DMN: Stop Whining, You Innocent People

So, lemme get this straight. In today's Dallas Morning News, Metro columnist Jacquielynn Floyd says the folks living in the Bent Creek Apartments at Forest Lane and Audelia Road have no right to be upset about being raided on March 13 by police officers who banged on doors and scoured bathrooms, kitchens and over living spaces for drugs. They're just being a bunch of wimpering tenants for filing complaints with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Floyd all but writes that they brought it on themselves for not doing a better job of taking care of their complex, which has a rep for drug busts and shootings. "I might be mad, too, but I think their anger is misplaced," she writes--and she might be mad if cops knocked on her door and started searching her apartment without a warrant? Really? Anyway, do continue. "The real problem for these people, and for countless others in similar circumstances, is easy to identify and hard to fix: lowlife neighbors and indifferent, bottom-line property owners." Apparently, it's all their fault for living there in the first place, and screw 'em if that means a little unnecessary and possibly illegal police intrusion to make up for a bad landlord.

Really? No, really? Apparently, Floyd ain't a big fan of the Fourth Amendment, or maybe she's never heard about it; makes no damned difference. But the real issue is that Floyd--who apparently ran out of more current items about which to write--neglects to mention that the raid was given the A-OK by Assistant Dallas City Attorney Jennifer Richie, whose actions have prompted both the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence and the General Investigating and Ethics Committee to ask the State Bar of Texas to investigate her, as Jim Schutze reported here on May 18. Richie's the very same city attorney who caught the attention of state Representative Terry Keel, who heads the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence. He says Richie and the Dallas city attorney's office have been bending the state's anti-nuisance laws to attack small business owners who, the city insists, are allowing crimes to be conducted on their properties even when they were obviously doing no such thing. But don't tell that to the colunmnist who thinks people living in bad places get what they deserve. (Buzz would like to add the following: If having a bad landlord means you forfeit your Fourth Amendment rights, does having a dimwitted column mean a newspaper forfeits its First Amendment rights?) --Robert Wilonsky