Followup: West Seattle “Naked Bike Ride” charge dismissed

January 12, 2010 at 3:23 pm | In West Seattle news | 38 Comments

Thanks to commenter “KelticKitty” for reporting here that the indecent-exposure charge against West Seattle “World Naked Bike Ride organizer Daniel Johnson has been dismissed: We just verified via Municipal Court records that the case, scheduled for a hearing this morning, was “dismissed with prejudice,” on a motion made by the city. The ride was last September; the case wasn’t filed until late December (reported here 12/30), which was before former City Attorney Tom Carr left office. We have a request out to Johnson for comment; he tweeted a short time ago: “Thanks everybody for all of your support! Happy to see familiar faces today. Decompressing with friends …” ADDED 4:25 PM: Via Twitter, Johnson’s comment: “I’d like to thank everybody, locally and from around the globe, for their letters of support … God bless.” Also note he’s in the comment section here, moving on to a different project.(9/2009 photo by Christopher Boffoli)

38 Comments

  1. “Thanks everybody for all of your support! Happy to see familiar faces today. Decompressing with friends …”

    Doing so in the buff, no doubt.

    Comment by OP — 3:49 pm January 12, 2010 #

  2. What do they mean by “dismissed with prejudice?”

    Comment by sacatosh — 3:52 pm January 12, 2010 #

  3. “Dismissed with prejudice” means the case is done and over with. What they meant, I am sure, is that it was a waste of time and resources in the first place…

    Comment by mark — 3:55 pm January 12, 2010 #

  4. For a definition and explanation, see here:
    http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattle911/archives/177332.asp

    Congrats, Daniel! “See you” on next year’s ride!

    Comment by nmb — 4:00 pm January 12, 2010 #

  5. By the way, can we all stop whining now about how simply being naked in public is illegal? It’s not.

    Comment by nmb — 4:03 pm January 12, 2010 #

  6. I sincerely believe the human body is amazing.

    However, Daniel and crew, can you please limit sharing your hairy backside to a nudist colony where others share your ideology and leave the streets of West Seattle for clothed citizens? No need to share.

    Thanks

    Comment by who cares — 4:08 pm January 12, 2010 #

  7. OP, I happen to enjoy wearing clothes. Just not compulsively so ;) Comfortably warm on a grey Seattle Day, sipping herbal tea in candlelight, focusing on Parks Levy Opportunity Proposals. Hope you are staying warm as well. :)

    In a short while I may ask your help to work with neighbors with the design process at Westcrest Park. Stay tuned! In the mean time the WNBR/Gardens Everywhere Bike Parade asks you to consider these proposals at Ideas For Seattle which can help lay a foundation of support for Gardens Everywhere in Seattle!

    Establish a Department of Permaculture http://bit.ly/93aA8t
    Plant edible perennials in our parks http://bit.ly/7CCtke
    Make urban agriculture and ecological restoration a major component of public school curriculum http://bit.ly/7UvzKH
    Invest in Urban Food Systems http://bit.ly/3RoSsG
    Support creation of minipower grids with solar/wind power for homeowners http://bit.ly/6Je3mx
    Composting toilets everywhere! http://bit.ly/7T1C3J
    Reprioritize transportation spending to emphasize pedestrian/bike/transit modes http://bit.ly/6yy6UO
    Make Seattle the most Bike Friendly City in the US http://bit.ly/7z9GOz
    Use parks and open space funds to buy 5265 18th Ave SW property for the Puget Ridge Edible Park. http://bit.ly/8gX8wW
    Turn the Burke Gilman Trail overgrowth in Wallingford into a P-Patch. http://bit.ly/4PODr0
    Provide separate bicycle lanes on commuter routes http://bit.ly/8n14Ek
    Reduce Seattle’s stormwater pollution on Puget Sound http://bit.ly/4LKnrp

    Comment by Daniel Johnson — 4:11 pm January 12, 2010 #

  8. Dear “Who cares”,

    You actually remember seeing me? I doubt it.

    I don’t generally go to nudist/naturist resorts. In addition to being broke, I’m more interested in public lands projects that everybody can afford to participate in or afford to go to. I believe in “Parks for Every Body!” This is why today I’d like to share with you a very special opportunity to voice your support for local clothing-optional beaches with Mayor Mike McGinn.

    Vote yes for “Set aside park beach areas for European-style, clothing-optional recreation (sunbathe + skinny dip)”.

