Civil-rights groups are accusing Bradenton, Fla., police of racism for stopping pedestrians who walk in the street against traffic rules. Police admit they use the minor infractions as a tool for searching people for drugs and guns in a crime-ridden neighborhood, but critics are complaining that more than half of recent pedestrian stops were of blacks or Latinos. Councilwoman Marianne Barnebey says most residents are sick of crime and therefore support the stops. “There’s not a lot of compassion out there for people who do not play by the rules,” she says.
Pennsylvania officials have ordered a small Amish community to stop pouring poop onto farm fields. The Amish have been dumping buckets of waste from their school’s outhouses onto the fields, to conform to their aversion to modern plumbing. But that practice is a breach of state sewage-disposal law, say officials, and Amish farmer Andy Swartzentruber has been fined $500. He refuses to pay, saying he will not violate his religious principles. No one wants to see Swartzentruber jailed, says a lawyer for the state, “but I still have to find a way to solve the problem.”