Woman arrested for not returning movie she rented in 2005


shared this story
from Police State USA.

(Source: Gary Gardiner / Bloomberg News)

PICKENS, SC — When a woman went to the police for help, she was unexpectedly arrested and charged with a crime: failure to return a movie she rented back in 2005.

Kayla M. Finley, 27, went to the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office to report a crime on February 13th, but when she provided her name to the deputies, she was placed in handcuffs.

Kayla Finley (Source: Pickens Co. Sheriff's Office)

Kayla Finley (Source: Pickens Co. Sheriff’s Office)

Nine years earlier, she had rented “Monster In Law” and apparently had not returned it to the video store. A warrant for her arrest had been issued in September 2005. Even though the rental store is no longer in business, police still intend on collecting that late fee — in the form of wringing her through the court system.

Her actual offense was “Failure to return rented video cassette,” which is classified under petty larceny, a misdemeanor.

Police say that she was sent a warning letter from the store, but Finley says she never got this letter.

“Its obvious that Pickens County has nothing better to do. I fully intend on fighting this. Its ridiculous that I had this happen to me,” Finley said to KPLCtv.com.

Finley spent a night in jailwas released on a $2,000 personal recognizance bond. Now she has to fight the charge in court to avoid being convicted of being a larcenist and imprisoned for a longer term.

Police say that warrants never expire. Logic does not need to prevail for justice to be served, from the department’s perspective.

This case exemplifies a lack of discretion in policing in America. If the department saw fit to delay her arrest for 9 years, chances are that no societal good will come from her arrest.

The cost to the costs to taxpayers — and the costs to department’s reputation — will surely be greater than any lesson Ms. Finley will have learned after being caged and embittered.

One laudable aspect of the situation is that the department did not strap on their helmets and crash into the woman’s home at midnight, as they might have if she was suspected of growing certain vegetation in her home. But is is still worth asking: Could a department of peace officers have handled this situation differently?

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