The more frightening and reprehensible the threat, the more license and latitude are given to the police.
He imagined it was like a colorful lure on the surface of a pond.In practice that means looking for people who potentially fit the mold—people who seem as if they might be poised to commit a crime even if they have not yet done so.This leads unavoidably into the gray area of thoughts, intentions, and predispositions—and into the equally murky realm of enticement and entrapment.Such ordinances answer society’s quest for moral clarity, positing a direct parallel between right versus wrong and legal versus criminal.Police patrolling the precincts of sin do not often find the streets empty.It is a way of conducting police business that, without extreme care, can itself become a form of abuse—in which the pursuer and the pursued grow entangled in a transaction that takes on a gruesome life of its own. Dick in his classic short story “The Minority Report,” and in the Steven Spielberg movie based on it, in which an official government department of “Precrime” identifies, charges, and jails people on the basis of anticipated actions.As Jad, one of the policemen in the movie version, says, “We’re more like clergy than cops.”Bingo! The line popped up in a window at the top of J’s screen as soon as he logged in to the chat room.The space feels like a cave, which has always struck Deery as about right, because her job is to talk dirty online to strange men. She has athletic good looks, with tawny skin, big brown eyes, and long straight brown hair that falls over her shoulders.Her parents sent her to Catholic schools, and her mother, a retired district judge, now jokes that she wants her money back.There were “players,” those who were just horny and despicable, and there were doers, or at least potential doers, the true bad guys.The goal was to identify the latter, hook them, and then reel them in, turn them into “travelers.” Once a traveler took that all-important step out of fantasy and into the real world, his behavior went from the merely immoral to the overtly criminal.