Back in the middle of November 2022 I wrote about the shocking news of two elderly ladies arrested for carrying out TNR on public land (link to that article). They were doing the community a service. But two police officers wearing body cams handcuffed and arrested them and took them to the police station for criminal trespass or some other similar crime. It was completely bizarre and it shocked animal advocates. Note: trespass is not usually a crime. It is a civil matter.
The police were obviously misbehaving. Common sense told us all that. The ladies ended up being convicted after a trial that should not have happened and then their case was dismissed and so everything went back to the way it was. None of it should have happened.
It was a complete fiasco and a massive waste of time for the authorities (and money) and a massively traumatic experience for the two Alabama cat ladies: Beverley Roberts now 86 and Mary Alston now 61.
Well, a little bit of time has elapsed since those mad moments and we are now pleasantly told by the Miami Herald that Roberts and Alston are suing the City of Wetumpka, the Chief of Police Greg Benton, the Assistant Chief of Police Ed Reeves, and three city police officers (I guess the ones that arrested them).
I presume that in suing the city of Wetumpka they are suing the Mayor of Wetumpka because it is alleged that Roberts and Alston had angered Wetumpka Mayor Jerry Willis and the Chief and Assistant Chief of Police some time before the bizarre events unfolded.
It would seem – and the allegation is – that these people in high authority had been irritated and angered by the ladies because they had complained about the mayor and police. The Miami Herald says that Mayor Willis was “harbouring anger towards Robertson Alston for how they had been vocal about his refusal to enforce animal rights laws specifically laws and ordinances that prohibit the chaining of dogs”.
There was bad blood behind the bad behaviour of the police in arresting Roberts and Alston. And that makes a lot of sense to someone like me because the behaviour of the police was so bizarre that there had to be a hidden agenda going on that we didn’t know about and now we do.
And if Roberts’ and Alston’s complaint in their application to the court for compensation is accurate, they might receive damages over their “unlawful arrest and malicious prosecution”. They want trial by jury which I love. They are clearly very confident and they want the matter to be aired fully in public.
I sense that they want to humiliate Mayor Willis and the Chief and Assistant Chief of Police.
Personally, I am fully behind the ladies. I wish them enormous good fortune. It will be a difficult case to win because it is always difficult for citizens in a community to sue the authorities successfully.
That’s because there is an automatic protection against the authorities for errors that they might make. And it is very tough to successfully sue the police no matter what country you live in. No doubt the mayor and police will have the best lawyers presenting their defence.
But nonetheless the case is strong and let’s hope they win.
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