Brickbats: October 2019

News of politicians, police, and bureaucrats behaving badly from around the world


A spokesman for Maryland's Montgomery County Public Schools says a local elementary school should not have called the police on a 10-year-old boy for playing with toy money. The spokesman said law enforcement should be called only if a student tries to use counterfeit money to buy something.

The Topeka, Kansas, police department has apologized for a Father's Day tweet inviting women to snitch on their babies' daddies. "Does your child's father have warrants? Is he carrying around any drugs? Has he been caught committing any crimes? Want to give him a Father's Day he'll never forget? Call TPD and we'll help your family make a memory that will last a lifetime," the tweet read.

A Murray, Utah, animal control officer cited Kate Anderson for "animal at large" and "not having a license," both misdemeanors, because Anderson's cat was lying on her front yard. Anderson says someone took a photo of the cat resting and reported her to the cops. A city ordinance defines an animal as at large unless it is physically confined to the property.

Students of Fairbury Public Schools in Nebraska who take part in sports and other extracurricular activities are subject to random drug testing. Now the district has announced it is expanding that program to include nicotine. It's also looking at placing sensors in school restrooms that can detect vapor from e-cigarettes.

Detroit cops suspected artist Sheefy McFly was vandalizing an aqueduct, but he was actually painting a mural for the city. He didn't have his work permit with him, but a municipal official showed up to tell the officers he was working on a public project. The police still arrested McFly, charging him with resisting arrest, obstruction of an officer, and having an outstanding traffic warrant. He spent 24 hours in jail.

David Abston, the sheriff of Pickens County, Alabama, since 1987, has pleaded guilty to one count each of wire fraud and filing a false tax return. According to federal prosecutors, Abston defrauded the West Alabama Food Bank and the Highland Baptist Church of Gordo of some of his jail's food money. Until last year, the state allowed sheriffs to personally pocket any funds budgeted for food that the jail did not spend.

Holland Kendall just wants to help homeless people see better, but the Kentucky Board of Optometric Examiners and the Kentucky Board of Ophthalmic Dispensers say his philanthropy is illegal. Kendall started an organization that dispenses used eyeglasses in 2003 and has given out thousands of pairs to the needy. But state officials sent Kendall a letter in June saying "it would be a violation of law if eyeglasses provided are not new, first quality and made to meet the individual's personal prescriptions."

In Illinois, Lakewood Forest Preserve District President Angelo Kyle attempted to cancel this year's 27th annual Civil War re-enactment. He rescinded the cancellation after Lake County commissioners complained and the organizer noted that they had a contract. It is the largest event hosted by the park, drawing about 3,000 people each year, but Kyle complained that it does not pertain "to the mission of the forest preserve—preserving our natural resources and environmental quality of Lake County."

NEXT: A Second Whistleblower Complaint Is Targeting Trump's Tax Returns

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  1. A Murray, Utah, animal control officer cited Kate Anderson for “animal at large” and “not having a license,” both misdemeanors

    This says more about the increasing intrusiveness of government than it does about bitchy busybodies. Once upon a time, these useless snitches were told to mind their own business and stop wasting the city’s time with their nonsense. Then someone figured out how to make a buck off these complaints.

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    And fuck with they neighbor, his wife, his employees, his cat or dog, and his ass.

  3. You know what we need? MOAR LAWS.

  4. Well now I’m depressed.

  5. Detroit would be better off run by the Mafia than by cops. At least the Mafia doesn’t kill your dog for no reason.

  6. Can we get some feel good stories instead? Stuff like rogue robots nutpunching traffic cops? Or politicians accidentally banning themselves?

    1. “politicians accidentally banning themselves?”

      You mean Congress members going to prison?

  7. (for violating federal statutes, I mean)

  8. “Does your child’s father have warrants? Is he carrying around any drugs?”

    HE? Ugh, so problematic. Women can be deadbeat fathers just as well as men can.

  9. That Lakewood Forest Preserve District President did not cancel the civil war re-enactment to preserve natural resources and environmental quality , he cancelled it because as a bureaucrat of color he was offended by civil war re-enactments. Maybe he was afraid the South was going to win this time.

    1. Not surprising. In my experience, the biggest, most vocal bigots are persons ‘of color.’ Just be white and take a walk in Anacostia.

    2. Maybe he should learn some history or at least watch Glory.

      “By the end of the Civil War, roughly 179,000 black men (10% of the Union Army) served as soldiers in the U.S. Army and another 19,000 served in the Navy. Nearly 40,000 black soldiers died over the course of the war—30,000 of infection or disease. Black soldiers served in artillery and infantry and performed all noncombat support functions that sustain an army, as well. Black carpenters, chaplains, cooks, guards, laborers, nurses, scouts, spies, steamboat pilots, surgeons, and teamsters also contributed to the war cause. There were nearly 80 black commissioned officers. Black women, who could not formally join the Army, nonetheless served as nurses, spies, and scouts, the most famous being Harriet Tubman (photo citation: 200-HN-PIO-1), who scouted for the 2d South Carolina Volunteers.“

  10. None of these pols rules by divine right. They were picked to rule by the voters and the voters can take them out if they so choose. The fact that the local LP can only generate maybe 5% in contests to take out these petty dictators says the voters must be pretty satisfied with what is going on.

    1. Mostly, the voters are pretty ignorant of what is really going on.

  11. More brickbats! More Bagge cartoons! Actual initiation of rotten egg and tomato brickbats to the next officious idiot that tried to get rid of them. Sullum can always scold the posse comitatus for bring overeager and arbitrary after the fact–as long as we get the Reason brickbats!

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