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Taking photos of Gorham St sunbathers is disorderly conduct

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Taking photos of Gorham St sunbathers is disorderly conduct

Postby Shorty » Sun Aug 01, 2010 8:34 am

On Tuesday afternoon, Madison police charged a man with disorderly conduct for taking pictures of sunbathing women on West Gorham Street. Why is that a crime? My understanding of photography law is that if people are outside on public property it's perfectly legal to take their photo without any permission needed as long as you don't use the photo for commercial gain, and the clothing they are wearing, or not wearing, doesn't matter. But I don't know exactly where the sunbathers were. If they were on lawns or porches of their residences they would be on private property, so does that make it illegal to take their photo?

http://www.channel3000.com/news/24463406/detail.html
59-Year-Old Accused Of Taking Pictures Sunbathing Women
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Re: Taking photos of Gorham St sunbathers is disorderly conduct

Postby Henry Vilas » Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:06 am

The charge was disorderly conduct. He could probably beat the rap if he wants to fight it.

Btw, how much was your bail?
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Re: Taking photos of Gorham St sunbathers is disorderly conduct

Postby pattymcnutt » Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:36 am

I do think that the scantily clad coeds lounging around parks and front yards are pretty ridiculous (especially the ones who lay out on that little patch of grass next to a parking lot along University/Gorham). Clearly those girls are just trying to get male attention (but only cute frat boy attention of course- pasty geeks and skeezy old men best keep their eyes averted).

However, one of the articles (madison.com maybe?) said that the guy was specifically taking close ups of crotches. Maybe not illegal (unless the girls were underage) but creepy for sure. What the article doesn't say is specifically what the disorderly conduct charge was for. Maybe he was asked to stop the picture-taking and refused, or got combative with the officer. Maybe he followed the girls or was invading their personal space, who knows.

If the ticket is for the picture taking, I have to wonder, is it also disorderly conduct when I take pictures of crazy mullets or Wayne Newton look-alikes?
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Re: Taking photos of Gorham St sunbathers is disorderly conduct

Postby gargantua » Sun Aug 01, 2010 11:25 am

I request that Walter fill us in on the MPD version if he can....
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Re: Taking photos of Gorham St sunbathers is disorderly conduct

Postby Walter » Sun Aug 01, 2010 5:57 pm

I don't know anymore about it than what is in various media but when I read about it, my reaction was "How do you figure?"

Like it has been said above, if you are in a public place, you are fair game for someone on a beaver hunt. Sorry about that, I just couldn't stop myself.

Boiling down the disorderly conduct ordinance, it's behavior that causes or would tend to create a disturbance. I have heard many officers rely on a statement of an offended party that they were "disturbed" or flat out ask "Were you disturbed?" to provide a foundation for a DC charge, which I say is not enough. Just because someone claims to be disturbed is not enough to support the charge unless the behavior would be judged to disturbing to a reasonable person in my opinion.

I know someone to whom the term "beaver hunt" is disturbing but my saying it isn't disorderly conduct. I would however be sleeping on the couch for awhile.

Holding up a sign with a photo of a mangled fetus is disturbing to many but it isn't disorderly conduct on the street corner.

Sitting on State Street leering at shapely Co-eds is disturbing to some of the lasses but it isn't disorderly conduct.

Taking pictures of bathing suited girls in the park is under the same umbrella unless there is something more to the story like the guy standing directly over and making salacious statements to her while snapping away. Mr. Shutterbug is certainly a creepy asshole but that's not illegal in this setting. I'm no fancy lawyer type or a judge, so I could be wrong.

But I don't think so.
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Re: Taking photos of Gorham St sunbathers is disorderly conduct

Postby Remember_Me » Sun Aug 01, 2010 6:11 pm

I'm disturbed that some cops seem to be running around charging anyone they can with Disorderly Conduct.

How do I go about having them arrested for DC?

