December 12, 2002
What's for Christmas? More lawsuits!

Two more lawsuits have been filed on behalf of 43 people arrested in the K-Mart Kiddie Roundup. The suits seek "unspecified damages" and name the indicted Captain Mark Aguirre and Sergeant Ken Wenzel as well as the city of Houston as defendants.

This bit really intrigues me:

One [lawsuit] was filed on behalf of Harris County resident Roland T. Ross, his 10-year-old daughter and 14-year-old son.


Ross states in his lawsuit that he and his children had driven to the Kmart to shop and were looking for a parking space when police approached.

"He and his children were stopped, detained and ultimately arrested," although they were lawfully on the property, the lawsuit alleges.

Okay, put aside the fact that the guy had his 10-year-old and 14-year-old out after midnight (the raid was conducted at around 12:30 AM, according to the original story). Maybe they caught a late movie. I don't know and it doesn't matter. What I want to know is, did the cops really bust those kids for trespass and/or curfew violations, even though they were with their father? I'm certainly not saying that kids that age can't be lawbreakers, but what are the odds in this case?

If an individual cop acting on his own did this, it would be plausible to think that he had valid cause for doing so. That may turn out to be false, but at least it's reasonable. Doing so in this context just shows what an amazingly dumb idea it was to arrest everyone and sort it out later. Aguirre is responsible for the arrest, and Chief C.O. "BAMF" Bradford is responsible for not having procedures in place to prevent harebrained schemes like this from being hatched in the first place. When the axe finally and inevitably falls on them, it will be good riddance for both.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 12, 2002 to K-Mart Kiddie Roundup | TrackBack