Botch-athon: Legislators question ABC procedures

Two weeks after felony charges were dropped against a sparkling-water-buying 20-year-old, who was totally wigged out when a phalanx of seven plainclothes Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control agents surrounded her car in a darkened Harris Teeter parking lot, pounded on the windows, leaped on the hood, and pulled a gun— all for suspicion of underage beer possession— citizens and legislators continue to ask the question: What were they thinking?

 

Elizabeth Daly and two sorority sisters had just attended a Take Back the Night rape awareness vigil on April 11 and went to Harris Teeter at Barracks Road around 10pm to buy ice cream and cookie dough for a fundraiser. A case of LaCroix sparkling water the women had also purchased drew the scrutiny of the ABC agents, who had been staking out the parking lot and who mistook the water for beer.

Initially, the ABC adopted a blame-the-victim stance for Daly's arrest and three felony charges, including two assault of an officer for "grazing" the agents as she fled in fear: "The agents were acting upon reasonable suspicion and this whole unfortunate incident could have been avoided had the occupants complied with law enforcement requests," read a July 1 statement.

As the maelstrom continued, by July 5, the agency announced a new procedure effective immediately: Future stakeouts for underage alcohol purchases would include a uniformed officer "once the plainclothes agent has developed reasonable suspicion and/or probable cause to approach individual(s) they believe have violated the law."

In a case that has now made international news, some say that's not enough. More than 500 people have signed a petition that demands an apology to Daly from the ABC. Delegate Barbara Comstock has written to the agency, asking for an explanation of the procedures that led to such a debacle, as has House Minority Leader David Toscano. Charlottesville City Council has joined the fray, calling for an independent review and cooperation with city police when conducting operations here. And the Rutherford Institute's John Whitehead has written to the General Assembly decrying the militarization of police and an operation that he says ignores the Fourth Amendment.

"Either ABC officials are being deliberately disingenuous or they don’t understand that there is a distinct difference between 'reasonable suspicion' and 'probable cause,' the latter of which is required by the Constitution before any government official can search an individual or his property," writes Whitehead in a nine-page letter to the House Police, Militia and Public Safety Committee.

"They're not supposed to do surveillance on the American public," Whitehead tells the Hook. "If they're coming out of police departments not trained in the Fourth Amendment, we've got a real problem."

He notes the Daily Progress report that the ABC had conducted a two-day sting in the Harris Teeter parking lot and 10 people were arrested. How many more were accosted by agents because they looked young and appeared to be carrying alcoholic beverages like Daly, who was doing nothing wrong, wonders Whitehead. That, he maintains, does not rise to the level of probable cause.

He wants the General Assembly to investigate the still-unnamed agents involved, and to reevalutate the policies and procedures of the agency. "Originally created to enforce Prohibition-era laws, the ABC Special Agent program itself is a relic of a different era, and the extent of its powers are in desperate need of comprehensive review, as this incident demonstrates," says Whitehead.

Northern Virginia Delegate Barbara Comstock wants to examine the ABC's policies and procedures first. She says she's been getting an earful from constituents, and as the mother of a 24-year-old, young-looking daughter who attended UVA, she has concerns about what she's read in the news about the incident.

"The situation could have escalated," she tells the Hook in a phone interview. "It could have been much worse if it escalated."

Comstock points out that uncertainty about whether someone is a cop is an "affirmative defense" for an eluding police charge, and the 911 call one of Daly's passengers made attests to the fear they felt. "The young women clearly were frightened," she says. "They didn't know who they were dealing with. In an ambiguous situation, we want young women to be able to protect themselves."

Among the questions she's asking: Why were seven officers necessary? Why were the arrests not made in the store or just outside rather than in a darkened parking lot? What are the policies for use of a weapon? And perhaps most significantly, Comstock asks, "Considering the facts surrounding this incident— a woman justifiably fearful for her safety who had committed no crime— why were three felony charges filed against her?"

