The Criminalization of . . . Acting Like a Dick

Sunday, August 8th, 2010

In Connecticut:

Connecticut police say they arrested a man at a management company after he mentioned the shooting rampage across the state that killed nine people and said he understood the killer’s mindset.

Fifty-eight-year-old Francis Laskowski of Derby was charged with breach of peace Wednesday after making the comments while working at Fusco Management Co. in New Haven.

Nine people died in the shootings Tuesday at Hartford Distributors in Manchester, including gunman Omar Thornton. Thornton told police in a 911 call that he wanted to avenge racial discrimination, allegations that company officials denied.

Laskowski told The Associated Press on Friday that his comments were blown out of proportion. He says his arrest was “ridiculous” and he didn’t make any threats.

Laskowski posted bail and is due in New Haven Superior Court on Tuesday.

And from Chicago:

The manager of a North Chicago sandwich shop learned in a Lake County courtroom this week that the difference between a joke in poor taste and an inflammatory remark is 75 bucks.

Arjunsinh Sindha, 64, doesn’t agree with the judge who hit him with a $75 fine after finding him 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.”

I guess “I’m calling the cops” is the new “Hey, why don’t you shut up, asshole?”.

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20 Responses to “The Criminalization of . . . Acting Like a Dick”

  1. #1 |  TomMil | 

    So if I understand this correctly, the difference between being an outspoken hero and a disorderly person comes down to whether the cop who is called to investigates agrees with your point of view. Or am I missing something?

  2. #2 |  Mike | 

    I hereby fine the judge $75 for being a clueless douchbag.

  3. #3 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    We are becoming our own worst enemy! There is no right not to be offended. Stop encouraging the government to do the dirty work for you. Just say “fuck off” and walk away.

  4. #4 |  Z | 

    I always said that you can say anything you want in this country but some things you can only say once.

  5. #5 |  The Johnny Appleseed Of Crack | 

    They don’t quote what the guy in Connecticut actually said. If he made an explicit threat, then he ought to be arrested.

  6. #6 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Apparently you’re not familiar with the right to not have your feelings hurt. I don’t know how you can miss it since it’s right there under the right not to have to be around when other people fart.

  7. #7 |  Mojopin | 

    Remember these rulings the next time you go to the post office or the DMV.

    We may soon have half of the public workforce in jail.

  8. #8 |  Joe | 

    If we all get a ticket book, fair enough. Then we can let the citations fly.

    And no more immunity, everyone can get one.

  9. #9 |  xenia onatopp | 

    So apparently the only thing keeping me out of court is waiting until the customer is off the phone before I start talking shit? Just wondering, because if I’m having a really bad day I occasionally forget about the whole waiting thing.

  10. #10 |  J.S. | 

    Breach of peace eh? Heaven forfend someone get their peace breached by a few words. My guess is the guy in Conn. had some enemies in the office.

  11. #11 |  mattt | 

    I dunno…..the Connecticut case could be legit. “I know how that mass murderer felt” could certainly be intended and reasonably understood as a threat, depending on tone and context. If the guy never intended to follow through, that doesn’t mean he wasn’t trying to intimidate. Tough to say without having been there.

  12. #12 |  Mannie | 

    “I know how that mass murderer felt,” is not enough in itself to be construed as a threat. I wonder what else was said.

    For the record, I know how that mass murderer felt.

    Come and get me.

  13. #13 |  Frank Hummel | 

    Whatever happened to “Sticks and stones can break my bones…”

  14. #14 |  Waste | 

    I guess neither the officers nor the judge have heard of the First Amendment. Wasn’t there a judge in the mid-west recently that required a Sheriff to take college level classes on the first amendment for violating it in reference to issuing a concealed carry permit? Sounds like he should travel and continue that tradition.

  15. #15 |  SayUncle » Thought Police | 

    […] Via Radley. […]

  16. #16 |  Cynical in CA | 

    More like “State rewarding the acting like a dick.”

    It’s those who call the cops that are the dicks, not those that are speaking their minds.

  17. #17 |  CC | 

    IMHO, the punishment for being a dick in an employment setting already exists and police involvement generally isn’t necessary.

    The Subway manager’s punishment should, IMHO, be the franchise owner firing him for insulting a customer and making their Subway location look bad in the press. I don’t see why the cops need to be involved at all.

    I tend to feel similarly about the other guy, but it depends a lot on exactly what was said as I can certainly imagine some things along those lines that could be construed as threats. Still, if a guy said something like “I can understand the guy’s mindset, there are days when I could kill you all,” I don’t think I’d call the cops, he just wouldn’t be working for me anymore.

    It’s an employer’s market. With millions of people looking for work, nobody has to employ jerks.

  18. #18 |  Detroiter | 

    Too soon! Too soon!

  19. #19 |  joev | 

    They hate us for our freedom. Arrest that man.

  20. #20 |  StrongStyle81 | 

    “You can’t take away people’s right to be an asshole.”
    – Simon Phoenix