June 28, 2013

THERE’S CLEARLY ROOM TO SLASH THE BUDGET OF THE VIRGINIA ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE COMMISSION: Bottled-water purchase leads to night in jail for UVa student.

When a half-dozen men and a woman in street clothes closed in on University of Virginia student Elizabeth Daly, 20, she and two roommates panicked.

That led to Daly spending a night and an afternoon in the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail. Her initial offense? Walking to her car with bottled water, cookie dough and ice cream just purchased from the Harris Teeter in the Barracks Road Shopping Center for a sorority benefit fundraiser.

A group of state Alcoholic Beverage Control agents clad in plainclothes approached her, suspecting the blue carton of LaCroix sparkling water to be a 12-pack of beer. Police say one of the agents jumped on the hood of her car. She says one drew a gun. Unsure of who they were, Daly tried to flee the darkened parking lot.

A reasonable person would have feared for his/her safety — as she did — and would have been within his/her legal rights to shoot them, or run them down. At which point, if experience is any guide, they would have made up some BS cover story. This sort of behavior by law enforcement is a threat to public safety and should not be tolerated. The agents should be fired.