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The "official business" Hamilton was allegedly obstructing must've been the purposeful neglect of city parks in order to justify raising taxes on city residents. (Because you know how much city officials like to believe that low revenue is the reason for the budget deficit - not wasteful spending.)
WKYC was just in town covering the story. Sandusky is always in the news for such positive stories!
Let's go down to the city building! I'm sure someone down there will talk to you!
After several unanswered phone calls to the city of Sandusky by the WKYC crew, I placed a call to city commissioner Dan Kaman who agreed to come down for an interview.
Fox 8 News clip here.
The story was picked up by CNN and the Washington Post:
How about a movement to get these charges dismissed? Start suggesting it to people you talk to and spread the word. We understand there are liability issues with mowing the city's grass - but Hamilton should not carry around a criminal record for showing initiative on a problem that effects everyone. The city needs to give the guy a break.
UPDATE Saturday May 30th: The city has sent out a reactionary press release in response to the national press coverage they received following the arrest of John Hamilton: (The red boxes below are just my notes.)
If you have any questions about what went down at the scene of the arrest, read the arrest report posted below. Today I heard people falsely claim that Hamilton became "belligerent" with the officers at some point and that's the real reason he was arrested. Well, here's the arrest report - and you'll notice there's nothing in here about any so called "belligerence."
Nevertheless, the city is reiterating this false claim that Hamilton was not arrested for mowing the park. Look at the red box at the bottom of page two of their press release:
The city is embarassed that their police officers handled the situation with an arrest and criminal charges. They don't know what else to do than to spin the reason Hamilton was arrested.
For clarity: John Hamilton was criminally charged for mowing the public park. Officers told him to stop mowing the public park and he refused to stop mowing the public park. He was therefore charged with "persistent disorderly conduct."
The city's argument will go something like this: "Hamilton wasn't charged for mowing the public park - he was charged for not listening to the officers who told him to stop."
By this rationale - if a police officer comes up to you and tells you to stop jumping rope in your front yard and you refuse to stop, the officer can then charge you with "persistent disorderly conduct" for not obeying his orders. If you take this outrageous story to the media and claim that you were criminally charged for "jumping rope in your front yard" the city would claim that your statement was not accurate because technically that's not really why you were charged. You were charged for not listening to the officer who told you to stop jumping rope in your front yard.
Yes, but that's what this argument boils down to. The city can't take it's lumps for a bad decision, so now they're making it worse by trying to spin their way out of it.
Just so I'm not accused of "sensationalism" or leaving out information - I'll include the last page of the city's press release:
See, they're already suggesting that the charges should be dropped. By the way: Who's "politicizing" this process? The public is rightfully outraged that this guy was criminally charged for cutting the grass. He was handcuffed and placed into a cruiser - which is one of the most demeaning and embarassing things that you can do to somebody in public if you're a police officer. He was arrested for mowing a public park - because as you'll notice in the police report - it was 12 INCHES HIGH. If you didn't catch that, I'll repost it here, because even the police officers believed it was a noteworthy circumstance because they included it in their arrest report:
From the SR forums:
That got me thinking:
Let's play a little game here. We'll call it, "How would you have handled it?" It's a role playing game. Pretend that you're the police officer coming onto the scene. After everybody tells you what's going on, how would you deal with the situation? I already posted how I would've handled it in the comment section.
Let's see if we can come up with something better than, "Arrest him, handcuff him, stuff him in the cruiser."