Brickbats: May 2022

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Brickbats

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

Charles Oliver and Peter Bagge |

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(Illustration: Peter Bagge)

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.

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