Saturday, August 7, 2010

Chicago Criminal attorney comments on the First Amendment and unkind words

Chicago Criminal attorney has posted here about the First Amendment and criminal or quasi-criminal charges.

Even understanding that, she thinks this latest case is a bit of a stretch.

 The difference between a joke in poor taste and an inflammatory remark is about 75 bucks.
Arjunsinh Sindha, 64, said he feels as if he was treated unfairly when he was fined $75 after he was found guilty of disorderly conduct for asking a Pakistani-born customer if he was a terrorist.
"I don't think it was a fair deal," said Sindha, who manages the Subway Sandwich shop at 2302 Green Bay Road in North Chicago. "We all talk when something happens. We just kid around."

Sindha made the questionable comment on May 5, just days after a terrorist unsuccessfully tried to explode a bomb in Times Square in New York City.
Zohaib Khan, 29, said that Sindha casually approached him and said, "I heard you guys were recruiting more terrorists in New York. Are you one of them?"
"I was very surprised and shocked that people reacted this way," said Khan, who moved to Waukeganfrom Pakistan with his family when he was 14. "It was very upsetting and I was very offended."
Khan reported Sindha's comment to North Chicago officials and Sindha was issued a ticket under a city ordinance for disorderly conduct.
On Thursday he was found guilty of disorderly conduct and fined $75 by a Lake County judge. NorthChicago and Lake County officials could not be reached for comment.

 What’s the difference between this offense and the one involving the woman in the grocery store here?   Not only were the words said to her unpleasant (which isn’t illegal) but she had her head scarf was pulled.  That’s no different than trying to snatch a watch, necklace, earring, shirt, or purse off a person. 

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