Generally, I tend to be rather supportive of the boys and girls and assorted others gathered together in the vast and mostly fraternal embrace of that noble field, law enforcement. However, now and again, a sufficiently egregious example appears of "headus-up-assus" appears that no matter how kindly inclined towards the badged brethren one might be...it becomes difficult to explain away or fail to notice.
While thus far the evidence is inconclusive, from this distant location it is looking more and more like a largish portion of Texan representatives of the fraternity and/or their leadership have implanted their cranial appendages into their excretory orifice with such vigor as to cause a run on non-toxic latex-friendly lubricants and full body condoms.
Any time a law enforcement agency stages a massive "secret" raid barring the presence of media, packs of hundreds of folks, and seizes/destroys videos taken of the event by the targets or others (can we all say "destroying evidence of potential misconduct"?) any reasonably alert sort should be just a wee bit suspicious that something illegitimate is going on off in the land of the pretty flashing blue lights. When they do it with such vigor that nostalgic visions of Ruby Ridge and Waco go dancing through questioning heads, suspicion is clearly in order.
When the same decision is then rendered in 416 cases to separate 416 children from their families based on a now-suspect tip, and only 20 cases where allegedly anything like evidence of maltreatment have appeared - with all those cases decided by a single judge, in a single hearing, best described as chaotic, with hundreds of attorneys participating in this so-called hearing - one doesn't precisely become less skeptical.
Then when the Texas Child Care sorts announce as to how they are better able to get the testimony they want if they separate the children from their parents, the question of contaminated testimony starts to come into play...
Finally, Tam graciously brings out the question of why an APC from Midland was on site...something I'll gladly leave to her snark talents...
In short, while initially disturbing...the stench from this one seems increasingly pungent and indicative of a vast and mighty need for some of those who made command decisions on this raid to spend time in their very own pokey...
The FLDS may well be mightily weird, but they are no less entitled to equality before the law than anyone else. And I would suggest that means that you only get to bust the ones you have *actual evidence* of wrongdoing on, and that "guilt by association" is not a valid evidentiary standard any more than "we think they are odd and do not like them, we do not".
Civil rights lawsuits, anyone?
Update 4/19 0117: After reading another blog with a slightly different view of events, let me be painfully clear in a clarification - if one can show probable cause that local statute has been violated re: doing bad things with kids, then by all means hustle that individual or group of individuals in front of a jury of their peers and hang'm high if found guilty. HOWEVER, you WON'T have my support doing the same thing to their associates or co-religionists unless you can ALSO indict and convict them to the precise same high standard.
In light of that, I would suggest their are several hundred kids that need to be re-united with their folks *unless* you can prove they are in clear and present danger of harm, and do it in front of a court that isn't best described as a parody mounted on a railcar.