The beer bust

When you read about this incident, your reaction will be the same as mine. It absolutely makes no sense.

When a half-dozen men and a woman in street clothes closed in on University of Virginia student Elizabeth Daly, 20, she and two roommates panicked.

That led to Daly spending a night and an afternoon in the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail. Her initial offense? Walking to her car with bottled water, cookie dough and ice cream just purchased from the Harris Teeter in the Barracks Road Shopping Center for a sorority benefit fundraiser.

A group of state Alcoholic Beverage Control agents clad in plainclothes approached her, suspecting the blue carton of LaCroix sparkling water to be a 12-pack of beer. Police say one of the agents jumped on the hood of her car. She says one drew a gun. Unsure of who they were, Daly tried to flee the darkened parking lot.

Prosecutors say she apologized profusely when she realized who the agents were. But that wasn’t good enough for ABC agents, who charged her with three felonies. Prosecutors withdrew those charges Thursday in Charlottesville General District Court, but Daly still can’t understand why she sat in jail.

Agents charged Daly with two counts of assaulting a law enforcement officer and one count of eluding police, all Class 6 felonies carrying a maximum penalty of five years in prison and $2,500 in fines per offense.

This is what the cops saw her buying.7336070341 Even I know, from a distance that this is sparkling water. I used to buy it all the time. You’d think one of the requirements for being a Virginia ABC agent would be the ability to tell a case of beer from a case of water.

But let’s put that aside.

When did buying beer become an excuse for calling out a SWAT team? Maybe I’m just old, but wasn’t there a time where a cop would just walk up to a kid and say, “What are you doing with that beer?” Why do you need six people to stop a girl with a 12-pack? (Other than splitting up two beers a piece.)

Why are cops pulling guns over a 12-pack?

I know I’m missing some kind of nuances of modern police procedure, but c’mon! This is insane.

 

A gun at the supermarket

A gun nut walked into a Kroger supermarket in Charlottesville, Va., recently, holding a loaded AR-15.

People were terrified.

He wasn’t arrested, because he didn’t break any law (from WVIR-TV):

Charlottesville police say the man who showed up at a Kroger grocery store with a loaded gun wanted to make a point.  On Sunday, an unidentified 22-year-old man carried a loaded AR-15 into the Kroger store on Emmet Street and Hydraulic Road, sparking not only a scare for customers and employees but also a 2nd Amendment debate.

Charlottesville police drew their guns on the man after witnesses reported he brought a gun into the store. They restrained the man to ask him questions, but released him after they confirmed he is not a convicted felon, owned the gun legally and it was not concealed.

Police say he was cooperative and did nothing illegal.¬†Officers did find a note in his pocket spelling out his intent to express his 2nd Amendment rights. Police say they could not release man’s name because he was not arrested.

Let’s try to ignore the fact, as hard as it is, that the guy belongs in jail or in a mental institution. Given the shootings in Newtown and Aurora, people are going to be terrified when someone walks into a public place brandishing a semiautomatic rifle. And let’s ignore the fact that if the police aren’t going to arrest him, this is, at the least, a case of:

1) Disturbing the peace
2) Reckless endangerment
3) Creating a public nuisance

Let’s focus on what would happen in NRA heaven.

A guy walks into a supermarket carrying a loaded AR-15. Second amendment lovers, all packing heat, sense danger, pull out their guns and start blazing away.

Multiple deaths ensue. And then the NRA says now is not the time to talk about gun regulation, because that’s using a tragedy for political gain.

Oh, and think about the note in the pocket.

Why did he have “a note in his pocket spelling out his intent to express his 2nd Amendment rights.”

I suspect it’s because he anticipated the possibility that this little fun gun run was going to end up in a shootout with him dead.