How long before every aspect of government has its own police force? Apparently, we are nearly there, as an 83-year-old New York woman found out on June 25.
Darbe Pitofsky told CBS New York that at about 6:30 that morning, she was on her way to get a cup of coffee when she threw a brown bag filled with old papers in a city litter basket near her apartment on East 71st Street. Suddenly, a city sanitation worker swooped down on her and demanded her information to write a summons.
“I froze,” Pitofsky told the station’s reporter. “He just frightened the hell out of me, scared me to death. I was terrified.”
She told the station the sanitation worker demanded a form of identification and threatened to “put her away” if she didn’t comply. The worker took 25 minutes to write out her ticket; and when she complained that it would cost $100, he threatened to make it $300. Her crime: Street baskets are for pedestrian use.
So this is where we are in America. Sanitation workers are staking out garbage pails, discerning who can and who can’t use them. An isolated incident? Hardly. In December, 80-year-old Delia Gluckin was fined $100 for improper disposal for throwing her newspaper in the trashcan in the Inwood neighborhood, the station reported.
And to further connect the dots, in March 2010 the U.S. Department of Education purchased 27 Remington Model 870 police 12-guage shotguns for its Office of Inspector General, which is the “law enforcement” arm of the Department. Last month, the Department apparently put those guns to use when OIG special agents executed a search warrant at a Stockton, Calif., residence.
Initial news reports indicated the raid was conducted because of unpaid student loans. The DOE later issued a statement denying the raid involved student loans, but wouldn’t say specifically why the raid was carried out.
It would seem that with local police and sheriffs and the myriad Federal alphabet soup law enforcement agencies, there would be plenty of officers to handle all of the nation’s scofflaws. But apparently not in the United Police States of America.