Utah Deputy Arrests Person For Destroying 'Back The Blue' Sign, Adds Hate Crime Enhancement For 'Smirking'
from the this-deputy-should-be-neutered-and-assigned-a-caretaker dept
Let us gaze again in shock at the pathetic weakness of powerful people, unable to handle targeted criticism without resorting to violating people’s rights. That’s right, we’re talking about cops again.
Certain states have added law enforcement officers to the list of protected groups that can benefit from hate crime laws. Cops are historically a very powerful group. They have not been oppressed in any way since the inception of law enforcement — an idea that really took off when slave owners wished to see their dehumanizing, minimal investments protected.
Hello, Utah. What the actual fuck? (via C.J. Ciaramella and Reason)
A 19-year-old Utah woman has been charged with a hate crime for allegedly stomping on a “Back the Blue” sign in front of a police officer, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.
According to an affidavit obtained by the Tribune, a Garfield County Sheriff’s deputy was conducting a traffic stop at a gas station in Panguitch, Utah, on Wednesday when he saw the woman “stomping on a ‘Back the Blue’ sign next to where the traffic stop was conducted, crumble it up in a destructive manner and throw it into a trash can all while smirking in an intimidating manner towards me.”
“Crumbled [sic] it up in a destructive manner.” YE GODS! Surely the anarchist apocalypse is upon us. Behold this deputy and their inability to handle being “smirked” at in an “intimidating manner.”
After reading the woman her Miranda rights, the officer stated she gave “inconsistent stories” about where she found the sign, eventually stating she found it on the ground.
“Due to [the woman] destroying property that did not belong to her in a manner to attempt to intimidate law enforcement, I placed her under arrest,” the affidavit says.
OMFG. This is the reaction prompted by the “defacement” of a sign that contains nothing more than a pithless catchphrase popular with the nation’s bootlickiest demograph. Grow up, Deputy Dawg. If you’re intimidated by crumpled signs and smirks, you shouldn’t be allowed to carry a gun and enforce laws. Bad things will happen. This bullshit arrest might be, unfortunately, the best case scenario.
Destroying property to “intimidate or terrorize” is a crime in Utah. But it doesn’t appear offended cops are specific beneficiaries of this law.
According to the code, the act “must be accompanied with the intent to cause or has the effect of causing a person to reasonably fear to freely exercise or enjoy any right secured by the Constitution or laws of the state or by the Constitution or laws of the United States.”
I doubt this act infringed on the deputy’s constitutional rights. The officer could not have possibly felt threatened to the extent their rights would have been curtailed. The evidence is right there. If the deputy felt so threatened they could not exercise their rights, this arrest wouldn’t have happened. The perp (as it were) would have left the scene, still smirking and commenting on the ineffectual nature of this 21st century Barney Fife.
This pathetic horseshit all began with a traffic stop, as law enforcement horseshit normally does.
On Wednesday, a Garfield County sheriff’s deputy pulled over a car at a gas station in Panguitch for speeding. After the driver was issued a ticket and the traffic stop was completed, the deputy noticed several friends consoling the driver, according to a police booking affidavit.
Looks like someone unlawfully extended a stop to exact revenge on people the deputy felt weren’t properly respectful of law enforcement.
“I stated to (the woman) that our sheriff’s office produced those specific signs and that I believed she had acquired it in our community,” the deputy wrote, adding that he checked with gas station employees who said the sign was not theirs. After reading her Miranda rights, the deputy said the woman provided “inconsistent stories” and eventually said she had found it on the ground.
Hey, maybe get out of the sign-making business, you clods. This sounds like the misuse of taxpayer funds. The sheriff is there to enforce the law, not ensure the populace is properly cowed by artisanal bootlickery. That this ever resulted in criminal charges is ridiculous. That these charges came with hate charge enhancements because of some crumpling and smirking is farcical.
Hopefully, the charges will be dropped before any other Garfield county government agencies embarrass themselves any further. But who knows? This is Utah, a state where legislators want to strip protections from social media services and consider porn to be something as harmful to public health as the coronavirus.
This is a lawsuit in the making. Given the courts’ full-blooded support for criticizing police officers via even the crudest of gestures, this deputy appears headed for a reckoning that can’t be swatted away with invocations of qualified immunity.