Police Crackdown: Lemonade stand shut down. The world is safer!

Once again, my expectations have been trashed.

I expect that if I read the words “police” and “lemonade stand” in the same sentence, it will go something like this:

“Police enjoy a glass of lemonade served up by an aspiring 4 year old entrepreneur”.

I don’t expect to read this:

Police shut down little girl’s lemonade stand . . . ”

But that’s what I read in this associated press article and, once again, I’m left shaking my head.

It comes from Coralville, Iowa, where police closed down a lemonade stand, telling a 4 year old girl and her father that she didn’t have a permit.

Apparently Coralville has a bike ride, and this aspiring entrepreneur set up a lemonade stand to take advantage of the event.

But a city ordinance says that food vendors have to apply for a permit and get a health inspection. No permit . . . no stand.

Now I could understand the police getting involved if a lemonade stand was placed in the middle of the road (or somewhere else) where it was causing a danger to the public.

I’d expect they would explain that the stand would have to be moved to a safe spot, to prevent injury to a cyclist etc.

But I have a hard time understanding the police getting involved here. Closing a lemonade stand to enforce a city ordinance. Really?

I’m constantly reading about strained police resources. They don’t have enough money. They don’t have enough officers. They don’t have enough equipment. They don’t have enough time to properly investigate serious crimes.

Maybe things are different in Coralville.

Maybe Coralville is flush with cash, and the police don’t have to worry about budget constraints.

Or maybe Coralville is one of the safest places on earth, and this child represents the worst of Coralville’s community.

Other safe places include Bethesda, Maryland (where kids were fined for opening a lemonade stand to fight cancer), and Midway, Georgia (where the police shut down a lemonade stand operated by to girls, age 10 and 14).

In Georgia, city officials said it’s their job to keep everyone safe and healthy, and there can be no exceptions to the rules.

“We were not aware of how the lemonade was made, who made the lemonade, of what the lemonade was made with, so we acted accordingly by city ordinance,” Police Chief Morningstar said.

And there  you have it. Lemonade can be dangerous, and we need to be protected from unsafe lemonade production practices.

I know that tonight I’ll sleep better.

I still feel that I have to have to lock my doors. I’ll still keep my house alarm turned on whenever I’m away from home.

But I know that I have nothing to fear from an unsavoury 4 year old lemonade stand operator who is making lemonade with who knows what.


If you live in Coralville, Bethesda or Midway, let me know if I’m correct in assuming that you are all rich and safe. I just might decide to move to one of those fine cities.

One Response to “Police Crackdown: Lemonade stand shut down. The world is safer!”

  1. Talk about living by the Letter of the Law… I get what happened here, but come on man!

Leave a Reply