Sunday, April 5, 2009

Detroit police disarm crowd of their pillows

A flash mob pillow fight was halted when Detroit Police officers took everyone's pillows away.

The pillow fight, which was to be one of at least 50 across the world Saturday organized by people on social networking Web sites, was shut down by Detroit police officers who were stationed at the park.

"I am furious," 23-year-old Elida Quesada of Ferndale said as she fumed while watching officers take pillows as soon as people showed up with them. "It (a pillow fight) is so silly and childlike. It would have been fun. It seems like everything that is fun is illegal."

Officers in blue jumpsuits were polite to the people who were stopped, but firm about seizing the pillows. One officer told a would-be pillow fighter that 5,000 pillows had been seized by the planned 4 p.m. start of the event.

Detroit Police spokesman James Tate would not say how police learned about the event in advance. He said there were numerous Internet postings. He said the event posed a clean up issue because typically there are large amounts of feathers and other pillow fillings left behind. There also were concerns of people getting hit who did not wish to participate, he said.

Michael Davis, 32, of Hamtramck said, "They took my pillows, but let me keep my cases." "They told me I needed a permit. I can understand."

Scott Harris, a 48-year-old Ferndale resident whose pillow was taken by officers, was not as understanding.

"It is not illegal to own a pillow," he said.

Now that's not fun. It's too bad that people can't be trusted to clean up after themselves.

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