Brickbats

Brickbat: Broken Record

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Camden County, New Jersey, officials have agreed to pay $10 million to settle an excessive force lawsuit brought by a man a who was left a quadriplegic after being arrested by police. Xavier Ingram said he suffered spinal injuries after being beaten by police, including one of them stomping on his neck. Documents from the Cooper Medical Center said Ingram suffered multiple injuries to his cervical spine, citing assault as the cause. But police said Ingram was injured when he slipped and fell when running from them.

Brickbats

Brickbat: Let the Fireworks Begin

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Nicole McCurdy wants to know why San Joaquin County, California, sheriff's deputies raided her home, ordering her and her two children out at gunpoint. The sheriff's office declined a request for an interview from a local media outlet, but said in a statement "The search warrant stemmed from an ongoing investigation of an illegal fireworks operation that was connected to the home. Deputies had to take necessary precautions due to knowledge of criminal history and firearms in the home." McCurdy said her family has hosted a July Fourth fireworks show for the past three years. But she said they have always bought fireworks that have the State Fire Marshal's Safe and Sane Seal from what they believed to be approved dealers. Ripon, the town where the family lives, permits such fireworks.

Brickbats

Brickbat: You Hockey Puck

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The Japanese legislature has increased the penalty for insulting someone online. Those found guilty of violating the law face up to one year in prison or a fine of up to 300,000 yen ($2,200). Previously, those found guilty of insulting someone online faced up to 30 days in prison or a fine of up to 10,000 yen ($75). The change comes two years after the suicide of professional wrestler Hana Kimura, who was the subject of abuse online after she got into a conflict with another contestant on a reality show.

Art

Landmark Shark Attack

Government officials have declared an Oxford home's shark roof sculpture a protected landmark, against the wishes of the current owner of the house.

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In 1986, Bill Heine installed a sculpture of a 25-foot shark crashing through the roof of his home in Oxford, England, without getting the approval of local planning officials. His son, Magnus Hanson-Heine, said his father didn't believe the government should be able to decide what art people should see. After spending years trying to get it removed, the local council has declared the shark a protected landmark—against the wishes of Hanson-Heine, who now owns the house.

Brickbats

Brickbat: Beat It

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Video showed Cecelia Benavides, a teaching assistant at Freedom Elementary School in Fairfax, Virginia, striking one disabled student and pushing a rolling chair into another. A public health attendant at the school kept a journal detailing numerous incidents in which Benavides and teacher Cylmeera Gastav abused disabled children under their charge, including hitting, dragging, and slapping them. Prosecutors charged the two with several felonies, but under a plea deal, neither will serve any jail time. Under the deal, both will be barred from working with children again.

Brickbats

Brickbat: People Finder

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Greenville, Georgia, police officer Rory Haynes has been charged with computer invasion of privacy, unauthorized request or disclosures of criminal history information, and violation of oath of office. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Haynes made 45 illegal searches of police databases, looking up information on his ex-wife and ex-girlfriends, among others.

Brickbats

Brickbat: Gassed Up and Ready to Go

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The European Parliament has voted to ban cars with internal combustion engines by 2035. The plan must still be approved by the European Council, which is expected to OK the law. A center-right coalition in the parliament had proposed a 90 percent ban, which would allow 10 percent of cars sold to have internal combustion engines, but that was not accepted.

Brickbats

Brickbat: Too Close for Comfort

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An Indiana couple has sued the state Department of Child Services, saying a case manager lied in court so that a 6-year-old boy would be removed from their home and placed with the boy's biological father, with whom the case manager was having an affair. The suit said Sandra Sell lied in an affidavit claiming Jason and Myka Kelly had violated court orders and engaged in abuse and neglect of their children. All six of their children were taken from them. The boy, Myka Kelly's son, was placed with his father and the others put into foster care. DCS fired Sell four months later, after her affair with the boy's father was discovered. Sell was charged with felony official misconduct and obstruction of justice and misdemeanor falsifying child abuse or neglect information or records. She pleaded guilty to the obstruction of justice charge and was sentenced to 179 days probation. The children were returned to their parents.

