Monday, June 21, 2010

You can be arrested for any reason

 To illustrate the problems with laws in Illinois, today we are looking at "disorderly conduct."   In Illinois Disorderly Conduct (a(1)) is defined as:

(720 ILCS 5/26‑1) (from Ch. 38, par. 26‑1)
(Text of Section from P.A. 96‑339)
Sec. 26‑1. Elements of the Offense.
   (a) A person commits disorderly conduct when he knowingly:
        (1) Does any act in such unreasonable manner as to alarm or disturb another and to provoke a breach of the peace

A law as vague as this exists, and is a large fine as a misdemeanor! If you have the right personality, any action could be disturbing that would provoke a breach of the peace.   But this bad law isn't really what I'm worried about, I'm worried about this growing trend of people being arrested on SUSPICION of disorderly conduct!   That's right!  Now you can be arrested if an officer is suspicious that you've disturbed someone.  This excerpt from UPI newstrack states:

"Wilks was arrested on suspicion of disorderly conduct, criminal damage to property and resisting arrest."

To summarize that story, a young man (Wilks) wearing ill-fitting pants was confronted by a city bus driver to fix his attire.   When he refused and told the bus driver to keep out of his business, the driver called police, who then continued to yell at him, and finally arrest him on 2 made up charges, and one made up charge that is a result of the previous made up charges.  

I'm wary of anyone getting arrested on suspicion of anything.   In the legal system to be detained there must be evidence of a crime.  Please keep your eyes out in your newspapers for people being arrested without evidence.

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