Of the roughly 30 species of parrots now breeding in the United States, only monks colonize in colder climates, and thus are “the only ones in New York City,” said Stephen Pruett-Jones, a professor of ecology and evolution at the University of Chicago, who has studied them in Hyde Park for 25 years.
The first published citing of the species (Myiopsitta monachus) in the wild in America was in New York in 1967, he said. Newspaper accounts put them in Chicago the following year, and in Florida in 1969.
By 1970, there was the odd parrot sighting in New York: a few at Riis Park, a handful in the Rockaways, some more on Staten Island. A nest, but no birds, was found in Central Park, in a broken floodlight behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Their locations were pinpointed, but it was less clear how they got here. No biologist believes they flew here on their own.
Some take Ms. Lynch’s view: They escaped from the airport. Others see less swashbuckling beginnings: Owners sick of their rasping cries set them free. Marc Morrone, who owns Parrots of the World, a pet store in Rockville Centre, on Long Island, says neither explanation is valid. The airport story is an “old wives’ tale,” he said, because shipping containers do not tend to break, and the birds make “wonderful” pets, so why would anyone set them free?
What is a minimal set of identifiers that you can uniquely identify someone with? What is the average? One can imagine categories - those that are based on physical attributes, those based on experiences, and so on... It can make an interesting party game.
Some of the towns in St. Louis County can derive 40 percent or more of their annual revenue from the petty fines and fees collected by their municipal courts. A majority of these fines are for traffic offenses, but they can also include fines for fare-hopping on MetroLink (St. Louis’s light rail system), loud music and other noise ordinance violations, zoning violations for uncut grass or unkempt property, violations of occupancy permit restrictions, trespassing, wearing “saggy pants,” business license violations and vague infractions such as “disturbing the peace” or “affray” that give police officers a great deal of discretion to look for other violations. In a white paper released last month (PDF), the ArchCity Defenders found a large group of people outside the courthouse in Bel-Ridge who had been fined for not subscribing to the town’s only approved garbage collection service. They hadn’t been fined for having trash on their property, only for not paying for the only legal method the town had designated for disposing of trash.
“These aren’t violent criminals,” says Thomas Harvey, another of the three co-founders of ArchCity Defenders. “These are people who make the same mistakes you or I do — speeding, not wearing a seatbelt, forgetting to get your car inspected on time. The difference is that they don’t have the money to pay the fines. Or they have kids, or jobs that don’t allow them to take time off for two or three court appearances. When you can’t pay the fines, you get fined for that, too. And when you can’t get to court, you get an arrest warrant.”
Arrest warrants are also public information. They can be accessed by potential landlords or employers. So they can prevent someone from getting a job, housing, job training, loans or financial aid. “So they just get sucked into this vortex of debt and despair,” Harvey says.
De-escalating militarized policing will also require analysis of how the presence of these weapons and tactics has impacted policing culture. Our analysis shows that the militarization of American policing is evident in the training that police officers receive, which encourages them to adopt a “warrior” mentality and think of the people they are supposed to serve as enemies, as well as in the equipment they use, such as battering rams, flashbang grenades, and APCs. This shift in culture has been buoyed by the U.S. Supreme Court’s weakening of the Fourth Amendment (which protects the right to privacy in one’s home) through a series of decisions that have given the police increased authority to force their way into people’s homes, often in drug cases.