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Daily Brickbats

Posts from Daily Brickbats

Updated: 2018-04-23T00:00:00-04:00


When You Need Help ...


(image) The Monticello, Utah, city council has fired Police Chief Kent Adair after his department refused to answer a 911 call about one of its officers. The estranged wife of Sgt. Cole Young called 911 to report he'd broken into her house and assaulted a man there. But when the dispatcher tried to get an officer to respond, they all declined. When the dispatcher called Adair about the issue, the two were recorded laughing about the matter. A San Juan County sheriff's deputy eventually answered the call. Young has been charged with felony burglary and misdemeanor assault.


The Rule of Law


(image) A British court has ordered a York man acquitted of rape to alert police 24 hours in advance each time he plans to have sex with a woman. The man, whose name was not revealed by British media, must tell them the woman's name, address and date of birth.


If You See Something, Say Something


(image) In England, taxi driver Tony Kemp says he lost business and had his reputation damaged after the North Yorkshire County Council banned him from taking students to school. The council told him only that an allegation had been made against him. Kemp later found from a contact in the taxi industry that someone had reported him hugging and kissing two girls outside a local school. The girls were his daughters.


Just the Facts


(image) Police in Stockholm, Sweden, have been ordered not to include race, ethnicity, nationality, skin color or height in any descriptions of criminal suspects it releases to the public. Officials say they don't want to appear to be racist.


You've Got a Friend


(image) Germany's highest court has declared Facebook's friend finder feature to be an illegal form of advertising. The court said the feature, which allows Facebook users to send a request to join Facebook to those in their email list, harasses people who do not use Facebook.


Teen Mom


(image) The principal at Virginia's Mount Vernon High School has barred yearbook editors from including selfies taken by a pregnant student showing her baby bump. Principal Esther Mann said she fears the student may regret the photos later in life.


Welcome to Germany


(image) Months before gangs of men of North African and Middle Eastern descent sexually assaulted hundreds of women during New Year's Eve celebrations in Cologne, Germany, something similar happened during an city-sponsored welcome party for Middle Eastern refugees. German women attending the November party say male refugees surrounded them, groping them and trying to kiss them. The city official who organized the party says she was aware of the attacks but did not report them because she did not want to make a fuss.


Season's Over


(image) April Gehl, a three-sport athlete at Wisconsin's Hilbert High School, has been suspended for five basketball games for publicly criticizing new state high school athletic association rules banning crowds from chanting things that mock the opposing team. School officials admit they suspended Gehl after the athletic association sent them a critical tweet Gehl posted but refused to answer any other questions about the move.


As I Lay Dying


(image) The Orlando, Florida, police department fired officer Pete Delio and Sgt. William Faulker after Delio kneed a prisoner in the abdomen hard enough to rupture his spleen and the two left him screaming in pain for almost two hours before getting medical assistance. The prisoner, Robert Liese, had been arrested for not paying a $30 bar tab.


Speak No Evil


(image) Sweden's prime minister has condemned an apparent police cover up of sexual attacks on female attending a youth music festival by recent refugees. The attacks happened in 2014, when gangs of young immigrant men would surround women attending the festival in Stockholm and molest them. But police and other city officials did not report the attacks.


Getting Too Close


(image) Israel's Education Ministry has rejected a request by teachers to include Dorit Rabinyan's novel Borderlife in the curriculum for high school literature students. The novel deals with a romance between a Jewish Israeli woman and an Arab man. "Marrying a non-Jew is not what the education system is educating about," said Dalia Fenig, the ministry official who leads the committee responsible for the decision.


Take My Wife, Please


(image) The University of California system wants all its students, staff and faculty to report intolerance. That includes intimidation, bullying or violence. It also includes things that create a "hostile climate," such as "unwanted jokes" and "pictures of a biased nature."


It's a Man's Man's Man's World


(image) Navy Secretary Ray Mabus has ordered the Marine Corps to remove the word "man" from all job titles.  Jobs such as reconnaissance man and field artillery man will presumably become reconnaissance person or field artillery individual.


Union, Justice, and Confidence


(image) Independence, Louisiana, police officer Laquinton Banks has been charged with felony theft, malfeasance in office and hate crimes. Banks allegedly targeted Hispanic motorists, stopping them and asking for their wallets to check their licenses. When he returned the wallets, their cash would be missing.


I Must Say


(image) A federal appeals court has refused to issue an injunction blocking a California law that requires crisis pregnancy centers to inform patients that abortion is available at little or no cost in the state and to provide them with the number of the county health service. The centers, which are often religiously based, exist to help steer women away from abortion. Several clinics are challenging the law saying it violates their First Amendment rights. A judge has already ruled against them, and the appellate court said they are unlikely to win their appeal.


Sex on the Brain


(image) A federal court has granted an injunction barring Giles County, Tennessee, schools from banning clothing with pro-gay messages. The ruling came after officials at Richland High School told one student she could not wear a t-shirt that said "Some People Are Gay, Get Over It," to school. Officials said pro-gay messages are sexual in nature and therefore banned under the dress code.


