Courtland Milloy reports in today’s Washington Post about an incident that began yesterday when he expressed curiosity about an odd piece of equipment near the Tidal Basin during the Cherry Blossom Festival:
Near the Jefferson Memorial, I saw a five-foot-tall metal box that was hooked up to an electrical outlet and equipped with a high-tech antenna and chrome-dome receptor. What was it?
I asked a couple of National Park Service workers and some Cherry Blossom Festival organizers whose tent was set up next to the thing if they knew. Little did I know that my inquiry would become a suspicious activity in itself.
Eight officers responded to the call for backup. One told me that, legally, I was not being arrested, just subject to “investigative detention.”
Said Sgt. R.J. Steinheimer, “There have been reports of suspicious activity regarding you.”
“By whom?” I asked.
“Can’t tell you that,” he replied.
Home of the free, indeed.