Brickbats

Brickbat: Loosie, You've Got Some Explaining to Do

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The Canadian government will require an anti-smoking message to be printed on every individual cigarette. The requirement is expected to take effect in 2023. The exact message hasn't been decided, but Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Carolyn Bennett said the current proposal is "Poison in every puff."

Brickbats

Brickbat: Stick It

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Jodi Johnson says her son Easton, 8, is anxious about returning to school after a gym teacher threw a hockey stick at him hard enough to knock out one of his teeth. Princeton Public Schools District in Minnesota placed the teacher, Kim Neubauer, on unpaid leave for the final two weeks of the school year. It later posted a note on its Facebook page congratulating her on retiring after 27 years. It removed that post after Johnson and other parents complained. In a statement, the school system said "student safety is the top priority of the Princeton Public School District."

Brickbats

Brickbat: Still Interested?

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In 1993, Jeanette Taylor, then a 19-year-old mother, applied for a housing voucher from the Chicago Housing Authority. The CHA responded in 2004 only to tell her she could not have her son on the lease. Taylor, now a city alderwoman, recently received a letter from the CHA in May saying she had made it to the top of the waiting list and asked if she still wanted the voucher.

Brickbats

Brickbat: Language Police

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Norwegian police have opened an investigation of Christina Ellingsen, national representative of the global feminist group Women's Declaration International, for saying that biological men cannot be lesbians in reference to a trans activist. In 2021, Norway amended its hate crime laws to include gender identity, and Ellingsen faces up to three years in prison if convicted of hate speech.

Brickbats

Brickbat: That Was Just the Alcohol Talking

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New York City school teacher Shannon Hall has been charged with sexual abuse, forcible touching, aggravated harassment and endangering the welfare of a child after police said he sexted one of his students at Jamaica Gateway to the Sciences High School and groped another. Police said he texted one 14-year-old repeatedly, saying he wanted to kiss her and have sex with her. He also repeatedly apologized when she confronted him, saying he was drunk at the time. Police said that when they were investigating those texts they found he had also touched the breasts of another student.

Brickbats

Brickbat: This Burns

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The Los Angeles City Council has banned natural gas appliances in most new buildings. Council members say the move will help fight global warming. But some restaurant owners say electric stoves can't replace the effects of gas ovens in some cooking techniques and styles of cooking. The impact would be felt especially by Asian restaurants, which use natural gas stoves to crank up the heat immediately, searing in flavors in certain dishes. Owner Leo Lee said he won't open a second location of his Cantonese-style barbecue restaurant if the ban is upheld.

Brickbats

Brickbat: We Will Get to Them Eventually

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Citing manpower shortages, an internal memo sent to interim Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz revealed the department stopped assigning detectives to new sexual assault cases involving adult victims in April. The department's sexual assault unit is prioritizing cases with child victims and cases where a suspect is already in custody. The department began 2020 with 1,290 officers. As of March 2022, it had 968. And officials said many of its patrol officers are kept busy responding to calls at homeless camps.

Brickbats

Brickbat: Over the Line

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The Kansas Supreme Court has disbarred former Shawnee County chief deputy district attorney Jacqueline Spradling, citing a "serious pattern of grossly unethical misconduct" in her 2012 prosecution of Dana Chandler for double murder. The court had earlier overturned Chandler's conviction because of prosecutorial misconduct. "She ignored the order of a district court, repeatedly made arguments to the jury that lacked any evidentiary support, intentionally lied to this court in her briefs and in oral arguments, and made false statements during the disciplinary investigation," the justices wrote.

Brickbats

Brickbat: Dead Women Tell No Tales

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Six months ago, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management stopped sending Betty Ashley, 100, the check she is supposed to receive from the annuity of her late husband, who served as a postmaster. When she and her daughter looked into it, they found the OPM had her listed as dead, and the agency demanded she prove she is alive. She sent a notarized form as well as a photo of her holding a current newspaper. So far, that hasn't been enough to convince the government.