As Cold as Ice


(image) When Marc Kohn's daughter Melanie, a Washington Capitals fan, died last summer, he decided to honor her by building an ice skating rink on property he owned in Maryland and opening it to the public. It has proven very popular with local families. But Montgomery County officials have said Kohn will have to close the rink. They say he never got a permit to build it and and the rink is on property zoned for agricultural use, not a public venue.


Take a Bite Out of Crime


(image) Henderson, Nevada, officials have agreed to pay $13,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by the family of a 17-month-old girl mauled by a police dog. Cops had pulled over Arturo Arenas-Alvarez because his vehicle looked similar to the description of one involved with a suspected robbery. They got him out of his vehicle and pretty quickly figured out he wasn't the tall black man they were looking for, but while they were trying to explain what happened to him, a canine officer pulled up and, apparently without speaking to any of the other officers, released his dog into the vehicle, where it attacked Arenas-Alvarez's daughter.


Quick on the Trigger


(image) Des Moines, Iowa, police officer Brady Pratt unintentionally fired his service weapon inside the city airport. Officials say he was practicing his "quick draw" at the time. No one was hurt. Officials say they are investigating the matter and could discipline him.


His Aim Is True


(image) The Iowa Public Information Board, an independent agency charged with enforcing the state’s open records and open meetings law, is suing the Burlington Police Department and other agencies to force the release of all video showing Officer Jesse Hill shooting and killing Autumn Steele. Hill was responding to a domestic disturbance at Steel’s home and he says her dog attacked him. He shot at the dog but missed it and hit Steele instead. Prosecutors declined to file any charges against Hill.


A Man's Home


(image) Nicky Morgan, the British Education Minister, is preparing new regulations on homeschoolers. She and other government officials are said to be concerned that parents might be indoctrinating their children into extremist beliefs.


No Irishmen Need Apply


(image) The University of Louisville recently posted a job listing for a tenure-track position in the Department of Physics and Astronomy that specified the position would be filled only with an "African-American, Hispanic American or a Native American Indian." The ad was removed after someone complained it didn't include those with disabilities.


Doxxing in the New Year


(image) A Minneapolis city council member is being criticized for tweeting the names, phone numbers and home addresses of several of her constituents. The individuals emailed Alondra Cano, criticizing her participation in a Black Lives Matter protest that disrupted traffic at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport and attempted to disrupt business at the Mall of America. Cano responded by posting their personal information.


Living Space


(image) Kutztown University, a public university in Pennsylvania, enacted a policy giving housing staff the power to immediately remove any decorations that were "obscene," "distasteful," or "demeaning to an individual's or group's race, ethnic, religious background and/or gender or ability" in both common areas and apartments. The policy specifically banned the Confederate flag and the swastika. A few days later, after a legal review found the policy to be unconstitutional, the university rescinded it.


Reason for the Season


(image) Officials at Kentucky's W.R. Castle Elementary School censored a performance of A Charlie Brown Christmas by students. They deleted the scene in which Linus quotes from the Bible, a scene that Charles Schulz was adamant be included in the original TV special. However, at the point where that scene normally occurs, several audience members recited the lines. Principal Jeff Cochran said he was disappointed with their actions.


Not a Creature Was Stirring ...


(image) DeKalb County, Georgia, police responding to a report of a possible burglar outside a house went to the wrong home, entered through an unlocked rear door, immediately shot and killed the homeowner's dog, shot the homeowner when he ran into the room and also shot one of their colleagues in the hip. Police Chief James Conroy said he can't discuss the specifics of the case, but he did say, “We want officers to go out and investigate crimes like this rather than react.”


The Summer's Gone


(image) Belfast pastor James McConnell faces jail time after being tried for a hate crime. Prosecutors charged McConnell after he denounced Islam during a sermon, calling it a "doctrine spawned in Hell" and Allah a "demon deity." 


Spirit of the Holidays


(image) Officers with the FBI and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation along with deputies from the Cherokee County sheriff's office tore apart Juanita Lane's home, tearing holes in the walls, ripping out windows and throwing her furniture, Christmas tree and children's toys out on the lawn.  They say they were looking for a fugitive wanted for burglary and drug possession, among other charges. They didn't find him. Neighbors said Lane repeatedly told him he wasn't there.


Judgment Call


(image) In England, the East Kent Hospitals National Health Service Trust has apologized for placing a "do not recusitate" order on a patient with Down Syndrome without consulting his family. The order listed his learning disabilities among the reasons not to try to recusitate him. 


Without a Prayer


(image) Officials with the Florida High School Athletic Association banned a prayer from being said over the public address system before the start of the Class 2A state football championship game. The game was being played between two private Christian schools, but association officials said they could not allow it because the stadium the game was being played at was built with taxpayer dollars.