October 07, 2005
Sugar Land Kiddie Roundup ends in dismissals

Remember the Sugar Land Kiddie Roundup, in which a bunch of kids who were attending a parentless party at which alcohol was present but who were not drinking got busted for minor-in-possession by the overzealous SLPD? (See here and here if you need your memory refreshed.) The good news for them is that their charges have been dismissed.

With too many defendants, attorneys and court-watchers to fit in Sugar Land's municipal courtoom, the teens went to trial today in city council chambers, but after a morning of testimony, prosecutors asked that the case be dismissed because it was proving too difficult for police to indentify by face those they arrested.


Testimony got under way today with Officer Tod Cox describing how he was sent to the home to investigate a loud noise complaint.

Cox said he saw five or six young people standing outside the home and the people fled when they saw the officer approaching him.

After entering the home and seeing there were no adults present, Cox and other officers talked about what action they should take.

"We began issuing citations to everyone who was there," Cox said.

City and police officials have been defending the actions of the officers, saying teen drinking is a serious offense.

"We have all seen the tragic aftermath of underage drinking," said police chief Steve Griffith.

And here we see the tragic aftermath of lazy, overreactive policing. Maybe next time, if it's not too much trouble, you could make an effort to distinguish between lawbreaking and innocent bystanding. Might save you some embarrassment later on.

(By the way, the original story identifies Lisa Womack as the Sugar Land Police Chief. Anyone know what happened to her?)

Posted by Charles Kuffner on October 07, 2005 to Crime and Punishment | TrackBack

Lisa Womack accepted a chief of police job in Illinois a few months back. Here's the story.

That's great for those kids, but KPRC reported last night that those who went ahead and pled guilty to get the deal over with will have their convictions stand. Plus, if I remember another story correctly (might have been the original Press story or a follow-up), but a lot of those kids are now seniors who were forbidden from participating in extra-curricular activities because of the charges. Football, marching band, and other activities are halfway finished by now.

Posted by: Chris on October 7, 2005 11:18 AM