Sunday, May 21, 2006

Who would want to leave Baltimore?

Via Orin Kerr, here's an incredible potential civil rights case, reported by a local Baltimore news station. A Virginia couple that was in Baltimore for an Orioles game alleges they were arrested for trespassing on a public street after asking a police officer for directions to I-95. Big mistake:
"I said, 'Thank goodness, could you please get us to 95?" Kelly said.
"The first thing that she said to us was no -- you just ran that stop sign, pull over," Brook said. "It wasn't a big deal. We'll pay the stop sign violation, but can we have directions?"
"What she said was 'You found your own way in here, you can find your own way out.'" Kelly said.
So they see a second officer and ask him. The first officer intervenes to put a stop to that:
"That really threw us for a loop when she stepped in between our cars," Kelly said. "(She) said my partner is not going to step in front of me and tell you directions if I'm not."
OK, that's strike two. For strike three, they park and call Dad for directions on the cell phone:
Collins reported the circumstances got worse. Kelly pulled 40 feet forward parking next to a curb and put his flashers on while Brook was on the phone to her father hoping he could help her with directions. Both her parents are police officers in the Harrisburg, Pa., area.
"(Brook's father) was in the middle of giving us directions when the officer screeched up behind us and got out of the car and asked me to step out. I obeyed," Kelly said. "I obeyed everything -- stepped out of the car, put my hands behind my back, and the next thing I know, I was getting arrested for trespassing."
"By this time, I was completely in tears," Brook said. "I said, 'Ma'am, you know, we just need your help. We are not trying to cause you any trouble. I'm not leaving him here.' What she did was walk over to my side of the car and said, 'Ok, we are taking you downtown, too.'"
So the company outing to Camden Yards yielded these two a night in jail and some fun time explaining the arrest to employers or potential employers. Plus, they got robbed:
Collins said police left Kelly's car unlocked and the windows down at the impound lot. He reported a cell phone charger, pair of sunglasses and 20 CDs were stolen.

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