Saturday 15 April 2023

Case dropped against couple of elderly ladies prosecuted for feeding feral cats on public property

NEWS AND COMMENT-Wetumpka Alabama: this is a good news story. It is a story which tells us that there is a little bit of common sense in the American judicial system. You may remember the two elderly ladies, Beverley Roberts (84) and Mary Alston (60) who routinely fed and looked after feral cats on public property but were then suddenly arrested by the police for criminal trespass and then disorderly conduct and obstructing governmental operations.

Here is the video and below that a still image:


Elderly lady arrested for feeding feral cats in Alabama
Elderly lady arrested for feeding feral cats in Alabama. Image: body camcorder on officer.

To outsiders, and to 100% of cat advocates, it looked farcical. Two old ladies doing something good for the community being jumped on and stamped on by the police and then suffering criminal charges which were successfully prosecuted. They were convicted and sentenced to 2 years' probation and 10 years in jail. The sentence was suspended.

Trapping, spaying and neutering, and rehoming or releasing (TNR) stray cats is an act of kindness and not a crime.

Latest news is great news

Now, the latest news is that Wetumpka is no longer pursuing these criminal charges. An application was made to the Elmore County Circuit Court to suspend the proceedings. The Latin term is "nolle pros". It means that the authorities don't wish to pursue the prosecution at this time but they can restart it in the future. In my opinion, there's no chance of it being restarted in the future.

The judge, Amanda Baxley, wisely granted the application (motion). That is the story. The judge made no comment on her order. She was just following common sense as I state. She was doing what the general public would have done.

I would be surprised if she didn't think that the whole thing was farcical in the first place. It should never have happened. It was heavy-handed. It was unnecessary.

Even if this couple of ladies were doing something technically wrong, they should have been spoken to by the police and cautioned. That would have been it. It wouldn't have made the news. The police wouldn't have been made to look stupid.

I would argue that this case did the police damage. It harmed their reputation I would argue. And all police forces need to enhance the reputation because they're often disliked.

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