Here's a telling story from the frigid northwest:
Cody Lee Miller, 24, of North Port, N.Y. is being held on a $50,000 bond for the unthinkable crime of refusing to come down from a tree.
The trouble for Miller began on March 22, when he climbed a 90-foot sequoia tree in downtown Seattle. He remained there for over 24 hours, refusing police orders to come down. Miller is also alleged to have thrown apples and branches at officers below the tree.
Law enforcement officials claim $8,000 in damage was done to the tree, but they did not specify if the damage was done by Miller or by police in their attempts to evict Miller from said tree.
In total, more than 70 negotiators, police officers, and crisis response team members were on the scene, including four fire engines leased from different companies. According to ABC, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Stephen Herschkowitz wrote:
“This caused an incalculable waste of time and services and arguably affected the efficacy of local law-enforcement’s reaction times to other serious calls for service around the city.”
Herschkowitz’s statement can be taken on its face, or turned sideways to ask if such an overwhelming response was necessary for a man merely climbing a tree.
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Yes, the people of Seattle care more about a tree than about a human. This does not bode well for our future, but perhaps that's now the way things are supposed to be.