I Ain’t Sorry.

Like Only Police Can

Just when you think the police can’t get any more abhorrent. Police officers in Florida and the Dakotas, that have abused or killed citizens, are misusing Marsy’s Law to hide their identity. Following an altercation in Masaryktown, Florida, ProPublica, through an open records request, received a use of force complaint. The deputy’s name, however, was blacked out. The victim in this case was a drunk man who was arrested and taken to the hospital. At the hospital, the man was out of control and the the sheriff’s deputy pepper sprayed him. Then, the deputy claimed battery under Marsy’s law and his named was redacted from public record. 

Marsy’s Law was passed in memory of a woman murdered by her ex-boyfriend. The ex-boyfriend then harassed her mother after her death. This law was created to protect victims and their families from these types of attacks by shielding their identity. Marsy’s law was first passed in California and is on Kentucky’s ballot this year. It was passed in Florida in 2018. 

In only the way police officers seem to be able to do, they have perverted the spirit of the law and are using this law to skirt responsibility. “Officers say it allows them to claim victim status in use-of-force cases where they say the suspect was the aggressor.”  In Collier and Charlotte counties in Florida, deputies’ names have been withheld in 1 in 6 incidents. (Hernando county, 1 in 3) Also, in traditional law enforcement fashion, the “agencies rarely redacted the names of the suspects on whom they used force, including juveniles and mentally ill people in the thick of a crisis.”

This all came to light in May when a Tallahassee police officer, who fatally shot a Black transgender man did not want his name released. The Chief agreed and did not release the names of the deputies involved and this prompted protests. The Florida Police Benevolent Association sued the city to keep the names hidden.  

Yep, I am so OVER the police. 

Canada, Eh!

You think you’re moving to Canada, if Trump wins? Think again. This is a running joke or running hope of many people and journalist during this election season and for the past 4 years. As the, The Guardian suggested, after the first presidential debate, that it was bad enough “to trigger a potential mass exodus,” based on an increase in Google searches for “How to apply for Canadian citizenship.” 

For real though, No. American politics is not that easy to get away from. “The United States is a hegemon, a country so powerful that it can shape the rules of the international system.” Meaning you can run but you can’t hide. The U.S. President has a lot of pull around the world, especially our northern neighbors. Remember when they “pushed” Canada to detain the Chinese executive, from Huawei, accused of violating US law?

50 years ago, Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau (father of the current Canadian leader) said “Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly or even-tempered is the beast—if I can call it that—one is affected by every twitch and grunt.” Nice, we are an elephant.

The other reasons you can’t move to Canada are that for starters you literally cannot get in. The U.S.-Canada border is closed due to COVID ( and our abysmal reaction to it). Additionally, immigration restrictions in Canada are no joke and they don’t even need a wall. (although we did put in a fence on part of it) Alas, your dreams of escaping across the border are a no-go. 

So, if not Canada then where? I don’t know. What do I look like, a travel agent? Practically speaking, most of the world won’t take you anyway because we just hit 9 million coronavirus infections. So, looks like you have to deal with this mess right here, like the rest of us. 

Arkansas, This is Not So Natural

Missed your rent payments in Arkansas? Watch out, because you could go to jail. Yes, jail. In Arkansas, and only in Arkansas, a landlord can file a criminal complaint for missed rent and not moving out. 

Based on a law from 1901, if you fail to pay rent for even a day and then do not move out after 10 days of a landlord’s notice to you. You can be charged with a misdemeanor. In other places, these matters are only civil. Meaning ,if you don’t show up for court, a ruling in favor of the landlord would happen and you would be put out of the property. Not put in jail. Way to make poverty a crime, Arkansas. 

Evictions can lead from charges to arrests to jail time. Research shows that this disproportionately affects female, Black, and low-income residents. Then, the process saddles them with a permanent criminal record, making it harder to find a new place to live.

To keep the appalling party going, COVID-19 has not deterred some Arkansas landlords. Since March, more than 200 new failures to vacate cases have been filed state-wide, 28 since the national moratorium on evictions. At least 7 women were detained or sentenced to jail for not appearing in court for an eviction case. 

Of course, the law has been challenged, but like roaches it continues to survive. Pulaski County refused to enforce it, but this is the choice of the top Prosecutor. So this could change, new person, new rule. Everytime the law is challenged landlords lobby to keep it. One reason is that it’s cheaper in criminal court and they don’t have to hire an attorney to evict someone. 

Hey, Stop punishing people for being POOR. Of note, most landlords in Arkansas do use the civil process. So, silver lining?

All Grub, But Not So Much Hub

Having food delivered? Using Grubhub? Well that restaurant you’re ordering from might not actually be a Grubhub contracted restaurant. And that’s why they are being sued. Two Restaurants, one in California and one in North Carolina filed a lawsuit against Grubhub. They accuse Grubhub of adding their restaurants to its site, but not entering into a partnership. They say this causes “significant damage to their … reputations, loss of control over their customers’ dining experiences, loss of control over their online presence, and reduced consumer demand for their services.”

On Grubhub’s part: They essentially admit it. Last October, CEO Matt Maloney said the company would be “piloting a new initiative” of adding restaurants to its database without a contract. They did this so customers will believe they had more delivery options with Grubhub, and wouldn’t switch to competitors. So, when you order from these non-contracted restaurants, a grubhub employee then calls or goes to the restaurant and places an order. Then picks it up and brings it to you. Sounds shady to me! 

Grubhub might have gotten away with it, if their service was not so bad. Customers were complaining about messed up orders, out-of-date menus, and incorrect pricing. Essentially, Grubhub pissed off customers and they complained to the restaurants. And the restaurants said we don’t even offer delivery. Thus, Grubhub was busted. Seriously, they just ignored their own entire business model to compete with other services and now they are getting sued. If they lose this case or it becomes a class action suit, they may be looking for a new CEO soon, since this was all his bright idea. 

But Also This...

  1. Philadelphia: I know you’ve heard about the police killing a mentally unstable Black man with a knife on Monday. Following this, protests have occurred all week. Yesterday, the mayor and police officials “promised” reform. The commissioner said she will form a behavioral health unit and have around the clock mental health resources available. Yep, I’ve heard it all before, but you should definitely try. I hope this helps.
  2. Hurricane Zeta is a hater! (and possibly a Trump supporter). She shut down power all over Georgia which included many early-voting places. If you haven’t voted, keep trying, some stations are back online, so check your local polling place.