Considering the facts surrounding this incident–-a woman justifiably fearful for her safety who had committed no crime–- why were three felony charges filed against her? - See more at: http://www.delegatecomstock.com/blog/read.aspx?id=476#sthash.NTanC0Hw.dpuf
Considering the facts surrounding this incident–-a woman justifiably fearful for her safety who had committed no crime–- why were three felony charges filed against her? - See more at: http://www.delegatecomstock.com/blog/read.aspx?id=476#sthash.NTanC0Hw.dpuf
Considering the facts surrounding this incident–-a woman justifiably fearful for her safety who had committed no crime–- why were three felony charges filed against her? - See more at: http://www.delegatecomstock.com/blog/read.aspx?id=476#sthash.NTanC0Hw.dpuf

Delegate David Toscano also wants to look at ABC policies. "I know there's a lot of concern," he says. "I've heard not just from the public but from ABC folks concerned that this is an outlier incident."

For Toscano, the big issue is "proportionality," and whether the agents needed to prevent the women from driving away for what is a summons offense. "The better part of valor would have been to take the license plate number and then write a summons," he says. "They didn't do that."

He, too, questions the need for a firearm for underage drinking interdiction. "Is there a reason for the attempt to break the window?" he asks. "Is that consistent with policy?"

Advises Toscano, "When you're going out in the dark, you've got to be very sensitive when approaching females. It sounds to me like an over-reaction. These agents have been dealing with questions of consumption for years. You've just got to wonder what caused them to over-react."

The Harris Teeter incident has generated a lot of wondering about the ABC. For instance, as the firestorm was heating up and the three felony charges against Daly were dropped June 27, Progress reporter Katy Evans discovered that the chairman of the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control, J. Neal Insley, was at a five-day conference at the Sheraton Waikiki Resort in Hawaii to discuss moonshiners.

"Chairman Insley's conference was at no expense to ABC or the state," says ABC spokesperson Becky Gettings. He's the chairman of the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association, a nonprofit for state alcohol monopolies, and that organization paid for his trip, she explains.

At 11:43pm July 8, Gettings sent out a third statement from the ABC, this one from Insley.

“Once the charges were nolle prossed, I immediately directed the internal review of the circumstances leading up to the young lady’s arrest,” he says. Insley says he's asked the Virginia State Police to conduct an independent review, and neither agency will comment on the review until it's complete.

"I've never met a moonshiner," says Whitehead about the Hawaii junket, and he questions another agency expense— a $750,000 mobile command center rolled out this spring and was paid for with forfeiture funds, according to a release. "What the hell is that for?" demands Whitehead.

UVA class of '13 grad Ben Elron was so concerned about the Harris Teeter incident that he started an online petition demanding an apology from the ABC and appropriate discipline and/or dismissal of the agents involved.

"As a former member of UVA's Honor Committee, I highly value the positive, collaborative relationship between students and the police— it is something that we worked hard to promote," he writes in an email. "I started this petition because I believe it is critical that this relationship extend to the ABC agents in Charlottesville as well."

The likelihood of an apology? That was one of those unanswered questions to the ABC from the Hook.

Another refers to a statement in the July 5 release that cites "misinformation being reported." What has been inaccurately reported? The ABC declines to say, but there's this in the same release: "The culture at ABC is one of transparency and of safeguarding the public trust; therefore, we take all citizen complaints very seriously."

Inevitably, the debacle has drawn scrutiny to the Prohibition-era agency and the ABC's mission to thwart drinking by 18- , 19- , and 20-year-olds.

"It does raise some questions about the resources put in place to prevent underage drinking," says Toscano, who reiterates, "It's a question of proportionality."

Listen to the 911 Calls:

https://soundcloud.com/readthehook/harris-teeter-abc1

https://soundcloud.com/readthehook/harris-teeter-abc2

53 comments

The whole thing was a mess. Technically, though, they didn't "arrest a frightened young woman who was doing nothing wrong". They arrested her because she hit officers with her car and tried to run. That was, actually, wrong.

Now... why they had their guns drawn for an ABC violation?

Whether she did nothing "wrong" is an opinion. She fled from a group of strange people, one wielding a firearm, and at least one trying to break into her car according to the reports. When this story broke, a UVA student was sexually assaulted not too far from Harris Teeter. In my opinion she did the right thing, the ABC did the wrong thing by wasting resources trying to arrest 18, 19, and 20 year olds for purchasing alcohol. I would push to sue the ABC for civil rights violations and not let up until all the agents involved are released from the ABC, but we all know that will never happen. If I made such a mistake in a private sector job, there is no doubt I would be fired.

