As many as 14 armed Orange County deputies, including narcotics agents, stormed Strictly Skillz barbershop during business hours on a Saturday in August, handcuffing barbers in front of customers during a busy back-to-school weekend.
It was just one of a series of unprecedented raid-style inspections the Orange County Sheriff's Office recently conducted with a state regulating agency, targeting several predominantly black- and Hispanic-owned barbershops in the Pine Hills area.
In "sweeps" on Aug. 21 and Sept. 17 targeting at least nine shops, deputies arrested 37 people — the majority charged with "barbering without a license," a misdemeanor that state records show only three other people have been jailed in Florida in the past 10 years.
Way to go, Florida! Gee, given that nobody ever gets arrested for this, how did they know what shops to bust?
In terms of demographics, the shops had clear similarities: Their clientele, owners and staff were predominantly black or Hispanic, and all were located in or near high-crime areas.
Hat Tip: Joel Miller
D'oh: Radley Balko blogged the story an hour or so ago, meditating on the reason why cops without warrants might have been accompanying a regulatory agency.