Despite the elegance and intuitiveness of the theory, a good deal of fairly rigorous analysis has shown over the last two decades that the so-called “broken windows” theory didn’t turn out to be valid, at least not in terms of reducing the most serious crimes by taking a more vigilant approach toward enforcing laws against petty crimes. (For keeping your dorm room livable, it’s probably fair to say the theory has been infinitely validated.) But the ‘stand off’ at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon is turning out to be a validating case study: the reluctance of federal authorities to enforce the law has triggered a slow but measurable growth of law breaking which was likely latent in the white rural male culture of violence but held somewhat in check by law enforcement.
Yesterday morning, Harney County Sheriff’s deputies were forced to arrest Joseph Stetson, a white man who said he was on his way to join the stand off and wanted to “protect” the Bundys and act as their “personal guard.”
Alas, Stetson was only carrying a pellet gun and was apparently very drunk when locals rang up the Sheriff’s Department to alert them of an armed man at the local mini-market.
Through the encounter with police, Stetson appeared to momentarily forget what town the stand off was being held in, which law enforcement officers he was trying to kill, among other details. (Also note that extremely patient Sheriff’s Deputy repeatedly telling the man that his gun was making him nervous and could he have it.)
From our write up …
The deputy then placed Stetson, who was armed with a pellet gun, in handcuffs, which sent Stetson on a rant about how he would kill the officers.
“I will kill all of you. You don’t believe me?” he told the deputies present. “If I go to jail and when I come out, I will kill you.”
He then said that “you damn sons of bitches are freaking Nazi Germany.”
Stetson tried to wiggle away from the deputies as they tried to pat him down, calling them “Obama sons of bitches.”
He said that he would not kill state troopers, but other officers.
“State troopers are the last hope,” he said.
Apparently Stetson was in his own standoff with police in 2009 when he was holed up in mobile home before finally surrendering to police.
Watch the video of Stetson’s arrest here.