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A little taste of Ferguson in the heart of downtown Buffalo.... - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
captainsblog
captainsblog
A little taste of Ferguson in the heart of downtown Buffalo....
It's good, from time to time, to lose hold of your privilege and feel what the less privileged do.  I got a good dose of that to start my day today- a day that got longer and weirder as time went on, but first stories first.

Brace yourselves: I'm going to illustrate this:

Fergie

Behold the entrance to one of the court buildings I visit regularly.  Entry for most of the riff-raff is controlled by a closely guarded corridor, requiring packages to be passed through x-raying (A) and bodies to enter through the metal detector (B).  But I, you see, am a Special Snowflake, with a duly granted Secure Pass allowing me to skedaddle on by, to the right of point B, by waving my little card at the guards.  They vary from cursory glances to, occasionally, moderate checks of the card's content for identity and expiry, but these rarely require me to even slow down.

(There are exceptions to this. Rural counties tend to pay closer attention, given the higher incidences of even attorneys carrying in loaded weapons that the passes, despite the NRA's best efforts, don't allow you to bring in; and, as I've mentioned in the past, the appellate court in charge of disbarring us doesn't exempt attorneys from the screening at all.)

So it went this morning- barely a look from the Sam Elliott-stached security officer as I walked in. Unfortunately, I finished early, and made the mistake of Making Use Of The Time.

Before you enter the Gauntlet shown above, there's a cut-through to a Clerk's Office, which is accessed by, of all things, a door (C). You're supposed to get to (and, as I learned, from) said door by entering from the north end of the assemblage, through a passage beyond the security apparatus at A and B.

Alas, I am a special snowflake, and I entered through the shortest distance between two points- below the points marked D and E- and took a straight path to doorway C.  On the way in, I knew I was arguably doing something wrong- and a sign on the D side of things confirmed that, saying "NO UNAUTHORIZED ENTRY" or somesuch.

But nobody noticed, or cared.  I stuck my head into Door Number C, found it a futile exercise, and walked back out the way I walked in....
and almost into a heap of trouble.

Now, on the walking-out side of that checkpoint (E) was a different sign: it said "MEETING IN PROGRESS."  I suspect it was used solely for the sterner message on the other side. It made no sense and gave me no sense of lawbreaking, so I passed it, and was confronted by one of the security officers:

You can't go this way. This is a secure area.

Gotta admit, it took me for a loss: they're so lackadaisical about me ENTERING the building, not to mention, duh, I was LEAVING.

So I told him so. The second part, that is; and I perhaps eyerolled a little at the junior-high prospect of having to walk back up the UP staircase so I could walk properly down the DOWN one.

We were not amused:

You walked right by that marked stanchion. Do you think this is a joke?

No, but (a) I thought, but did not say, that "stanchion" consists of two bank-teller-line style ropes about three feet across, and (b) I thought, and DID say, that the sign on the inside of the stanchion read "MEETING IN PROGRESS," not anything to suggest it vas verboten.

That seemed to assuage him, and I was allowed to leave with no shots fired.

Still, it worried me. If this is how tightly these guys are wound around a middle-aged white guy who is almost certainly an attorney, how likely are they to go off around someone who they REALLY think is dangerous?

Ask Trayvon, or Michael Brown. Oh, wait, you can't:P
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