Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Noose Trend?

After the Jena 6 mess, nooses have sprung up all over the place, like Columbia University , University of Maryland, and now...the Secret Service???

WASHINGTON — The Secret Service has placed a white agent on leave after a black employee reported finding a noose hanging at the service's main training facility outside the nation's capital.

The service has acknowledged "an allegation of misconduct" at its Rowley Training Center in Beltsville, Md., and that an employee was placed on administrative leave last week pending the outcome of an investigation. The employee is a veteran agent with the service, according to fellow agents.

The noose was found by an African-American officer in the uniform division during the week of April 14, according to those familiar with the incident.

That division protects the White House and surrounding grounds.
I dunno if they are going to charge this person with a hate crime -- it wouldn't be the first time for a noose incident. I'm loath to endorse the prosecutions of "hate crimes" per se-- particularly when it is a non-violent offense such as this. (Maybe willful intimidation or something?) But if Brooke can be arrested for bopping and questioning authority, this agent could certainly use some abrupt face time with a wall.

If I may step out of traditional libertarian mode for a moment, however, let me say that crap like this makes me question the state's monopoly on the use of force. I know, I know...impartial actors to mediate disputes between self-interested parties, yadda yadda yadda. While all that is valid and I support it FULLY on a rational and professional level, it doesn't change the fact that some people just deserve an ass-kicking.

But, thankfully, we live in a nation of laws and thus personal feelings must take a back seat to law and order-- provided the law is justified. I'm guessing, and I'm not a lawyer, that if the suspended agent does, in fact, earn a trip before a judge, he'll be charged under Title 18 U.S.C. Sec 245 § 1(c):

1) This statute prohibits willful injury, intimidation, or interference, or attempt to do so, by force or threat of force of any person or class of persons because of their activity as:

c) an applicant for federal employment or an employee by the federal government

Punishment varies from a fine or imprisonment of up to one year, or both, and if bodily injury results or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire shall be fined or imprisoned up to ten years or both, and if death results or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be subject to imprisonment for any term of years or for life or may be sentenced to death.

A year in federal prison for intimidating a man whose job it is to protect the President of the United States (all criticisms of the sitting chief executive notwithstanding)? Yeah, I can deal with that.

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