The Rapid City Journal has two stories today about the Landfill Inquisition, one about the destruction of the Fish family and one about the destruction of Randy Meidinger.
Nowhere in either story is there a hint that the Journal attempted to interview the folks responsible for destroying these folks' lives. I suppose there is a possibility that it intends to do so, in which case there will be an opportunity for Glenn Brenner to refuse comment or for his troops of crack investigators to explain why they indicted people and brought people to trial without evidence. I am not holding my breath waiting for that story.
I presented the Journal with evidence that Brenner's office routinely extorts money from people simply by charging them with crimes they didn't commit, knowing that it is cheaper to pay a $280 fine than it is to defend oneself. The Journal yawned.
The Rapid City Weekly News did carry the story about Brenner's extortion scheme, and was threatened by Brenner. The Weekly News refused to do a follow-up when the SoDak Bar reprimanded one of Brenner's deputies for her part in the extortion. Reprimanded! (Don't do it again, wink, wink.)
I am aware that Sam Kooiker's insistence led to the "investigation" that resulted in the senseless carnage at the landfill. I assume Sam had what he thought was "probable cause." But that does not excuse what appears to have been a vendetta that resulted in what should have been an extremely embarrassing series of fuck-ups on the parts of the various law enforcement agencies and Brenner's office that resulted in not-guilty verdicts and a trial stopped after Brenner realized he had no evidence.
The Journal reports crime daily based on reports from the copshop and Brenner's office. Andrea Cook and Emilie Rusch gush (unbiasedly, of course) over the hard work of the boys and girls in blue and their blue-suited compatriots in Glenn Brenner's office, never questioning their competence or their intent.
For me, it's been a simple equation. For over forty years I have understood that anyone who creates or enforces a law making it a criminal act to attempt to feel better should not be allowed to hang out in polite society. You can't take a person's opinion or work, in any aspect of life, seriously, if that person thinks people should be punished for attempting to feel better.
The ruination of Randy Meidinger and the Fish family is a logical progression from the whimsical behavior encouraged by our senseless laws prohibiting people from attempting to feel better unless they do it in a manner prescribed by the liquor companies. You give people the legal power to act whimsically to hurt people and they will act whimsically to hurt people.