Sunday, February 15, 2009

All this power has gone to the fist of PC Thug

Update on the kid reading on the chimney in England story. First reported here-

From the London Times. (I'm still trying to figure out what the "Open Episcopal Church" is).

There was an arresting picture in the papers last week. It was of an eight-year-old boy perched on the chimney stack above his terraced house in Welling, southeast London, smiling as he read a book. The photograph was taken as an entry for a school competition to show books being read in unusual circumstances. Unfortunately for the boy’s father, Jonathan Blake, a bishop in the Open Episcopal Church, the incident was reported by a neighbour, and Blake’s local police force decided that encouraging a child onto a rooftop was an arrestable offence – one so serious that Blake was arrested, handcuffed and held in police custody for 24 hours, charged with child neglect.

Blake is not a lunatic. He is a mild-mannered, devoted parent. He was encouraging his children to be imaginative and adventurous in response to the school’s challenge. His boys, aged seven and eight, do rock climbing and adventure sports, and on the day they climbed onto the chimney, they were wearing a safety harness and were guided up the roof by him, using secure footholds. The boy in the picture looks happy and proud. The police response has shattered that.

Within an hour of the boys coming off the roof, two fire engines and two vanloads of police roared into the street. Then, says Blake, “all hell broke loose”. Two female police officers asked to see the children, who said they were thrilled by what they had just done. Thirty seconds later, half a dozen male officers burst into the house and – without discussion or questioning – one ordered Blake’s arrest. He was given permission to change, but as he came out of his bathroom, he says a male police officer punched him in the back, twisted his arm behind him and shoved him against a wall, yelling: “We need to handcuff this man – he’s resisting arrest.”

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