Court order muzzles gun advocate after his arrest [ACLU of Missouri]:
To express his opinion that Officer [Jerry] Bledsoe was using his position to harass him for exercising his Second Amendment rights, [Jordan] Klaffer posted recordings of the May 1 encounter on YouTube and Facebook. And, on Instagram, he posted a picture of Bledsoe alongside a photo of Saddam Hussein, with the caption “Striking Resemblance.”
Officer Bledsoe retaliated by obtaining a court order that prevented Mr. Klaffer from posting videos, pictures, and text data criticizing Officer Bledsoe on the Internet. “A government order prohibiting criticism of government is the worst kind of censorship,” explains Tony Rothert, legal director of the ACLU of Missouri.
Meanwhile: Virginia state trooper sues police activist in small claims court over his actions and statements following a traffic stop of his car in which she participated, the videos of which wound up on YouTube.
And the curious thing is, they’re from prosecutors. “The prosecutors’ office replaced part-time assistant prosecutors with full-time positions in 2011. Eight of the part-time employees who were replaced sued the city for age, race and/or gender discrimination, The Kansas City Star reported. … The eight former assistant city prosecutors filed their lawsuits individually and alleged different circumstances.” [Claims Journal]
“Jovan Belcher’s mother has filed a wrongful-death suit against the Chiefs, seeking unspecified damages after the former linebacker killed his girlfriend and himself in December 2012. The lawsuit… also alleges that the team … knew, or should’ve known, that Belcher showed signs of cognitive and neuro-psychiatric impairment.” [Kansas City Star]
A mascot for the Kansas City Royals threw a wrapped hot dog into the stands, which injured a fan. A jury rejected his claim, but an appeals court reinstated it, and the Missouri Supreme Court is now considering whether the traditional principle that cuts off liability for foul balls and other expected projectiles should cover even the wurst case. [AP, earlier] More: Lowering the Bar.
“Shannon Renee McNeal was torn from her screaming children by police who were seeking a woman with a similar name — a woman who they should have known had been murdered seven months before.” [St. Louis Post-Dispatch via Radley Balko]
More of the week’s awful-police-happenings coverage: Atlantic City beating and canine attack [Tim Lynch, Cato]; Ames, Ia. police shoot and kill son after dad calls to report he’s taken truck without permission [Des Moines Register]; “Man Dies In Jail Cell After Misdemeanor Pot Offense” [Snohomish County, Wash., severe allergies; Radley Balko again]; New Mexico man’s lawsuit alleges “worst traffic stop ever” [Jalopnik, Popehat, Lowering the Bar and more, Orin Kerr, Michelle Meyer/Faculty Lounge]
At 5 a.m., although the seating area of the fast-food restaurant was closed, the drive-through window was still filling orders. Some people were partying in the parking lot when Ali Aziz and a friend arrived. The friend got into an altercation with the partiers, Aziz stepped in and was beaten and nearly killed, suffering brain damage. Lawyers proceeded to argue that the fast-food chain should have trained its employees better and failed to follow its own procedures for handling disruptive customers. “The jury award was actually for $25 million but was reduced to $20.5 million because jurors found Aziz was partially to blame for his involvement in the fight.” [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]
Way to make the country less free, guys [Missouri Freedom Watch] More: Stephen Bainbridge, Charles Sullivan on Mitchell v. University of Kentucky.
They say John Dollarhite of Nixa, Missouri “sold rabbits and guinea pigs without a license from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.” Dollarhite says he can’t afford the fine and says the business was started by his son, then a child; it “made about $200 in profit from April 2008 to December 2009 from selling rabbits for $10 or $12 apiece.” [Springfield News-Leader]
Crestwood, Mo.: “The Starbucks coffee shop here should have known it was inviting trouble by placing a tip jar on an open counter, according to a wrongful-death lawsuit filed by the estate of a customer who died defending it.” Customer Roger Kreutz saw a teenager grab the jar and gave chase on foot; he was killed when the miscreant backed his car over him. Kreutz’s estate has now filed a suit alleging “that Starbucks ‘did not employ security to prevent the perpetration of such crimes’ and that it ‘invited the act of perpetration of said crime’ by having a tip jar.” [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]
The City Museum in St. Louis is not your usual assemblage of annotated exhibits: it’s a thrill-seeker’s delight, with a giant jungle gym and slides, described as a cross between “a playground and a theme park,” and a huge success that draws 700,000 visitors a year. It also has been sued numerous times by patrons who managed to get hurt on its determinedly non-soft surfaces, and unlike the great majority of defendants, it has chosen not to clam up when sued. As the St. Louis Post-Dispatch relates, the quirky museum used its Facebook page to call out by name some plaintiffs who have sued after taking (in its view) inadequate care for their own safety and, somewhat more acerbically, the lawyers who prosecute the suits. Its news release has more:
Just to give you a quick glimpse into what we go through at the City Museum, a couple of years ago our rock fell 4 feet. The next day we had over 12 people call and tell us they were injured when the rock fell. To investigate these claims, we reviewed the video of the rock falling and we posted the video clearly showing that there was no one next to the rock when it fell on our website. When this was brought to several of the caller’s attention they either hung up or changed their stories.
From a Wall Street Journal account (attorneys “take the fun out of life”):
A sign near the admission gate gives the names and phone numbers of law firms that have represented people who sued the museum, blaming them for a 9% surcharge recently added to the cost of a ticket.
More: Shield of Achilles (“naming and shaming”), Free-Range Kids (with reader comments).