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October 18th, 2017

Diversions

Recurring Themes

News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

By News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

Published Oct. 13, 2015

Recurring Themes

Short-Term Rehab: Heath Franklin, 44, was arrested on Aug. 20 at the Wal-Mart in Dalton, Georgia, charged with taking "upskirt" photos of female shoppers. Franklin, a registered sex offender, had been released on Aug. 19 from Central State Prison, where he was serving a term for sexual offenses (including taking unlawful photos). [Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 8-21-2015]

"Excessive" (I): Three weeks ago, News of the Weird mentioned that a federal judge had officially declared 29 years as an excessive amount of time for the Bureau of Land Management to have sat on a natural gas permit, but four years' waiting is apparently an acceptable period for a judge to sit on a decision whether to fire a New York City schoolteacher. Edward Morrissey, charged with pushing and shoving a student at PS 109 in Brooklyn in 2009, had his administrative hearing in 2011 and since then has been drawing full pay and benefits (including seniority raises) while reporting to a no-duties "job" (termed a "rubber room") every school day. In May 2015, he was finally found guilty. [New York Post, 8-23-2015]

"Excessive" (II): In August the independent Police Foundation declared it "excessive" that cops in Stockton, California, had fired 600 gunshots trying to apprehend robbers of a Bank of the West branch in July 2014. None of the robbers was hit, but one hostage was -- fatally, hit by 10 police bullets. According to the report, "a few" of the officers engaged in "sympathetic fire," shooting merely because their colleagues were shooting (and since the sequence was chaotic, sympathetic fire occurred even though other colleagues were actually positioned in front of shooters). [Los Angeles Times, 8-17-2015]

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