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Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Utter Uselessness of Police: Two Recent Examples from Idaho

William Norman Grigg

Two recent incidents in Idaho illustrated the value of armed self-defense, and the uselessness of government law enforcement, as a means of defending personal property.

On Sunday morning (June 22), Kuna resident Tricia Gillaspy and her husband awoke to find a naked stranger in their bedroom. After the intruder fled into the bathroom, Mr. Gillaspy grabbed a gun and ordered him from the home while his wife dialed 911. Although the intoxicated man -- by this time clad in shorts -- left the house, he continued to loiter on the couple's property. While waiting for the police to arrive, the couple took inventory of the damage done by the uninvited visitor, a 25-year-old man identified as Matthew Coomes, who had flooded their kitchen and defecated on the living room carpet before redecorating their walls in the same medium.

When the cops arrived, they gave Coomes two citations and gave him a ride home.

"What are you doing?" exclaimed Mrs. Gillaspy in astonishment and disgust. "This guy deserves to go to jail!"

Of course, putting him in jail would merely have compelled others to pay for his upkeep. In a reasonably free society, Coomes would have been required to make restitution for the damage he had inflicted on the Gillaspy family's property. The officers weren't there to help the victims of the property crime receive restitution, but to monetize that crime for the benefit of the municipal corporation that employs them. If Coomes fails to pay the citation, this act -- unlike his invasion of the Gillaspy home and the damage he did to it -- will be treated as a criminal offense.

Ada County prosecutors are considering a charge of felonious injury to property, since the damage is estimated to be well in excess of $1,000. If Coomes is convicted of that offense, the beneficiary, once again, would be the local political class, rather than the people who suffered the actual injury.

As if to italicize the utter uselessness of police in dealing with crimes against property, a sergeant from the Kuna PD called Mrs. Gillaspy shortly after the incident to say that in order for the officers to take Coomes into custody, it would have been necessary for the couple to make a citizen's arrest. If the couple had done so, it's likely the police would have arrested them on some invented charge to cover their true offense, which would have been undermining the department's claimed monopoly on force.

A few days earlier, a resident of Coeur d'Alene was approached by a man who drew a knife and demanded money. The would-be robbery victim, who was with his 2-year-old daughter, drew a gun, prompting the assailant to flee to a van. The father briefly gave pursuit in his own vehicle. The Kootenai County Sheriff's Office received a report on the incident, but the deputies were too occupied with more important tasks, such as harassing young men whose public mention of the schlock-rock band Nickelback was construed as evidence of marijuana possession.

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