Friday night on Santa Monica's popular Main Street, up southbound from Venice Blvd. approaching Pico, a long line of police cars stopping traffic randomly.
Shining a flashlight in the eyes. Asking where you were. Did you have a drink? What was the name of the restaurant?
My understanding is that the police on the streets have the right, and the specific job, of stopping cars when drivers are dangerous.
Protecting the public, right?
My understanding is that this is August 16, 2013, in Santa Monica, California, in America, not August 16, 1939 in Nazi Germany.
Having recently viewed the Woody Allen-supported DVD reissue of "The Sorrow and the Pity", the story and actual footage of Nazi-occupied Paris during World War II, I was flummoxed to experience, first-hand, a way too familiar scene of corruption and entitled uniformed force of power over innocent citizens in August, 2013, America, innocent drivers in this case. (!)
My understanding, (along with my vivid imagination), is that in America we have rights and privacy provisions for our citizens on the streets, at home, even those coming home from restaurants.
This "understanding" was proved wrong and definitively not the case on this August 16, Friday night in Santa Monica.
Am I missing something? I asked several "cops" what this was all about. "Are you pulling everyone over now?"
One uniformed worker told me, "Only every 3rd car".
The others deflected my question and muttered, "They have a system".
Who are they? And what gives them the right to invade anyone's privacy for any other reason than a clear infraction of the law?
This surely feels like a fascist practice run.
But for what? What's next? The freedom to grab people after restaurant dinners and demand a recitation of the food they ordered?
How many calories were consumed? What was the ratio of food consumed vs. sips
of wine? Did you have dessert?