Calling all Utahns!

Or just the ones who know a thing or two about police protocol. Maybe the Berkeley CopWatch could do an on-location in Logan, Utah?

The local cops were taking pictures just before they belligerently broke up a birthday party for our company manager Saturday night, and witnesses I've spoken to said the cops wouldn't even explain why, shouting "Do you really have to ask?" As for noise, it wasn't nearly as loud as some previous parties at The Pines, and those that were louder have been broken up much more civilly (or not at all) than this one.

Some suspect the cops weren't taking too kindly to the theme of the party-- drag kings and queens. After the party was broken up, four company members on their way to their off-premises apartments were followed and pulled over, though none were drunk and only one was dressed in drag, and told "we don't like your kind here."

At first, veteran company members thought the cops were taking pictures because the scene was absolutely hilarious-- according to them, sheriffs have been known to come by merely for the entertainment of watching entertainers have fun. After all, it's not like they have any fun of their own. But after this year's sheriff came, posed for pictures with well-dressed partygoers, and left, several city police officers parked on the side of the building, started taking pictures "for evidence," waited for the Drag King walk-off to be over and then one shut off the power as the other began screaming for the person in charge to come forward. Then screamer-cop ordered everyone to disperse, and warned that if there's a party next weekend, "everyone in the apartment complex will be arrested." I'd like to see the Mormon tenants explain that one to Mom, Dad, and their ward president.

I am not especially comfortable with the idea of a police department retaining photos of me people-watching, whether or not my name is attached. They were taken while officers had not announced themselves on private property (and I wouldn't have been visible from the street), and the officers had parked out of sight without their lights on. They were there for at least five minutes taking pictures before I noticed they were even on our property.

I know there are city noise ordinances about music playing after 10 pm, though the police aren't required to enforce those until someone complains. No noise complaint was mentioned. It was almost (but definitely not past) midnight on a Saturday night, in a suburban parking lot of an apartment complex that's located on a highway. It's a loud neighborhood, with or without our contribution.

I guess the parts of the police's behavior that bother me are this: unannounced arrival, taking pictures, excessive cussing and yelling, threatening arrest without explaining why, and expressing clear disdain for those dressed for the occasion.

Not to mention, someone tells me that there is actually a law against cross-dressing in either the City of Logan or State of Utah, which could be the reason for the cops breaking up the party. I am a little busy this week. Does this sound familiar to anyone?

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