:x
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Re: Taking photos of Gorham St sunbathers is disorderly conduct

Postby Walter » Sun Aug 01, 2010 8:24 pm

Remember_Me wrote:I'm disturbed that some cops seem to be running around charging anyone they can with Disorderly Conduct.

How do I go about having them arrested for DC?

:x


Walter wrote:Just because someone claims to be disturbed is not enough to support the charge unless the behavior would be judged to disturbing to a reasonable person in my opinion.


I just quoted myself and I liked it.
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Re: Taking photos of Gorham St sunbathers is disorderly conduct

Postby Dust Mite Rodeo » Sun Aug 01, 2010 8:29 pm

Maybe there was some "tenting" involved.
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Re: Taking photos of Gorham St sunbathers is disorderly conduct

Postby Average Joe » Sun Aug 01, 2010 8:37 pm

Walter wrote:Just because someone claims to be disturbed is not enough to support the charge unless the behavior would be judged to disturbing to a reasonable person in my opinion.


So, if some dumb ass sat down next to me at a bar when I'm enjoying a beer and started to rant and babble some dumb shit that no one sober or imbibed wants to hear, I'm OK to start flicking the dumb sonabitch in the forehead until he wanders away, or would that behavior constitute disorderly conduct?
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Re: Taking photos of Gorham St sunbathers is disorderly conduct

Postby Walter » Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:40 pm

Average Joe wrote:
So, if some dumb ass sat down next to me at a bar when I'm enjoying a beer and started to rant and babble some dumb shit that no one sober or imbibed wants to hear, I'm OK to start flicking the dumb sonabitch in the forehead until he wanders away, or would that behavior constitute disorderly conduct?


Well, if he wanders away, there wouldn't be a disturbance. If you move to another seat, there wouldn't be a disturbance.

After he punches you in the face, and since you're too macho to say it hurt, then you and he can be cited for it.

Please don't tease the drunks.
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Re: Taking photos of Gorham St sunbathers is disorderly conduct

Postby fennel » Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:04 pm

Walter wrote:Please don't tase the drunks.

Amen!
(Fixed that typo, btw.)
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Re: Taking photos of Gorham St sunbathers is disorderly conduct

Postby Remember_Me » Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:10 pm

Walter wrote:
Like it has been said above, if you are in a public place, you are fair game for someone on a beaver hunt.


Maybe instead of locking this guy up, we could send him down to Georgia where he could be of some use.




(pay special attention to the last sentence from the link)
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Re: Taking photos of Gorham St sunbathers is disorderly conduct

Postby pattymcnutt » Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:50 pm

Walter wrote:Boiling down the disorderly conduct ordinance, it's behavior that causes or would tend to create a disturbance. I have heard many officers rely on a statement of an offended party that they were "disturbed" or flat out ask "Were you disturbed?" to provide a foundation for a DC charge, which I say is not enough. Just because someone claims to be disturbed is not enough to support the charge unless the behavior would be judged to disturbing to a reasonable person in my opinion.


I don't know about MPD, but in a certain village in northeastern Dane County where I work, the 6 police officers hand out disorderly conduct tickets like crazy, and usually it is just based on someone's word that so-and-so allegedly threatened them or raised their voice to them 3 days ago.
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Re: Taking photos of Gorham St sunbathers is disorderly conduct

Postby Walter » Mon Aug 02, 2010 12:29 am

fennel wrote:
Walter wrote:Please don't tase the drunks.

Amen!
(Fixed that typo, btw.)


If not me, who?

Image

pattymcnutt wrote:I don't know about MPD, but in a certain village in northeastern Dane County where I work, the 6 police officers hand out disorderly conduct tickets like crazy, and usually it is just based on someone's word that so-and-so allegedly threatened them or raised their voice to them 3 days ago.


That's discretion. I need something more than that but I also don't feel the need to hand out tickets like crazy either.
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Re: Taking photos of Gorham St sunbathers is disorderly conduct

Postby Beaver » Mon Aug 02, 2010 7:11 am

Did someone say Beaver hunt? I don't like the sound of that.
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