Judge Frees Man Charged With Fashion Faux Pas
Cop Mistakes Self for ‘Fashion Police,’ Assaults Basic Liberty
Julio Marinez was hauled into New York criminal court charged with wearing his pants too low--not indecently, just too low. The judge dismissed the charges, but not before government functionaries had managed to put Mr. Martinez to serious personal inconvenience forcing him to defend his lawful behavior in court.Good grief! Do the police still think government can punish people for their choice of attire?
It doesn’t matter even slightly that, evidently, Mr. Martinez was challenged in matters of taste. In a nation that values liberty, it's not the job of the criminal law to teach people how to dress.
Happily the defendant was released by the judge, but that does not make this case a victory for liberty. The police officer grossly abused the governmental power entrusted to him. For that he should have been, at the very least, suspended from duty until retrained. Better yet, he should have been removed from the force entirely. And the same goes for his supervisors, not to mention the prosecution personnel who allowed this case to go forward.
And what about the law that the defendant was charged under: “disorderly conduct”? If the law gives police this much leeway to invade liberty, the judge should have declared it unconstitutional. Since he didn’t, it should be repealed immediately.
The fact that cases like this one even exist shows what a sad state we've allowed our national culture of liberty to come to.