82-Year-Old Black Woman 'Told Not To Cry' After Arrest For $77 Trash Bill

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An 82-year-old Black woman in Alabama said she was "told not to cry" as police arrested her over a $77 trash bill.

According to CBS 42, Martha Louis Menefield was arrested last month after failing to pay her monthly trash service bill for June, July, and August, Valley Police Chief Mike Reynolds said in a statement.

Menefield's arrest came after code enforcement attempted to reach her multiple times and issued a court citation, which she didn't adhere to, according to police.

The 82-year-old, however, said she was shocked when police showed up at her home with handcuffs. Menefield claims that she never received a notice to appear in court, and she believed her $77.80 bill was paid for because her trash pickup was never suspended.

"I was upset because I didn't know why they would come and arrest me," Menefield told CBS 42.

She tearily recalled an officer told her not to cry after being placed in handcuffs, which she said were "so heavy."

“Don’t cry, Ms. Martha,” the officer said, according to Menefield. “He kind of whispered it to me: ‘Don’t cry.’”

“How would you feel if they came and arrested your grandmama,” she asked the officer, to which he didn't respond.

Reynolds defended the arrest in a statement, saying Menefield was treated "respectfully."

"While our officers can use their discretionary judgment on certain matters, the enforcement of an arrest warrant issued by the court and signed by a magistrate, is not one of them," Reynolds said. "Ms. Menefield was treated respectfully by our officers in the performance of their duties and was released on a bond as prescribed by the violation."

After being processed at the Valley Police Department, Menefield was released on bond, police said.

"I was in a little cage-like thing at the police station," Menefield said. "And I said 'Y'all put me in this cage? You ought to be ashamed of yourself."

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