One of the most ridiculous instances of a heavy-handed plain clothes officer harassing young people and then arresting one for not following nonsense orders to leave fast enough at his behest was uploaded to youtube and liveleak on April 27. It has spread especially far today, with many sites featuring articles with the revealing video. You observe a dishevelled white man in sordid clothing approach a group of black youths and he demands to be given possession of a can that one is drinking from. The young people ask the man to identify and he says ‘police’, continuing to insist that he be given the can. The iced tea/lemonade fusion drinker, X, holds the can out to display the label and reads it to the man. He begins reaching for the can, and his intentions are questioned. He then goes into arrest mode, doing a quick ordering of X off of the property, drops the ‘T’ word a few times, and then arrests him for trespassing. It’s worth noting that the iced tea/lemonade can was not taken by police as evidence, yet displayed in its entirety for the camera, and clearly not a beverage worthy of any ‘reasonable suspicion’ of a crime.
This tactic is the same as taken by city bureaucrats in response to the Keene City Council Drinking Game in 2010. Charges in that case were dropped, and Round 2 of the consumption escapade went off without further police action. Since the entire incident revolved around suspicion of an otherwise legal drug, should this senseless arrest be counted as another casualty in the war on drugs?