Denise Morrison grew more than 100 types of plants in her yard in Tulsa, Okla. She had garlic chives and strawberry, apple mint and spear mint, an apple tree and a pecan tree.
But someone complained about it, and city inspectors stopped by. Her plants, they said, were too tall. The entire lawn would have to go.
Morrison knew she was in the right; she had read the city code, which allowed plants over 12 inches if they were meant for human consumption. Hers were, so she got the police involved. They issued a citation, and she and the city went before a judge in August. The judge told them to come back in October.
The next day, the city came to Morrison’s yard and bulldozed her plants.
She told a local news station:
I came back three days later, sat in my driveway, cried and left … Not only are the plants my livelihood, they’re my food and I was unemployed at the time and had no food left, no medicine left, and I didn’t have insurance. They took away my life and livelihood.
Now Morrison is suing Tulsa for violating her civil rights. She says the inspectors went way over the line. So far, the city doesn’t have anything to say for itself. We’re hoping that when they do, it starts with “sorry” and ends with several zeroes.
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