Brickbats

Brickbat: Photo Finish

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Upper Providence Township, Pennsylvania, police have charged Bruce Stanley Garner, a former school bus driver for the Marple Newtown School District, with 139 counts each of invasion of privacy, unlawful contact with a minor, criminal use of communication facility, and sexual abuse of children. He also faces one count each of endangering the welfare of children and possessing instruments of crime. Police said Garner took up-skirt photos of teen and pre-teen girls riding on his bus. The school district fired Garner after a female student complained about his behavior.

Brickbats

Brickbats: June 2022

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

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With a new rent control law taking effect on May 1, many landlords in St. Paul, Minnesota—particularly small landlords and those who rent to low-income people—are raising rents, converting their buildings into condominiums, or selling them altogether. The Pioneer Press reports this is exactly what critics of the measure said would happen. The voter-approved referendum limits rent increases to no more than 3 percent per year and does not allow them to be raised to market rates when an apartment is vacated.

A federal court has awarded Ju'Zema Goldring $1.5 million in a lawsuit Goldring brought against the city of Atlanta and two police officers. In 2015, the two cops stopped Goldring for jaywalking, then arrested her on drug charges, claiming that the contents of a stress ball Goldring had were drugs. Goldring spent six months in jail before prosecutors had the contents tested. The results were negative. Goldring claims the officers had performed field tests that also showed the results were negative, but that the cops had reported them as positive.

For the past three years, members of the Anishinaabe and Potawatomi tribes have held a sugarbush ceremony at the start of maple-tapping season in Detroit's River Rouge Park and shown people how to tap trees and boil sap. They've got a memorandum of understanding with the city to do that, and organizers claim they had the needed permits for this year's ceremony. But more than a dozen cops, some in tactical gear, broke up this year's ceremony shortly after it began, saying members of the tribes were violating city ordinances against entering the park after dark.

The police department of Kansas City, Missouri, has agreed to pay $900,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by Tyree Bell, who was detained for three weeks for a crime he did not commit in 2016, when he was 15 years old. Cops had responded to a call claiming three black males were on a corner with guns. When officers arrived, one of the suspects ran. They chased him, but he got away. Shortly after, they saw Bell and stopped him. Even though Bell was taller than the suspect, dressed differently, and had a different hairstyle, they took him into custody on a 24-hour "investigative hold." That 24 hours turned into three weeks before he was released without any charges.

In Michigan, Rochester Community Schools Superintendent Robert Shaner admitted the school system monitored the social media of parents who protested school officials' decision to keep schools closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Shaner also admitted to contacting the employers of some of those parents and calling the police on one parent who called for protests outside private homes, saying he regarded that as a threat. Shaner's admissions came in a deposition in a lawsuit brought by the parents.

A Los Angeles Police Department bomb disposal unit in 2021 overloaded a tractor-trailer containment chamber with confiscated fireworks, despite warnings from a technician. The chamber subsequently detonated on the street in the middle of a Los Angeles neighborhood, injuring 27 people and causing more than $1 million in damage. An inspector general's report this year found the chamber had been loaded beyond its safety rating and faulted a detective for inadequate supervision.

Brickbats

Brickbat: Sticky Fingers

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A federal jury convicted Paterson, New Jersey, police sergeant Michael Cheff on one count of conspiracy to deprive persons of civil rights and one count of falsification of a police report. Cheff supervised a crew of officers that stopped people on the street or in their vehicles or searched their homes and stole cash and divided it among themselves. Cheff faces up to 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. Other officers in the case have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

Brickbats

Brickbat: What a Drag

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In Tennessee, the Rutherford County Board of Education has fired Walter Hill Elementary principal Helen Campbell for unprofessional conduct, conduct unbecoming, insubordination and neglect of duty. Campbell and teacher Bonnie Marlar were caught on video dragging a special education student by his ankles some 200 yards through the school's hallways, causing minor injuries to the child. Both were charged with child abuse/neglect and endangerment. Campbell was also charged with attempted destruction of government records for trying to tamper with the video. Both received probation after pleading no contest. Marlar did not have tenure and her contract was not renewed. Campbell had tenure and was placed on unpaid suspension until the board fired her.

