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Location: Sitting inside a TV truck, Somewhere, more then likely in the Southeastern region, United States

I am a grouchy, bald headed old fart filled with opinions and not the least bit shy about sharing them.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Laws and rules gone wild...

Durham, NC - From the national news briefs in today's Durham, NC Herald-Sun...

A 70 year old woman was arrested and suffered a broken nose at the hands of an Orem, UT police officer. Her crime: failing to properly maintain her lawn.

Two days after Independence Day, 70-year-old Betty Perry experienced an ordeal she said shouldn't be happening in America.

The retired military and U.S. government employee answered the door at her home Friday morning to talk with a police officer about her bone-dry lawn and ended up getting arrested and suffering a bloody nose.

"What have I done?" she asked. "I'm old now. I can't believe this."

The Orem police officer, as yet unnamed by city officials, cited Perry for violating a city ordinance with her "sadly neglected and dying landscape," which resembles dry hay.

When Perry refused to give her name and tried to walk inside to call her son, the officer tried to arrest her, police say. According to a police news release, while she was struggling, she tripped and fell on her doorstop, cutting open the bridge of her nose.

But Perry maintains the officer split her nose when he hit her with the set of handcuffs he was trying to restrain her with.

"As far as I'm concerned, he really abused me - he brutally abused me," Perry said. "For what?"

The officer called for backup, because he was driving a truck, and the now-handcuffed Perry was taken to a holding facility in Orem. She was not given water or allowed to wash her hands or call her son, she said.

"After being booked, supervisors became aware of the circumstances and immediately released the woman and returned her to her home on the basis that there were other options available to handle this situation besides making an arrest and holding the woman in jail," Orem police Lt. Doug Edwards wrote in the news release.

The Salt Lake City Tribune: Bloody nose for having a dry lawn

And a sixth grade student got a four month sentence to an alternative school for writing "I love Alex" in an already graffiti infested area. That's four months with the gang banger want-to-be, drug using, gun toting kids.

Shelby Sendelbach, a sixth-grader in the Katy Independent School District, was read her rights, ticketed and punished with a mandatory four-month assignment to an alternative school because she wrote "I love Alex" on a gymnasium wall with a baby blue Sharpie.

The graffiti offense is a Level 4 infraction in the district's discipline plan, along with making terroristic threats, possessing dangerous drugs, and assaulting with bodily injury. Only a Level 5 — for murder, possessing firearms, committing aggravated or sexual assault, arson or other felonies — is more severe.

The Houston Chronicle: Writing on school wall gets Katy sixth-grader pulled

What has gone so terribly wrong in this country that a 70 year old woman can be injured, handcuffed and dragged from her home over a badly maintained lawn. What has happened to our school systems that resolving discipline problems frequently involves the police department and the politically correct version of reform school?

This has got to stop...

- 30 -

For some reason, I seem to be bothered whenever I see acts of injustice and assaults on people's civil liberties. I imagine what I write in the future will follow in that vein. Whether it's fiction or non-fiction.
- Iris Chang

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