DA prosecuting homeless man for bad mannersA homeless man who was pulled away from the lectern during a city council meeting last summer is being prosecuted on charges that he violated meeting decorum by using words some consider vulgar.
Richard Shapiro is charged with violating a Carlsbad, California, ordinance on maintaining proper meeting decorum. Police removed him when he said a word some use as a term for wimps.* Shapiro contends that his right to free speech was violated.
The District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the charges against Shapiro, which are infractions -- basically tickets with a fine of about $100. The DA does not typically handle infractions
Shapiro is representing himself in the criminal case.
Judge Richard E. Mills asked why the district attorney is prosecuting this case, as it is likely that even if Shapiro is found guilty it would be difficult to collect fines because he is indigent. Deputy District Attorney Garret Wong answered that it is to serve justice.
Read the San Diego Union-Tribune report here.
* Any ideas what that word might be? I'm stumped.