Initially I thought wow, at long last they have decided to ban Bisphenol A-, hydrofluosilicic acid- and aluminum-laced sparkling water beverages and conduct raids on the morons who drink them! I was disappointed to learn it was all about the booze.

Can we get a photo of this new ABC assault vehicle? I suspect one picture would be worth several hundred words, at least.

Why did it take 3 months to drop the charges? And why do these faux cops even carry guns? Are there any circumstances when the use of firearms against teenage beer purchasers would be justified? ABC's response to this is TOTALLY inadequate.

In Marylannd they averaged 4.5 swat team attacks A DAY in 2009.
How soon before Virginia uses all its TSA fubded toys and armor?

http://www.salon.com/2013/07/10/militarized_police_overreach_oh_god_i_th...

Woody, they actually are real cops. Badges, guns, training and all, just in plainclothes.

Now as to if they acted appropriately, that's another matter and I'm pretty confident we would agree.

> "Insley says he's asked the Virginia State Police to conduct an independent review, and neither agency will comment on the review until it's complete."

In another article in the Times Dispatch, Insley claimed this would be an "impartial" review by the State Police.

Impartial? That's an outrageous lie on the part of VA ABC. Let me repeat that: an outrageous lie. This casual corruption needs to be stopped by the citizens and press of Virginia.

The ABC officer that signed off on Elizabeth Daly's criminal complaint in Charlottesville is Andrew Covey*. Covey was a Virginia State Trooper for five years**.

For the last time: An outrageous lie.

> * "According to the criminal complaint lodged by Special Agent A.T. Covey, he went to the front of the SUV and was on its hood "when the driver sped away to evade police," and agents Covey and Brown were "lightly struck" multiple times."

> http://www.readthehook.com/109831/terror-harris-teeter-gun-wielding-abc-...

> ** "Covey served as a Virginia State Police trooper for five years before coming to ABC. He holds an associate degree in criminal justice from New River Community College in Dublin and studied building construction at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg."

> http://www.newsleader.com/article/20121207/NEWS01/312070012/ABC-selects-...

> Why did it take 3 months to drop the charges?

They haven't been dropped. They're still on the books. The governor needs to expunge the charges, pronto.

I don't think anybody needs to get terminated over this event. Especially since nobody was injured. But I do think every agent involved needs to be assigned to new duties within ABC. Demotions, pay cuts, perhaps send them to their choice of ABC stores to stock shelves and work the cash registers. The chairman of the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control, J. Neal Insley, needs to make examples of this handful.

Can't we use some of the plentiful homeland security money to go after these cops, seeing as how they fit the definition of terrorists?

Any cop or ABC agent that "served" in Iraq should be under scrutiny.
Their judgement and lack of scruples about taking combat pay for invading and terrorizing that nation should disqualify them for any more of that crap here.

> nobody was injured.

Spoken like any servant to the State would speak. Elizabeth's rights and well-being were injured. Everytime a cop unjustly puts an innocent citizen in jail to cover up their mistakes, that cop has injured that citizen.

These cops need to lose their jobs and pay for their mistakes. Jail might even be in order so that cops in Virginia would get the message to cease this predatory behavior.

Of course the 800 pound Gorilla in the room is the reality that the ABC itself needs to go. It's a relic of the early thirties when the various states had to be bribed to ratify the end of prohibition by assuring the states in Crackerstan that they could continue with their idiocies about alcohol by having "states rights" in the matter ensured. If the state wants to collect its taxes, well, so be it, but the ABC needs to go and the state stores need to go as well. In more modern states than this, underage possession is just a matter for the police and booze is sold as anything else is, in ordinary stores with no restricted hours, Sunday closures, or any other such foolishness.
In my travels, people are amused when I tell them about the way we do things in Virginia, and this is just in the U.S.. The reactions in foreign countries are really hilarious...well, not in Iran, etc.......