    Vote here (3 votes if possible): http://bit.ly/7V61rA

    Comment by Daniel Johnson — 4:39 pm January 12, 2010 #

  9. Awesome! If this passes I will no longer have to go to Europe to enjoy “European-style” beaches to expose myself!

    Comment by Leroniusmonkfish — 5:48 pm January 12, 2010 #

  10. Great news! I’ve been on a couple of naked bicycle rides Daniel Johnson orchestrated, and they were fun, artful, politically astute, body-positive, and meriting the cheers nearly EVERYONE on the streets gave as we rode by.

    Comment by Mark Storey — 5:54 pm January 12, 2010 #

  11. “By the way, can we all stop whining now about how simply being naked in public is illegal? It’s not.”

    NMB – Thanks for clarifying the law. I will sit outside the elementary school naked tomorrow.

    Comment by Leroniusmonkfish — 6:25 pm January 12, 2010 #

  12. Interesting article in the pi a few days ago about clarifying the law.

    http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattle911/archives/190110.asp

    Comment by RickSteel — 6:31 pm January 12, 2010 #

  13. Thanks RickSteel. Good info…

    “the burden is on the government to prove that the offender was knowingly aware that their conduct created alarm and offense of others”

    Thanks Daniel Johnson for wasting more of our government funds for your cause.

    Comment by Leroniusmonkfish — 6:46 pm January 12, 2010 #

  14. For sacatosh et al: “dismissed with prejudice” means that not only were the charges dismissed for this incident they can NEVER be brought up again. Of course that doesn’t mean that if he does it again they won’t bring charges for that time.

    Comment by saltcitycyclist — 7:10 pm January 12, 2010 #

  15. Daniel
    Your interest in political initiatives is commendable. Unfortunately what I consider as juvenile behavior regarding blatant exhibitionism is beyond the pale. Showmanship?

    Also, if you want edible plants, go ahead and plant them in your own garden. Get your own compostable toilet and power-grid. Don’t involve the government as it most certainly will not be efficient, ever. Do it on your own.

    Take charge of your own responsibilities and do not force your ideas on others.

    Just my 2cents

    Comment by who cares — 7:43 pm January 12, 2010 #

  16. Halleluiah!

    Comment by Lee Penrod — 8:14 pm January 12, 2010 #

  17. Dear “who cares”,

    Government may not be efficient, but when they get in the way of appropriate technology and good ideas and things the community supports, I do feel like we need to raise our collective voices.

    City Government has been blocking edibles because their employees supposedly are too dumb to properly maintain the plants. I don’t buy it. I think we need to bring back Victory Gardens and learn to take care of our own needs rather than growing our food miles and miles away. That kind of thinking carries a heavy price. Check out Food Matters and Food, Inc films. Citizens are taking the lead on this, many of them are in West Seattle. http://www.sustainablewestseattle.org

    Regarding toilets, why not do something that is cheap and effective? Have you see the videos I posted? We just put in our first composting toilet here in Seattle at Picardo Farm because the gardeners demanded it in their Master Plan. It took five years of good old fashioned government dragging their feet, fighting us and we still need to pay way too much for a permit to have it. We don’t want to waste our money on a honey bucket provider when we can use the product safely, after an appropriate composting process. Come by Picardo Farm P-Patch some time and take a look! Parks is also looking at bringing these units to places where it just doesn’t make sense to have plumbing. The whole sewer system is a government boondoggle and waste of our tax money. I for one feel like I’m getting taxed enough without having to pay to ship my poo across the City to get “treated” so it can be released into the Sound. And how many $billion$ are these sewage plants? We need to speak up or the government will Greg Nickels and dime us to death!

    Cheers,

    Comment by Daniel Johnson — 8:48 pm January 12, 2010 #

  18. MEOW!!!

    Comment by Leroniusmonkfish — 9:03 pm January 12, 2010 #

  19. Weather is great here in AZ. Back to WA in the am…can you pick me up at SeaTac?

    Comment by Leroniusmonkfish — 1:59 am January 13, 2010 #

  20. ‘“the burden is on the government to prove that the offender was knowingly aware that their conduct created alarm and offense of others”’

    Even with an enormously generous benefit of the doubt concerning previous naked bike rides, it’s pretty clear at this point to anyone who has been anywhere near this blog since Daniel’s big ticket story got covered, that in the future the offender will be perfectly aware that his conduct is creating alarm and offense for others. There really isn’t any ambiguity there. At this point, Daniel and other naked bike riders, you are as aware as can be (and must think we’re all pretty dim if you tell us you weren’t aware before) of that fact.

