When you read about this incident, your reaction will be the same as mine. It absolutely makes no sense.
When a half-dozen men and a woman in street clothes closed in on University of Virginia student Elizabeth Daly, 20, she and two roommates panicked.
That led to Daly spending a night and an afternoon in the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail. Her initial offense? Walking to her car with bottled water, cookie dough and ice cream just purchased from the Harris Teeter in the Barracks Road Shopping Center for a sorority benefit fundraiser.
A group of state Alcoholic Beverage Control agents clad in plainclothes approached her, suspecting the blue carton of LaCroix sparkling water to be a 12-pack of beer. Police say one of the agents jumped on the hood of her car. She says one drew a gun. Unsure of who they were, Daly tried to flee the darkened parking lot.
Prosecutors say she apologized profusely when she realized who the agents were. But that wasn’t good enough for ABC agents, who charged her with three felonies. Prosecutors withdrew those charges Thursday in Charlottesville General District Court, but Daly still can’t understand why she sat in jail.
Agents charged Daly with two counts of assaulting a law enforcement officer and one count of eluding police, all Class 6 felonies carrying a maximum penalty of five years in prison and $2,500 in fines per offense.
This is what the cops saw her buying. Even I know, from a distance that this is sparkling water. I used to buy it all the time. You’d think one of the requirements for being a Virginia ABC agent would be the ability to tell a case of beer from a case of water.
But let’s put that aside.
When did buying beer become an excuse for calling out a SWAT team? Maybe I’m just old, but wasn’t there a time where a cop would just walk up to a kid and say, “What are you doing with that beer?” Why do you need six people to stop a girl with a 12-pack? (Other than splitting up two beers a piece.)
Why are cops pulling guns over a 12-pack?
I know I’m missing some kind of nuances of modern police procedure, but c’mon! This is insane.
- Six Plainclothes Cops Attack and Arrest University of Virginia Sorority Woman After She Buys Water From Grocery Store (reason.com)
- Twelve-pack of water sparks arrest of Henrico woman (wtvr.com)
- University of Virginia student arrested in near fatal mix-up with police – for buying bottled water (dailykos.com)