A little more info for those keeping track. The "agent in charge" of this fiasco was John L. Taylor. The agent previously identified as L. Blanks is Lauren E. Blanks from the Chesapeake office. The agent previously identified as agent Brown is Armond Brown. Agents Blanks and Brown are the pair that made the initial contact, and it appears that agent Brown is the courageous law enforcer that drew his weapon in an effort to stop these desperadoes armed with sparkling water and ice cream.

Was Insley in Hawaii on taxpayers money?

Angel Eyes is absolutely right. ABC needs to go. It should have been abolished at the same time as the blue laws. The fact that 6 or 7 agents were involved in this fiasco makes it clear this is an agency with not enough to do.

There's a lot to learn by everyone, here. Let's start with "darkened" parking lots, and "in the dark." First: I assume that there are actual lights which illuminate the parking lot. Is it not so? Second, does it matter? Probably not. Seven unidentified men are still 7 unidentified men, no matter the lighting conditions. The continued reliance on the ambient light is a device that tells us nothing, changes nothing.

Did the women do anything wrong? Perhaps we should ask what they could have done better, given their evident belief they were under attack. The only thing that occurs to me is that they should have worked the horn and flashed their lights in the direction of the occupied HT as they made a slow egress. GET ATTENTION. Their call to the cops was exactly the right thing to do.

What could the agents have done better? Evidently, my previous suggestion of clearly identified police has been incorporated in the procedure. I'll take no credit for that, but must wonder why it took so long for anyone to have developed the protocol.

And this brings us to whole concept of the ABC. Whether the agency is a relic from the mists of antiquity is irrelevant. We might take better guidance from how the job of liquor law enforcement might be more efficiently performed right NOW. It might make some sense for the administration of distribution (liquor stores) and licensing to be handled by an agency (ABC) tasked to do so. But enforcement can probably be more efficiently handled by a unit of the State Police. Therefore, move enforcement OUT of ABC and into the State Police. Presumably, the agents and their funding would also be transferred.

Which brings us to enforcement priorities. Supposing the victims HAD purchased beer or wine, and supposing they were under-age, who, then, is the greater violator -the kids, or the vendor? The cowardly act of chasing down 3 youngsters is, facially, a way to carve another notch on the gun stock. But the more effective move would have been to approach the store manager or register clerks to ask if anyone remembers seeing 3 young ladies purchase beer - and was the ID checked for age? As to the customers? Just note vehicle license number and follow up if needed. So, send SIX agents into the store, and let one agent and a uniformed officer take up the matter with the customer.

Point being: we already KNOW that youngsters will try to buy or to ingest booze. We expect it. But we also expect vendors NOT to sell or serve it to them. Therefore the primary thrust of enforcement should be at the point of distribution.

Waiting for an apology. That's it? Just a mea culpa? Spare me. I hope you regret your stupidity and your performance as bullies. But what I REALLY want is some evidence that you recognize what went wrong, and have taken measures to assure that neither this, nor anything like this, will ever happen, again. And, while we're at it, the senseless, robotic response which puts the blame on the victims indicates a serious deficiency in the frontal lobes. A purge of these reptilian thinkers should not be out of the question.

So an ex-Va State Trooper made the complaint and the Va State Police are conducting an "impartial" investigation?

I see.

Who knew what, and when? ABC announced on April 8 via Cav Daily that they would be enforcing in Charlottesville.

quote" "Which brings us to enforcement priorities. Supposing the victims HAD purchased beer or wine, and supposing they were under-age, who, then, is the greater violator -the kids, or the vendor? The cowardly act of chasing down 3 youngsters is, facially, a way to carve another notch on the gun stock."

Incorrect. The sting operations are aimed primarily at identifying the STORES that are selling alcohol to underage kids. In order to do this the agents must stop an underage kid outside and establish the fact they just bought alcohol inside of the STORE. To ask the STORE to cooperate beforehand would be like asking King Fox to help them catch the fox that keeps raiding the hen house. They can't put the STORE on notice that they are outside enforcing ABC laws. The agents couldn't care less about the kids, they are after the STORES.

