There are updates to this story, but neither of them make it sound very much less like Patrick McLaw got arrested and held for anything more than writing a book that used school shootings as a plot point. School shootings in the 30th century, I should add. School shootings that are condemned in the book, it appears. The book, which he wrote using a name different from his own.
There go those damned Chinese, trampling all over people’s human rights agai…hold it, I don’t think there’s a State of Maryland in China, is there?
Police and dogs swept the school where McLaw works for bombs and guns, and found nothing. Police searched McLaw’s home, and found nothing. Police found no criminal record and no weapons registered to McLaw. McLaw was suspended, which is not too surprising; but he was also arrested and taken in for “an emergency medical evaluation,” and according to the sheriff he is being held at an undisclosed location until further notice.
Citing a county prosecutor’s office, one report said that “McLaw has not been arrested or charged with any crime at this time.” But another report quoted the sheriff as saying that McLaw “is currently at a location known to law enforcement and does not currently have the ability to travel anywhere,” which sure sounds like an arrest to me. The sheriff would not say where McLaw is being held.
So far as I can tell, the “probable cause” for all this is the writing of a book. [But see below.]
If any warrants were issued, these reports don’t mention it. McLaw has clearly been seized and he and his home have been searched, so what we have appears to be a Fourth Amendment violation based on a disregard for the First.
Those updates I mentioned, one says that the books weren’t a factor while the other says they were, but that they weren’t *the* factor. There’s mention of a letter that McLaw sent to some county officials, but nobody seems to want to say anything about what he might have written in it. Oh, and the guy also is said to have built models of school district buildings, which probably means he’s a terrorist going by the logic on display so far.
So yeah. It looks like we’re arresting people for writing science fiction stories under pen names now. I’m glad we have that day we just had. You know, that one where we pay tribute to all those people who fought for the rights and freedoms we enjoy? Yeah. that one. Lest we forget, and stuff.