Thursday, April 06, 2006

Teacher's Assistant Hates Our Freedoms

Yesterday, Homeland Security agents taught a valuable lesson to a group of elementary school children when they nabbed a local teacher's assistant who represented a major threat to national security:

Leander Pickett says he was handcuffed, roughed up and humiliated by two Homeland Security officers who refused to move their car from the path of waiting school buses.


[A]s Pickett was directing bus traffic, he said he was handcuffed and roughed up and humiliated by the very people that were supposed to protect him.

"I walked up to him and said, 'Sir, you need to move.' That's when he said 'I'm a police officer. I'm with Homeland Security ... I'll move it when I want to.' That's when he started grabbing me on my arm," Pickett said.
However, Homeland Security tells a different story.

The department said the only reason the officers were at the school was because they pulled over to look at a map.

The department also said it's looking into what happened, and that Pickett's version is wrong. It claims he was antagonizing the officers.

Several people were outside of the school, watching the incident take place, and those witnesses agree with Pickett's story.

The school's principal said the incident upset students.

"Mr. Pickett asked the guy blocking the bus loading zone to move, and the guy told him he would move his car when he got ready to move it," said Englewood coach Alton Jackson.

"At that point I intervened and I went up to the gentleman and said, 'Mr. Pickett is an employee here,' and they said that didn't matter," said Englewood media specialist, Terri Dreisonstok.

"'We're with Homeland Security,' and on and on they went, and pretty soon, before you know it, he's handcuffed and slammed against a car," Brinson [the principal] said. "All the children are watching, they're all upset."
After about 30 minutes, the men released Pickett.


The central office of Homeland Security contacted Channel 4 about the incident and stated that it considers all allegations seriously and the matter has been referred to a neutral investigative entity.

Where to begin?

1. In the video that accompanies the online story, reporter Emily Pantiledes demonstrates the location of the incident. The agents pulled into the driveway from the wrong direction, past the red and white "Do Not Enter" sign, effectively blocking the exit of the buses that were delivering children to school.

2. The HS agents were lost.

3. Whatever "turrists" the agents might have been looking for now know that Homeland Security is prowling the area.

4. Think of the children.

5. Might it have mattered that Mr. Pickett is a Big. Black. Man.?

Earlier yesterday, I bought a plane ticket to San Diego. I'm going one way, coast-to-coast (albeit with one stop). I already presumed that that profile would land me in some HS agent's inbox today. Once they pull the poop on me and see that I'm also a college instructor (therefore presumably liberal, therefore presumably undermining American freedoms), the local threat level will probably elevate. They may well have already hunted down this blog.

If so, I direct these comments to the ladies and gentlemen of Homeland Security: I'm going coast to coast because I live here and my daughter's family lives there. I bought a one-way ticket because I'm traveling back to this coast by car with said daughter's family. As you well know, I'm in the phone book if you need further information. And you know where I live. Y'all have a nice day.

Pedophilic PR men. Handcuff-happy Homeland Security agents. And big brother watching me as I make these keystrokes.

Excuse me while I go curl up with a roll of duct tape and suck my thumb.

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