Bob, you raise a good point. The point about spending a night in jail has already been discussed in e-mails between ABC top management. They already know a lawsuit is to be expected, and they will pay and settle out of court, trust me..... the victim will be well compensated for her 8 to 10 hours in jail. I would not be surprised to see her get $50,000+ in an out of court settlement.

And imagine the satisfaction the victim would get if she finally walked into an ABC store and saw these same agents stocking shelves and working the cash registers too.

GSOE-
> the victim will be well compensated for her 8 to 10 hours in jail.

That's not the point. If the cops that filed the complaint and threw her in jail had any decency or common sense, they wouldn't have put us, the Commonwealth, in the position of having to make restitution.

The problem is that too many cops are little more than barbarians with the power of the State behind them. This isn't all cops, as I know cops that possess consciousness of the rights of others and have respect for the job they do and the citizens they work for.

But when good cops continue to allow bad cops to keep their jobs, good cops fall into danger of being bad cops, like these clowns that have already cost us money and goodwill.

I was surprised to see on ABC's web site that they actively recruit 17 to 19 year old kids statewide to attempt to make illegal alcohol purchases. It doesn't say whether ABC supplies them with fake IDs, but it sounds like entrapment nonetheless.

Bob, do you have any idea how hard it is to terminate a law enforcement in Virginia? Sheriff's can hire and fire at will, with or without a valid reason or excuse. But police chiefs do not enjoy this same luxury in law enforcement. I suspect demotions and pay cuts will be the only punishment you will see in this ABC event. And you may not even see those. The only thing the public might see from the ABC Board is a lick and promise to improve agent training. And life goes on for the 6 or 7 agents involved in this three ring circus, the three ring circus that even ABC is the worst in their history. It's old history now, but I ended up suing a large handful of cops for wrongful actions. A few were terminated or forced to take early retirement, a few retired, and believe it or not...... a few were promoted. That's right, in one of the worst wrongful actions, the rookie who placed false charges after a so-called and shoddy investigation on her behalf was actually promoted to detective. Can you believe that? And the agency that promoted this girl can't even solve the murder of their own sheriff's wife. In Charlottesville falsely arresting people while a murderer still walks their own streets. Oh well...... there's a perfect example anyway about how they retain somebody who cost their law enforcement agency a small fortune in a lawsuit.

> do you have any idea how hard it is to terminate a law enforcement in Virginia?

I do. That's a large part of the problem.

Until bad cops are held to the same standards as the rest of us when they violate the lives, rights and property of innocents, the nascent Police State will only get worse.

I hope I can live to see a rebalancing of liberty against the State in my lifetime. I don't hold a lot of hope for it, but I think we'll see it in the next couple of generations.

Gasbag it might be old history but I didn't hear anything recently about the local sherriff's wife being murdered, it sounds extremely suspicious to me. When did this happen, what was her name and her husbands name? Was this ever reported in the local news media? Correct me if I'm wrong, the lady was promoted after being found guilty of corruption to the rank of detective. Naturally she would be involved in the murder investigation of the Sheriff's wife. The Sheriff has the power to fire her if he sees any more corruption going on. The murder of his wife has never been solved. Means, motive, power to cover up the crime after the fact, anyone? You might ask why the department didn't just murder the Sheriff instead of his wife but it still got my attention.

I also would very much like to know the name of this lady detective and her boss at the time this happened.

Someone, I probably wasn't clear in my reply. The agency was the Alexandria police department, they were wasting their time in Charlottesville arresting a 5'11" 50 year old 220 pound gray haired retired deputy sheriff when the original suspect was a 5'8" 20ish year old 140 pound Hispanic male with jet black hair. The description on the original offense report was changed to match the 50 year old person.

The sheriff's wife in Alexandria was murdered. And they were wasting their time changing original reports and falsely arresting the wrong person in Charlottesville for the crime. The rookie was not a detective at the time of the sheriff's wife's murder. She was promoted after her false arrest of the Charlottesville citizen.

Sheriff James Dunning was the sheriff whose wife was murdered, December 2007. It is still an unsolved crime according to a Google search.

Sorry, my bad, the murder was in 2003, not 2007.

