another Southern Recovering Alcoholic NPR- and Sweet-Tea Addicted Comic Mom with Asperger's in the SFV, but I can tell you now that I don't necessarily fit the stereotype.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Police State Happenings

What kinda sorta bothers me about stuff these days is that the police are so very, well, omnipresent. People think that's a good thing, but people should be concerned. Well, people aren't much concerned these days, though. Not at all are most people concerned. I am, which makes me a nut. Until tonight. Some of you may have read about MMan, although I think under the name PRMan, or some such, on my pink blog. Let's call him MMan tonight and the "M" is for minister. He is one of those, btw. And yes, I was a friend of his in high school. And so, last week, MMan had something "exciting" happen to him, at least according to his message to me on FB. I guessed that he'd made his wife pregnant, that they'd gotten a new puppy, or that a new refrigerator had been delivered to their home. The last one, MMan and I both agreed, would be awesome for him; I, having recently experienced life without and then, miraculously, witha refrigerator, know the absolute thrill and excitement of food in a new refrigerator. Although what MMan experienced was indeed exciting, it was not good in the way of a new refrigerator, or puppy, or baby. No, MMan got arrested. Yes. In the Back of the Car Arrested. He's not the kind of guy who should be arrested. Ever. He's honest. I can tell you that. And a Christian. And the dispute that somehow led police officers in a tiny North Carolina town to arrest him at 12:45 in the f'in' morning, for goodness sake, was over $167 that he supposedly owed a customer of his (he has an on-line business). He had told this woman how to receive a refund, but somehow, she thought that talking to the police was better than waiting and doing what MMan had asked. MMan was roused from sleep and the situation freaked him out and I told him that this kind of arrest thing can happen to anyone.

MMan now believes me and said that the criminal justice system is so very awry that he would have trouble convicting someone now, if he were on a jury. This is just one person's opinion, of course, but let's assume that everything is true of his account. Anecdotal evidence about this kind of thing has been going on around the Internet for a while. But to actually hear firsthand the evidence of a man who has, as far as I can tell, told a woman how to get her refund, but she didn't want to wait and go through the proper channels and so, she called the police. And the police listened. And they arrested. Somehow that's hard to hear about. It really scares me that everyday people can so easily get arrested. I remember hearing some woman on NPR one time talk about how she'd been incarcerated for two years for some really strange charge due to her position as a journalist. The whole thing sounded quite strange to me and I could not believe that she spent two years or so in prison, away from her family. One thing that she said, however, is that what happened to her can happen to anyone. That's a scary thing indeed. And when you have folks like MMan being arrested in the wee hours of the morning, awakened from bed, because of a customer dispute that he has tried to resolve, it's easy for me to see that we've got a police state, my friend. MMan tells me that the court has retained a lawyer but he is thinking about starting some kind of legal defense fund. Perhaps we should all look into some kind of insurance policy or some such for that kind of thing. I'm very fortunate in that, so far, I have had extremely good relations with the police. I'm thinking here of the police officer in Texas who let me go with a warning ticket only after he saw that I was trying to get to a hotel, which was only a few miles from where I was stopped. And many thanks to the officer in Greensboro, North Carolina who did a similar thing once, when the boys were tiny things and slept through the entire episode. I'm thankful for good police officers in both instances. But what if the police knock on your door at 1 a.m.? Unfortunately, it could happen to any of us.