(Paul Jacob/Common Sense) – “Hands up! Drop the clippers! Step awayyyyyyy from the barber chair!”
That might not be exactly what the deputies and inspectors, under color of bureaucratic authority, warbled as they raided at least nine barber shops in Orange County, Florida. But armed men did invade the central-Florida shops in August and September, and without warrants.
They did arrest “criminal” thatch dispatchers for handling hair despite lack of a license.
The “authority” here was that of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, whose inspectors were aided in their quest to protect the public from bad trim jobs by the dozen-plus deputies joining the raids. In a few cases, pot or guns were found along with maleficent lack of licensure. But the pretext was to clamp down on unauthorized peaceful means of making a living.
In one raid, the barbers of the assailed shop all did have current licenses, but had to sit around in handcuffs while that fact was confirmed.
The Orlando Sentinel notes that most of the 37 people arrested as a result of the “unprecedented” raids were charged with only the misdemeanor of “barbering without a license.” It’s not obvious why anybody would want to divert resources from real crime fighting to conduct such idiotic assaults. Nobody really thinks that barbers habitually graduate from illegal buzz cuts to home invasions and murders.
I hope the victims consider suing. That might help prevent this travesty from happening again.