B'more cops arrest couple for asking for directions

Posted on: Mon, 05/03/2010 - 21:52 By: Tom Swiss

Joshua Kelly and Llara Brook came from Chantilly, Virginia, to see the O's beat Kansas City at Camden Yards. They were having a fine time, until they got lost leaving the stadium on the way home. Unaware of the high proportion of thuggish authority freaks that infest Baltimore's guardians of law 'n' order, they made the mistake of thinking that a cop might help, and ended up getting arrested for trespassing -- on a public street:

Collins said somehow they ended up in the Cherry Hill section of south Baltimore. Hopelessly lost, relief melted away concerns after they spotted a police vehicle.

"I said, 'Thank goodness, could you please get us to 95?" Kelly said.

"The first thing that she said to us was no -- you just ran that stop sign, pull over," Brook said. "It wasn't a big deal. We'll pay the stop sign violation, but can we have directions?"

"What she said was 'You found your own way in here, you can find your own way out.'" Kelly said.


"(Brook's father) was in the middle of giving us directions when the officer screeched up behind us and got out of the car and asked me to step out. I obeyed," Kelly said. "I obeyed everything -- stepped out of the car, put my hands behind my back, and the next thing I know, I was getting arrested for trespassing."

While I tripped across this story here posted as a recent event, it has been pointed out to me that it actually occurred in 2006.

According to this 2007 update, the trespassing charges were dropped, a city traffic court judge found Kelly not guilty of running a stop sign, and the couple was planning to file a lawsuit.

Having seen a bunch of B'more's "finest" descend on a fight in progress -- a near mini-riot on a Halloween night in Fells Point a few years back -- and assault people who were not involved, ignore bystander testimony, and allow the aggressors to walk away; and having had friends pepper-sprayed for peacefully handing out leaflets on the street; and having had one of the sane and intelligent cops on the force tell me how his co-workers told him he should just haul off and punch citizens who are in any way less than deferential to him; and knowing that tens of thousands of arrests without merit are made annually in Baltimore, I don't see anything in the story here that stretches credulity in the least.

Tom Swiss - proprietor, unreasonable.org