Case in point.
This story got lost in the shuffle, and needs to be spread far and wide.
So do your part, and please spread it.
About to board first class on a commercial flight in Detroit on his way to Los Angeles to play in a tournament on his way home to Vegas, Peat was allegedly approached by two men who identified themselves as federal government Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officials.
Peat, who had bought his ticket with cash and had already passed through security, recounted: “I was standing against a wall talking on the phone when two guys ask my name.”
“I answered ‘Peat, David Peat’. They showed me DEA badges so, obviously, I hung up and answered their questions.
“They played good cop, bad cop and I had about $15 000 cash in my pocket and the bad cop asked why I had so much money on me. I told him what I did and where I was going. They reluctantly let me board the plane.”
However, the DEA duo then apparently changed their minds and took Peat into custody, causing him to miss his flight and the tournament, and subjecting him to further questioning.
Peat claims that he became alarmed and called over airport police, who confirmed that the men who had detained him were bona fide DEA agents.
David Peat: "Help, police! I am being robbed, police!".
The police, uniformed, show up, and while the victim points at his muggers, the uniformed police tell him: "Man, those ARE the police!" and leave.
"Now, give us your money and your watch!," say the nice DEA agents.
Rights? Due process? Bill of Rights? Constitution?
What country do you think you live in, scumbag?
He posted: "they take me to corner of the bagage claim and ask me to empty pockets and take off jewelry. i do. Now im starting to think i am getting robbed so i yell for someone to call the police they come over and say im screwed and theese guys are dea. 20 min later the dea guys tell me here is a reciept . you will get some thing in mail. they didnt count my money just bagged it, they just put watch on resiept , its a 50k rolex, and the reciept has no contact information on it at all."
Land of the Free?
Peat was apparently not formally arrested, charged or even informed on what grounds his money and watch had been confiscated
I decided to write about this one, even though as a general rule I try to not write about my personal experiences.
The holiday season - Christmas, Hanukkah, Eid, hell, Kwanza - time for celebrating with your family, time for presents, joy, hugs and good food.
And police safety checkpoints.
They happen all over this great nation of ours, in Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky... everywhere.
The theory is that the police set up a roadblock, and using lights and batons and energetic hand movements make it known to you, the driver, that you will have a bit more of a layover on the side of the road.
"Just drive slowly towards these cones there, show us your license and registration and that's it," the nice lady cop, who asked me to roll down the window, told me.
Making my way slowly towards the position I noticed that a young gentleman was pulled from his car, handcuffed and smacked against the hood, while shivering intensely - he was wearing a sweater and it was below zero.
"License and registration!," a gruff, authoritative voice.
"What the hell is this?!"
"Um, my registration...".
"Unroll the paperwork for me!".
"OK, here you go".
"Where you coming from?".
"I am sorry, officer, I do not have to answer that".
"Oh, a SMARTASS, huh?! What is your problem! I asked you a simple question!"
"Officer, I do not have to answer that, I was just told to give you the..."
"Do you REALIZE that I can make your life a living hell?! I can get you out of the car, give you a breathalyzer test and then I can ask you a LOT of questions, wiseguy!"
I notice that another nice policelady was writing down my registration in her log, while another nice gentleman in uniform was radio-ing my license plate and car make to headquarters.
Apparently is it illegal in the USofA to drive a car after 10PM.
"Um, OK, OK, I am coming from my girlfriends'".
"Where does she live?!," gruff voice again.
"What are you, stupid?! WHERE DOES SHE LIVE?!"
I look outside the car window and see the young guy shivering from cold, just put up there by the police and left to (presumably) be dealt with later.
However, there is only so much shit I can take.
I got this (miniscule) amount of pride, you see.
"Officer, I do not have to tell you where my girlfriend lives. That is ridiculous."
"Where you going?!"
"Where is home?! Is it this address on your license plate?!"
Well, duh, officer.
"Um, yes, of course".
The woman and men standing behind the trunk say something to the gruff-voice man.
"All, right, drive safely then".
"Thank you, officer, um, have a nice night".
This is real, as much as I can recall the happening.
This went on for about ten to fifteen minutes - this is a short synopsis, really, of the back and forth between me and officer gruff-voice.
But it is not all bad, because this experience has taught me the most important fact one can learn in today's America, namely
I HAVE NO RIGHTS.
I am a young looking guy, so at the moment I was very afraid if the policeman would find something to fault me with - the law is vast, and there is always something that can be pinned on a young guy driving at night.
At that moment, I was genuinely afraid of the cops.
The scenario I envisioned would be the breathalyzer test, which I believed I would "fail" (even though I did not drink that night while visiting my girlfriend - I do not drink and drive), and then it would be my (the scum) voice versus the thirty (law abiding, defenders of freedom and scourge of evil doers like me) police officers.
And it was obvious that officer gruff-voice was getting off on it.
He loves to ask you questions; questions which you have the right to not answer.
In fact, you should never, ever talk to the police, because thinking back on his line of questioning, it was obvious he was setting up a trap for me, trying to catch me on some mistake.
And when put in a (somewhat) stressful situation, with threats and name calling, it is very, VERY easy to slip and say something bad, something that does sounds suspicious, or to be caught in a white lie.
And then they win, then they have you - you will be dragged out of the car, handcuffed, made to freeze outside while not allowed to get a jacket on, while your car is searched, and your permanent record updated.
I can only think, with horror, what would happen if a veteran detective decided I was guilty of something, being dragged to a police station, and really being put under intensive interrogation.
The words "I will not talk to you without my lawyer" might not work - this is not the America where law matters.
The most interesting fact about the whole ordeal is that I was made to feel like scum, like a criminal, hell - I felt like I was just caught by the police while committing some kind of a crime.
Serves me right - a young guy like me driving at night, sober, under the speed limit - what did I expect, right?
Read this far?
This is your reward: