A USAF sergeant lost her job when the police, investigating her partner, looked through the window of their house and saw their marriage license from Iowa. So, just for fun, they called up the Air Force and turned her in.
The Rapid City Police Department says Newsome, an aircraft armament system craftsman who spent nine years in the Air Force, was not cooperative when they showed up at her home in November with an arrest warrant for her partner, who was wanted on theft charges in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Newsome was at work at the base at the time and refused to immediately come home and assist the officers in finding her partner, whom she married in Iowa - where gay marriage is legal - in October.
Police officers, who said they spotted the marriage license on the kitchen table through a window of Newsome's home, alerted the base, police Chief Steve Allender said.
Jene Newsome says she played by the rules, but apparently she didn't close her curtains and she should be prepared for the police to look in and blabber to her employer. Of course, if they did close the curtains, then they'd obviously have something to hide, so they should be investigated further. So really, if she hadn't married someone of the same-sex, then she wouldn't be in this situation.
What did she think, that she was living in a free society where she could separate her professional and personal life, exactly as she's asked to do by her government employer?
Newsome and the ACLU filed a complaint, and this ought to be independently investigated. Because when the police police themselves, here's what happens:
Allender said the department was finishing its internal investigation and has determined the officers acted appropriately.
Well, of course they found that they acted appropriately.
Sure, in this context, I'm certain that most people who are at all able to see that the police do wrong sometimes would find this to be over the line, even if they didn't violate any internal policies. The police shouldn't be able to just look into anyone's home and then tell whatever they find to people's employers.
This situation is a bit special, since the homophobia of the cops shines through their actions. But if they weren't motivated by homophobia, racism, sexism, etc? What if they just violated these people's privacy because, like many police officers, they just wanted to make their job as easy as possible and don't really have much respect for people's rights?
People should be fighting back against ever expanding police power, and I'm glad Newsome is fighting this with the ACLU. You give some people an inch of power, and they take a mile, which is why we have a system of laws and review and people who are given more power under the law are under more scrutiny than everyone else to use it correctly.
If police are left to their own devices, they are effectively put above the law. And when that happens, we're officially living in a police state, where they have the power to decide what the law means since they don't have to follow it themselves.