Your tax money at work: cops attack people for crop tops, twerk

from on the other hand, all-true-crime-is-no longer-a-problem department

Now that the Supreme Court has given states the freedom to control women’s bodies, it makes sense that the police literally control women’s bodies.

It’s summer. Temperatures are high everywhere. And as temperatures rise, the amount of clothing people are willing to put on decreases. For some reason, this completely expected turn of events resulted in ridiculous law enforcement by local law enforcement. (h/t Pierre Bonilla)

Casey LaCaze-Lachney of Winnfield, Lousiana went to a festival in town on June 11 dressed like this (screenshot via Lachney’s TikTok account):

For this, she was cited for indecent exposure by a Winnfield PD officer:

A Winnfield, LA woman’s TikTok video has gone viral after she used the app to complain about an indecent exposure citation she received at a festival on Saturday, June 11.

Casey LaCaze-Lachney, known on the app by her username @kazzi112, posted about the incident where it received over 2.6 million views. LaCaze-Lachney captioned the video “make sense” before showing viewers the outfit in question.

LaCaze-Lachney wore a black t-shirt that covered her shoulders and was cut just above the navel, paired with cut-off denim shorts and a studded belt.

The video went viral, but it wasn’t a stunt. It actually happened. According to the pathetic and incredibly defensive Winnfield PD Facebook post, one officer actually believed that this perfectly normal summer outfit violated the law:

Winnfield’s 6th Annual Dugdemona Festival, held on Main Street, was an incredible success. However, recent social media posts have had a negative impact on the service of our police officers at this fun, family-friendly festival.

An anonymous citizen was cited for a city ordinance and has since taken to a popular social media site, blasting cops. However, 3 female officers responded to various complaints about the person’s attire and the person of interest received a citation under the city ordinance.

Um, the only thing that has a “negative impact on the service” of PD officers is the service of PD officers. If “various complaints” are filed against someone who is not breaking the law, officers (women or not) should ignore these complaints and focus on the actual violation of the law.

But that didn’t happen. Instead, a citation was issued for violation of City Ordinance 14-76. This order is quoted by the PD in its article “Stop blaming us for being morons”. It’s here. See if you can’t spot the infractions!

“No one shall wear trousers, slacks, shorts, skirts, dresses or skorts in any public place or in any place open to the public that intentionally exposes underwear or intentionally exposes a part of pubic hair, cleft buttocks, or genitals. Fines range from $25.00 for a first offense to a maximum of $300, and the person can be ordered to perform up to 40 hours of community service.

Even though the shorts/cropped top managed to inadvertently exposing, say, the “butt slit” (perhaps by bending over), this would not be a intentional exposure. And I have no idea how this law applies to swimming pools, where the clothes worn are indistinguishable from “underwear” in many cases.

To wrap up this stupidity, the PD offered this statement, which says the PD will not stoop to engage with angry citizens for bringing the department down to its current level by citing someone for wearing clothes.

“We as public servants will not engage in a social media war with anyone or any organization as it is inappropriate and brings discredit to this ministry. We also cannot comment on the details of any matter under investigation or pending legal action.

It’s a bit late for most. The ministry has already done the “inappropriate” and succeeded in “discrediting itself”. It was a stupid and illegal decision by local law enforcement. And it will certainly end in legal action.

Speaking of legal action, here’s our second literal female body check. This one happened a little earlier than the Winnfield debacle, but is back in the news because the body police victim receives payment from the city of Portland for the actions of some officers just as stupid.

I’m going to distribute this main sentence in chunks for maximum impact:

The city will pay $75,000 to settle a federal lawsuit filed by a woman arrested by Portland police in 2019 after she was seen twerking in a downtown bike path…

I don’t know which part of it is more laughable: whether the officers thought twerking was a crime or that doing it in a bike lane was the part that triggered law enforcement. In any case, it gets more stupid:

…and knocked down officers during a protest.

Certainly not a crime. In fact, it is the opposite: it is a constitutionally protected expression. It doesn’t matter where it happens (bike path) or what expression (twerking) accompanies it. The precedent in this judicial circuit goes back to 1990. Thus, the police officers of Portland have been warned for more than three decades that the fact of denouncing the cops cannot justify an arrest.

The cops had an excuse though:

Portland Police Commander. Erica Hurley defended the arrest at the hearing, saying officers had probable cause to arrest the woman who was not allowing traffic to pass. Police cars must drive through traffic like any other car, she said.

Well, that’s one way of looking at it. Another way to look at it is that the momentary twerk didn’t actually block traffic, and maybe the cops shouldn’t drive their cars on bike lanes. And yet another way of looking at it is that no foul play ever took place. That’s how the jury saw it when they dealt with his misdemeanor charge, returning a verdict of “not guilty.”

This is obviously only a very small, very specific sample of police misconduct. But it is a particularly stupid misconduct which, nevertheless, has received wholehearted support from the agencies employing these agents. That’s why it’s a problem. This means that no small amount of bullshit is underdefended.

Filed Under: clothing, police