A lawyer who went for his usual cigarette break out of the first-floor window of his apartment was detained by police who mistakenly thought he was a suicidal jumper, according to a lawsuit.
Mark Moody was talking on his mobile phone and enjoying a smoke on the ledge when two policemen asked if he was trying to kill himself, even though he was just 12ft from the ground.
The 40-year-old said they were mistaken but the officers were undeterred, repeatedly asking questions as an ‘army’ of ambulances and emergency teams arrived.
An indignant Mr Moody refused to let the police into his flat but they apparently forced their way in anyway and allegedly dragged him out of the window sill and threw him on his front before handcuffing him.
The trial lawyer from New York was then taken to a psychiatric hospital, where medics immediately realised the error and apologised.
Mr Moody has now sued the New York Police Department for $40,000 in damages.
‘I wasn’t doing anything,’ he said. ‘Maybe it should be a crime to smoke a cigarette, but at the moment it’s not.’
H/T Nisakiman for this example from Beijing of setting people against each other:
Beijing residents miffed with smokers defying a ban on lighting up in the city’s public spaces are outing them online.
From 1 June, a ban on smoking has been in effect in the Chinese capital’s indoor public spaces including restaurants and office buildings, and on public transport. The ban also applies to open-air spaces near schools, sports venues and historical sites. Individuals found violating the ban will be fined 200 yuan (£20; $32) and businesses not enforcing the ban could face much stiffer penalties.
Beijing city authorities have sought to involve the public in their efforts to enforce the ban – a hotline has been set up to report those flouting the rules and the government has even suggested hand gestures that others should use to signal people to stop smoking.
The campaign has also been taken online by the Beijing municipal government with accounts called “Smoke-free Beijing” on the Twitter-like Weibo network and messaging app WeChat. The WeChat account provides information about smoking regulations, videos warning about the ill-effects of cigarettes, tips on how to quit and links to media reports about the ban.
But hundreds of residents are using its message board – “Exposure Table” – to post pictures of smokers allegedly violating the ban. The photographs posted on the board show people smoking on stairwells and in shopping malls – some even show policemen appearing to break the law.
And from Australia:
Next step for tobacco control? Make cigarettes less palatable
Australia has been a world leader in tobacco control. We were the first to introduce plain cigarette packaging in 2012.
We were also one of the early jurisdictions to ban “light” or “mild” labelling on packs in 2005 and to remove tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide labelling on packs in 2006. Those steps were taken after it had become clear so-called “low tar” cigarettes were not less harmful.
The problem is these tobacco control measures stop outside of the pack, while the cigarettes inside remain essentially the same. A logical next step is to regulate how companies engineer cigarettes to promote their use.
I foresaw this. Not content to change the packaging, they’re going to change the product as well, to make it taste nasty. They may even add rat poison, if tasting nasty doesn’t work.
Do bear in mind that once they start doing this with tobacco, they can do it to absolutely anything else as well. Enjoy a glass of wine now and then? You won’t when it tastes like piss. Enjoy watching movies like Casablanca? You won’t when all the smoking and drinking and gambling has been edited out.
GOLD Coast clubs and pubs may soon be counting patrons’ drinks to keep them sober, rather than risk fines of up to $56,000.
A radical new State Government plan will see breathalyser-wielding police testing drinkers at the bar to see just how drunk they are, with the results used to build a case against venues.
The liquor industry fears the move is a way to stop the party but Attorney General Yvette D’Ath says it’s to help cut alcohol-fuelled violence.
And it appears the blood-alcohol limits for drivers might be the standard on which club drunks are assessed — meaning drinking the equivalent of a sixpack of beer may soon be regarded as a big night out.
I suppose the fat police will soon be busy as well. There’ll be limits to the number of fried potatoes you have on your plate, and mandatory additions of celery and mung beans.