Waste Management Drivers Become Snoops in Tampa
For a long time now, I’ve been worried about the private sector working with local law enforcement or the FBI to spy on us.
Well, it’s official now.
It’s happening in Tampa.
The City of Tampa Police Department, along with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, just announced a partnership with Waste Management not to pick up garbage but to snoop on neighborhoods.
Here’s how the sheriff’s office explained it: “Through this program, Waste Management drivers will act as an extra set of eyes and ears for local police, fire department, and emergency services, and report any suspicious activity that they may witness during their routes.”
So now the 150 employees of Waste Management are essentially on patrol. They’re getting some quickie training, but they can’t possibly have the skills necessary to distinguish between what is “suspicious activity” and what is a protected First Amendment freedom.
Are protesters suspicious?
Are people with leftwing bumperstickers on their cars suspicious?
This isn’t an idle concern, since Tampa is the sight of the upcoming Republican National Convention, and this partnership is designed to provide extra coverage for the convention, as if the 60 law enforcement agencies already involved weren’t enough.
So if you go down there, beware those Waste Management trucks.
And if you don’t think we’re moving toward a corporate police state, think again.
If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story “Mitch McConnell Doesn’t Care Whether You Live or Die."
Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter
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