Dem Congressional Candidate’s Event Raided By San Diego Sheriffs

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June 29, 2009 11:07 a.m.
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Now this is a truly bizarre story, about a Democratic Congressional candidate’s fundraising event being raided by a whole squad from the San Diego Sheriff’s Department — including pepper-spray and a helicopter!

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that a fundraiser for Francine Busby, who previously ran for the deeply-Republican Fiftieth District and came close to winning in the 2006 special election and subsequent regular election, was raided by sheriffs after an unnamed neighbor made a noise complaint. Busby now calls it a “phony” noise complaint, and the article says that multiple neighbors said there was no great noise at all.

Here’s the twist: The fundraiser was hosted by a lesbian couple, and shortly before the sheriffs came a particular neighbor had shouted anti-gay slurs at the assembled crowd. “It was a quiet home reception, disrupted by a vulgar person shouting obscenities from behind the bushes,” Busby says.As one neighbor told the paper: “We didn’t hear anything until the sheriff came, with eight patrol cars and a helicopter.”

The sheriff’s department claims that somebody kicked an officer. By the time it was over, multiple people were pepper-sprayed, one of the hostesses was arrested, and the whole neighborhood got to see quite a scene.

One of the officers defended the department’s conduct — turning the blame on the candidate: “The place got out of hand. If Francine Busby was there, why not take a leadership role, step up, and nip this thing in the bud?”

Late Update: An earlier version of this post referred to “tear gas.” It has been changed to “pepper spray” to be more clear and specific.

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