Max Chantha | October 24, 2015
MINNESOTA – It seems police are increasingly focused on inserting themselves into American’s public and private lives.
Now it seems even drinking a cup of coffee can bring down the wrath of benevolent government intervention.
Lindsey Krieger is one of countless Americans who like to drink a wake-up cup of coffee on their morning commute to work.
Unfortunately for her, she was completely unaware of how dangerous morning tradition is until a helpful police officer pulled her over for it.
The cop was at first unwilling to tell Krieger why she had been pulled over, instead opting for that timeless and always enjoyable game wherein the officer repeatedly asks why you think you have been pulled over, despite having done nothing discernibly wrong.
Eventually the cop informed her that her pre-work beverage was not only the cause of her being pulled over, but her drinking it was in fact illegal.
The cop did not ticket Krieger for drinking coffee, because most, though apparently not all, American adults know this is not a crime.
Instead ticket she was cited for not wearing a seat belt – which she had removed when she was pulled over.
The unnamed female officer’s sergeant Mike Ernster did not decry his subordinate’s actions as wholly unconstitutional, let alone just plain stupid, instead walking the thin blue line and telling the press that Krieger may have been guilty of “inattentive driving.”
However, in a more objective assessment, Joe Cummings of the Minnesotans for Safe Driving called the entire ordeal police overreach, pointing out the existence of cup holders as universal standards of cars indicating that drinking a non-alcoholic beverage while driving is not only legal but a complete social norm.
Fortunately, Krieger’s interaction with the officer has not discouraged her basic right to drink a coffee on the way to work.
The wanton overstepping of not only the police but all government entities into our daily lives is a reality that more and more Americans are confronting.
Distrust between the government and the American people, which the government claims to legitimately represent, will only continue to grow if the former’s officers feel it necessary and acceptable to interrupt lives with meaningless, juvenile accusations of illegality that only serve to tax the citizen of time and money.
Actions like this lean more toward authoritarian dominance than actual law enforcement.
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Max Chantha is a writer and investigative journalist interested in covering incidences of government injustice, at home and abroad. He is a current university student studying Global Studies and Professional Writing. Check out Max Chantha: An Independent Blog for more of his work.