Brickbats

Brickbat: Speak Up

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A spokesman for the Erie County, New York, government said officials will seek to fire a 911 dispatcher who hung up on a supermarket employee during the recent shooting rampage in Buffalo. The caller told local media she was whispering because she was hiding and didn't want the gunman to hear her. She said the dispatcher asked why she was whispering, shouted at her, and hung up.

Brickbats

Brickbat: That's Nuts

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In Florida, a federal jury awarded Susan Khoury $520,000 in damages after finding that a Miami-Dade Schools Police officer did not have cause to have her involuntarily institutionalized for a psychological examination. Khoury is a resident of a neighborhood near a school where she and neighbors have for years complained about parents illegally parking during youth baseball games. Khoury has been taking photos and videos showing cars parked on lawns and blocking driveways. One parent objected to being filmed and called the police. Officer Gregory Williams responded. He took Khoury to the ground and then took her into custody.

Brickbats

Brickbat: Hands-on Education

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Alonzo Peritore, a school bus monitor in Greece, New York, has been charged with criminal obstruction of breathing and endangering the welfare of a child for choking a 7-year-old boy on his bus. One of the boy's parents said their child told them Peritore tried to apologize, saying "they always play like that." Greece police said they interviewed others on the bus and reviewed security video before making an arrest.

Brickbats

Brickbat: Parlez-Vous Français?

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Physicians groups, Indian leaders and others are speaking out against a law the Quebec National Assembly appears set to pass that would require healthcare workers to speak to patients in French even if the two could communicate better in another language. The only exceptions would be for those who attended English-language schools in Canada or immigrants who arrived in the previous six months. The bill would also require firms with more than 25 employees to certify they conduct business primarily in French and to take "reasonable measures" to make sure other language are spoken in the workplace as little as possible. The law would also mandate that employment and service contracts be in French, even if both parties would prefer another language.

Brickbats

Brickbat: Non-Lethal Conduct

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Officials in Minneapolis have agreed to pay $1.5 million to settle a lawsuit by Jaleel Stallings, who was beaten by police officers while being arrested in 2020. The city will also pay Stallings' attorneys' fees and other costs. The arrest took place after police officers in an unmarked van began firing non-lethal rounds into a parking lot where Stallings was during protests over the death of George Floyd. Stallings, who had a concealed carry permit, returned fire. He surrendered when he realized it was police, but bodycam video showed officers striking and kicking him even though he wasn't resisting. Stallings claimed self-defense and was acquitted of shooting at the police in 2021.

Brickbats

Brickbat: Excuse Me While I Whip This Out

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San Jose, California, Police Officer Matthew Dominguez faces up to a year in prison after being charged with misdemeanor indecent exposure after reportedly masturbating at the scene of a call. Dominguez and two other officers responded to a call about a mentally ill person who was being violent at that person's family home. While the two other officers went to locate that person, Dominguez reportedly touched himself and exposed himself to female members of the person's family.

Education

Brickbat: That Burns

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Mother Wendy Alvarez says her own 12-year-old son suffered second-degree burns on his hands after being forced to do bear crawls on a hot track at Anthony Aguirre Junior High School in Texas. The boy and other students were being punished, she said, after they tried to get out of running by hiding in the shade during a physical education class. A spokesperson with the Channelview School District confirmed four students received "non-life-threatening heat-related injuries." The spokesperson said the teacher has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation of the incident.

