Daniel J. Mitchell

When I first read this story about a woman getting arrested because her kids were playing outdoors, I figured it would be a perfect addition for my ongoing series that tries to determine whether the United States or the United Kingdom has the most incompetent, stupid, and/or venal government officials making the most brainless and/or thuggish decisions.

And when you read these excerpts from a newspaper in Houston, you’ll agree that venal and thuggish are very appropriate words.

A stay-at-home mom from La Porte has filed a lawsuit against the city’s police department, an unknown officer and one of her neighbors. Tammy Cooper said she was wrongly accused of endangering her children and was even forced to spend the night in jail, all because she let her kids play outside. …her children, ages 9 and 6, were riding their motorized scooters in the cul-de-sac where they live while she watched from a lawn chair in her front yard just a few feet away. ..a La Porte police car pulled up in front of her home. …He proceeded to tell me he had received a call from one of my neighbors that my kids were riding their scooters unsupervised. Cooper said she was handcuffed, put in the back of a police car and forced to spend the night in jail. …The charges against her were eventually dropped but she still describes the ordeal as humiliating and said her children were even questioned by police and terrified. …”I hope that what I went through doesn’t go unpunished – that there are consequences for a bad decision,” Cooper said.


Daniel J. Mitchell

Daniel J. Mitchell is a top expert on tax reform and supply-side tax policy at the Cato Institute.