61 year old man arested for wearing Peace T-Shirt

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Wisdom Seeker, Mar 5, 2003.

  1. Wisdom Seeker

    Wisdom Seeker
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    Man Arrested for Wearing Peace T-Shirt
    Wed Mar 5, 6:15 AM ET
    U.S. National
    By DAMITA CHAMBERS, Associated Press Writer

    ALBANY, N.Y. - A man was charged with trespassing in a mall after he refused to take off a T-shirt that said "Peace on Earth" and "Give peace a chance."

    Mall security approached Stephen Downs, 61, and his 31-year-old son, Roger, on Monday night after they were spotted wearing the T-shirts at Crossgates Mall in a suburb of Albany, the men said.

    The two said they were asked to remove the shirts made at a store there, or leave the mall. They refused.

    The guards returned with a police officer who repeated the ultimatum. The son took his T-shirt off, but the father refused.

    "'I said, `All right then, arrest me if you have to,'" Downs said. "So that's what they did. They put the handcuffs on and took me away."

    Downs pleaded innocent to the charges Monday night. The New York Civil Liberties Union said it would help with his case if asked.

    Police Chief James Murley said his officers were just responding to a complaint by mall security.

    "We don't care what they have on their shirts, but they were asked to leave the property, and it's private property," Murley said.

    A mall spokeswoman did not return calls Tuesday seeking comment.

    Monday's arrest came less than three months after about 20 peace activists wearing similar T-shirts were told to leave by mall security and police. There were no arrests.


    What is the world coming to?!
     
  2. Baptist Believer

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    The mall is legally correct, but morally wrong.

    It is private property, so they can legally ask people to leave if they display images that disrupt that retail environment that the mall management is trying to create. If the person(s) does not leave after being issued a trespass warning, they can be arrested for trespassing on private property.

    But I believe the mall is morally wrong to discriminate against their customers on the basis of political or religious viewpoints expressed on their clothing.

    Based on the evidence presented in this story, I think the mall was wrong, but this man has no case because the mall is private property.

    BTW, notice that the local chapter of the ACLU is willing to help. :D
     
  3. stubbornkelly

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    True, it is private property, but that quote about "we don't care what they have on their shirts" doesn't really support that the men were asked to remove the shirts or leave. :confused:
     
  4. Abiyah

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    Wha-a-a-a?

    I smell law suit, but I also smell something that
    stinks.
     
  5. NateT

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    I saw this on Excite with a similar headline. The man was not arrested for wearing a TShirt as the headlines say. He was arrested for insubordination and tresspassing. Even if the mall was wrong morally, I still don't like how the media is making it out to be that he was just sitting there eating a piece of pizza when suddenly, out of nowhere, and with no warning the police show up, cuff him and throw him in the back of the squad car.
     
  6. stubbornkelly

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    Well, it's true that he was arrested for trespassing - this article said so in the first line - but what's questionable is why he was asked to leave the property in the first place, causing a trespass order to be issued. We aren't told what he was doing, no, but there's no mention made of him doing anything but being in the mall peacefully, going about his business, wearing a t-shirt that "they" didn't like. So, yes, his actions caused him to be arrested, and it was his choice not to comply with the request, so I'm not feeling too badly for him, but I still have to wonder at why he would be asked such a thing in the first place.

    What really fascinated me is that, according to the article, the shirts were made at the mall, in a store or kiosk, I'm guessing.
     
  7. Abiyah

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    I think those things came through in the article.
    Anyone reading it would understand. But the ting
    that disturbs me is that ther is no mall I know of
    in the U.S. that would boot people out for wearing
    immoral clothing, but they would boot a senior
    citizen wearing a "Peace" t-shirt.

    It further disturbs me that the t-shirts were made
    in the mall, but I did no read that the t-shirt makers
    were booted and their business closed for making
    them.

    I don't care if these two men walked into the mall
    and had those t-shirts made simply to test mall
    authority; the mall and/or its guards were wrong
    to bot them based upon t-shirts with "Peace"
    messages, just as it was wrong for that U.S.
    business to demand that its employees remove
    their U.S. flags placed at their work stations in
    honor of the 9-11 victims and in honor of their
    country.
     
  8. Johnv

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    This is interesting. I on several occaisions witnessed Disneyland sercurity forbidding persons fromentering. In one case, the person did not adhere to the dress code (shirt required). In another, the person had a sweatshirt with a large cannibus leaf on it. In another, a person wearing a t-shirt with a drawing of a topless woman was forbidden. In yet another (this was a while ago), a person was forbidden from entering while wearing a shirt that read (and I will edit here) "F*ck Reagan".

    One could argue that these people were entitled to free speach, but the park is also private property, and allowed to enforce whatever dress code they deem appropriate for their patrons. I agree with the previous statement that the mall may be legally correct, but morally wrong.
     
  9. Wisdom Seeker

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    I'm sorry, I think this is really out of line. I mean it wasn't a graphicly depicted, satanic hate crime T-Shirt. The T-shirt in question was a picture of the world, with giant hands cradling it, a representation of God, with the caption "Peace on Earth" something that is written in the Bible. This was a Christian T-shirt! I have seen this at my local Christian book store.

    Furthermore, when is it ever okay to demand a 61 year old man take his shirt off with the threat of putting him in jail if he doesn't comply? I mean is there no respect for elders in this country any more?

    Private property my foot. Did you know that when they can't find enough evidence to prosicute people that steal in stores they use this as a way to put them in jail ? That is true.

    This is another way that Christians are being mistreated. Peace on Earth is in the Bible. When is enough going to be enough? It is commonly accepted that anything Christian is cause for disrespect and maltreatment, and I am quite frankly tired of it!
     

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