Here’s a story I’ve had in the queue for a slow news day (Bill Richardson DID drop out today, but I’ve done enough election posts, so I’ll worry about that later):
I saw this on ABC and saved it, but the page has been taken down or moved, so I don’t have many details, but what happened was
a woman Karla Snedeker (a HUGE thank you to Jennifer for getting me her name!) was sunbathing topless under a tree in Berliner Park (Columbus, Ohio). Robin Garrison, an off duty fireman approached her and talked to her. Eventually, she asked to see his penis, so he pulled it out and showed her. Then cops in an unmarked van pulled up and arrested him, charging him with a misdemeanor of public indecency. Being topless in the park is allowed, but anything more than that is against Columbus law. Video footage taken by the police was used to help convict him resulting in an order to not go to the park, a fine of $250, and a year on probation. The last update I heard was that he was on paid desk duty pending an internal investigation. Garrison plans on appealing the case, arguing that the jury wasn’t given the definition of entrapment (I find this hard to believe, but I wasn’t there).
During his trial, his attorney, Sam Shamansky said, “Columbus police utilized this topless woman to snare this man. He sees her day after day. He’s not some seedy pervert.” Many have accused the police of entrapment, including Shamansky and Garrison.
(It should now be noted that originally ABC said that the woman was a police officer, but this is FALSE). Is this entrapment? I don’t know. If the woman was doing this on her own and not doing it to help the police, then no, it’s not. If the woman was doing this in cooperation with police, then yes, it is entrapment, even if she’s not a cop. In my opinion, she shouldn’t be allowed to be topless in the park – it’s inappropriate. So, Columbus needs to rethink their law. Do I sympathize for Robin? No – when you show yourself in a public place that’s breaking the law, even if it is entrapment, so he had it coming. The question now is whether or not the police also broke the law (and it really depends how much the police had coordinated with the woman –
who by the way, does anybody have a name for? I can’t find it. Again, thank you for the name Jennifer!).