Yep, nobody’s guiltier than this long-time reporter. So many times over the past four decades the real import of a story has just sailed over my stupid fuzzy head.
But it’s fun to be a witness when a reporter suddenly has that head-thunking moment when he or she realizes that they’re actually reporting on a story that has real national significance!
Today’s ‘head-thunker’ is Jodie Fleischer of “Channel 2 Action News” in Forsyth County, Georgia. She’s just discovered that private HOA security guards are embued with the same powers as police officers in making traffic stops inside Homeowners Associations. Now try to understand this: Homeowners Associations are private non-profit corporations which have ZERO government powers, ZERO government enforcement abilities. Yet these sleazy little white-bastion gated communities are acting like they have all the Constitutional Powers customarily reserved for trained police officers. Every trained cop in the country should be mightily offended.
We’ve already had the Trayvon Martin disaster where an untrained ‘HOA security cop’ killed a kid who was walking through the neighborhood. Again, I have no opinion as to whether the fault was Trayvon’s or George Zimmerman’s. But this is like a ticking time bomb in every one of the nation’s carefully coiffed gated communities.
Trial lawyers are broke right now. Their phones have stopped ringing. The recession has eaten deeply into their personal savings. They are birds-of-prey at this moment, floating and circling over the countryside looking for any available carrion in these HOA communities. Every single time a private security guard pulls his lights, siren, badge and ticket writing stunt on a detained motorist, there’s a lawsuit in the making.
Every time a lusty young private HOA security guard takes a sideways glance at a low-cut blouse on the most recently detained motorist, there’s gonna be Hell to pay.
And it ain’t Hell that’s going to be paying the legal bills. It’s each and every member of that private gated Homeowners Association.
Jodie Fleischer, take it from a long-time fellow reporter. You’re hanging onto the threads of a donkey’s tail. This story will kick you into the mud, or into the Big Leagues.
I was recently looking for a garage sale in a “gated” upscale HOA. I stopped to ask directions when the lady so nicely helped me and told me they “can’t have them here”. I said, “that is why the guard let me in”. She said, “actually, they can not turn you away”.
Amazing! Well, if they don’t turn you away, why not? Just count your fingers as you walk away.