It’s about time Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner says officers will hand out tickets for indecent exposure to nude riders in the Naked Bike Ride in downtown Boulder tomorrow. They knowingly will be exposing their genitals in view of someone else in a manner that causes an affront or alarm. Basically, that is the criteria for a ticket for indecent exposure, so they should get that ticket.
Beckner has warned the nude bike riders, too, which was fair since last year Boulder police didn’t issue tickets for the very same thing. What’s changed is complaints are up.
The affront or alarm I feel is not in seeing a nude body nor even an ugly or painted nude body. The affront is to my sense of respect, modesty and decency. I don’t go downtown during the bike ride, but who isn’t to say anyone with my kind of thinking couldn’t accidentally happen upon the ride?
The fact nude riders are trying to use their private parts in their public protest doesn’t protect them. Indecent exposure isn’t a form of protected free speech. So, the police are going to protect the public with tickets.
I’m not saying everyone feels the “affront” or “alarm.” The Camera’s online poll suggests lots of people don’t care, but the law didn’t ask for a percentage. What makes me feel a little more comfortable about society is knowing a growing number of people with my kind of decency are speaking up and that the police chief is responding.
I have a suggestion for the police as they pull over nude bikers to issue tickets. Police should have cover-ups available, maybe even something itchy.