Earlier this week, a Streetsblog reader, let’s call him Anthony, sent the email at the bottom of this post and the picture above. To wit, Anthony noticed “at least 8” sheriffs at fare gates checking TAP Cards as well as a k9 unit. When he stopped to take pictures, he was harassed by another member of the LASD, and then threatened with basically false arrest.
Given the events of the past eight days, its possible the Sheriffs were on edge, but the pattern of intimidating (and sometimes attacking) Metro patrons is far too common. Since Metro seems completely unwilling to do anything about this, in fact the transit agency often helps the scofflaw law enforcement agency cover up its misdeeds, its no surprise that a member of the Sheriff’s would have no issues or shame harassing someone for taking pictures.
The only question left, is when is someone on the Metro Board of Directors going to step up and do something about Metro’s Bloody Mouth? The Metro Board of Directors regularly renews their security contract with the Sheriffs with almost no debate, despite complaints from advocates and riders that the law enforcement agency doesn’t respect passengers.
The full text of the email to me is after the jump. I didn’t edit it at all.
These pictures are of at least 8 law enforcement people standing at the exit of a metro train station checking people’s fare or “TAP Card”- although, avoiding fare evaders can be accomplished by locked turnstiles- the LA metro chooses to pay millions to the LA Sheriffdepartment to enforce ticket evasion penalties.
While I was taking these pictures- the tall, heavy set Sheriff’s deputy snuck up behind me and asked “what are you doing” – “I am taking pictures to prove that there is a k9 unit and 8 law enforcement people standing in one train station looking for fare jumpers”, I replied. He told me “you can go now”- I said, I will go when I am done Officer- and he responded- you stay here long enough and I will find something on you.
My question are:
1. Why is the police so powerful? Is this the United States that shines the beacon of liberty over the world?
2. Are the protections of the fourth amendment dead?
3. What is the proper response when a Police Officer saying. You stay here long enough and I will find something on you.
4. How does a free man digest the officer’s remarks and walk away humiliated?