Odds & Ends

Odds & Ends

Joshua Lee
5 min read
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Dateline: Michigan

A well-known graffiti artist was mistakenly arrested by police for vandalism while working on a mural commissioned by the City of Detroit. According to the
Detroit Free Press, artist Sheefy McFly was painting a viaduct on the city’s northeast side when two police officers approached him. The officers believed McFly—whose legal name is Tashif Turner—was vandalizing city property. What they didn’t realize was that McFly had been hired by the City of Detroit to paint a mural there as part of the City Walls program, which is meant to deter illegal graffiti with government-sanctioned street art. McFly was reportedly unable to produce a copy of his city-issued permit for officers. According to statements made by McFly, four or five police vehicles arrived at the scene and officers escalated the situation—despite the arrival of a city official who vouched for the artist. McFly told reporters that when he went to check his bag for the permit, an officer detained him by placing a hand on his neck. According to police, the artist was uncooperative with their investigation and they arrested him for allegedly resisting and obstructing police as well as an outstanding traffic warrant. He spent about 24 hours at the Detroit Detention Center before being released. McFly had never been arrested before, and he told reporters that the experience had been depressing and conditions were “horrible.” At the time, he said he was unsure if he would finish the mural. “I need some days to collect myself and figure out how I can be safe,” he said. “I feel racially profiled and bullied.” Police announced last week that all charges against McFly related to obstruction and resisting were subsequently dropped. McFly has been contracted to paint nine more murals in the city. He still faces charges stemming from the preexisting traffic warrant.

Dateline: Colombia

A Catholic bishop plans to spray holy water on a Colombian city in hopes that exorcising demons from the area will curb violent crime. According to the
Daily Mail, Bishop of Buenaventura Ruben Dario Jaramillo Montoya appeared on a radio program earlier this month, outlining his plan to battle a recent wave of murders in Buenaventura with spiritual assistance. According to RCN Radio, he blamed the rash of violent crimes in the area on “demons.” The bishop said he was coordinating with the National Navy and the city’s mayor to procure a helicopter that could spray holy water over the city on July 13 or 14—during a festival dedicated to the city’s patron saint, San Buenaventura. During the radio interview, Montoya reportedly said, “We want to go around the whole of Buenaventura, from the air, and pour holy water onto it to see if we exorcise and get out all those demons that are destroying our port, so that God’s blessing comes and gets rid of all the wickedness that is in our streets.” Local authorities say 51 murders took place in Buenaventura between January and May of this year.

Dateline: United Kingdom

A British museum has put on display a “human cheese,” made using bacteria collected from various celebrities’ armpits and navels.
NewsRound reports that five types of “human cheese” are being exhibited at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum as part of Food: Bigger Than A Plate. To make traditional cheese, a starter culture made up of microorganisms or bacteria is used to ferment the milk. For the special cheeses used in the exhibit, scientists swabbed the skin of five celebrities and mixed the bacteria samples with milk instead of using more common starters. This process resulted in a cheshire cheese made using bacteria from singer-songwriter Alex James, a comté made using celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal’s bacteria, a mozzarella formed from rapper Professor Green’s bacteria, a stilton made from the bacteria of food writer Ruby Tandoh and a cheddar made using bacteria collected from Suggs from the band Madness. On the museum’s website, curators say the exhibition is meant to prove that human bacteria can form good cheese while enhancing visitors’ appreciation of the microbial world. According to author Catherine Flood: “In the Food exhibition, our human cheeses feature as artworks, making the invisible visible and challenging us to reconsider our feelings of disgust, as bacteria cross boundaries between our bodies, our environment and our food.”

Dateline: Alabama

Following a deadly shooting in California, Ford Motor Company has asked an Alabama auto dealership to end their Bible and gun giveaway promotion.
Detroit Free Press reports that Chatom Ford General Manager Colin Ward was contacted by Ford and asked to end a promotion that had gone viral nationally. As part of the “God, Guns and Freedom” Fourth of July event, the dealership was offering their customers a Bible, a gift certificate for a 12-gauge shotgun and an American flag with the purchase of any new or used vehicle. Ward said he was “very disappointed” to be ending the promotion. “Ford said we can fulfill our commitments to the customers that we’ve made up till now, but we have to cease it going forward,” he told reporters last week. The automaker said the promotion was inappropriate in light of a shooting that took place at a California Ford dealership last week. During the incident, a man who had been fired from the dealership shot and killed two of his former coworkers before turning the gun on himself. Ward claims the sale gimmick was not meant to be political.

Compiled by Joshua Lee. Email your weird news to josh@alibi.com.

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