Today, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office – known particularly for Joe Arpaio and ICE recently revoking the department’s clearance to directly enforce immigration laws – conducted raids on four McDonald’s restaurants (one in Scottsdale, just around the corner from my home, one in Tempe, and two in Mesa). The news report on the outcome of the raids centered on a swing shift manager, a US citizen, who was handcuffed and briefly detained along with everyone else. Click here and you’ll see her cry her eyes out and incoherently call it a “bad thing” as though it’s a trauma she barely survived.
This is where my “are you freakin’ serious?” attitude comes out.
During training for all three corrections agencies I worked for, I had to practice handcuffing and crisis scenarios. With one agency I got to be the trainer’s assistant, playing the unruly inmate. I was on the SRT for two of those agencies (special response team, SWAT for prisons). I’ve been handcuffed more times than I can remember. One of the things we were taught was that in situations where large numbers of people had to be detained, everyone involved was to be handcuffed for safety purposes…then, once everyone’s identity and level of participation was established, those involved were hauled away while those not involved were freed.
It’s a tactic used by all corrections and law enforcement agencies. Being handcuffed does not mean you’re under arrest – it just means the officers want to know that nobody is going to do anything dangerous while they identify all the people present.
The woman in that news clip bawling over being detained inside the restaurant drives me nuts because I can hear it coming already: I was a legal US-born citizen and you put me through hell! I’m suing for millions!
Know what else it’s gonna mean? “Immigrant rights” groups wailing about how unfair it is to those legally here being asked about their legal status in the country.
In the case of this manager, they established her identity and they took the cuffs off. She was never taken to the paddy wagon, never taken to jail, she was freed on site. If I were working for a place being raided by deputies or ICE agents looking for illegals I would fully expect to be handcuffed until they determined who everyone there really was and sorted us all out. I wouldn’t have a problem unless they actually took me to jail.
If you’re in this country legally, you know to carry your ID with you at all times. If you’re not here legally, then you deserve to get caught and shipped home. It’s that simple. If you get caught up in one of these raids and you have nothing to hide, don’t freak out until they actually take you to sit in jail.
These kind of drama shows for the cameras are annoying.