Disorderly Conduct in Minnesota: The Statute
ABC News has the plea disposition document from the Minnesota Court in Sen. Larry Craig's bathroom arrest. He pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct (Section 609.72.1) and a second charge of invasion of privacy was dismissed. Here's the statute (via Lexis):
609.72 DISORDERLY CONDUCT Subdivision 1. Crime.
Whoever does any of the following in a public or private place, including on a school bus, knowing, or having reasonable grounds to know that it will, or will tend to, alarm, anger or disturb others or provoke an assault or breach of the peace, is guilty of disorderly conduct, which is a misdemeanor:
(1) Engages in brawling or fighting; orA person does not violate this section if the person's disorderly conduct was caused by an epileptic seizure.
(2) Disturbs an assembly or meeting, not unlawful in its character; or
(3) Engages in offensive, obscene, abusive, boisterous, or noisy conduct or in offensive, obscene, or abusive language tending reasonably to arouse alarm, anger, or resentment in others.
Seems like Subsection 3 is the applicable one. Parsing the words, I think you have to forego boisterous or noisy. That leaves the charge that tapping the floor with his foot, putting his hand under the bathroom stall and tapping the foot of the occupant in the next stall is offensive, obscene or abusive.
I doubt it can be considered obscene since there's no mention of any particular gesture he made with his hand to signify anything "obscene."
Is it offensive? That seems like a stretch as well. I bet there are tons of people who would be perplexed at seeing a hand come under the stall wall, but offended? As to the foot-touching, I think most people would chalk it up to an accidental touching and move their own foot further away. Where was the officer's foot anyway? In front of him or spread out to the stall wall, hoping to engage the foot of the occupant next to him?
Ok, enough details. One other thought. If the cop was a drug agent, I could see him making a bust based on the same facts alleging Craig wanted to sell him drugs. "He tapped on the floor to get my attention, then tapped my foot, then put his hand under the stall. I assumed he had crack in his hand he was trying to sell me so I put my badge under the stall and busted him."
What a subjective determination.
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