    I think I would finally leave these discussions alone if I could just hear one of you being honest enough to admit that a large part of your motivation comes from how much it angers people that you don’t like. You can’t honestly believe nudity helps advance your agenda, can you?

    Comment by Andy — 8:17 am January 13, 2010 #

  21. Andy: You’re setting the bar for “offense” awfully low. Of the hundreds of people that witnessed Daniel and his nude compatriots ride by, only ONE person was offended enough to complain. As Daniel has noted (and as I have experienced on similar naked rides), the overwhelming majority of people seeing such a procession greet it with smiles, cheers and laughter. And while the law doesn’t specifically state how many or what percentage of people need to be offended for public nudity to be considered illegal, any judge will likely gauge public standards of decency when determining if such an act is truly offensive. This would be an entirely different scenario had the naked cyclists been acting in a blatantly lewd fashion, such as fondling their own or each other’s genitalia, or other overtly sexual acts which would have the express intent of causing alarm and offense. In such a case, no one would likely be cheering and the phones would be ringing off the wall at the police station.

    And as far as angering people I don’t like, I would definitely choose the latter scenario to do that. If riding by on a bike, with bright, festive colors painted on my body angers someone, I would suggest that person enroll in an anger management class.

    Comment by nmb — 10:21 am January 13, 2010 #

  22. I just don’t see what the big deal is. Under our clothes, we are all naked.

    Comment by AJP — 10:38 am January 13, 2010 #

  23. Leroniusmonkfish: “Thanks Daniel Johnson for wasting more of our government funds for your cause.”

    Keep in mind that no government funds would have been wasted had it not been for one person who found such great offense in seeing a human body.

    Comment by nmb — 10:53 am January 13, 2010 #

  24. nmb – I understand all that. Completely. But read the comments in any story about nude events, and it is completely clear that very large numbers of people are offended by it. Right or wrong, fair or unfair, low bar or not, it’s 100% true. So continuing to head out naked, under the banner of some cause that being naked cannot possibly, in any way advance, is intentionally offensive. It’s antagonistic.

    Comment by Andy — 10:56 am January 13, 2010 #

  25. Andy: By “very large numbers of pepole”, you are referring to the few anonymous people that post comments on blogs such as this? Is that how judges gauge public sentiment? Or are they going to consider how many people are actually offended enough to complain to the police? If there is such public outrage surrounding this subject, why does it only manifest itself on the lowly comments section of blog page?

    And if your beef with public nudity is that it can’t possibly advance a certain political cause, then you should have no problem with an event such as the nude cyclists in the Fremont Solstice Parade, which is entirely apolitical, as they’re just doing it to have fun. Correct?

    Comment by nmb — 11:23 am January 13, 2010 #

  26. Side note to NMB, in defense of commenters here and elsewhere – There are comments (anonymous and not) on all types of news websites. Not just blog-format news websites like this one. Since the Seattle Times added comment capability last year, EVERY news website in Seattle (and the majority around the country) has discussion features. I mention this only because the word “blog” is hurled around as an invective as if that’s the only type of website where people publish comments – it’s not, and it’s not even a type of website; it’s only a publishing format.
    .
    By the way, so-called “real name” commenting is completely unverifiable/unenforceable, not that you asked.
    .
    But I agree with your point that you can’t point to comments of any kind anywhere and say that’s the only gauge of public sentiment … even the most-commented stories here, with triple-digit comments, feature a very low percentage of participation – 100 comments on a story that has been viewed 10,000 times that same day is just 1% participation. However, in the view of “some discussion is better than no discussion,” the question would be, is there any way to truly gauge what people really think? Opinion polls claim to be scientific, but can they really be, when they might, for example, poll 400 people and claim they represent 5 million (which was the way TV ratings were measured in the old “overnights” system), an even smaller percentage of participation than the kind of comment thread I mentioned above?
    .
    All I take from the comment threads on the naked bike riders is that more people care to comment on those stories than on most other types of stories. Wish that weren’t so, but short of running up and down the street handing out incentives to people who comment on, oh say, the sewer overflow open house, no way to change it.

    Comment by WSB — 11:31 am January 13, 2010 #

  27. The Solstice thing makes more sense – or at least it isn’t using some other agenda as a mask, and I certainly respect and appreciate honesty.

    “Public outrage” is not what I am talking about. When you, individually, are about to head out on the streets naked, does it ever give you any pause to think that “Hey, there are lot of people out there in my community who are going to be (or even might be) offended by this?” Or does that actually motivate you more?