Guns

Brickbat: Close Enough

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The Boise, Idaho, School District suspended Boise High School senior Daniel Dougherty for four days for having a gun with him near, but not actually on, school property. Someone saw Dougherty with the gun and reported him, leading the school to order people to shelter in place. The Boise Police Department responded, and officers found Dougherty broke no laws and made no threats. While Dougherty never took the gun onto school property, school officials justified the suspension by saying they consider some streets and alleys surrounding the high school to be part of its campus, citing the school handbook. However, local media report that the area where Dougherty parked is not among the areas listed as part of the school campus in that handbook.

Sex

Brickbat: Hey, Baby!

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Officials in Utrecht, Netherlands, plan to combat women being catcalled and harassed on city streets by catcalling men on city streets. The plan calls for a woman on a video screen to catcall men walking around the city center. City employees will then approach the men and ask them how they felt. The goal, officials said, is to show the men how uncomfortable being catcalled can make women feel.

Employment

Brickbat: Mount Baldy

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A British employment tribunal has ruled that calling a man bald can be a form of sexual harassment similar to commenting on a woman's breasts. The ruling came in a case involving Tony Finn, an electrician for the British Bung Manufacturing Company. Finn claimed that he was called a "bald c---" at work.  The three members of the tribunal, all men, ruled that this insult was a "violation against the claimant's dignity, it created an intimidating … environment for him, it was done for that purpose, and it related to the claimant's sex." Finn had worked at the company for nearly 24 years but was fired last year. The circumstances around his firing were part of the case.

Education

Brickbat: Class Discussion

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In Roswell, Georgia, Centennial High School said in a statement that a substitute teacher caught on video in an expletive-filled classroom rant has been fired. The teacher, who wasn't named, told students that "When I was in high school, I was learning about Obama increasing drone strikes in my [expletive] country." One student said the teacher also compared Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler.

Censorship

Brickbat: You Didn't Learn That Here

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The Louisiana state Senate Education Committee has approved a bill barring students from accessing pornography or sexually explicit material on public university WiFi or internet services. State Sen. Beth Mizell, R–Franklinton, the author of the bill, said an investigation that found Louisiana State University mishandled numerous complaints of sexual misconduct "illustrated the need" to block students from accessing sexually explicit material on campus. The bill must still be approved by both chambers of the legislature.

Criminal Justice

Brickbat: You Don't Say

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A Maryland appellate court has overturned the murder conviction of Michael Maurice Allen Sr., who is serving life in prison for fatally stabbing his girlfriend in 2018. The court found a prosecutor and a judge violated Allen's constitutional right to remain silent during his trial. The prosecutor told jurors that Allen's decision to stop answering a detective's questions about the death indicated he was guilty. The judge overruled an objection by Allen's defense attorney and did not tell jurors to ignore that remark. The appellate court's decision means Allen can be retried.

Education

Brickbat: When in Doubt, Choke Him Out

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New York City school teacher Chester Hingle has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child and criminal obstruction of breathing. Police said Hingle choked a 12-year-old student at I.S. 217 School of the Performing Arts for roughly five seconds.

Policy

Brickbat: Up for Rent

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The British government is set to unveil a law that would force landlords to rent out empty retail spaces. The law would let local councils mandate that owners place shops that have been empty a year or more into a "rental auction," with the high bidder getting the lease. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called boarded up shops a "blight" that harms local economies.

Brickbats

Brickbat: Time Is on His Side

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Weatherford, Oklahoma, police officer Jeremy Anderson has been charged with neglect to perform a duty and larceny after being arrested for stealing 99 fentanyl pills from the police department's evidence room. He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. The suspect originally arrested with the pills was charged with drug trafficking. That carries a sentence of up to 20 years.

Brickbats

Brickbat: Saying the Quiet Part Out Loud

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An investigation by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights has found that prosecutors are often reluctant to use bodycam video from officers in the Minneapolis Police Department in court because the officers' language is so offensive. "When MPD officers scream obscenities at community members, it makes it challenging for prosecutors to do their job and therefore undermines the criminal justice system," the report said. The report found that prosecutors consider Minneapolis officers' language to be  "much less professional and respectful" than that of officers in neighboring departments.

