Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Florida: America's First Police State

Police in Miami have a new plan to combat terrorism: scare the crap out of ordinary citizens.

From the Associated Press:

Miami police announced Monday they will stage random shows of force at hotels, banks and other public places to keep terrorists guessing and remind people to be vigilant.

Deputy Police Chief Frank Fernandez said officers might, for example, surround a bank building, check the IDs of everyone going in and out and hand out leaflets about terror threats.

"This is an in-your-face type of strategy. It's letting the terrorists know we are out there," Fernandez said.

The operations will keep terrorists off guard, Fernandez said. He said al-Qaida and other terrorist groups plot attacks by putting places under surveillance and watching for flaws and patterns in security.

Police Chief John Timoney said there was no specific, credible threat of an imminent terror attack in Miami. But he said the city has repeatedly been mentioned in intelligence reports as a potential target.

Timoney also noted that 14 of the 19 hijackers who took part in the Sept. 11 attacks lived in South Florida at various times and that other alleged terror cells have operated in the area.

OK, so because certain unsavory individuals once resided in an area all those now living or visiting that area must "show their papers" to the cops on demand? For no reason other than to "let the terrorists know [the police] are out there"? Uh-huh.

Aren't Floridians allowed to carry concealed weapons and to use such weapons to defend themselves if they feel threatened? Will all armed Floridians believe a cop is a cop?

And what provision will be made for those who don't carry their papers with them? Or does Florida now require you to have some form of ID with you at all times, no exceptions? Strange when living in Europe means having more freedom than living in the US.