Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Obama Shrugged: The Searches

Jane walked out of the department store and handed the package to Melissa. The young girl eagerly took the package since it held her new sweater. The girl had always wanted a sweater, but since Obama placed tariffs on imported knit products, they were in short supply and rationed. When you did have the opportunity to buy knit products, they were priced out of reach for the average citizen. Melissa pointed at the crowd ahead and asked, “What’s those people doing mommy?”

“I’m not sure honey,” replied Jane.

The mother and child closed in and there was a man with a police officer twisting an arm behind his back. The officer said authoritatively, “You go into the body scanner willingly, or I take you to the van and remove your clothes where we check you for weapons.”

A moment later the officer shoved the cursing man into a black van. Usually people stepped into the scanners without instance, but there were still people unhappy with the law. Just as the crowd cleared and Jane started to walk past the scanning station, a police officer said, “Ma’am, would you please step inside the scanner?”

Jane muttered something to herself, but did as she was told. The officer said as she stood in the machine with her arms extended over her head, “Miss, your daughter has been selected for random search.”

The distraught mother looked at the officer with the cold brown eyes and said pleadingly, “Officer she is only eleven and is no threat to anyone. I will take the search in her place.”

He shook his head and said as she stepped out of the scanner , “The law is the law. We can’t make exceptions for anyone. In order to keep everyone safe we must randomly search everyone.”

The frightened Melissa was lead into the same van the man had been taken earlier and the door closed behind them. Once inside a female police officer led the young girl behind a curtain and harshly ordered Melissa to remove her clothing.

Melissa had been trained for these searched in school. They often had officers come to the school so the children could become accustomed to the searches. The children had been taught in school that they must commit to the searches in an effort to keep everyone safe. They had been taught how the TSA searches in airports had been so successful that the government had decided to introduce them to the general public.

For at least a century the police had used profiling to catch criminals. In an effort to eliminate all profiling the government passed a law requiring the police to stop every one-hundredth person on the street and pass them through the scanner in hopes of detecting weapons or drugs. Every five-hundredth person was required to have the personal body searches. These efforts have been extremely successful, crime dropped immediately by seventy-five percent.

The law also allowed for all businesses to randomly search patrons. This had saved businesses millions each year. Shoplifting and similar crimes had become a thing of the past.

Melissa exited the van and ran to her mother, tears rolling down her cheeks. She said in a low tone to her mother, “Mommy, that woman touched me funny. They told us to report when that happens, but I heard bad things happen to people that do.”

Jane’s first urge was to charge into the van and attack the officer, but she knew that would only buy her time in jail. She said to her daughter as she held her tight in her arms, “I know dear, maybe someone will notice and fire that woman,” but she knew that wouldn’t happen. The police were unionized and almost none were ever fired or removed from duty.

Others had reported inappropriate behavior by the police officers and had been given a sympathetic ear, but had been told they were aware that these things sometimes happened, but was worth it to keep crime low and people safe. They were reminded the searches were done for their own safety.

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