Something local caught my attention this week thinking about dress and crime. Someone from right near where I live is in hot water for his tattoo being perceived as a threat.
Says regional newspaper The Star Tribune:
The Hennepin County attorney charges that the tattoo [NAME], 20, put on his arm and on Facebook was a terroristic threat against the officer….The tattoo on [NAME] left bicep depicts a person holding a semi-automatic handgun with the barrel of the gun partially in the mouth of a pig, according to a criminal complaint. The tattoo includes the officer’s name (although it’s misspelled), his badge number and an expletive directed at police. The Facebook post on Jenkins’ page also includes a message about the tattoo: ‘My tattoo iz a pig get’n his brains blew out.’ According to the criminal complaint, 18 people gave the post a “thumbs-up” (or “like”) response.”
This is an interesting case, and more blatant than some of the things I’ve been researching. Many of the topics that have thus far caught my eye were about misinterpretations, subculture, and profiling. Yet this is in fact an accurate statement that this person has disdain for the police, but, as noted in the STRIB article:
“Not so fast, said Chuck Samuelson, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota.’This is the United States of America and we have a Bill of Rights, and that’s a messy thing oftentimes,’ he said.”
So there are questions about dress as a form of communication, action, and self-expression, and can dress be “hate speech” or other forms of public statement that can be held against you? I’ll let you know as more details emerge. Love to read your comments on this topic.
Image from http://img.ehowcdn.com/article-new/ehow/images/a07/hs/27/set-up-depth-tattoo-gun-800×800.jpg
Image is not of the tattoo or person in question, it is illustrating how a tattoo is done