Brickbats

Kansas officials admit it might not be a good idea to fund residential programs that house teenagers in foster care alongside convicted sex offenders and other criminals. The Juvenile Justice Authority says it is moving toward programs that separate offenders from those who haven’t been convicted of any crimes.

More than 1,480 people have been wrongly incarcerated in Los Angeles County jails during the last five years. Some have been the victims of identity theft. Others had the misfortune of having the same name as someone who was wanted by police. The Los Angeles Times reports some were jailed for days or even weeks before officials could be convinced they had the wrong person. At least one person was arrested twice on a warrant for someone else.

Janet Goodin was traveling from her home in Minnesota to Manitoba to visit her daughters when she was stopped at the border by the Canada Border Services Agency. Agents searched her minivan and found a jar of black liquid. Field tests indicated it was heroin, so they handcuffed her and hauled her to jail on charges of possessing heroin for trafficking and importing a drug. She remained in jail for 12 days before further tests showed the black liquid was motor oil. 

Folk singer Vance Gilbert says the Transportation Security Administration and Massachusetts State Police pulled him off a flight from Boston to Washington to question him about his reading habits. They apparently found it suspicious that he was reading a book about vintage aircraft.

The Plantation, Florida, police department suspended Officer Joseph Sposa for repeatedly texting an alleged domestic abuse victim to ask her out and tell her that her toenail polish was “quite a turn on.” Sposa met the woman when she called the police to report that her mother had pushed her down the stairs. The woman told police officials Sposa seemed more interested in asking her out than in her domestic situation.

Australia’s Advertising Standards Bureau has ruled that the red M&M isn’t a bully. The bureau spent two months reviewing a complaint that the red M&M’s treatment of the other M&Ms in TV commercials encouraged children to bully each other.

The city of Daytona Beach has paid $200,000 to settle a civil rights lawsuit brought by four women who were strip-searched by police during a raid on a strip club. Police forced two bartenders and two dancers to disrobe in a room full of male officers. A federal judge found that the warrant did not allow them to strip-search anyone.

Montreal schools have ordered teachers to monitor students’ conversations during meals and at recess and other breaks from class to make sure they are speaking French. If they hear kids speaking anything other than French, teachers are supposed to remind them what language to speak.

Charles Oliver

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