Today we can add one more threat to the list of grave and growing dangers that keep society quivering under its bed in a state of collective nervous breakdown — the scourge of unlicensed barbering:
As many as 14 armed Orange County deputies, including narcotics agents, stormed Strictly Skillz barbershop during business hours on a Saturday in August, handcuffing barbers in front of customers during a busy back-to-school weekend.
It was just one of a series of unprecedented raid-style inspections the Orange County Sheriff’s Office recently conducted with a state regulating agency, targeting several predominantly black- and Hispanic-owned barbershops in the Pine Hills area.
In “sweeps” on Aug. 21 and Sept. 17 targeting at least nine shops, deputies arrested 37 people — the majority charged with “barbering without a license,” a misdemeanor that state records show only three other people have been jailed in Florida in the past 10 years.
The operations were conducted without warrants, under the authority of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation inspectors, who can enter salons at will. Deputies said they found evidence of illegal activity, including guns, drugs and gambling. However, records show that during the two sweeps, and a smaller one in October, just three people were charged with anything other than a licensing violation.
So, let’s recap:
1. The raids were conducted without warrants.
2. The raids were conducted in the guise of “regulatory inspection” — which, as it turns out, is a creative way to neatly get around the need for a warrant. You have to wonder why narcotics agents would be needed to enforce Barbering Regulations.
But here’s the real outrage: if the Authorities are going to be Clamping Down Hard on barbers, I’d hope that they’d be going after the nefarious felons who commit these atrocities:
Or maybe those fall under the category of butchering rather than barbering.