A verbal fight ensues, and despite entreaties by management to leave the store, they have not. Nobody has hit anyone but the Police are called. No crime has been committed.
3. A group of friends has dinner at a restaurant that has just opened. The restaurant touts its’ wonderful pay one price buffet and its vast vegan fare. Despite a buffet that is three miles long, there are no vegetarian dishes to be found and one of the group winds up eating celery all night. Despite requests to management, nobody can drum up a vegetarian dish. The check arrives and the vegan has been charged for the buffet. The vegan points out to the waiter that they did not eat but that they will pay for the wine that they had with their bread and celery. Management calls the police and they tell management that it is a civil, not criminal issue.
4. It is a warm spring night and two children’s baseball teams are playing. One child gets hit accidentally by an awful pitch and suddenly parents, coaches and even the referee are cursing at each other. Nobody has thrown a punch, but the police have been called. No crime has been committed.
Only weeks ago we read about the vile situation of the girl in Missouri who committed suicide after some others who knew her created a fake MySpace profile of a boy who befriended her and then turned on her and told her she was mean and he didn’t want to be friends with her. The police were called but no laws were broken. There are other behaviors that people inflict on others but the police are powerless because there is no law defining the behavior as illegal. Oftentimes police officers are called in to watch crowded gatherings. Nothing is happening that is illegal, but the Police Officers are there nonetheless.
It would seem that Police Officers are often called when there is a perceived threat of a future crime. In the internet case, as in many internet scenarios, there is no law that prohibits a person from posting harassing and threatening comments.