The Next You Need a Cop, Call a Hippie! Panhandler!


Via reader Russ Dewey comes this To the People bit about how Washington State troopers are making it that much easier to hate the fuzz with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns:

Washington State troopers have been posing as panhandlers (who skirt entrapment laws by allegedly neither asking for nor accepting money) in order to sidle up to the cars of unsuspecting motorists as part of an elaborate scheme to spy whether the operator is wearing a seatbelt. Those who aren't are then busted by another cop radioed by the "panhandler" -- who sometimes holds a "happy holidays" sign -- and given a ticket for $101 or worse. Some of the ticketed motorists have been so kind as to offer the "panhandler" money (which the officer -- again allegedly -- rejects).

More here.

I can already anticipate the conservative backlash to this policy: Why are those motherfuckin' cops holding Happy Holidays signs rather than Merry Christmas signs? Can't you just hear Catholic League capo Bill Donoghue shouting, "This clearly demonstrates that the Bush administration cops have suffered a loss of will and that they have capitulated to the worst elements in our culture."