ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — A spree of social media posts this week warn that St. Louis County released the information it got from people who reported businesses in violation of the stay-at-home order.
The document, released in response to a Sunshine Law request, included names and contact information of the people making the reports. In their messages, some asked for anonymity.
It’s almost as if they were afraid that people might be upset at losing their livelihoods because of the snitches’ snitching.
Posts and comments in response to the document invited retaliation against the people who utilized the county’s inbox for tips about non-essential businesses that stayed open.
The I-Team’s PJ Randhawa talked with a woman whose tip was among those released. Patricia asked that we not use her last name, because she fears what someone might do with the information in the document.
“We’re in a society where doing what’s right doesn’t always get rewarded,” she said.
And you get to decide what’s “right”, isn’t that so, Patricia? Is it alright if we call you “Karen?”
Well, if your definition of “right” is to snitch on the Franks living in the attic of the factory next door, Karen, then we can only say that we’re fiercely proud of being “wrong.”
Patricia has lupus. Two other people in her house have autoimmune issues.
“We have to be extra careful because we don’t have the strength to fight this,” she said. “I saw a lot of businesses that were non-essential that were open and had lines outside, parking lots filled as if the order didn’t matter to them. And that was kinda frustrating.”
Not nearly as frustrating as it must have been to the owners and employees of those businesses that nobody was forcing YOU to visit when Johnny Law showed up, thanks to you, and deprived them of what might have been their only source of income.
But you were “frustrated”, so piffling nonsense like having enough money to pay the rent doesn’t matter, right?
What Patricia did is exactly what St. Louis County intended when it established two ways for people to submit tips on non-compliant businesses. County government announced the creation of an online form and a dedicated email address for those tips in the last week of March.
In a little over a week, those channels received more than 900 tips from the public, the released documents show.
Snitching is very popular in St. Louis County, apparently. Well, perhaps not so much anymore. You’ll pardon us for laughing, won’t you?
Among the complaints are employees and their family members asking for anonymity because they feared backlash from employers.
Backlash? For having put them out of business and forced into bankruptcy? That would be ridiculous!
The online form some of them used warned that the tips they submitted could become public records.
A disclaimer that form submitters had to acknowledge before sending says, “I have been advised that this form and any other communication may be considered an open record pursuant to the Sunshine Law
, Chapter 610 RSMo. St. Louis County may be required to release this form as well as other communications as a matter of law upon request by any member of the public, including the media.”
So those “brave” lil’ Stasi informers found themselves in hot water because they failed to read the fine print, did they? Those vigilante “enforcers of the law” got caught with their panties ’round their ankles because of another law they failed to familiarize themselves with?
This is bloody hilarious!
Patricia said she never expected it to end up on Facebook, posted by someone whose motive seemed to be revenge.
The Facebook post headline said, “Here ya go. The gallery of snitches, busybodies, and employees who rat out their own neighbors and employers over the Panic-demic.”
A person whose Facebook profile name is Jared Totsch told the I-Team that he posted the documents knowing that there might be consequences for the people named within.
“If they are worried about retaliation, they should have read the fine print which stated their tips would be open public record subject to a Sunshine request, and should not have submitted tips in that manner to begin with,” wrote Totsch. “I released the info in an attempt to discourage such behavior in the future.”
And a fine job you did indeed, Mr. Totsch! We salute you!
Totsch declined a phone or video interview. When asked how he felt about the possibility that someone who reported a business might lose their job, Totsch wrote, “I’d call it poetic justice, instant Karma, a dose of their own medicine. What goes around, comes around. They are now experiencing the same pain that they themselves helped to inflict on those they filed complaints against.”
Really, you can’t say it fairer or more concisely than that. Perfectly put!
If you’re concerned about losing your job, maybe DON’T cause somebody else to lose THEIRS?
Not that you can use logic with a Stasi informant, but one at least can try.
That’s exactly the attitude that has Patricia concerned now.
“I’m not only worried about COVID, I’m worried about someone showing up at my door, showing up at my workplace or me getting fired for doing what is right,” she said.
There is absolutely nothing even remotely “right” about what you did
, Karen, so any unease you’re feeling at this point is entirely of your own doing. Let us put it this way:
Patricia believes there’s a reason to redact information like the senders’ names from messages like these. She also has a message for the people spreading the document around the internet.
“What did you get out of sharing the info on who did it?” she said. “It’s asinine and I have to question, whoever shared the list… what were your motives?”
What were YOUR motives for snitching and getting your neighbors’ lives destroyed, Karen? That you were “frustrated?” That you weren’t able to be outside enjoying life, so therefore nobody ELSE should be allowed to either?
Ponder that, if you will.
And then fuck off. Keep fucking off until you can’t fuck off any further. Then fuck off some more.