Part of the problem with the American economy is the police. In a country gone both stupid and gutless it is completely impossible to even discuss whether police are overpaid, over equipped, over benefitted and over protected let alone whether they are worth the misery they cause. Typically, cops drown out potential discussions of whether they are worth what they accomplish for how much they cost with a chorus of squeals.
Even worse, police now have the defacto authority to tax. The taxes are catastrophically regressive. The obscene practice of civil forfeiture was controversial for awhile but now hardly anybody bothers to talk about it. Another police tax nobody dares mention is the increasingly common practice of billing crime victims for the cost of responding to the crimes that were committed against them. A stellar example of police billing victims began a couple of weeks ago at a place called Scooters and Hooters Biker Bar on the Putnam County – Overton County Line, east of Nashville, Tennessee.
Southern Thunder Rally
Scooters, which is kind of a destination biker bar, holds a rally every summer called the Southern Thunder Rally at the adjacent June Bug Boogie event grounds. Hundreds of bikers attend these rallies. Some of them wear patches on their backs. On the evening of Saturday, August 25 members of the Renegades Motorcycle Club and the Outlaws Motorcycle Club starting woofing at each other in Scooters and Hooters. One, possibly intoxicated, Renegade woofed the loudest.
The bar owner, Herb Clark, was on top of it. “They dislike each other as a club thing,” he told numerous news outlets, “and I got caught in the middle of it.” The woofing Renegade punched Clark who sustained a cut over one eye. Clark has not pressed charges against anyone but after he was punched he was bleeding from an annoying place so he called 911 and told the operator he had been punched, was bleeding and needed a paramedic to close the wound. The 911 operator also dispatched a police cruiser to investigate the assault.
When the ambulance did not arrive someone else in the bar called 911 back, explained that Clark needed some stitches and added the detail that the bar owner had been punched while breaking up an argument between Renegades and Outlaws. That was all it took to excite the local police.
According to an Overton County Sheriff’s Department press release the acting shift supervisor, Sergeant Jeremy Carr, “recognized the potential for both civilian and officer harm and requested the Overton County Swat team to be called out to deal with the situation as they have trained in handling similar situations and are equipped to handle them,” Coincidentally, Carr leads the Overton County Swat Team. Yes, Overton County has a Swat Team.
Carr then requested reinforcements from the Putnam County Swat Team and the Livingston, Tennessee Police Department. It must have been an exciting few minutes on the scanner. The Tennessee Highway Patrol and numerous off-duty cops who didn’t want to miss the drama responded, too. “I’ve never seen so many police cars in one place,” Herb Clark told Nick Beres, a reporter for WTVF in Nashville.
There was really nothing to respond to. By the time the police arrived all the Outlaws and all the Renegades had hopped off to their magical rabbit holes. Deputy Brandon Masters or Putnam County officially reported:
“I received a call from Sgt. Rick Smith advising me that the Overton County Sheriff’s Department requested assistance with a disturbance at the motorcycle rally. I was advised that rival motorcycle gangs were possibly involved in an altercation.
“Upon arrival, myself along with several other officers from several agencies staged out on Waterloo Road. I was then advised by Detective Jamie Greenwood that Overton County had requested our Swat team to assist in the investigation of the incident. Myself, Deputies Bo Sherrell, Devin Brown, and Jacob Byrd then went to meet the Overton Swat team at the Hardys Chapel Community Center. We then followed Overton Swat into the rally.
“We secured the bar and perimeter around it. We were then advised that some of the problem bikers were possibly in the woods near the campgrounds. We then assisted Overton Swat in clearing the woods. No one was found in the woods.”
To review, bar owner Herb Clark got punched breaking up an argument and called Overton County 911 in hopes of getting his cut stitched up. He had nothing to do with the subsequent drama. Nevertheless, Overton County sent a Swat team. And Putnam County sent a Swat team to keep the Overton County Swat team company.
Afterward the Putnam County Sheriff, an American hero named David Andrews, was so livid you would think he had been punched. He told Mary Jo Denton of the Cookeville Herald-Citizen “The Overton County officers called on us and said they might need help up there, and I reluctantly sent our Swat team, thinking of helping those officers out. But after it was over, I met with the owner of that bar and told him that I would be sending him a bill for our services. I told him the taxpayers of Putnam County would not want to pay his expenses for holding big parties up there so he could make money. I made it clear to him that he would be receiving a bill.”
Last Thursday, WTVF reported that Andrews hadn’t changed his mind. He still felt entitled to send Herb Clark a bill for $1,700 to cover “the pay of the deputies, use of squad cars, mileage, cost of gas, and so on.”
Clark told WTVF that he “disagrees and believes he shouldn’t have to pay the bill because he never called for help.”