I was shocked at a WIDE OPEN WEDNESDAY call to the show.It happened in the last segment of the 7am hour.The call was from James in Palm Bay and it went something like this…
James answered a knock at his door at 7:30am to find one uniformed police officer and one detective who wanted to talk with him.The Palm Bay officers had concerns over James’ social media posts in a political forum that someone claimed were threatening.When James asked which post was being questioned, the officers either did not know or did not want to tell James what the post said.It was stated they were there to make sure he was not a danger to the community.The words “make sure he hadn’t lost his marbles,” were used.
We had a similar story a couple of weeks ago.A Brit had retweeted someone’s post that was allegedly “homophobic” or “transphobic.”The local constabulary called to caution the man about his social media activism and hate speech.The warning was that if the incidents continued that these “incidents” would become hate crimes!
Are we there in Palm Bay?No specific allegation, no idea what the actual threat was, but the PD was more than willing to go interrogate the “suspect” based solely on someone else’s word that he was threatening.In the police world I was raised in this would have hit the shredder before it ever had a chance of being assigned to investigators or street cops, much less both!
While police officers are charged with enforcing the law and protecting the community when they can, they are also cautioned about violating someone’s constitutional rights under color of law.There may be no more egregious federal crime a police officer can commit short of kidnapping.The penalties are severe unless…unless the constitution is now meaningless in the United States.
Why do we focus on these issues on BML?Because if we are not watching and calling it out when it happens, we will lose our freedoms and eventually the country.