    WSB – “Wish that weren’t so, but short of running up and down the street handing out incentives to people who comment on, oh say, the sewer overflow open house, no way to change it.”

    Maybe if you were naked when you did it there would be even more support. :)

    Comment by Andy — 12:17 pm January 13, 2010 #

  28. Andy – No, as someone not fitting any of the conventional standards of beauty, any such incident would likely spark a counterprotest all its own. But thanks.

    Comment by WSB — 2:21 pm January 13, 2010 #

  29. No need for beauty to be naked, WSB! :-) But seriously, this is what bugs me: Naked bike riders = a few moments of silliness in the day. Sewer overflow open house, community meetings, fare hikes, parks future, etc, these are things that really affect people day to day, or the region over a long period of time. This nudity issue is just so unimportant in the grand scheme of things!

    Comment by AJP — 2:49 pm January 13, 2010 #

  30. Yes indeed. Oh and trust me, I don’t lose a moment of sleep over being large and not conventionally pretty. As Popeye once said, I yam what I yam. And the best part is that I am ridiculously, insanely, wonderfully healthy (knock wood), which is the main reason it’s been possible for us to do this 24/7 till we grow enough to hire permanent staff (CURRENTLY RECRUITING!) so we can take the occasional day off. But I digress. The comment thread that thrilled me the most a month or two ago was when we posted one of our traditional neighborhood meeting stories – North Delridge Neighborhood Council – the meetings that seldom draw comments but are ABSOLUTELY VITAL to the core of our mission, covering all the neighborhood groups (more than a dozen each month!) – and it actually drew comments because of the road projects in the story. Hooray, commenters! Speaking of which, I’m overdue in finishing the report on last night’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting … back to work … tr

    Comment by WSB — 3:05 pm January 13, 2010 #

  31. Andy – “When you, individually, are about to head out on the streets naked[SMOKING,DRIVING], does it ever give you any pause to think that “Hey, there are lot of people out there in my community who are going to be (or even might be) offended [HEALTH AFFECTED] by this?” Or does that actually motivate you more?” – How about smoking in public that I have to walk through? Or massive amounts of car pollution I have to breathe? Are you guilty of these? Public nudity doesn’t affect my health. It does give me a chuckle and a light heart, which IS healthy.
    Side to WSB: I apologise for posting something you had a need to remove. Please emial me to let me know what. Thank you.

    Comment by deoiridh — 3:46 pm January 13, 2010 #

  32. Was happy to see Daniel glad I was there for support

    Comment by keltickitty — 4:52 pm January 13, 2010 #

  33. This topic went from public nudity to smoking in public and “massive amounts of car pollution”? I’m trying real hard to find the similarity?

    Comment by Leroniusmonkfish — 5:10 pm January 13, 2010 #

  34. SLOG “Tom Carr’s Last Stand”
    posted by DOMINIC HOLDEN on WED, JAN 13, 2010 at 10:20 AM

    http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2010/01/13/tom-carrs-last-stand

    Comment by Daniel Johnson — 10:04 pm January 13, 2010 #

  35. Thanks for the link. I don’t check the logs oftenn enough these days to get to see who links to us so I’d missed that – TR

    Comment by WSB — 10:23 pm January 13, 2010 #

  36. “Dismissed with prejudice” is nice, but my favorite part of the dismissal was seeing the part written in by hand that it was done in the “interest of justice”. That should be the theme for the 2010 WNBR. :)

    Comment by Daniel Johnson — 10:31 pm January 13, 2010 #

  37. interest of justice was a nice finish

    Comment by keltickitty — 10:27 am January 14, 2010 #

  38. Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett talks about his pitch to change the laws that require certain crimes, such as running naked in the Naked Pumpkin Run, to tag the person with a sex offender status. As some of you know, Boulder came down very hard recently on its seasonal wacky Naked Pumpkin Run.

    Check out the YouTube video link
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x04MbM-rprQ

    January 15, 2010 http://www.dailycamera.com/

    Join the Seattle Naked Pumpkin Run team at
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Naked-Pumpkin-Run-Seattle/160470421397?ref=ts
    http://naked.wikia.com/wiki/NPRseattle
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NPR_Seattle/

    Cheers,

    Daniel Johnson
    http://twitter.com/rawexuberance

    Comment by Daniel Johnson — 4:44 pm January 16, 2010 #

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