Beckner is exactly the kind of petty little douche that becomes a cop because he got beat up too much as a kid. Rod Farva and Salvatore “dude” Rivieri come to mind. Beckner represents exactly the kind of cop that should be stripped of his badge, covered in shit and bees, and then rolled off a cliff in a shopping cart. Why? Because when people don’t respect his authoritah, he decides that it is time to use draconian sex offender laws to get his way.
Beckner’s previous claim to fame was running the JonBenet Ramsey case. Bang up job you did there, Beckner.
Now, as police chief, he’s ready to put a stop to a rampant sex offense that is about to ruin Boulder — its annual Naked Halloween Pumpkin Streaking Event.
Yes, on Halloween in Boulder, Colorado, people put running shoes on their feet, Jack O’Lanterns on their heads, and they run through the streets. For nearly ten years, people have engaged in this tradition. They brave the cold, and run through the streets as onlookers throw candy. Beckner calls it a “free-for-all.” (source) Beckner decided, personally, that this kind of thing needs to come to an end. According to the Wall Street Journal, Beckner planned to “station more than 40 officers on the traditional four-block route… , with two SWAT teams patrolling nearby. All [with] orders to arrest gourd-topped streakers as sex offenders.” (source)
This isn’t a cop deciding to do his duty and enforce the law, mind you. See, it isn’t actually illegal to run naked through the streets of Boulder. Boulder is actually pretty comfortable with public nudity. So, Beckner decided that he would use Colorado’s state indecent exposure statute.
C.R.S. 18-7-302: states: “A person commits indecent exposure if he knowingly exposes his genitals to the view of any person under circumstances in which such conduct is likely to cause affront or alarm to the other person. In other words, if it isn’t bothering anyone, nor is it likely to do so, the nudity isn’t illegal. This event starts at 11:00 PM, when the kids are all home in bed, and the Naked Pumpkin Run route is lined with throngs of cheering fans who are there specifically to see the spectacle, how could any reasonable person think that this was “likely to cause affront or alarm?”
Police acknowledge they have not been flooded with pumpkin-run-related complaints, but say that’s beside the point. A throng of naked people with jack-o-lanterns on their heads is, by definition, an alarming sight, Chief Beckner says. Therefore, it’s illegal. (source)
Thats the sound of my petty-little-authoritarian detector / bullshit detector going off.
Well, how about this? Lets try and give Beckner the benefit of the doubt here. Maybe the Naked Pumpkin Run isn’t illegal, but the public is outraged and the guy has to do something.
There it goes again.
Citizens aren’t complaining. But, what about the politicians? Maybe Beckner just doesn’t want the city elders getting their panties in a twist?
At a recent forum for city council candidates, all 10 participants said they disapproved of the threatened crackdown.
Even Mayor Matt Appelbaum, who supports the police, admits to a tinge of worry that arresting Halloween streakers will tarnish Boulder’s reputation as, well, Boulder.
“I’m a little old for it, but it could be pretty cool to be running around with a pumpkin on your head and not much else,” says the 57-year-old mayor. (source)
Nevertheless, Mark Beckner wants to arrest people (using SWAT teams, no less) for an offense which, if it leads to a conviction, will require those people to register as sex offenders. Most of our sex offender laws are absurd. Laws are never good if they are named after dead children or passed due to the cries of grieving parents. Last month, Rogier van Bakel gave us this post, which showed the ludicrous results that these laws have brought about.
This story teaches us two things: 1) It reaffirms Rogier’s point that its time to scrap our sex offender laws. They are a dragnet that sweeps up way too many people for way too petty offenses. 2) It shows us that when we hire law enforcement officers with tiny penis syndrome, where their heads get red with rage that the damn citizens don’t just do as they are fucking told then that personality defect can lead to disastrous legal results.
Beckner, you’re a douche and the asshat of the week. By the way, how’s that JonBenet Ramsey case coming along?