I saw the video of the spitting, Denise. You saw the video of the spitting. You downgraded the spitting to something on the order of accidental spraying, that is, near as I can tell, an acknowledgement of fluid exchange but a denial of culpability. Then, if I recall, you suggested that perhaps the Congressman might simply be wiping his face for show. I thought that was a pretty odd thing to say and decided not to pursue it at the time and, beyond mentioning it now, will let it drop.
If the reports of the spitter being detained — though not arrested, because of the Congressman's refusal to press charges — are accurate, there was enough of a case to support at least that action. I think the Congressman should have pressed charges. I think it would have been poor politics for him to do so, though, and I can understand why he did not. I can even sort of understand why you would refuse to consider that the guy who was on tape doing this was not a member of the fringe elements that you and I both recognize inhabit the further reaches of all political movements, yours and mine alike.
One of the problems with Andrew Breithart's reward is that Andrew Breithard is the judge of whether on not somebody has won it. This is somewhat on the order of asking the Pope to be the judge of whether somebody has provided a convincing Pro-Choice argument, with the same prize money. It sounds brave and challenging, but the books are cooked from minute one. Get somebody that everyone can agree is a neutral judge in there, and I wonder if the offer would still stand. Perhaps it would. At any rate, I don't see any moves on Mr. Breithart's part to move in that direction, so I suspect that his dough will always be safe.
Heck, you could probably toss an extra hundred thousand in there yourself safely as well, as long as you were the judge for your portion, don't you think? It's called conflict of interest.
Police can and do routinely ask people to identify themselves during an encounter. They have that right. And people are supposed to respond. Under certain circumstances, such as when they are in a motor vehicle, when they are exerciusing a privilage rather than a right, then they are by law supposed to present written proof of that identity in the form of a driver's license and registration. My understanding is that nobody has a right to drive a car. Driving is a privilage, and hence special identification may be demanded.
On the street, you may be required to identify yourself, but I do not believe that you have to show identification, nor do you have to have such identification on your person. In order to demand such identification, I think special circumstances would apply, and would require probable cause of wrongdoing, such as the account of a reliable witness or other such pieces of evidence as set out in the 14th ammendment.
I certainly would want the advice of an attorney before turning over any papers to a policeman outside a traffic stop, when it would be clear that they had a right to request them. Police are allowed to lie to you, you know, and they have done so to people on a regular basis. Being suspected of an infraction is not the same thing as an officer having probable cause worth stopping and detaining you, or arresting you and searching you.
The difference that ethnicity makes is that the number of stops and arrests is disproportionately high among people of color, and that people of color, even when arrested for the same crimes, tend to get longer and more severe treatment by the courts. The justice system is stacked against them. For that matter, it is also stacked against people who are less well off. A disproportionately high number of blacks and people of color in General are in jail than is warranted by the number in the population.
Apparently ethnicity and race have a lot to do with it.
I think the only people worried about this are the ones who have no ID to produce in the event that they get stopped. They have a couple of choices. They can keep their noses clean, legally, so that they don't get stopped, or they can make plans now to return to Mexico or South America, if it is all such a strain on them.
I don't agree.
If you've been following the papers, you'll have noticed that a lot of people don't agree. Including a fair number of police, who are aware that the law makes their job more difficult and more dangerous. It opens them up to lawsuits from both extremes. The law is written so that the state has to pay for the law suits on both sides, so it will cost the taxpayers money, and quite possibly a great deal of money in not only lawyers fees and court costs, but in damages and potential punitive damages. The State, paying for both ends of the litigation, loses no mater who wins. That means that the taxpayers lose. You're up for that with your pro-taxpayer stance, of course, right? What're a few eggs in makling an omlet, as long as it's a right wing Omlet?
Witnesses that the police have been able to count on till now, illegals who'vce seen things but who are aware that coming forward won't harm them, are no longer going to come forward. More lawbreakers go free. You're fine with that too, right? You love having extra lawbreakers in the street because people are afraid to come forward. The police want the witnesses, you could care less. Teriffic.
The police want a good relationship with the latin community. They want to be able to talk with them. They want to be able to have informants in that community. Some of them are latins themselves. Lots of them have latin friends. How well do you think that's going to continue every time they're forced to make an arrest. Each time they arrest somebody who's a citizen simply because they look latin, they're going to be throwing away good will.
Every time they arrest somebody from out of state who looks like an alien, no matter what the context, it's going to spread ill will about Arizona out of State, and it's going to spread more talk about the racist State of Arizona. True of not true doesn't particularly matter. The existence of the law and those arrests will convict the state in the eyes of everybody who listens to or watches the news. That's not going to help the economics of the state, and the police are going to catch a lot of blame for it, probably unjustified. They'll catch the blame nevertheless and they know it.
It's a racist bill. It was written by FAIR and lawyers hired by FAIR. It was sponsored by a State senator who sent out anti-semitic mailings he had to apologise for, and who hangs around with neo-nazis.
If you want to deal with immigration, help the US House and Senate put together a Federal bill that's as bipartisan as the two parties can make it. Talk to the Republican party about why they're saying they want to block a bill, and see if you can get them to help put one together that works. One that doesn't put the cops in a bad place, and stack the situation in line with the folks in favor of the Eugenics and anti-catholic folks at FAIR.
Check out FAIR at The Southern Poverty Law Center web site for the flip side of their propaganda, and then start looking for some more or less neutral data on the oprganization.