What happens on a summer’s eve when a couple dozen kids and parents spill into the street for a neighborhood game of kickball?
On a well-manicured street in Colorado Springs last week, this occasioned three cop cars, eight officers, and a citation for “obstructing passage or assembly.”
The crime? Frolicking. More specifically: playing in the street without a permit.
The perpetrators, Ed Snyder and Joe Coleman, are hard-boiled recidivists. For four summers now, these men have brazenly organized weekly, 90-minute kickball games that bring out neighbors of all ages, from toddlers to teens to parents. Until recently, the games were not deemed a threat to public safety. But apparently a neighbor complained, and that was enough for the Colorado Springs Police Department to spring into action.
Some of the officers arriving on the scene were new recruits, Commander Tish Olszewski told the Colorado Springs Indy. “I looked at is as a great training opportunity for these new police officers,” said Olszewski. “One of the things they have to learn is community engagement.”
In response, Coleman quipped: “I wouldn’t say this experience for most of the people here is community building.”
When the cops arrived, they told the group they needed a permit to play in the street. But three weeks earlier, when the authorities first got involved after the neighbor’s complaint, Snyder had actually tried to get a permit. – READ MORE