Orono, MN — In case after case, the Free Thought Project has reported on countless incidents of police officers responding to welfare checks and killing or maiming the innocent recipients in the process. We’ve also reported on multiple incidents of the American police state targeting elderly people who are unable to mow their grass. However, what makes this case out of Orono, Minn. so unique is that this same scenario started just like the aforementioned ones, but thanks to officer Matt Siltala, it ended in the exact opposite manner—with kindness, instead of extortion and violence.
Typically, when police officers carry out a welfare check, officer safety is paramount. Doors are kicked in, K-9s deployed, and often times, those who are in need of help, receive something far worse. But officer Siltala didn’t do any of that during a welfare check last week and found that the woman in the home was just fine. However, she was unable to mow her grass.
Many people in Siltala’s position would have issued the elderly woman a citation at this point and possibly gone even further. However, instead of ticketing the elderly woman for the tall grass, the officer then went above and beyond. He mowed it for her.
Siltala’s partner, officer MCCoy snapped a photo of Siltala carrying out this act of kindness and it was posted to the department’s Facebook page with the following caption.
“I cannot say how proud stuff like this makes us. Officer Matt Siltala was called to this residents home on a welfare check today. She was ok and Matt asked her why her yard is so unkempt. She said she doesn’t have anyone to mow for her. He grabbed her mower and cut the front yard. Very cool,” read the post.
The department then quipped about why McCoy was taking a picture instead of helping.
“But, not sure why Officer McCoy, who took the picture, couldn’t grab the trimmer… Must be a union issue,” it said.
The post was inundated with multiple compliments from folks who praised the officer for this act of discretion and kindness.
“Kindness and compassion needs to be taught from a young age. Love wins again,” said one commenter on Facebook. “Thank you to the officer who took the time to help this lady out. Remember everyone you will be elderly some day.”
What’s more, after the post began to go viral, community members came out to offer their help to the elderly woman and said they will continue to mow her grass for her.
The reason this case is garnering so much attention is due to the fact that it is the opposite of what usually happens.
Had this elderly woman lived in Riesel, Texas, were 75-year-old Gerry Suttle lived, she would have had a warrant issued for her arrest for the tall grass.
Suttle had a warrant out for her arrest because she was just like the woman in Orono and could not mow her grass. Instead of help, however, she was threatened with being kidnapped and caged.
Or, if she would’ve lived in Dunedin, Florida, like Jim Ficken, this elderly woman could be losing her home entirely.
Last year, when he was out of town trying to take care of his late mother’s estate, his grass did what grass does, it grew. Knowing that it is unpleasing to neighbors to grow long grass, Ficken hired a friend to cut it for him while he was away, but that friend died and Ficken had no idea.
Because Ficken’s grass grew over 10 inches, the city government claimed he owed them money. Every day that Ficken kept his grass over the “legal limit,” the government would steal $500 from him. This went on for 57 days, and now, the government claims Ficken owes them nearly $30,000. Because Ficken is retired and on fixed income, he is unable to pay these ridiculous fines and now the government is stealing his house from him.
Thank you to officer Siltala for showing the country that discretion and kindness are far better solutions to problems than extortion and escalation.