Orange County Authorities Doing “Miami Vice” Style Raids on Barber Shops
Posted by iusbvision on November 8, 2010
You would think that a priority of the police would be to help enhance the public trust. It would seem that someone forgot to let Orange County authorities in on the secret.
It does not please me to have to report stories like this, but without restraint and a little common sense there can be no freedom.
As many as 14 armed Orange County deputies, including narcotics agents, stormed Strictly Skillz barbershop during business hours on a Saturday in August, handcuffing barbers in front of customers during a busy back-to-school weekend.
It was just one of a series of unprecedented raid-style inspections the Orange County Sheriff’s Office recently conducted with a state regulating agency, targeting several predominantly black- and Hispanic-owned barbershops in the Pine Hills area.
In “sweeps” on Aug. 21 and Sept. 17 targeting at least nine shops, deputies arrested 37 people — the majority charged with “barbering without a license,” a misdemeanor that state records show only three other people have been jailed in Florida in the past 10 years.
The operations were conducted without warrants, under the authority of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation inspectors, who can enter salons at will. Deputies said they found evidence of illegal activity, including guns, drugs and gambling. However, records show that during the two sweeps, and a smaller one in October, just three people were charged with anything other than a licensing violation.
Orange County sheriff’s Capt. Dave Ogden, who commands the area that includes Pine Hills, described the operations as a “minuscule” part of a larger effort to snuff out crime in one of Central Florida’s notorious hot spots.
Asked why his unit made arrests for licensing violations, Ogden said: “It was a misdemeanor crime being committed in our presence. We decided to make arrests.”
But many of the barbers who were swept up in the operations are still angry months later.
They made a big charade about it,” barber Jason Abrams said, “like we were selling drugs or something.”
Ok so if they found all these illegal guns and drugs etc, where are all the big charges and impending prosecutions? What was that….no big felony charges…. Oh so you just said that to the press to justify playing Miami Vice against people of color who cut someone’s hair… thanks that’s what I thought.
How could they be so stupid?
Is this what we hire police and SWAT teams for? I have a crazy idea, when you see someone cutting hair without a license, how about you send them a nice letter telling them to get a license in such a period of time or pay a fine? Maybe the local government in Orange County ran out of stamps or maybe they ran out of violent criminals to arrest.
The damage done to relations in the community by Orange County authorities is not worth the few dollars in fines they are hoping to glean from these raids. Did anyone internally dare to speak up and say, “You know this might not be a good idea.”