Boing Boing 

Police refuse to launch hunt for sandwich-stealing seagull

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After a sandwich was callously stolen by a seagull in Somerset, England, police not only refused to investigate but told the victim he was WASTING their time. Avon and Somerset Police's lackadaisical attitude to law enforcement doesn't end there, reports the Daily Mirror: an entire spate of serious crimes remains completely ignored by the force.

Another woman rang the police to complain about the airport losing her luggage and delivering it to her neighbours who were out.

And another caller reported the owner of a guest house where she was staying for refusing to cook breakfast.

Sad to see such grotesque indifference to human suffering from the very authorities we hold responsible for keeping us safe.

Perfect sorry-not-sorry from woman who killed her husband

Florence Pinkney, 48, facing a judge in 1955 after being convicted of manslaughter for shooting her husband: "I'm sorry. It won't happen again."

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Florida mom abandons 3 kids in Waffle House to go drinking at nearby bar

“Waffle Nights,” Ahmed Hashim, Flickr.


“Waffle Nights,” Ahmed Hashim, on Flickr.

The Augusta Chronicle reports that Florida mom Rhiannon Gentry abandoned three children at a 24-hour Waffle House, so that she could go booze it up at the classily-named bar Wild Wings Cafe across the street.

Two of the children were 12, one was 11. Police were summoned to the Waffle House after other diners began complaining that they could hear children crying in the parking lot. A Waffle House waitress told cops that Ms. Gentry left her kids alone for an hour and a half, with money to order food and beverages. When the kids realized they didn’t have enough money to pay for their meal and mom was nowhere to be found, they started crying. Gentry didn't return to check on them.

The Augusta, Georgia Waffle House location where this sad story went down has great reviews, and looks like a great place to sit down and enjoy a meal with your kids. Or, you know, abandon them to go drinking.

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From the Augusta Chronicle:

Gentry, 38, of Dade City, Fla., returned to Waffle House and found police with the children. Gentry told police she left the children to go to Wild Wings to pay for drinks she had had earlier. She said she had not been gone long.

Two of the chidren were Ms. Gentry's, and the other belonged to a woman she'd met earlier at a nearby hotel: "The mother told police she met Gentry and her children earlier that day at the hotel pool and had allowed her daughter to go eat with the children, but was not aware they would be unsupervised."

Georgia police arrested Gentry. She is charged with three accounts of deprivation of a minor.

A quick google reveals that this isn't her first time at the boozy rodeo. Alcohol is a hell of a drug, and hopefully she finds her way to some help.

[source: Augusta Chronicle]

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Florida man dislikes sea turtles, shoots a volunteer protecting their nest

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A 72-year-old Marine veteran who volunteered to protect a sea turtle nest got beaten and shot in the butt for his troubles. Turtle-hater Michael Q. McAuliffe was arrested.

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Carjacker too tall to fit in car

carEarly in the morning in Omaha, Nebraska, a would-be thief accosted a driver at gunpoint and demanded her vehicle. After she complied, he found himself unable to squeeze into the 4'9" woman's customized seat and fled on foot after getting "only a few feet" in the vehicle. [Nebraska Radio Network via Arbroath]

With stolen iPhone, burglar accidentally posts selfie video online

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Los Angeles police are searching for the identity of this burglar, who accidentally shot and published a selfie with his victim's iPhone.

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UK schools' "anti-radicalisation" software lets hackers spy on kids


The spyware that Impero supplies to UK schools -- which searches kids' Internet use for "jihadi" terms -- uses "password" as its default password, and the company has threatened brutal legal reprisals against the researcher who repeatedly demonstrated their total security negligence.

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Somebody stole the skull of Nosferatu director FW Murnau

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The skull of FW Murnau, the director of the classic vampire film Nosferatu (1922), has been stolen from his grave in Stahnsdorf, Germany.

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Reward of $1 million for Dorothy's stolen ruby slippers

Have you seen these ruby slippers? Someone swiped them from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minn and an anonymous individual is offering $1 million reward for their return. From the Washington Post:

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Every year, the once-sparkling shoes were lent to the museum by their owner, collector Michael Shaw. When the museum told him it wanted to put the slippers in a safe every night, Shaw wouldn’t have it.

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Tom Selleck accused of stealing water from fire hydrant

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Tom Selleck, best known as Magnum P.I., has apparently settled, at least tentatively, with the Ventura County water district after the actor was accused of stealing water from a fire hydrant and trucking it to their 60-acre ranch.

