Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Most Ridculous Quote...

...that I have read in a long time is, in my opinion, this one:

"You see powder connected by arrows and chalk, you never know... It could be a terrorist, it could be something more serious. We're thankful it wasn't, but there were a lot of resources that went into figuring that out."

This comment was reportedly made by New Haven Connecticut Mayoral spokeswoman Jessica Mayorga regarding a trail of "flour" (as in the stuff with which you bake bread) that was laid out by some runners who were part of a group for whom they were marking a running trail; see:
Race Planners Charged for Causing Bioterror Scare at Connecticut IKEA. But wait, it gets worse, not comment wise by action wise.

So what happened, someone saw them doing this through an IKEA parking lot, and they called police, apparently as I see it, in a panic. The next thing you know IKEA is evacuated. (Now, I wonder, why evacuate the store when the powder is outside?) The police begin a "massive" full scale investigation of suspected chemical or bio-terrorism, instead of looking into this sensibly. Even police from surrounding towns responded.

Someone else responded too. Once the guy who left the trail heard about the commotion, he returned to the scene and told police it was a trail made out of flour so other runners could follow. I guess that means it was biodegradable, not bio-terrorism. Now the guy and his sister, who helped him leave the trail, have been arrested on first degree of peace felony charges. I don't know about you, but it seems to me that the police who handled this matter are the ones who should be charged with breach of peace. To evacuate a store, to call in other police departments, to cordon off the whole area, and to do whatever else they did without first seeking the guy who left the trail for an explanation was totally outrageous as I see it. Apparently all they would have had to do was follow the trail - and would you think they would have done that in order to see if the guy and his sister were still leaving a trail! Hell if they were terrorists, wouldn't the police want to catch them at it, and prevent them for doing more of it! Well it was not reported that that is what the police did since the guy had to come back to explain his actions of his own accord. This seems, on the reported facts so far, to have been a totally blown out of proportion response by New Haven Police officials. Now to save face what do they do, charge the powder sprinklers with a felony, and expect restitution from them for the overblown police response! An amazing piece of police work in its seeming lack of professionalism, and apparent out and out incompetence.

All the best,
Glenn B


jennifer said...

Duh!! Great link and I am no longer shocked at anything!!

I wonder how we are expected to be green when cases like this occur??

I guess good old outdoor spray paint will have to suffice.

But my senses get me for a moment, this all could be settled by getting a permit to have the race...maybe they did file the necessary paperwork, but red tape always drags!

Thanks Glenn

Glenn Bartley said...

Sure they could have gotten a permit, they may have even had a permit (though i doubt they had a permit allowing them on private property of IKEA), regardless of a permit, I think the reaction of the police would likely have been just as overblown once someone called in a case of the heebie-jeebie white powder sprinkler.

One other thing to ponder, can you imagine how cowardly most people are today, that the person who called this in panicked without even asking the people what they were doing, or that that person did not keep the "suspects" in sight for the police (from a safe distance). I find it hard to believe that people are so spineless, so quick to jump to conclusions, and so irresponsible.

All the best,
Glenn B