Tammy Cooper, a stay-at-home mother of two from La Porte, Texas, probably had no idea when the day started that she would end up spending the night in the slammer. That’s because she had no idea of how dim a view the town takes of child endangerment.
So what unspeakable action did Cooper take that placed her children in jeopardy? She let them play outside. Period. If you’re waiting for the rest of the story, be advised that there isn’t any.
As Cooper explains in a video report by Houston NBC-affiliate KPRC:
So we were outside. I took my lawn chair and put it on the sidewalk where I always sit and watch them outside when they’re playing. They were out maybe an hour and a half, two hours and got tired. We came inside, started getting their pajamas on them and getting ready for the end of our day, and about 30 minutes after that I looked out my window and see a La Porte police officer at the end of my driveway.
A “concerned” neighbor called the authorities to report that Cooper’s children were playing outside unsupervised. (Oh, the humanity!) The information was sufficient for an arrest. After 18 hours in a jail cell, she was released. The charges were subsequently dropped. In spite of that, the La Porte Police Department stands by its officers’ decision. In a statement, the department said:
We are confident in the known actions of the responding officers. In addition, officers did contact Harris County District Attorney’s office while on the scene that evening.
Putting aside the fact that the children were not unsupervised, according to Cooper, doesn’t the punishment seem a little radical, even in the event she was lying?
Cooper has since filed a lawsuit for damages and $7,000 in legal fees.