This story is all over the Internet. A mother of five was arrested, handcuffed, and sent to jail by the police in Albuquerque for not paying $36 in late fees to the local library.
Her lawyer says that the overdue notice — an arrest notice — was sent to her at an old address — so old that she had not lived there since childhood. It was not forwarded.
Her five young children had to be sent to strangers’ homes overnight.
The police were trying to locate her husband for having created a disturbance. She knew nothing about this.
Her name was in a computer file. When the police located her, the system alerted them.
What kind of police alert system produces a night in jail for overdue books?
The city’s attorney dismissed the charges. This shows real perception on his part.
The police department became an overnight laughing stock for her night in jail.
In a world filled with serious criminals, the police should not be taking this much trouble to handle late book crimes. But bureaucracies enforce what appear to be easy cases.
The publicity that the department received turned this into a hard case.
Bureaucracies turn normal people into functional imbeciles who cannot distinguish cases. They do it by the book instead of by common sense.