METRO to The People: “Up Yours!”

Reports are that yesterday (30 April 2012) at about 3pm three uniformed METRO police officers accosted about a dozen passengers getting off the #219 bus from downtown to the West Road Park and Ride and asked for ID.

What does this have to do with METRO’s mission?

What METRO Does

Not a thing. METRO should be encouraging ridership, not discouraging it by demanding riders’ papers.

(The comparison is inescapable: requiring papers for internal travel is a hallmark of modern totalitarian regimes.)

It’s hard not to see this as a deliberate slap in the face by METRO to those concerned citizens who appeared less than a week ago at METRO’s board meeting to protest METRO’s inviting TSA into our community and performing (as reported—and now denied—by METRO) “random bag checks.”

It’s as though METRO is saying, “look: we don’t need those vipers from TSA to help us act like fascist thugs; we can do it in white neighborhoods as well as black neighborhoods; and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it.”

18 responses to “METRO to The People: “Up Yours!””

  1. And what did they plan to do with people who said they had no ID? I can’t seem to think of any crime relating to riding a bus in Houston without proper papers.

  2. I predict that once The People have had enough they will begin fighting back, there is no viable alternative. This will cause The Government to ratchet-up its current police state. Which in turn will cause The People to become more and better organized. Then, The Government will announce that for our own safety we The People need to turn in our firearms. Many will do so, many will not. I see where this country is going, and so do you. The only question I have is when it will begin in earnest. A Final Showdown looms.

  3. Mark-I agree with you. I spoke to someone who witnessed the Metro police Encounter with our fellow citizens.

    The Chairman of Metro promised a follow-up meeting with us. He said ” We screwed up”. Well, we’re those empty words meant to placate the angry citizens?

    I promised the Metro Board that if they did Not Stop the police abuse of our fellow citizens there would be a louder outcry from the public. I gave my word. The Metro Chairman is a smart man. Lets us hope he’s smart enough to curtail this police abuse before it “derails” Metros progress.

    Robert Fickman

  4. Even if a majority of us awakened to what’s happening, few of us are willing to sacrifice our family, livelihood, or risk our lives to do what needs to be done. We have become just the opposite of what our forefathers hoped. We have become a nation of cowards, too accustomed to our creature comforts to cherish our freedom. Coward, or not, it is unfortunate but I likely made some agency’s watch list with my prior comment. Sometimes I forget what year it is and think I’m living back in the 80’s.

  5. I wonder whether this hair-brained scheme wasn’t hatched out of a how-can-we-catch-more-bad-guys brainstorming session held during happy hour. It probably sounded so good at the time that whomever signed off on it thought it unnecessary to run by the legal department. At this rate, they’ll be doing pat-downs on the under 1 year old set by the end of the month. The only worthy response to these Metro cops is, “We don’t need no stinking papers!”

  6. What’s my position if I tell these bozos that they’re under arrest for violating my civil rights? (Obviously the carrying-a-weapon grounds that you spoke of using vs. TSA agents doesn’t apply since these are police, but if they violate their oaths they ought to be answerable to us, even if a court has to break a new trail to make them that way.)

    • In Texas, you’d be skating on thin ice. A citizen’s arrest can only be made for a felony or a misdemeanor breach of the peace. asking someone for ID is not a crime: you could ask every cop you see for his driver’s license, and never be lawfully arrested for it.

  7. To clarify the requirements to ID yourself to a police officer, Section 38.02(a) requires people to ID themselves including name, address or date of birth to a peace officer who has LAWFULLY arreted him and requests the information. That’s a Class C misdemeanor
    Section 38.02 makes it crime to give a false or fictitious name, address or date of birth to a peace officer who has LAWFULLY arrested the person, lawfully detained the person or if the officer has good cause to believe the person is a witness to a crime. That’s a Class B misdemeanor.
    So, unless you are lawfully arrested, there is no duty to ID yourself to the cops. But, if you are lawfully detained it’s a crime to lie about it.
    Otherwise, you can tell the cop to do some physically impossible things to himself.

  8. The timing and location of this seem to be a direct response to HCCLA members’ comments at the Board meeting, specifically those comments about 12 of the 14 arrestees being African-American. Someone also made a comment about how this wouldn’t happen at a Park and Ride stop because those people would raise hell, but I can’t remember if this was made at the meeting or not. I hope the Board is ready at their next meeting. Will you be forwarding this blog post, and the next one, to the chairman?

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