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Mother fined $2,500 and given community service for allowing daughter to draw on rocks using CHALK

Mother fined $2,500 and given community service for allowing daughter to draw on rocks using CHALK

By NINA GOLGOWSKI
PUBLISHED: 00:32 EST, 2 August 2012 | UPDATED: 07:52 EST, 2 August

The mother of a four-year-old girl caught drawing on rocks with chalk on public property has been ordered to serve 50 hours of community service for her crime.

Mother Susan Mortensen, 29, was offered the exchange of community service over a fine of $2,500 after police in Richmond, Virginia ticketed her in March over her daughter's 'graffiti' work.
'It is all the same thing,' Ralph White, park manager of the James River Park Systems told NBC12. 'A couple weeks ago I was covering pornographic drawings done in chalk. It doesn't matter what the medium is. It's offensive.'

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Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2182444/Susan-Morens...

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Ralph White, manager of the park,

is wooden-brained, ham-handed. A kid decorating rocks with chalk is not the same as adult-drawn porn.

REFUSE Richmond: graffiti & incarceration of Mickael Broth, 2004

Richmond, Verginia News (VANews) report by Nathan Cushing http://rvanews.com/news/refuse-richmond-graffiti-incarcerati...

A young man convicted of defacing property with his graffiti stands before you in a courtroom. You are the judge. What is your sentence? Do you send the man to a year’s worth of probation? Community service? A combination of the two? Or do you send him to jail to teach him, and all like him, a lesson? If you were a judge in the summer of 2004 in either Hanover County or Richmond City, Mickael Broth would have stood before you, gazing up at you sheathed in your black robe and years of experience, awaiting your decision as to his immediate fate.

... Richmond is rife with graffiti. Even those who appreciate the artistic merit of graffiti will admit that art lettered onto someone else’s property without that someone’s consent is nothing short of a crime. The question then is not, is graffiti criminal? (it most certainly is), but to what extent should law enforcement pursue graffiti artists and subsequently punish them?

"Refuse" tag (Richmond, 2003): One former graffiti writer based in Richmond, Mickael Broth, fought the law, and the law won quite handily. Some, however, consider his punishment to be excessive and reached beyond the severity of his crimes. His experience prompted him to begin working on a book that will discuss not only his experience as a graffiti writer but the local criminal justice system that halted it. — ∮∮∮ —

They awoke him on the morning of March 30, 2004 when they banged on his Franklin Street apartment door... Mickael had been asleep in his bed.... Two Hanover County Detectives (one being ... , the Richmond City Police graffiti task force officer... , a CSX railroad investigator, a ... police officer, and a several other law enforcement officials barged in – some with their guns drawn. The shocked... stared at the menacing eyes and drawn guns that starred... right back.

Someone handcuffed Mickael. Another presented him with a search warrant. Over the next hour, authorities squirreled away items–evidence–in plastic bags. In the meantime, officers moved Mickael into his kitchen. They told him that his friends, who lived across the street, would also have their apartment raided. According to Mickael, he and the officers brokered a deal: his friends home would not be raided and he would not be taken into custody, so long as Mickael turned himself in later that day. He did. Not knowing this at the time, he was about to commit himself to the inner-workings of a criminal justice system at its wits end with graffiti writers and to the city’s penal system. — ∮∮∮ —

Mickael, who at the time was a dean-listed Fine Arts major at VCU, knows what led police to make a case against him. “It was a CSX railroad bridge,” he says, in an email correspondence. He wrote the words “REFUSE” on the railroad bridge which stretches over Interstate 295 just east of U.S. 301. The writing covered four lanes of traffic. “It was the real motivation,” says Mickael, “for the police to build a case and track me down.”

Many jurisdictions do not have statutes that deliberately mention the act of graffiti, relying instead on existing statutes such as property damage and vandalism. Michael was originally charged by Hanover County prosecutors with two felonies for vandalism damage, which were reduced to misdemeanors as a result of a plea agreement (in Virginia, property damage that exceeds $1,000 is an ipso facto felony). He was sentenced on July 20, 2004. Mickael describes that day: “My family was there,” he says, “and I just felt an overwhelming sense of sickness for what I was putting them through.” ...
http://rvanews.com/news/refuse-richmond-graffiti-incarcerati...

Disclaimer: Mark Twain (1835-1910-To be continued) is unlicensed. His river pilot's license went delinquent in 1862. Caution advised. Daily Paul

Punishment doesn't fit the alleged crime.

Richmond, Virginia 'graffiti' work: http://graffitirichmond.tumblr.com/ Several photographs of what might draw fines. Perhaps these deface & will not wash off with water.

Perhaps the 4 year old chalk artist troubled a troubled Richmond legal system.

Disclaimer: Mark Twain (1835-1910-To be continued) is unlicensed. His river pilot's license went delinquent in 1862. Caution advised. Daily Paul