by The Other Katherine Harris
The Other Katherine Harris’s blog
Nov. 10, 2007
Like Benazir Bhutto today, I tried to leave my home and found my car and exits from the property mobbed by police. An odd symmetry, given that no political rally was on my agenda. I’d simply run out of Cokes.
What, you may well wonder, was going on in my little corner of sunny ABQ? I did, too. In reply to my query, I was told only that they were “searching for someone” — and then ordered to open my car trunk (this on the private streets of a condo complex). The dude wouldn’t even let me open it; I had to give him my key. Mind you, I’m not a young man with an edgy air and an exotic accent, but a small, red-haired American woman of middle age, who was wearing nice leather pants and full makeup.
As I surveyed the area, I observed dozens of police and sheriff’s department cars, which had disgorged at least twice as many armed cops, plus a firetruck and an ambulance.
Sounds serious, doesn’t it? Surely serious enough that it might have crossed their minds to send a few of those officers around for the purpose of advising residents to be watchful and keep their doors locked, rather than treating us like criminals, should we venture onto our own roads. They never came to my door at all, with either a warning or a request to search the house or fenced grounds.
Having abandoned my sodapop chase, I checked online and found a news item stating their prey was simply a guy who might have witnessed a crime and, after darting away from a cop, entered the complex. It further said they never found him — and I saw this within minutes of being told (by a cop other than Mr. Search-the-Trunk) that they were about two-thirds through and would carry on looking for another hour or so.
If such a quarry actually existed, the cops would have done better to watch beyond the outer walls, as they’re no more than six feet high. I could probably clamber over, myself, if I really wanted to. Instead, much of the entire county’s law enforcement crew (augmented by a delegation from the emergency services) spent nearly three hours within these walls and eventually converged on a cul-de-sac, doing lord-knows-what. Certainly not apprehending somebody dangerous. They were clumped there, with vehicles wrapped around the corners for a block in both directions, when I noticed the exits were no longer barricaded by cop cars and left. They were still there when I returned and, while on the Coke run, I saw not one cop lurking outside the walls.
The whole thing doesn’t make a lick of sense to me, except as a drill to see how much martial law innocent citizens will stomach. I’ve read that neighborhoods across our nation have experienced quite a number of these in recent years.