In the sleepy town of La Porte, TX, Tammy Cooper, a stay at home Mom, is sitting on her lawn chair watching her 6 and 9 year old kids playing in front of their house. This town boasts a population of around 33,000. It is a quiet place to live and was the site of the Battle of San Jacinto that ended the Texas Revolution resulting in Texas gaining independence from Mexico.
As Ms. Cooper sits in her chair watching her kids at play in the cul de sac where they live, little does she know that a neighbor has called the police informing them that no one is watching her children as they play on their scooters in front of the house. A few hours after the call comes in, the La Porte Police Department dispatches officers to the residence where they arrest Ms. Cooper for child endangerment. She is taken into custody and held for 18 hours.
The arrest, according to Ms. Cooper, was unfounded, humiliating and costly. Her legal fees alone are upwards of $7,000. She is suing the La Porte Police Department and her neighbor.
What is really sad is that kids can no longer play outside their homes without supervision. I remember as a kid playing outside our house for hours, or going off to the park or school grounds with friends, all unsupervised. I remember Mom telling me to be back before dark.
What is really bothersome about this case is that the La Porte Police took the neighbor at her word. The article does not indicate that the police visited the woman filing the complaint, nor did they question Ms. Cooper. In Ms. Cooper’s own words the Police showed up at her door and said that they were there for her as they arrested her.
And it seems enough people are outraged by what happened to Ms. Cooper which can be read by viewing the Yahoo news article. Here is the link to the article, which includes an interview with Ms. Cooper. In the video you catch a glimpse of the neighbor who filed the complaint, and she refused to comment. The link:
I remember back in history to a time not all that long ago, in a country far, far away, where all one had to do was inform the “police” on a person, and the person was carted off to a “jail” of sorts. No questions, no investigation, just the word of one person against another. Are we seeing the beginnings of a repeat in history? Time will tell.