Surfing shouldn’t be illegal anywhere. It still is in some places, though, like in a particular part of Manatee County, Florida, where some of the cops are modeling their bodies after the county name.
I have a hard time with cops sometimes, just like everyone else. Yes, we need them to retain order in society, because some people are generally total pieces of shit and will take advantage of anything they can if no one’s around to tase them and cuff them. But hard-and-fast laws for tiny infractions are ridiculous. My problem with a lot of cops is their inability to look around, take stock of the situation, and realize that, even though there might technically be a broken law in the area, there is actually nothing that needs to be addressed. Boredom and nut-flexing is not a great way for a cop to earn a wage.
The guys in the video above were arrested for surfing (shitty) waves close to a partially submerged fence. In defense of the surfers, May in Florida isn’t exactly May in Mexico, and they had reason to be excited. In the defense of the cops, though, they were apparently just looking out for the surfers’ safety–the area is under construction, and could pose a hazard to surfers.
“Construction work is still on-going on the three groins on Coquina Beach in Bradenton Beach,” wrote Jessica de Leon in the Bradenton Herald. “With sea turtle nesting season now underway, construction crews have begun to erect a chain-link fence in the water in an apparent attempt to keep turtles from coming ashore in the area.” This is where the cops’ inability to look around comes into play. One would assume that since turtles nest in the sand, driving two large SUVS onto it would be much worse than three guys bobbing around in the ocean, but those Manatee County cops are enforcing the LAW, damn it.
According to reports, the three surfers were part of a larger group, most of whom heeded the warnings of construction workers and police. The last three, though, decided to keep on surfing, despite being yelled at. That’s when the big guns came out, and the Manatee County cops got excited. “They surfed away from us,” said Bradenton Beach Lt. John Cosby, “so we drove over to where they were.”
Apparently the surfers understood the issue once it was explained to them on shore. After they were cuffed for some mysterious reason, reports state that the surfers were told by officers that they were more than welcome to surf elsewhere. “We told them they were more than welcome to surf to the north,” Cosby said.