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Guns don't kill criminals as often as criminals use guns to kill innocent people

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There is one justifiable use of a privately owned gun to kill a criminal for every 34 murders committed with a firearm in America. Looking at the horrible gun death statistics recently shared by the Violence Policy Center, I can only shake my head and wonder what it'll take to reform America's love of guns.

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California nudist resort owners charged with water theft from creek

Police charged Glyn Stout, 77, and Lori Kay Stout, 53, owners of Lupin Lodge, a nudist resort in the Santa Cruz Mountains, with diverting water from a creek to keep their water tank and pool filled during the drought.

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Anti-corruption journalist immolated by cops, allegedly under orders from minister


Jagendra Singh reported on corruption in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh on his Facebook account, which allegedly prompted Ram Murti Singh Verma, a ruling party politician, to send police to his house to burn him alive; he died a week later of his injuries.

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Utah cop executes unarmed man who was listening to headphones, gets away with it

WARNING: The video above graphically depicts a murder, including scenes of a man bleeding to death after being shot by a police officer.

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NYPD cop enjoys using dead man's credit card to buy $3,282 diamond ring

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Probably figuring a dead man wouldn't care about his credit card, NYPD Officer Ymmacula Pierre used it to buy a lovely diamond ring from Zales. Unfortunately for Officer Pierre, the dead man's niece spoiled the fun by reporting the fraudulent transaction before FedEx was able to complete the delivery.

Officer Pierre pleaded not guilty on Monday and was released on her own recognizance.

Image: Jennifer Dickert. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

America's prison population, by the numbers

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Quinn Norton's "long form data journalism" piece on the American prison system paints a bleak picture of a nation that feasts on its poorest and most vulnerable with a boundless, venomous cruelty.

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Police admit falsely arresting teen rape victim: "this is what happens when you lie."

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A 17-year-old rape victim, treated with callous indifference and arrested by UK police who accused her of lying, has been awarded £20,000 in a settlement.

Hampshire Constabulary apologized for refusing to properly investigate the victim's complaint, and admitted liability for false imprisonment and assault.

The girl was attacked in April 2012, reported it immediately, and provided her clothing for forensic analysis. But police decided within two days that she was lying and threatened her, The Guardian reports, with charges of her own should she pursue the matter.

When she did so, she was arrested on suspicion of "perverting the course of justice," and was told by one detective that "this is what happens when you lie."

The police failed to test the evidence and, reportedly, were told by a supervisor to "fucking nick her."

"I was horrified," her mother told the BBC. "A woman comes forward and tells the police authority she has been raped: You expect them to do everything they can to put the rapist away."

The case only proceeded months later after an official complaint was made, prompting prosecutors to ask for thorough tests on the garments.

The attacker, Liam Foard, was subsequently identified. After denying any sexual contact at all with his victim, he was convicted and jailed for five years in 2013. But it's taken another two years—and a lawsuit filed under human rights legislation—for Hampshire Constabulary to say sorry.

In the meantime, one of the officers responsible for the girls treatment was given a written warning, and three others allowed to resign or retire before the investigation into their conduct could be completed. Ten other officers received "management action."

"Given that she had been raped, reported the matter to the police and now found herself under arrest and being accused of lying, this must have been a particularly traumatic experience," an internal review concluded. "Clearly, had the rape investigation been completed to the required standard, she would never have been arrested and interviewed."

Local police have issued statements promising it will not happen again.

"I would like to reassure all victims of sexual assault that we do take you seriously," Chief Superintendent David Powell told reporters. "We do believe you, we appreciate how hard it is to come forward to report these offences, we do not judge you and we are committed to ensuring a professional and supportive response. We are doing everything to ensure we never have an initial response like this again."

"I am appalled by the way the victim and her family have been treated in this case and would like to express my heartfelt sympathy to them," wrote Simon Hayes, Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire. "It is entirely unacceptable for victims of crime not to be listened to and taken seriously. I would like to reassure the public that since I have been in post there have been significant changes to the way sexual assault cases are handled by the Constabulary. These changes in procedure should mean that the series of events that led to this particular victim being re-victimised by the police and not receiving appropriate justice, would not be permitted to happen again in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight."

But the family's lawyer, Debaleena Dasgupta, says that without the Human Rights act, it would have been far more difficult to get justice.

"Many people wrongly assume the police have a legal obligation to investigate crimes," wrote Dasgupta in a press release. "However, the only way victims of crime can seek justice for these sorts of issues is using the Human Rights Act, which imposes a duty on the police to properly investigate very serious offences."