UVA owns everyone and everything in C'ville. There are no checks and balances.

REALITY CHECK

Reporter Lisa P. please note, charges were NOT dropped (see below), the arrested now have an arrest record, as well as fingerprints and mug shots, maybe even DNA are on file with the FBI. If you care to note on most all employment applications these days the question is asked "Have you EVER been arrested for any crime?"

As for the charges, they are now classified as Noelle Prosequi or Not Prosecuted and can be brought back before the courts without fear of placing the defendant in Double Jeopardy.

The young ladies are marked for life with what I term the Scarlet F. Oh, Felony charges in your past, you must be guilty of something. Try getting a job with law enforcement or the government with a felony charge in one's past and see how far you get. Oh yea, try getting admitted to UVA with a felony charge. I can hear the Registrars now, "This woman has to be guilty of something, felony charges aren't given for nothing, she probably got off on a technicality! Next." Try getting pledged into a sorority, just don't mention the felony charge that was Nolle Prossed.

This is the injustice when law enforcement and the Commonwealth Attorney do not admit the mistake and literally have effed up this girl for a long time to come. Admission of wrongdoing creates a liability and sets precedent.

As for the current Governor of the Commonwealth signing an expungement order, think again. The current Governor is not signing much, if any of those types of orders. And if you believe Cooch will sign any, please share what you have been smoking. Just stating facts, these gentlemen have a right to believe and promote their political views, just think about this before you cast a ballot. Please vote for the candidates of your choice.

In closing, here is a quote from the www site CrimLaw: (Paragraph included for context, this quote is not referring to the case under discussion here. The last sentence is the relevant statement)
"As a matter of actual practice, I think this settles the question of whether a dismissal in Virginia is with prejudice or not: it is a dismissal with prejudice. While I think a prosecutor could, under this decision, still move for a motion to dismiss without prejudice he's not going to do that. When he wants to be able to bring the case back he will move for nolle prosequi."

Expungement orders are signed by judges in Virginia.

The Governor usually signs what is called a pardon.

I've "heard" that misdemeanors committed as a juveline are automatically expunged when the offender becomes an adult, while felonies are not. Does this mean that the possession of Super Skunk 5 charge I incurred through no fault of my own as a seventeen year old is no longer on my criminal record, because I've never really obtained a copy of my criminal record Seventeen years later I could find out that every time I put that I have never been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor (a half truth but still not an outright lie discoverable on the books) on a job application, the records said otherwise. A misdemeanor conviction might not be a big deal to the employer but lying about it would certainly be a different story. If the offender didn't realize this it could pretty much ruin his life without him even knowing why.

If the Super Skunk 5 charge was "null processed" or dropped, would the criminal record indicate that I had ever been charged with such? If so, that would be outrageous.

I forgot to mention an important detail, that being that I was charged with possession of Super Skunk 5 as a juvenile but they waited until became an adult (and spent a month in juvenile hall and three and a half months in rehab, missing most of my senior year in high school) to convict me. That's why I'm worried this may have ruined my life without me even knowing it.

Another thing I forgot to mention, UVA cited this juvenile Super Skunk 5 charge as evidence of mental illness and cause to put me away in Western State for three months (double jeapordy anyone?), I didn't realize this at the time because at no time did they inform me of this. Only when I paid money to UVA to obtain my medical records did I discover this on the chart. Talk about egregious.

I certainly didn't tell them about this charge. They certainly never asked me for confirmation.

If a criminal offense occurred in the Commonwealth, the person charged can request a paper copy of their criminal record from the VA State Police for a small fee. It will show what is on file.

If a person has ever been fingerprinted and photographed that info along with the charge, regardless of conviction status, remains on file with the FBI-- FOREVER. The somewhat good news it is only available to law enforcement after a set period of several years.

I shouldn't have to pay a penny to the same State that did this to me to clear my record. They're the ones who should be paying me money and maybe someday they will.

Sorry, Wesley Russell, Jr. I honestly wasn't trying to insinuate that...well, I better just leave it there.

Botch-A-Thon!

Notice how all the blame is placed on "policy". There is NEVER, I repeat NEVER a bad apple in public service, citizens! Nothing to see here, we'll have those "policies" fixed up in no time. Carry on.

