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Addenda on the Dearborn missionaries

I'm not calling this an "update," because there is no new news about actual happenings. The police haven't returned the cameras yet.

But a couple of pieces of information: First, Acts 17 blog confirms my claim below that they did indeed choose not to press charges last year. The further detail is that this was in exchange for an agreement from the Dearborn police that the particular three Arab festival security men against whom those charges might have been pressed wouldn't be on security duty anymore at the festival. There are a lot of problems with this. For one thing, how could the police actually guarantee that when the security personnel were not themselves a police entity but rather were evidently hired by the festival? And indeed, the promise turned out to be hollow, as one of those men was back this year. Second and more strikingly, the missionaries must have known (from the fact that they were driven out by an entire crowd last year) that the problem is not just with three particular individuals, so why should such an assurance be relevant at all? I don't want to be too harsh on them, but this explanation just does make it all the clearer that the decision not to press charges last year was a real mistake.

Second, two of this year's Dearborn Four are from New York City, and they both say that seeing the mess the Dearborn police department is in makes them appreciate New York City cops all the more. One retired New York policeman has suggested that the feds should investigate corruption, misconduct, etc., in the Dearborn department. Would that we had a different administration and could have some confidence that the present Justice Department would do justice to such an investigation. But formally, he's doubtless on to something.

Comments (10)

If Michigan had an Attorney General [Attorney General Cox is running for the GOP nomination for Governor] who wasn't afraid of the political implications of investigating the Dearborn Police Department, that would be an option.

It appears to me that there is a decent case here for a "color of law" investigation by the FBI. I wonder what it would take to trigger one. (Got this link from a reader at Atlas Shrugs. I didn't find it on my own.)



Earlier you said:

Most disturbing of all, their cameras were confiscated and were not given back to them when they were released on bail.

There's a good reason for that: such departments hate the scrutiny that comes to them from people like these missionaries with their cameras. There is a blog which tracks arrests like these called Photography is not a Crime. Radley Balko also has a new column up about how prosecutors and police in Maryland are actually ignoring the letter of the law in Maryland and arresting/prosecuting people anyway for this sort of behavior under the state's wiretapping laws.

I'm not looking to threadjack, only inform others here that this phenomenon is actually quite common today and it is done mainly because people don't want to be held accountable.

The threat that bad public behavior will go viral on YouTube and other sites is probably one of the last means available to society for shaming bad behavior like this and fostering a public demand for prosecution in some cases.

Yeah, Step2 posted a link to the Reason article. That blatant abuse of the law (where there is even a "private place" provision in the law) needs to be slapped down, hard. It's my opinion that if the entire incident were subject to the opening of an investigation by the FBI for a color of law violation, it might sober them up.

I think this ultimately goes back to a fundamental problem in our system: those in the system are a step above the public in the enforcement of the law. On paper, the police cannot do X and a prosecutor is supposed to get them for doing that, but the only solution is to privatize criminal law so that public prosecutors are only 1 of several ways of getting a crime heard before the courts.

Think about. If the Dearbornistani police knew that the ACLU could bring criminal charges against them no matter what the local DA wanted, they'd $h17 their pants at the prospect of committing an egregious violation of the first amendment.

***What I mean by privatization is ending the monopoly that police have in making lawful arrests and the monopoly that prosecutors have at deciding who goes before a criminal court. We need a standardized system which gives the public and executive agents alike no preferential access to it.



DoHS wants to deport Mosab Yousef. The way the government is handling this makes the handling of Riqfa Barry's case look sane and normal.

Feds haven't become involved with Rifqa yet. We kind of hope they won't, if you get my drift. I am familiar with the Mosab Yousef case, and it is outrageous. Rather like saying that a law against attempted murder means you must prosecute a heart surgeon for plunging a knife into someone's heart...

Lydia, how is Rifqa doing?

The Chicken

No news since the last that I have been able to glean.

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