March 2, 2011

Quick Hits

A few bits of oddity from around the country . . .

Play Ball!  The Department of Justice is investigating the police department in Bell, California.  In the process, it uncovered a memo that laid out a little game the officers were playing (via):
A memo discovered in Bell police files appears to outline a game in which police officers compete to issue tickets, impound cars and arrest motorists.

Titled the 'Bell Police Department Baseball Game,' the memo assigns 'singles,' 'doubles,' 'triples' and 'home runs' to progressively more serious infractions, starting with parking tickets and moving on to vehicle impounds and felony arrests of drivers. 'Non-performers,' the memo says, are 'sent for minor league rehab stint.'
Nice.  Nothing like treating the rights of citizens as a game.  And I'm sure none of those officers ever stretched to turn a single into a triple, right?  New professionalism, my ass.

Keep the Change, Kid.  Occasionally, Cleveland does indeed rock.  A 19-year old was recently acquitted for assault.  Not too unusual, given the local DA's history of pushing bullshit cases.  This time, the jurors aren't just walking away (via):
Jurors are so convinced that a Cleveland teen should not have been charged with assaulting another teen that they've gone beyond acquitting him. A few are writing angry letters to police and intend to donate their jury pay to him. At least three jurors plan to give the $100 they received to sit on the jury to defendant Demrick McCloud, 19, if McCloud earns a high school equivalency degree. They took only 30 minutes to find him not guilty in their deliberations Friday.

Most of the jury could not be reached for comment, but three members complained of a 'sheer lack of evidence.'
Good for them, not just for trying to help the kid out ("a decent kid falsely accused," one juror said) but for raising hell with the local authorities about it.  That's the only way they'll learn.

Wrong Target.  Last week, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was punked by a New York newspaper who called him pretending to be right-wing financier David Koch.  Although embarrassing, I don't think anything in the call itself was really all that damning.  The real problem was that Walker was so quick to take the call at all.  So, in the wake of the scandal, what are the legislators of the Badger State going to do about it (via)?
A week after Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker received a prank call from blogger Ian Murphy, who posed as conservative billionaire David Koch, two Wisconsin legislators introduced a bill Monday that would ban prank calls, reports the Badger Herald.

Republican state Sen. Mary Lazich and Republican state Rep. Mark Honadel said their measure would forbid deceiving the call’s recipient into believing the caller is someone he or she is not.
And it has nothing whatsoever to do with Walker's embarrassment last week.  Sure.  And I've got swampland in Florida for sale. The penchant for politicians to go after the embarrassment, rather than the malfeasance, puts me in mind of . . .

South Park - is there anything you can't teach us?

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