Due to a single complaint to the DOT, an entire Delaware neighborhood’s basketball hoops and poles are being removed. John McCafferty attempted to fight the law as he believes that his 61 year old basketball hoop and pole is exempt. The DOT didn’t think so and they weren’t waiting around for legal decisions to be made.
Delaware Department of Transportation crews escorted by state police tore down basketball hoops this morning in two neighborhoods in Claymont amid protests from residents who say the nets aren’t harming anyone. (03/25/11)
In the video, about the 2:20 mark, the woman tells John McCafferty that he can keep his basketball hoop. Then, they chain it up and take it away.
According to what McCafferty said at the beginning of the video, whether or not the pole could stay was still pending a legislative decision. They didn’t care. They came and took it anyway. It should have never been removed until a legal decision had been made on the matter.
When a news photographer showed up, police and work crews gave up trying to add McCafferty’s hoop to several others they confiscated.
But they returned later, with a state police lieutenant again threatening to arrest the McCaffertys and impound their vehicles if they didn’t give up the fight. John McCafferty said he was in the process of trying to get a restraining order, but that the lieutentant refused to allow him to contact a judge
Where is this legal? McCafferty said that he was trying to contact the right people and was attempting to sort things out. The police and DOT concluded that they could do whatever they wanted.
Who gets to decide that a basketball pole and hoop that’s been in place for sixty years suddenly needs to be removed? Why are the poles being removed from the houses in the neighborhood? If this was such a big deal, why was nothing ever done before? Why is it that one person complaining has such power?
If this woman is a police officer, why was she wearing a sweatshirt with FBI written on it? If she is merely an employee of the DOT, then the sweatshirt could be misconstrued, giving her authority that she does not have. If she is there in any official capacity, police or otherwise, then she should be dressed accordingly. This image only confuses who is in charge, who she works for and what is actually happening.
John McCafferty has a massive lawsuit against the city for violating his civil rights. The police cannot order you into your own house because you are disagreeing with them. This is not second grade. They unlawfully seized his property and a case can be made for threatening them with arrest for telling the couple that they could not be on their own property.
Remember, the removal of basketball hoops and poles all began when a single person complained. One person.
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