Police Abuse



Officials in Yavapai County, Arizona, have ordered David Smith to remove a nine-foot statue of a gargoyle from his yard or cover its genitalia. They say neighbors have complained about the statue's anatomy.

Mansfield, Louisiana, police officer Tamara Jackson Brown has been charged with domestic violence, aggravated battery, and unauthorized entry after beating her husband. Brown, who was in uniform at the time, allegedly drove her patrol car to her husband's house, forced her way in, and struck him with her flashlight.

A Russian judge resigned after video showed him apparently sleeping during a trial. The judge, Yev­geny Makhno, later sentenced the defendant in that case to five years in a penal colony. Officials say that man will receive a new trial.

The state of Georgia recently imposed stricter documentation standards on residents seeking to obtain or renew a driver's license. That's how Nakia Grimes, 36, found herself getting a copy of her birth certificate for the first time. It's also how she found that her birth certificate lists her as a male. Grimes thought it would be simple to get it changed. But a state vital records employee insisted she would need to have a Pap smear, get a doctor's note, have that note notarized, and bring it back before they would make the change. After she complained to more senior officials, they agreed that the fact that she is listed on her son's birth certificate as his mother is enough to prove she is a woman.

Teachers at Bronx Intermediate School 232 say principal Neifi Juan Acosta threatened to blow the school up during a rant filled with biblical allusions at a staff meeting. The New York City Education Department is investigating the claims, but police say they don't believe it was a threat.

Johnny Cook, who drove a bus for the Haralson County, Georgia, school system, got upset when a middle school student told him he didn't get to eat because his lunch card was 40 cents short. He posted a comment about the incident on his Facebook page. School officials fired Cook after he refused their demand to recant the post.

The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles has names, addresses, and other personal information about millions of drivers. And it's available for a price. A Dallas TV station reported that the state sold drivers' information to some 2,500 private investigators, towing companies, collection agencies, and other parties in 2012. Drivers can't keep the state from selling their information.

In Canada, Earl's Restaurants has agreed to drop its Albino Rhino beer following a complaint to the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal. The brand name is a reference to the white rhinoceros. But Ikponwosa Ero, an immigrant from Nigeria with albinism, filed a complaint saying the name discriminates against human albinos.

Charles Oliver