Two months ago, Covington, WA, computer programmer Aaron Palmer came home to find King County sheriff's deputies waiting to arrest him after his teenage son turned him in for growing 12 marijuana plants in a hidden room in the family garage. Palmer's 17-year-old son Trever, a Junior ROTC student, called 911 to report his father because he was "sick and tired of being around drugs and sick and tired of his dad doing drugs," Sheriff's Sgt. Greg Dymerski told the Associated Press on May 9.
While Palmer, a single father who was also raising a 15-year-old and a 7-year-old, went to jail, his three children were farmed out to family friends. According to Dymerski, young Trever was "pretty upset" about snitching on his own father, "but the bottom line is, he did the right thing."
While Trever Palmer initially told police his call was motivated by his father's growing interest in marijuana, in an interview this week he admitted that he was unhappy with his father for other reasons. Dad paid more attention to his sister's achievements than his, Trever said, and Dad and Trever were in conflict over Trever's Marine-based Junior ROTC training. Dad had served in the Army, Trever said.
Law enforcement agencies may laud people who inform on their own family members -- an event that happens all too often as the children of DARE seek to fight evil in their own homes -- but young Palmer has found out that not everyone thinks he is a hero.
On Monday, Trever Palmer told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that "half of his relatives are mad at him" and that he is trying to avoid many Kentwood High School classmates, who have called him "weasel" and other names unfit to print in a family newspaper. His 15-year-old sister, he said, "just kind of avoids me" since he ratted off their father.
"It sucks," young Palmer told the Post-Intelligencer. "I was really hoping my family would understand. It's kind of like a hole in me that needs to be filled."
Maybe Trever's new friends in law enforcement can explain to him and other family members how sending dad away for five years is really a good thing. In the meantime, one of the newest members of Snitch Nation is getting a crash course in the real-world fallout of informing.