— Paolo Coelho
I’m going to tell you all two stories. They’re about a couple of friends of mine and their dealings with our local law enforcement officers. Let’s call them Brodie and Lily. I will use the real names of the officers, but I will change the other names.
About a decade ago, Brodie’s now-deceased mother was incessantly harassed by a man named Doug. Doug would call her up to 75 times a day trying to get her to go out on a “date” with him. Brodie eventually had to get on the phone and insist that he stop calling her, and that he was causing her PTSD to act up (she had been sexually violated by her brother for eight years, starting at age 7), not to mention the fact that she was married. He finally got the hint when Brodie threatened to rip his tongue out if he didn’t stop.
Fast forward about four years: Brodie and his mother were grocery shopping when they ran into Doug’s wife Deanna, whom Brodie’s mother had no reason not to be friendly with. Brodie was finishing with the checking out of their groceries as his mother exited the store talking with Deanna. When Doug saw this from the car he was waiting in, he jumped out and started physically assaulting Brodie’s mother. Brodie saw this, and quickly exited the store. Doug retreated to his car, and Brodie warned him calmly that if he didn’t leave, he would break his neck.
Doug made the mistake of saying, “Come on, fat boy.”
After Brodie annihilated him, the cops finally arrived on the scene. The interim (and future) Chief of Police, Billy Bob (no joke, that’s his name), showed up and told all of them to shut their mouths. Everyone but Doug did, yet Billy Bob allowed him to continue while threatening Brodie with incarceration if he didn’t keep his mouth shut. When Brodie looked at his mother and said that it was “fucking bullshit” that he allowed Doug to keep running his mouth while chastising him, Billy Bob said, “That’s it…”, and grabbed Brodie by the arm and started leading him to the cop car. Brodie jerked his arm away and sat himself in the car.
In the end, despite the fact that all witnesses attested to the fact that Brodie was just defending his mother from a male attacker who had previously made unwanted sexual advances toward her, Brodie, his mother, and Doug were all charged with disorderly conduct and incarcerated. Brodie’s mother made bail, and Brodie was later O.R.’d. At no point before or after did any officer, lawyer, or other law enforcement official want to hear Brodie and his mother’s side of the story, and in the end all parties were subject to the same fines and court costs. Doug was even allowed to leave court, despite the fact that the judge found out that he had a Bench Warrant.
An obvious miscarriage of small town justice, right? I do believe so.
Story #2: Lily is a soft-hearted individual. She recently agreed to let a woman named Bethany and her boyfriend Chaz to stay a couple nights in her home, seeing as they were homeless at that time. She said she would give them that time to find somewhere else to go.
They still haven’t left. It has been almost three weeks now.
The other night, she came right out and told them that they had to leave after finding out that they have been buying and selling drugs as well as thieving from her and other people. They refused. She kept insisting, and so did they. The next morning, she resorted to calling the police to remove them from her property. This is the conversation she had with the officer, Paul Burden, verbatim:
LILY: “Yes, I have some house guests, and I’d like for them to leave. I told them to, but they wouldn’t. Could you or another officer come and escort them off the premises?”
BURDEN: “No, that’s a civil matter.”
BURDEN: “You will have to go up to the courthouse on Monday and get an eviction notice.”
LILY: “They don’t live here. It’s like I was just letting them spend the night. I’m the home owner, and the only one on the lease. Why can’t you remove them for trespassing? They’re trespassing now that I told them they need to leave.”
BURDEN: “Sorry, it’s a civil matter. Not our problem.”
Story postscript: This is the same officer who refused to take my father to jail or some sort of jail-like medical facility after he set our house on fire during one of his many hallucinatory head-trips he sometimes goes on for days.
These stories are just a couple of the many examples I could give you showcasing how the “justice” system works in Morgantown, Kentucky. I had to get them off of my chest, because I’m getting pretty sick of not being able to depend on authority figures to do their jobs or the right thing when called upon for help. I could go on, but I’ll stop there. It would take too long, and we all have lives of some sort, I assume.
"To Serve and Protect", indeed.
I’ve been very MIA lately for a variety of reasons. Kaput iPhone… no internet access at home… no computer to access that internet if I had it… infected teeth… stomach viruses… probably more that I can’t think of right now. It has even derailed my in-progress “61 Days of Halloween” extravaganza. But, rest assured, I have been using the old method of listing things (pen and paper… who knew THOSE things were still around?) and have been properly carrying on my classic “31 Days of Halloween” tradition.
Anyway, I just wanted to say that I love you, Tumblrites, and I will be around as much as possible. BYE BYE BYE MUAH!
Yesterday morning on ABC’s “This Week,” Newt Gingrich and I debated whether House Republicans in should be able to repeal a law — in this case, the Affordable Care Act — by de-funding it. Here’s the essence:
GINGRICH: Under our constitutional system, going all the way back to Magna Carta in 1215, the people’s house is allowed to say to the king we ain’t giving you money.
REICH: Sorry, under our constitutional system you’re not allow to risk the entire system of government to get your way.
Had we had more time I would have explained to the former Speaker something he surely already knows: The Affordable Care Act was duly enacted by a majority of both houses of Congress, signed into law by the President, and even upheld by the Supreme Court.
The Constitution of the United States does not allow a majority of the House of Representatives to repeal the law of the land by de-funding it. If that were the case, no law is safe. A majority of the House could get rid of unemployment insurance, federal aid to education, Social Security, Medicare, or any other law they didn’t like merely by deciding not to fund them.
I believe the Affordable Care Act will prove to be enormously popular with the American public once it’s fully implemented — which is exactly why the Republicans are so intent on bulldozing it before then. If they were sincere about their objections, they’d let Americans try it out — and then, if it didn’t work, decide to repeal it.
The constitutional process for repealing a law — such as Congress and President Clinton did with the old Glass-Steagall Act — is for both houses to enact a new bill that repeals the old, which must then be signed by the President. If the President vetoes it, then the repeal can only go into effect if the veto is overridden by two-thirds of the House and the Senate.
The Republicans who are now running the House of Representatives are pushing a dangerous new constitutional doctrine. They must be stopped. There should be no compromising with fanatics.
Perfect response to lunacy is perfect.
61 Days of Halloween - Movies #10 & 11: Friday the 13th [Uncut Version] (1980) / Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)
Some good horror films of TCM tonight so set your DVR before you head down to the art show. Curse of the Demon & Burn Witch Burn!
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