In the last week, two stories passed through my social media feed that involved police officers. In the first example, Ector County, the county in Texas that includes most of Odessa, was wracked with a scandal as the health department confiscated 25 dozen tamales from an old woman. The other took place in Washington State, where an officer filmed a TikTok from her squad car. Let’s have a talk about how these two anecdotes might tell us something about the state of modern policing.

Let’s start in Texas. Citing Texas state law, specifically Texas Health and Safety Code 437.016, the officers on scene confiscated this lady’s homemade tamales and issued her a citation. They claimed to do so to mitigate food-borne illnesses and, according to the Facebook post they made, authorities disposed of the tamales after their victory photograph was taken. Speaking of their Facebook post, they removed the ability to comment on it after their actions were overwhelmingly condemned. Although users were unable to comment, they couldn’t stop reactions, and as of this moment, more than 2,300 people have expressed their emotion via an “anger” reaction, myself included.

Aaron Goss is a husband, a father, a Christian, a left-libertarian, an anarchist, and a video game aficionado who is a born and raised Texan.

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