***Commentary*** It’s In Our Hands; Hawaii County Making National News Over Census Worker Arrest

Courtesy of the U.S. Census Bureau

Today a couple of people pointed me to the Huffington Post, which published an article about the Census Bureau worker who was arrested for trespassing in Puna recently.

I don’t know if those people realize it, but that article that the Huffington Post printed is an Associated Press (AP) article.  What that means is that every newspaper that subscribes to the AP wire has or will be publishing that article. Potentially, all minor major television news anchors have read or will be reading a version of this article on the Teleprompter.

Hawaii County has, indeed, made national news.

Here’s a summation of the story that is getting major traction: 57-year-old Russell Haas was, in Census Bureau terms, canvassing a Puna neighborhood when he came upon the fenced property of an off-duty Hawaii County police officer.  Haas, instructed to “be persistent” in his data-collecting mission, went through an unlocked gate.  Himself a former New Jersey police officer, Haas met up with the off-duty Hawaii County police officer.  The off-duty police officer was uninterested in being counted in the Census and ordered Haas off his property.  Haas tried to reason with the off-duty police officer to no avail.  The off-duty police officer told Haas to wait outside his fence, as he called for on-duty police officers to arrive.  Haas thought for sure the responding police officers would be more reasonable. They weren’t.  They arrested Haas for trespassing.  Now, the trespassing case is being tried in federal court, and federal prosecutors are acting as a defense attorneys.

Read the AP story for yourself.   Read more