Lately I'm growing more and more concerned that we are moving towards living in a police state. Today I hear that the Des Moines Police Department entered Peggy's, the popular Drake University hangout, and demanded to see everyone's identification. Is this the USSR? Nazi Germany? No it isn't - at least not yet. The difference is, legally speaking, that you do have the right to refuse to speak to a police officer. You also have the right to refuse to provide identification, unless you live somewhere like Nevada where there‘s a specific law that says you have to tell the officer your name when asked. I believe however that in Iowa if providing your name will incriminate yourself, by allowing the officer to determine that you are committing a crime, I.e being in an establishment after 9 p.m., then you don't have to give them your name or identification. If a court would later tell me I'm wrong about that, then we need to fight to change that law.
Sixteen patrons in the bar apparently were cited for being inside Peggy's after 9 p.m., in violation of a Des Moines city ordinance. 3,000 Drake students and a city should feel as if their rights have been trampled on.
Just about everything that makes us frown is now a crime. We're going the wrong way.