From Julian Sanchez:
Given that my friend’s immediate social circle is largely composed of journalists, bloggers, and constitutional lawyers who sue the government for fun, I predict hilarity.
Under District of Columbia law, ‘disorderly conduct’ occurs when a person: ‘with intent to provoke a breach of the peace, or under circumstances such that a breach of the peace may be occasioned thereby;..(2) congregates with others on a public street and refuses to move on when ordered by the police.’ Twenty people grooving along quietly with their iPods probably wouldn’t be in anyone’s way at noon, never mind midnight.
As a resident of DC, I’m certainly overjoyed to hear that violent crime has fallen to a level where we can spare valuable police resources to fight the silent scourge of . . . dancing.
from FreedomAndShit.org noted that:
Photographs, video and eyewitnesses aplenty, this should be a slam dunk against the government — but that does not mean that this is all ok. An arrest is still an arrest and our friend faces consequences for doing absolutely nothing wrong. She was polite, cooperative and stone-cold sober. Her crime, in addition to “bopping” (as overheard spoken by one of the arresting officers), was apparently inquiring as to what exactly she was doing wrong. For that, she was thrown up against a pillar in front of about 20 friends and summarily arrested — for quietly celebrating TJ’s birthday.
Everyone I spoke with says there was no noise, there were no threats, and no laws broken (the park police I spoke with–including the arresting officer (who, oddly enough, denied to me that he was the arresting officer)–declined to say why she had been arrested).
The police refused to answer any questions, referring all calls to the communication number of the Park Police, which at this hour is closed. They also refused to give their badge numbers.
Of course, the real irony here is that all of this happened at the Jefferson Memorial, in observance of Jefferson’s birthday. Go out to celebrate the birth of the most hardcore, anti-authoritarian of the Founding Fathers, get hauled off in handcuffs.
So in the 2008 version of the USA you cannot dance at the Jefferson Memorial without being disorderly it seems.
The wrong people and ideas govern us and we need to change the direction we’re heading in. Not by electing different politicians but by electing to take charge of our own lives and removing a government that controls us to the point where we can’t dance to celebrate the birthday of our hero on public property.
The days when the police spoke to the general public — whom they are paid to serve — with polite deference are long gone. Instead, most have adopted a bullying attitude and demand to be treated with unearned deference. We’ve gone from Joe Friday and Andy Taylor to ‘Cops’ and ‘The Wire.’
Apparently getting a couple of friends together and dancing quietly to your iPod at midnight at the Jefferson Memorial gets you a face plant in the concrete then a trip to detention courtesy of the US Park Police.
the crowd in question was composed largely of professional libertarians who’re bound to make a stink about this. I still wonder: What does an arresting officer in any circumstance like this possibly think he or she is going to accomplish?
(author of this post) at LibertyIsMyHomie noted:
I guess the State actors never bothered to look up and read the words chiseled into the stone above them: ‘I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every from of tyranny over the mind of man.’