Brickbats

Brickbat: At Least They'll Be Used to Prison

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Florida Department of Corrections employees Ronald Connor, Christopher Rolon, and Kirk Walton have been charged with second-degree murder, aggravated abuse of an elderly or disabled adult, and battery/cruel treatment of a detainee in the beating death of inmate Ronald Gene Ingram. Ingram was being transferred from Dade Correctional Institution, where he was in the mental health unit, to Lake Correctional Institution. But before he could be removed from his cell, he threw urine on one officer. Prosecutors said the officers handcuffed Ingram, removed him from his cell and beat him. He had to be carried to the transport van after the beating. When the van stopped, he was found to be dead. The cause of death was ruled to be internal bleeding from a punctured lung.

Brickbats

Brickbat: School Discipline

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Tara Coleman Hunter, assistant principal of an elementary school in San Antonio, Texas, has been charged with felony bodily injury to a child. Police said a 5-year-old boy had been sent to the assistant principal's office because he had been unruly. The boy struck Hunter, and she shoved him into a filing cabinet hard enough to leave a bump on his head. She then reportedly punched him in the face.

Brickbats

Brickbat: Public Enemy

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Jude McGovern, a retired New York city police officer now living in Swanlinbar, Ireland, came home one day to find "eight to 10" police officers had forced their way into his home and were searching his belongings. They were looking for a souvenir he'd brought with him when he moved to Ireland 25 years ago, a revolver he'd decommissioned by having the firing pin removed. McGovern said he made the mistake four and a half years ago of allowing a neighbor to photograph him with the gun, and the man posted the photo to Facebook. He said the Garda, the Irish police, must have finally seen the photo.

Brickbat: The Slammer

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The Tallahassee, Florida, police department has placed Officer Shawn Wright on leave after video showed him picking a man up and slamming him to the ground head first. The department said the man, who was reportedly unhurt, was involved in a minor traffic collision and left the scene. Video showed he pulled away from officers when they tried to arrest him. He was charged with leaving the scene of an accident with property damage and resisting an officer without violence. Both are misdemeanors.

Brickbats

Brickbats: May 2022

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

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Shane Lee Brown, then 23, spent six days in a Las Vegas jail in 2020 after cops arrested him on a warrant for Shane Neal Brown, then 49. In addition to the age difference, Shane Neal Brown is both white and taller than Shane Lee Brown, who is black. Shane Lee Brown is now suing the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and the Henderson Police Department, which made his initial arrest, for civil rights violations, false imprisonment, negligence, and other wrongful conduct.

Erie County, New York, District Attorney John J. Flynn has charged Amber and Michael Naab with second-degree felony charges of criminal possession of a forged instrument. Naab said the two used fake COVID-19 vaccine cards to get into a Buffalo Bills game at Highmark Stadium. The Naabs face up to seven years in prison if convicted, but Flynn's office said he does not anticipate they will serve time.

A California Court of Appeal has upheld the firing of two Los Angeles Police Department officers who ignored a call from a supervisor to respond to a robbery in progress at the Macy's at Crenshaw Plaza mall. Instead of responding to the call, the two officers played Pokemon Go, catching a Snorlax and a Togetic. The court found that Louis Lozano and Eric Mitchell were fired for "willfully abdicating their duty to assist a commanding officer's response to a robbery in progress and playing a Pokemon mobile game while on duty."

British Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said the government is preparing legislation that would limit streaming services from showing comedy that some people might find offensive. Her remarks came in response to comedian Jimmy Carr's latest Netflix special. In one bit, Carr said that when people talk about the Holocaust they talk about the horror of the 6 million Jewish lives taken by the Nazis but not the thousands of gypsies who were killed. "No one ever wants to talk about that," he joked, "because no one ever wants to talk about the positives."

