Thursday, June 05, 2008

"Papieren, Bitte!" ?

LawDog expresses his opinion:

In one of the most absolutely cocked-over ideas I've seen in all my born days, the City of Washington D.C. has decided to set up "Neighborhood Safety Zones" in certain areas of the District of Columbia.

Once a neighborhood is declared a "Neighborhood Safety Zone" DeeCee Police will stop all vehicles entering these zones and demand identification proving that the driver lives in the neighborhood, or provide a -- and let me be accurate here -- "legitimate reason to enter the neighborhood".

Anyone not providing papers identification or a "legitimate reason to enter the neighborhood" will be -- and I quote -- "forced to leave".

Anyone objecting to being refused entry into the "Neighborhood Safety Zone" will face arrest for failing to obey police.


American citizens do not -- I will say again my last, slowly, for the DC City Government -- American citizens do not need to give a reason -- legitimate or otherwise -- for driving anywhere on any Freyja-be-damned tax-payer-funded public sodding street.

How dare you stop a tax-paying American citizen driving on a tax-payer funded American street and demand -- demand, by God! -- a "legitimate reason to enter the neighborhood" ... here's your "legitimate reason" -- damn your eyes -- because I want to and it's none of your penguin-squicking business!


What is next? Tell me, do. What is next -- issuing various coloured triangles to undesirables?


Tell me, truly -- are you going to train your cops to say, "Papieren, bitte" before demanding a "legitimate reason" to be about on a public road?

LawDog is an LEO who works in an environment far different from that of ....say...16th/Lincoln, or 24th/North. I don't think he's encountered the faux-Vice Lords of RiverSplash infamy (or the real ones in Chicago) on his beat.

But the question he raises is interesting.


Grim said...

They are interesting questions.

What is going on in DC is the frank admission that civil government has failed in the city. It is an admission that the city government does not have the capacity to maintain order within the limits of civil authority.

These are counterinsurgency tactics, of the sort we employ in the worst slums of Baghdad. They don't pertain to a civil police force.

Lawdog is right about that.

But DC is also right to admit their failure.

Dad29 said...

While Milwaukee is not in the straits that DC is in, I'm sure that some folks here have thought about the solution DC uses.

But all that does is ask the question: what CAN the gummint do?

And (for that matter) I can disagree with you that "DC failed," because "DC" did NOT fail.

Its citizens did.

Grim said...

If it is the citizens' failure that makes the region ungovernable through normal civil authority, then you are dealing with an insurrection. When the resistance to law becomes so strong that law cannot function, that's just what you have.

The Constitution posits additional powers for cases of insurrection -- that is, where civil authority cannot hold because of popular revolt. It is reasonable for DC to admit it cannot hold this area, and ask for those powers -- I wish they would do so formally, in order to protect the line to which Lawdog is pointing. If they said, "This space has become ungovernable normally, and needs insurrection rules," we'd have less concern about the precedent aspect of their treatment of these neighborhoods.

Parts of Chicago look to be headed that way also. There is something like a collapse of civil authority in some of these cities.

It's to no one's benefit to leave the spaces ungoverned.

Grim said...

We can all quit worrying, though. The ACLU is on the case.