Shocking footage out of Alabama shows police serve an arrest warrant on an 82-year-old woman for failing to pay a $77 trash bill.
Police body cameras captured the Nov. 27 incident as cops arrived at Martha Menefield’s home and informed her they’d have to take her down to the station over the overdue $77.80 trash bill.
“WHAT?!” Menefield asked in disbelief.
“I’m not joking,” the officer told her.
“You ought to be ashamed of yourself, arresting an 82-year-old person,” she later told the arresting officers.
“I’m so sorry,” the officer said after cuffing the elderly woman. “But the law is the law, Miss Menefield.”
“My daughter takes care of that for me,” Menefield tried to tell the officer.
“I’d definitely try to get in contact with your daughter if I were you,” he told her. “Because she done screwed you on this one.”
Police informed Menefield the cost would be $285 to be released from the city jail, or else head to the county lockup.
The dubious arrest sparked outrage, with many people asking how arresting an old lady protects or serves anyone.
Law & Crime reports: “Court records indicated Menefield was arrested in 2006 for not paying a $206.54 trash bill. The case was later dismissed ‘upon compliance.’”
The City of Valley police department justified the arrest in a statement, saying:
On November 27, 2022, officers of the Valley Police Department arrested Martha Louis Menefield, 82 years old of Valley, on the charge of Failure to Pay-Trash. She was processed at the Valley Police Department and then released on bond.
City of Valley Code Enforcement Officers issued Ms. Menefield a citation in August of 2022 for non-payment for trash services for the months of June, July, and August. Prior to issuing the citation, Code Enforcement tried to call Ms. Menefield several times and attempted to contact her in person at her residence. When contact could not be made, a door hanger was left at her residence. The hanger contained information on the reason for the visit and a name and contact phone number for her to call. The citation advised Ms. Menefield that she was to appear in court on September 7, 2022, in reference to this case. A warrant for Failure to Pay-Trash was issued when she did not appear in court.
According to the Environmental Services Ms. Menefield has had her trash services suspended three times in the past two years for non-payment and records indicate that there have been over twenty-two incidents of suspensions and revocation of services since 2006.While our officers can use their discretionary judgment on certain matters, the enforcement of an arrest warrant issued by the court and signed by a magistrate, is not one of them. Ms. Menefield was treated respectfully by our officers in the performance of their duties and was released on a bond as prescribed by the violation.
Was the arrest justified, or a tyrannical overreach of authority? Sound off in the comments below.