I was reading my daily dose of sports the other day and ran across a rather curious story. A man, who will remain anonymous for this article, possibly a (line) coach for some sports team (Detroit Lions) was arrested on “suspicion of indecent exposure.” Apparently, the man was reported to be driving buck naked with an alcohol level tested at 0.12 percent. The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.08 in this particular state. Drunk driving is a serious matter in any state. Being suspected of indecent exposure only confounds the matter.
What I have a problem with is, if he was buck naked, how is he cited for “suspicion of indecent exposure?” Being from another state, obviously the state of confusion, I posed the question to a state trooper friend of mine. Being that he would only participate on the condition of anonymity, I will address him as “Daryl.”
RN: So, how do you interpret “indecent exposure”?
Daryl: Simply, when a male or female exposes genitalia, buttocks, or in the case of a
woman, the complete upper chest anatomy, in full view in a general public or
unregulated forums for such activity. Examples of such forums would be an
open road or shopping malls.
RN: So what is “suspicion of indecent exposure”?
Daryl: Again simply, when someone is suspected of an act in violation of the
guidelines I just gave you.
RN: How do you as an officer of the law come to suspect someone of indecent
Daryl: Either, I would have to witness the act or someone else, who witnessed it would
have to report the incident.
RN: Here’s where I get hazy on the subject. If you stop someone walking or driving
buck naked in full view of a public area, doesn’t that kind of erase any doubt in
the matter? Isn’t the matter now beyond suspicion in your eyes?
Daryl: Yes, but that’s not how such an violation may be required to be recorded by the
governing codes in that state. It may very well be required to be written up as
“suspicion of”. I can’t say for sure because I am not familiar with the laws of
RN: How come if you witness a murder, you don’t arrest the “perp” on “suspicion
of” murder? Better yet, how come if I get a speed ticket it’s not a “suspicion
of” speeding ticket?
Daryl: It is just a matter of how the procedural codes are written. We don’t write
them. We in law enforcement just go by what they require us to do.
RN: Let’s go back to the original premise of “suspicion of indecent exposure.”
Let’s say you’re a male officerÃ¢Â?Â¦
Daryl: Excuse me!
RN: Sorry, let me rephrase that. Let’s say you, a male law enforcement agent,
view a young beautiful woman with an exposed perky upper chest in full view
of the public would you find that to be indecent.
Daryl: Personally heck no, but I do have to do my job. Going back to this guy in the
news have you seen photos of the arrest?
Daryl: There wasn’t much to suspect. It was pretty indecent.
RN: Was he a huge guy?
Daryl: Not from what I could see.
I will admit my interrogation of “Daryl” did not serve to clear up much in the matter of “suspicion of indecent exposure.” It’s not like being suspected of being drunk or high. You don’t need some sort of chemical test for exposure. You are either exposed or not exposed. Of course, they do say justice is blind. In the eyes of the law it could very well be a judgment call. Could it be if the prosecutor or judge finds the naked man appealing, he would not be found “indecent” in his exposure? If so, all suspicion of indecency would most likely have to be removed from consideration. This subject comes across a tad bit murky for my own evaluation purposes.
Still in my mind, concerning the case of the (Detroit) coach either he was buck naked or he wasn’t. It should have been a matter of, was he or wasn’t he wearing clothes when he was he stopped for drunk driving. On top of this all, I understand the man released a statement apologizing for his “mistake in judgment.” Now, I am even more entrenched in the state of confusion than ever. Considering the circumstances, shouldn’t he have apologized for being under “suspicion of” a mistake in judgment.