Saturday, August 16, 2008


Being that nobody reads blogs on the weekends, I thought I would take the opportunity to air my controversial views on law enforcement.

I love starting sentences with "Being that." Back in college, my sister the left winger's boyfriend wrote a paper on the Boer War (no more specific than that -- it was titled "The Boer War") that began: "Being that Cecil Rhodes..." I loved that. Ever since then I have used the phrase "Being that..." every chance I got.

Where was I? Oh, my views on law enforcement.

Today, The Buffalo News' city page bears the irresistible, The Onion-like headline of "Police Batter Their Way Into Wrong Home." It seems the police were supposed to be looking for heroin in an upstairs flat and instead barged their way into the downstairs flat. The people barged in on are complaining and suing.

Excuse me? If police had reason to believe people over my head were dealing in heroin, I would want them to investigate it. If they broke into my place by mistake, I would not complain. I would say, in grand Buffalo fashion, "No problem." Then I would offer to help them batter their way into the suspected heroin dealer's apartment.

What is wrong with these people? Do they want their neighborhoods cleaned up or don't they?

And now, about these cameras.

I am reading everywhere about that we are getting cameras on street corners. They are supposed to help deter crime. It seems a no-brainer that yes, they do deter crime. If criminals think there is a camera over their heads, they might think twice about sticking a gun in your back. It's common sense. It's logic.

But journalism always requires another side to the story, so we bring out the usual suspect, the head of the Civil Liberties Union, saying there is no indication that it deters crime, blah blah blah.

If there is no indication that it deters crime, maybe that is because these cameras are new and we have not had them long enough for statistics.

And even if they did not deter crime, so what? At least we're giving them a try.

Don't tell me about privacy. I don't care who watches me at the street corner. They can watch me pawing through my handbag, looking for my keys. Then they can listen in on me on my cell phone, asking people questions about Leonard Pennario, and trying to figure out if he returned to Steinway from Baldwin in 1952 or 1953. Go ahead, officers. Knock yourself out!

The way I see it, I am not losing freedom.

I will gain freedom, if I am ever able to walk to the corner in the middle of the night.

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