Last night was another one of those “busy work” evenings for a local constabulary that apparently has nothing better to do than harass relatively innocent club-goers. The raid on TSI was followed by another semi-raid on a houseparty in Springfield. When the house owner (who, like Roy, was celebrating her exit from this town) asserted her rights not to let the cops in without a warrant, she was hog-tied and thrown wailing into the back of a car, where her cries filled the night air for blocks.
The police should understand that they are being set up for failure. Their real enemies are the ones making sure they can’t do their jobs properly, but underfunding the department and diluting their manpower by sending them off on wild goosechases like the nonsense last night. Upwards of two dozen cops’ time was occupied on a busy Friday night doing work that had nothing to do with crime-fighting. The only thing “accomplished” was the shutting-down of a club that some really decent people worked their asses off to make a viable prospect, not to mention the continued erosion of the police credibility and and the respect they command among the younger citizens who are increasingly carrying more of the load, in terms of being tax-payers and revenue-generators in the city.
It’s really pathetic. These poor cops have to jockey and politick just to get the overtime hours that are necessary to raise a modern family on a policeman’s wages, yet still some of them have to seek government assistance. They don’t see their kids enough, risk their lives routinely, just to have their efforts spit on by the same politicians whose policies created the criminal underclass that is now punking out JSO on a daily basis. Their undercover operations have been stymied, now that it’s become impossible to tell the difference between cops pretending to be civilians and civilians pretending to be cops. And the worst, for them, is yet to come–wait until they start retiring: All their pension/401(k) money is gone!
What, precisely, is the benefit from gutting one of the few active club districts in town? There is something ironic about condemning the building for code violations, when it sits across the street from a courthouse that could literally collapse at any time, and just down the street from a police station with mold, leaks, vermin, plaster falling from the ceiling and a bunch of disgruntled cops who are having to work more for less money and fewer benefits. But the city has $5,000, give or take, to run on operations like that. Let’s all remember nights like that after the next terrorist attack, when the authorities are acting so surprised!
All in all, the authorities’ performance last night came off as resolutely small-time. It was an embarrassment to Jacksonville and a shitty final memory of this place for people who’ve been positive members of society. With the resignation of mayoral aide Susie Wiles earlier that day, Mayor Peyton is now a lame duck for the next three years, and Jacksonville officially has no established authority or leadership anymore.
Below is an update from the club, copied from the Myspace:
We are sorry to inform you of the following and would like for you to understand that the following situation is being resolved as quickly as possible.
***TSI will be closed as of last night till an undeterminable time***
This includes the Wet Hot American Summer Party and The Art & Music Mixer
We want to be sure to put the actual events out there to clear up any speculation and assumption.
Last night (Friday) at 10:30pm, just as the first band was scheduled to take the stage, TSI was subjected to a random raid. These are common.
JSO’s Drug Abatement Response Team aka D.A.R.T. along with several code inspectors entered the nightclub, ordered all customers to line up and exit the building. They randomly checked ID’s of those leaving. One individual presented a false ID to the officer, was then searched and was in possession of a small amount of Marijuana. He then admitted that he was in fact only 19 and was arrested thereafter. The building was then posted with a “D.A.R.T.” posting declaring the building condemned.
The building received this posting because of the fact that drugs (though a small amount and on a customer) were found in the building. The building in general was also in violation of city codes, which can be repaired.
AS FOR NOW….
TSI will remain closed until these issues are resolved.
We sincerely apologize to all of you who came out last night to see the bands and to say farewell to Roy. We are also sorry if this put a damper on your party schedule.
We recommend that you all throw your own personal Wet Hot American Summer Parties.
Booking & Promotional Manager