As you know, last week SEIU staged a protest at the home of an attorney for Bank of America. On a quiet Sunday in the Maryland suburbs of DC, SEIU sent 500 protesters onto the front lawn of the home of Greg Baer, a former Treasury official in the Clinton Administration. Mr. Baer wasn't at home but, unfortunately, his 14 year old son was. The protesters succeeded in terrorizing the boy.
Let me quickly digress to point out that Bank of America is SEIU's largest creditor. Under the leadership of Andy Stern, SEIU leveraged itself to the hilt, largely to support Democrat campaign efforts, and now owes the bank around $100 million. The loan payments are likely playing havoc with the union's finances. (Rich that SEIU thinks it has a credible voice on financial reform, given that their own behavior is a set-piece for much of what went wrong.) Coincidence that the bank is the target of a comprehensive and coordinated protest from the union? (Dear Bank of America, Call the loan. Today.)
There is much to say about this protest, but the most fascinating part to me is the role played by the police. It seems the DC police followed/escorted/shadowed the protesters into Maryland. They may or may not have notified the Maryland police, who may or may not have been on the scene while the protesters stormed private property and terrorized a teenage boy. Yesterday, Megyn Kelly of FoxNews interviewed law enforcement officials from DC and Maryland and asked many specific, hard hitting questions.
I'm not going to say the law enforcement officials are lying in this interview. They parse their words expertly. When Ms. Kelly backs them into a corner, they shift the focus to irrelevant parts of the story. But, saying they aren't lying here is a distinction without a difference.
There are a few points to be made.
First, the DC police official says emphatically that their police officers did not cross into Maryland...except when they did. It seems one of their officers, according to their official, made a wrong turn and didn't fully understand the DC/Maryland border and may have 'briefly' been inside Maryland. A wrong turn and a brief excursion through the Maryland suburbs is hardly worth mentioning if that is all that really happened. No one would notice, nor remark on, an errant 30 second diversion through Maryland streets. This story has the classic feel of a diversion; a pat, simple excuse to cover up any other behavior that comes to light. Any future eyewitness accounts of DC police cars at the scene? Yeah, that was that one cop who didn't know her jurisdiction's borders and was 'lost'.
Second, the Maryland police official says, contrary to other statements made by his department, that they were immediately notified by DC police that the protesters were entering their jurisdiction. According to the official, Maryland police met with DC police at the border to get a situation report and then proceeded to the protest. When they arrived, the official claims, the protesters were already dispersing.
Remember that the official says that the site of the protest is "one or two blocks from the DC border." Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot...
Fourteen buses start crossing the Maryland border (at which point we're supposed to believe the Maryland police were immediately notified), they find parking on residential streets, unload their protesters, assemble 500 people on a private lawn, engage in threatening verbal abuse long enough to force a 14 year old boy to lock himself into a bathroom...and the Maryland police get there as they are dispersing? Is their police headquarters in Delaware?
Thankfully, I don't live in Montgomery County. This is the kind of public safety and police protection for which they pay ridiculously high property taxes? They get a 'situation report' that 500 protesters are targeting a private citizen's home and they send 3 police officers? Really? They could only spare 3 officers on a Sunday in Montgomery County?
I hate to say this, and I will no doubt be attacked for it, but stories like this make one feel that the police are not on our side. A few weeks ago, police in Quincy, Illinois deployed a full contingent of riot police to deal with a couple hundred tea party protesters who where singing patriotic songs on public property. In Maryland, 3 police officers police watched as 500 union thugs stormed private property in an act of intimidation and did nothing because, as the police official notes, there weren't any "no trespassing" signs at the property. (I wonder if he has "no trespassing" signs at his home.)
Sometimes it is the small story that illuminates the overall narrative. Let's dispense with all the semantics and timelines and legalese. Last week, 500 union thugs descended on a private home and terrorized a teenage boy. They violated someone's most personal space, their home. And they attacked their most precious gift, their child. The police in two jurisdictions knew about this. They did nothing.