The Virginia Beach Police Department used forged DNA reports linking people to crimes to get them to confess or to cooperate with investigators, according to a state investigation. In at least one case, a forged report supposedly from the Virginia Department of Forensic Science was introduced in court as evidence. The police department said it stopped using forged DNA reports last year, but that the practice was legal.

Bronx Supreme Court Justice David Lewis has tossed convictions against 133 defendants in cases in which former New York Police Department Detective Joseph Franco testified. Franco has been indicted on 26 counts of felony perjury. Last year, the Brooklyn district attorney dismissed 93 other cases that had relied on Franco's testimony.

Prosecutors have charged Paivi Rasanen, a Finnish member of parliament, with three counts of hate speech for remarks she made about homosexuality. The government cited a tweet where she questioned why the Finnish Lutheran Church was officially supporting Finland's Pride week. The tweet included an image of Bible verses condemning homosexual acts. Also considered evidence: a 2004 pamphlet published by her church outlining the traditional Christian view on sexuality, and a radio interview.

Mexican officials seized 380,000 boxes of Kellogg's cereal in January, claiming that images of cartoon mascots on the boxes violated a law barring marketing to children. While most of the boxes were taken from a warehouse, officials also raided several retail outlets.

Brickbats

Brickbat: With Honors

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Following an outcry by students and parents, the San Diego Unified School District said that some, but not all, of the honors classes at Patrick Henry High School that had been cut will be restored. Principal Michelle Irwin said she was cutting the classes for equity reasons, saying she wanted to remove the stigma from non-honors courses and citing racial differences in honors course enrollment. Irwin also claimed it is redundant to have both regular and honors courses in the same subjects.

Brickbats

Brickbat: Philadelphia Beatdown

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Former Philadelphia Police Officer Darren Kardos has been charged with aggravated assault, reckless endangerment of another person, and other charges in the beating of Rickia Young. In October 2020, Young had gone to pick up her nephew from a friend's house. Hours earlier, police had shot and killed Walter Wallace, and what began as peaceful protests had become violent. As she approached one intersection, officers ordered her to turn around. But as she tried to make a U-turn, several officers began hitting and rocking her SUV. Kardos broke the windows of the SUV and pulled Young out by the hair. Officers hit her with fists and batons and sprayed her with mace. Neither Young nor her nephew were charged with any crime. The city has agreed to pay $2 million to settle a lawsuit Young brought.

Brickbats

Brickbat: Mama Tried

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Kentucky's Judicial Conduct Commission voted 6-0 to remove Daviess Circuit Family Court Judge Julie Hawes Gordon for misconduct, including using her post to intervene in criminal cases involving her adult son. The commission found Gordon "took actions to destroy evidence and obstruct justice" when she "cleaned up" her son's social media accounts and cellphone after he was arrested. She also contacted the judge and prosecutor in the case, trying to influence her son's bond. And she used her position to arrange special visits with him in jail and brought him food. She also created "conflicts of interest" because the attorney representing her son regularly handles cases in her court and she not did not recuse herself in those cases.

Brickbats

Brickbat: You Will Do What's Good for You

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Rhode Island state Sen. Sam Bell  has introduced a bill that would require all unvaccinated residents of the state pay a $50-a-month fine. The fine would apply to everyone eligible for the vaccine. Bell's bill would also force unvaccinated Rhode Islanders to pay double their state income taxes.

Brickbats

Brickbat: Come Fly with Me

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U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele, D–Hawaii, appears to have been in Washington, D.C.,  just once since the start of the year. He has cast five in-person votes in 2022, all in January. He's used proxies to cast his other votes. Kahele cites his concerns over COVID-19 for his absence from Congress. But local media outlets report he has been traveling the islands meeting with constituents and elected officials and possibly preparing for a run for governor. He has also been working as a pilot for Hawaiian Airlines. A spokesperson said Kahele only flies "occasional flights to maintain his certification."

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