BLOOMINGTON (WCCO) — A Bloomington man is facing possible jail time, accused of breaking a city ordinance that prohibits residents from feeding wild animals. In Bloomington, it is legal to use bird feeders — as long as they are 5 feet off the ground. Neighbors and the charges allege that Craig Brown was throwing feed onto the ground, which is illegal. For years, Brown said he tried to make his backyard a haven for birds. Now, birds rarely visit Brown’s backyard. Months ago, Brown removed all his bird feeders after he said those feeders landed him in trouble with the law. “I am nervous,” said Brown. “They have the right to send me to jail.” A video taken by a neighbor in December showed the Bloomington City Attorney just how popular Brown’s yard was for animals. In the video, dozens of birds are seen eating from the ground. Neighbors said the food didn’t just bring birds, it also brought rodents, which then chewed on their property.
“You have an impact on your neighbors. Your backyard and what you do in it can damage the livability of neighbors’ house,” said Sandra Johnson, the Bloomington City Attorney. Brown claimed his bird feeding fell in line with the city ordinance. “I was still putting the feed in feeders. I was doing it legally, but I was getting these ducks in here. What do I do?” said Brown. According to the criminal complaint, however, Brown admitted to deliberately throwing food on the ground. He claimed the seeds on the ground came from the hanging feeders. “In this case, I believe the resident was initially warned, but he continued to feed on the ground,” said Johnson. As Brown prepares to fight for a hobby he can no longer enjoy, he also realizes a not guilty verdict is not necessarily a win. “I promise they’ll never see a bird feeder in my yard. It’s ruined it for me. I can’t ever do it again,” said Brown. Brown did have the option of avoiding jail time by pleading guilty, but it is a misdemeanor charge that would have stayed on his record, which was his concern. Brown’s maximum punishment could be 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
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The feeding was consensual and the bird did not ask to be ‘protected’ or complain that the food made it ill, nor were negative physical effects or negative emotions were felt by either party. Why is the Bloomington local government such a busybody? Why are such ordinances not yet amended? Who’s job is it to amend Ordinances?
They have certainly been sleeping on the job to keep silent when this sort of case crops up. Who needs to pay for prisoners to enrich prison contractors, especially for ‘offences’ like feeding birds? This is a victimless crime, in fact not even a crime at all.
This is how USA bankrupts itself. For 20 cents worth of birdfeed and an effective non-offence, they waste the taxpayer salaries assigned to them, they jail a person, take away his job and burden the taxpayers with waste/losses of up to 50K or even more a year.
Amend this ordinance, it is predjudiced and undemocratic, wastes the tax payer’s monies.
Try this one below as well, more unamended by-laws and ordinances in the 3rd World . . .
If a poll is taken on this charge, the majority of Americans (those not benefiting from the prison contractor system or in the judiciary) would probably vote for the case to be dropped. This is socialised engineering as well, very harmful to the principles of democracy. Give this man liberty or you the Americans will give yourself death – of democracy. Fire the damn judge and remove the law writers who do not amend this nonsensical ordinance as necessary !