Pubdate: Mon, 7 Jun 1999
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI)
Copyright: 1999, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Contact:  414-224-8280
Authors: John L. Campbell, Kelly Villa, J. Asbury


Strange Method For Trying To Curb Drug Trafficking

I could not believe the June 4 article "Officers halt vehicles, check
for drugs on I-94." I even pinched myself to see if it was an April 1
spoof. Welcome, tourists and residents, to the Wisconsin police state,
where a bunch of the boys from the sheriff's departments can get
together to see how they can snarl traffic worse than all those orange
markers for construction.

Who authorized this so-called highway safety initiative? An elected
official, I hope. A lieutenant from one southeastern Wisconsin
sheriff's departments said, "We're looking for cars that obviously fit
a profile, and we're looking to see if we can find anyone (with drugs)."

I suppose that's any dark-skinned person driving a car more expensive
than a Toyota Camry. Meanwhile, traffic is backed up to the
Illinois-Wisconsin line.

Frankly, if this is the way we have to stop drug traffic, by
selectively searching cars on the freeway, I'm out of here!

John L. Campbell Brookfield

Yes, Let's Hear More

I eagerly anticipate today's news conference outlining the new program
that will allow random drug searches of automobiles.

Maybe the sheriff's departments will be able to explain why the Fourth
Amendment does not apply to them.

Kelly Villa Whitefish Bay

Article Prompts So Many Questions

I have a new motto for our state. "Welcome to Wisconsin. We're a
police state."

Many years ago, when I was in high school, one of my teachers pointed
out that in the Soviet Union, the people could not travel freely
within their own country. Now, here in Wisconsin, before you hit the
road, you had better be careful because the police can stop and search
you for any reason, or no reason at all.

The June 4 article failed to inform us of the specifics of the profile
the police are using to identify autos that they believe are carrying
drugs. Were drugs found in any of the vehicles that were stopped and
searched? Was anyone arrested?

What crime wave has prompted the police in five southeastern Wisconsin
counties to feel it necessary to blockade public highways? When do
they begin stopping and searching the passenger trains as the enter
the state? When do the police begin searching people departing
aircraft arriving from Chicago or Minneapolis? Where does it end? When
do we put up a fence with guard towers between Wisconsin and Illinois?

It seems that, little by little, the noose of the police state
tightens around the necks of the people of Wisconsin and our freedom
is taken from us. When will the people stand and fight the forces that
seek to enslave us?

Welcome to Wisconsin. It's a police state.

J. Asbury Milwaukee

Editor's note: Milwaukee County Sheriff Lev Baldwin has said no driver
profiling, including of a racial nature, was used in this ongoing
highway safety campaign.

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