Wisconsin seems to be a leader in the race for becoming a full fledged police state. Earlier this year I posted on the fact that in Wisconsin police can attach a GPS device on citizens’ cars without a warrant.
Now we learn from the LaCrosse Tribune that police apparently used deceit to friend students on Facebook then, based on photos in their Facebook network, cited them for underage drinking. One can’t help but wonder if this was a fishing expedition for increased municipal revenue.
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse student Adam Bauer has nearly 400 friends on Facebook. He got an offer for a new one about a month ago. “She was a good-looking girl. I usually don’t accept friends I don’t know, but I randomly accepted this one for some reason,” the 19-year-old said.
He thinks that led to his invitation to come down to the La Crosse police station, where an officer laid out photos from Facebook of Bauer holding a beer — and then ticketed him for underage drinking.
The police report said Bauer admitted drinking, which he denies. But he did plead no contest in municipal court Wednesday and will pay a $227 fine.
He was among at least eight people who said Wednesday they had been cited for underage drinking based on photos on social networking sites.
Hopefully these students have learned some valuable lessons:
- The role of police officers is not to protect. They are law enforcement officers.
- The police can and will lie. (One of Wisconsin’s finest is quoted here as having aspirations of getting better at it.)
- Never talk to the police. Let your lawyer do the talking.