First, it was the War on Drugs. Then came the War on Terror. And now it's finally come to this – the War on Tea.
In two separate incidents our law enforcement have gone too far, trying to penalize and/or punish citizens who were lawfully indulging in partaking of their favorite beverage.
The first took place in a public parking lot where an otherwise law-abiding citizen was approached by someone he didn't know who demanded he hand over his beverage, in this case a can of Arizona Iced Tea. The citizen refused, figuring the stranger he could go get his own iced tea. It turns out the stranger is a plain-clothes police officer and now the still unidentified officer flings the citizen to the ground, placing him in a choke hold, and then handcuffing and arresting him. It wasn't until then the stranger identified himself as a police officer. The entire incident was caught on video by the citizen's friend.
I don't know about you, but if someone I didn't know walked up to me and demanded I give them something that was mine, I'd likely tell him to piss off, too.
What makes this even more outrageous? The county prosecutor wants the citizen to plead out to the charge of trespassing and resisting arrest. Why plead out when the citizen in question did nothing wrong? To quote the linked article, “THEY WANT A MAN WHO IS GUILTY OF DRINKING ICED TEA AND NOT GOING AWAY AT THE ORDER OF AN (AT THE TIME) UNIDENTIFIED MAN TO TAKE A PLEA BARGAIN.” What the hell?
The second incident took place in a private home when a SWAT team invaded the home of a family after police searched the garbage cans of the Harte family and a known unreliable field test kit indicated that some discarded tea bags were marijuana.
This sounds more like a case of the police needing an excuse to conduct a raid, so they used a field test known to provide false positives to give them probable cause to conduct the raid. To add insult to injury, the Harte family had to spend $25,000 to find out the reason why the SWAT team raided their home and arrested them. Again, what the hell?
So be aware that you can easily be targeted by the police if you happen to like drinking tea in any of its various forms. It may make you the target of overly ambitious police departments looking for any excuse to arrest your ass.
(H/T Maggie's Farm)