Feb 112008

You may or may not remember my incredulous post back in July about the 70 year old woman who was attacked by the police for not watering her lawn. It was, after all, more than six months ago that Betty Perry was tackled by Officer James Flygare, a member of the Orem, Utah’s Neighborhood Protection Unit, while standing on her front porch. I concluded that previous post with the following-

Only after Ms. Perry was completely booked did the police supervisors become “aware of the circumstances”, release her and return to her home, after a visit to the local hospital where she was treated for her cut nose and bruises on her arms from the handcuffs.

Once again, thank God the government is out there protecting my rights and freedoms by assaulting little old ladies for not watering their lawns!

I thought that was the end of it. A cop screwed up, their ‘superiors’ realised the mistake and that was that. Turns out I couldn’t have been more wrong. According to the Salt Lake Tribune

The city initially apologized for arresting Perry, but prosecutors pressed charges after a Utah Department of Public Safety investigation cleared Flygare of wrongdoing.

Since then there’s been plenty of activity, including famous (or infamous) Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred signing on to defend Ms. Perry. Her trial was actually scheduled to start today, but according to that same Salt Lake Tribune article-

Betty Perry, the 70-year-old great-grandmother whose scuffle with a police officer in July catapulted her into the headlines and caught a Los Angeles celebrity attorney’s attention, has quietly settled her case with the city.

Perry on Friday, three days before her trial was to begin, entered a no-contest plea in absentia to a reduced charge of disorderly conduct, according to City Prosecutor Andrew Peterson.

In return, the city dropped the zoning violation charge for not watering her lawn. She has to pay a $100 fine and be on unsupervised probation for six months.

In other words, the cops cleared one of their own (surprise, surprise), the city attorney felt that this brown lawn was damaging enough to the quality of life in Orem that this great-grandmother should be prosecuted, and the same attorney then dropped the lawn charge. But Ms. Perry still has to pay $100 to the city as a fine for peacefully refusing to be arrested on a charge that both the police and the city attorney felt wasn’t important enough to convict her of anyway. Another victory for government and I feel safer already :-\

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