Transparency on Facebook is a two-way street, which is clearly shown in the screen cap from Ken at Popehat:
After the Columbia Police Department announced its latest victory in the War on Drugs, which somehow failed to thrill at least one local nearly as much as Richard Nixon would have expected, Santiago saw the opportunity to teach Brandon Whitmer a lesson in the price of negativity.
Thank you for sharing your views and giving us reasonable suspicion to believe you might be a criminal, we will work on finding you.
Not to give Santiago any ideas, but the phone book would be a fine place to start, probably obviating the need to roll out the tank in search of this inchoate dope-lover. Santiago then decided to get serious and issue a warning to all who might question his fortitude:
In his excess of integrity (and on the off-chance that even greater lulz would be forthcoming), Ken sought to confirm from the PD spokesmodel that it was indeed Interim Chief Santiago issuing these stern warnings.
Chief Santiago did write those two posts. I believe the original comment was misconstrued. I appreciate you reaching out to CPD.
Chief was trying to say that he puts would-be-criminals on notice — if you commit a crime or plan to commit one, CPD will work hard to investigate and press charges according to the law.
It’s easy for social media posts to be misunderstood. The man who was so-called threatened openly admitted that he was not offended and appreciated the work of CPD.
The spin was artful, though unavailing. It’s unlikely that Santiago was sincere in his threat to go get Brandon Whitmer based on the “reasonable suspicion” of his comment. Rather, this is something seen with comical regularity, law enforcement throwing around legal-ish type language to strike fear in the hearts of such loud-mouthed pukes (/sarcasm, so don’t comment that Whitmer isn’t a puke).
To those of us who don’t find phrases like “reasonable suspicion” scary when uttered by guys with shields, this comes off as ignorant and abusive, just a pedestrian effort to assert brute force coupled with banal stupidity to keep the natives in line. But to a guy who may not have the means to call Santiago’s bluff, who realizes that the Santiagos of the world carry guns and think their badges put them slightly above reproach, it’s a damn scary threat.
And so, given Santiago’s professed interest in making sure that all his Facebook friends know how tough and serious he is, I offer him the opportunity:
Dear Interim Chief Santiago,
Like Brandon Whitmer, I don’t think well of you. In fact, I think the war on drugs sucks, and since you’re proud of your warrior role in it, I think you suck. Rather than pick on Whitmer, try me.
Just so you know, I hang around with people accused of crimes all the time. I eat with them. I drink with them. I sometimes go to their homes and meet their families. And get this, Santiago. I like them. But I don’t like you.
And I think you’re ugly. Butt-ugly. And that’s why girls never liked you.
Who am I? I’m a guy with a bulge in my waistband where my clip-on holster is positioned. I’m a guy who wouldn’t hesitate to walk down the street in the middle of the night in a bad neighborhood because the people hanging out are my friends. These are guys with lot of drugs, bad, evil drugs, who have my telephone number in their pockets. Some of them sell drugs. The same ones call me. What does that tell you, Santiago?
And I’m really easy to find. Here’s my address. Come get me, tough guy.
But I don’t think you will. I think you were the kid with the tiny penis that all the other boys laughed at in junior high. If you made it that far. I think the girls laughed at you when you got up the nerve to ask them to the movies. I think you chose to put on a badge because it let you talk tough.
So hop in that tank of yours and come on by. I’ll be here waiting for you, Santiago. You want reasonable suspicion? You got it, big boy. But I’ve had enough of your showing off the length of your pistol to people who are afraid to tell you where to shove it.
I’m here. You got the balls to do something about it?
Enough empty threats from the likes of a Ruben Santiago. Nobody ever called Sheriff Andy a blow hard coward, but then Sheriff Andy never pulled a stunt like this (put aside the technological difficulties it would have meant in the 1950’s). Man-up, Santiago. Smarten-up. Put-up or shut-up. You are a disgrace to the shield.