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Dastardly Duckling

Thursday, August 18, 2005

In another example of "abuse of power", we read this from the King County Journal:

"It's just not right," said Capt. Bill Hebner of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, which is seeing an increase in incidents of people trying to domesticate wild animals.

Many well intentioned people just assume the animals are orphaned or bring injured animals home to nurse them back to health.

It would seem that a woman, Diane Erdmann, acquired a duckling from a friend that was injured by a crow. Diane Erdmann took it upon herself to attempt to nurture the duckling back to health. Apparently, her first mistake was not familiarizing herself with state and federal laws concerning the possession of "wildlife".

The article continues:

The only way to legally own a duck is to buy it from a business that is state-certified to raise and sell waterfowl, Hebner said. If Erdmann had legally obtained Gooey, she would have paperwork and the duck would have markings.

It is possible Erdmann violated state and federal law by possessing wild waterfowl, a misdemeanor crime, Hebner said.

So, we're to gather that the only thing standing between Diane Erdmann and her duck is government's endorsement on a piece of paper giving her permission to possess the duck. One would have to then assume that the State owns the duck. How else could the State permit others to take possession of the duck? How else could the State certify businesses to raise and sell waterfowl. The State would have to lay claim to all waterfowl.

The subject of Diane "possessing wild waterfowl" is actually not what pushed my hot-button... It's this:

Diane Erdmann said the two Fish and Wildlife officers stormed into her place of business at Northwest Territorial Mint, demanded the duck, and threatened to arrest her.

When Erdmann didn't comply, an officer lunged toward her to grab the duck from her arms, striking Erdmann in the chest and knocking her backward, she said.

"They were not interested in my explanation," Erdmann said of the officers. "They treated it like a drug raid."

A security-camera video of the incident is "kind of inconclusive," said Auburn police Sgt. Bill Pierson.

The case has been forwarded to the city attorney for potential charges, though Pierson said: "My instinct tells me he won't be charged. Those guys are state officers so they can use reasonable force."

Reasonable force?

Are we to assume that if you are associated with the state, you have the permission of the state to use force to gain compliance? That is what he said, "Those guys are state officers so they can use reasonable force."

Its OK by government for it's officers to knock you around a bit to get you to comply with the will of it's officers. A little force won't hurt anyone. Hell, this must be the same force officers used to get Jean Charles De Menezes to comply with their will!

Don't get me wrong. If the situation warrants an escalation of restraint, then you need to use force. But, when there is no obvious threat to the public (i.e. a woman clutching a duckling to her bosom), you had better keep your "force" in check.

Unfortunately, we have seen state officials dishing out truckloads of "force" with no accountability when that force is later proven to be unwarranted. Accountability is what keeps tyranny in check.

On a side note, I find it interesting that you can have sex with a horse, but you can't possess wildlife.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a complete WASTE of taxpayer dollars. I'm certain that 2 men and how many hours later cost us all a bundle. How about using our money for FINER uses - such as keeping child rapists in prison - or educating our children.

If we as a nation continue to allow this kind of abuse by those hired to "protect and defend", we will surely pay a higher price than their wages.

12:06 AM  

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