Oh, well. Hardly anyone reads this cyber censored toilet paper tabloid anymore anyway. Even the few who do appear to be on vacation.

This incident is more proof that Virginia is the most uptight state in the nation. Travel to any other state and you will see 1/10th of the number of cops as you typically see patrolling in the towns and on the interstates of Virginia.

Second comment: some of the ABC officers in this incident were new recruits, fresh from police school. They were acting our their TRAINING.

I found amusing this "dress code" statement from the training facility some of the ABC agents attended --
http://www.cvcja.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=50&Ite...

ATTIRE

Students/Instructors will be advised concerning special clothing and equipment requirements for specific classes.

Unless otherwise announced, attire for classes shall be shirts with collars and slacks for men. Women shall dress in a comparable professional manner, such as blouse and skirt or slacks. Socks or hose are required.

Jeans, T-shirts, tube or tank tops, halters, shorts, sandals, tennis shoes or garments displaying distracting or offensive matter are not permitted.

Hats and sunglasses shall not be worn in the classroom.

While on the topic of "dress codes," I noted the ABC statement on new standard operating procedures call for a agent in uniform.

But then, the ABC agents don't have an approved uniform, do they?

I think I recall from the nitty-gritty of the new policy (not the PR statement) that there will one agent who will wear a vest emblazoned with the word "POLICE."

You too can buy one on the internet, along with real-looking badges to flash in a dark parking lot.

No doubt the taxpayer-bought vest will be bullet proof and black in color given the militarization of these forces and the apparent Special Ops egos shown.

And yet the over-clothing will accomplish nothing in terms of forestalling the well-founded caution and defensive actions shown by the women in this incident and perhaps by future victims of such ill-planned stings.

I cannot believe how this entire "readthehook" comment page has changed. How completely one sided. Yuck, NOT readingthehook

So you go the attention of the House Police, Militia and Public Safety Committee? These are the same buffoons who asked, during the 2011 General Assembly, "What the Hell is going on at our Flagship school?" when UVA reported that 58 rapes were reported to campus police with zero expulsions and zero arrests. They failed to look at the mishandling of campus rapes ... instead sent it off to the Crime Commission and from there, Delegate Bell stole a bill from Delegate Paula Miller and submitted it as his own idea. Don't expect much from this bunch. Nope, don't expect them to do anything but make politically correct comments to the media to make it look like they are a proactive bunch.

This is all propaganda and what is more interesting is that Daly said thay 6 yes 6 people were impersonating police officers......how the hell does that make sense. Really 6 people lying about being cops and to use your vehicle as weapon against them for making that assumption is completely ridiculous. ........from what I heard a weapon was not drawn until one agent was on the hood of the car. And you yahoos enjoy picking a side without looking at the facts. I'm not saying the Agents were right but Daly ain't no saint. Its interesting, the double standard is clear, DDalyvcan use her vehicle to run over people because its om to assume that people are fake law enforcement but its not ok for law enforcement to check to see if a crime has been committed? REALLY?

Yeah people enjoy poking fun at cops but they don't understand the sacrifices that are made to be a buffer between the public and criminal activity. I wish all law enforcement took a week off at one time amd let society do what its gonna do. Some people are simply ungrateful amd jump at the opportunity to criticize LE but they have the audacity to enjoy the freedoms granted to them because of the sacrifices they make......there no perfect people teachers, cops, firefighters, parents, etc but somehow LE comes under greater scrutiny......its a shame this situation happened but it is extremely ignorant to slander cops when have no idea what the real story is and these media outlets don't tell the full story.....they tell you what sell papers. Stop and think people

@Rockstar - I've always respected the police/uniformfor their sacrifice, risk and public service but when Charlottesville cops help UVA cover up student rapes to the point there are zero prosecutions there comes a time one loses total respect. These cops are paid to serve and protect everyone in our community. They should have the cohones to stand up to their police chief and enforce the law. What they are doing is turning a blind eye knowing full well felons are getting away with rape because to do otherwise would jeopardize promotions and or their jobs. Sorry but that's not an acceptable excuse.