“I heard a rumor that Parker Police Department will be arresting anyone that dresses up as a clown for Halloween, do you know if that is true?”
Clowns Are Taboo
Thanks for the message, CAT. Across the U.S. and the world, stories having been surfacing in the media about people calling police to report being menaced by people in clown costumes. It seems to be a new craze, to dress up as a creepy clown and run around scaring people. But the stories that make the news go beyond fun-making: Clowns with knives chasing women. Clowns with chainsaws. Clowns committing armed robbery. Not exactly your childhood Halloween.
Before we get to Parker, it’s worth mentioning that the hype is often worse than the reality. Many of the jester horror stories have now been debunked. But that hasn’t stopped some jurisdictions from taking action: at least one county in Mississippi has banned clown costumes until after Halloween, and many school districts have banned them too.
We asked Parker Police Department if the rumor is true. Will they be arresting anybody wearing a clown costume for Halloween, in light of these terrible stories? No.
“Not unless they’re doing something illegal,” replied Sergeant Michael Bailey.
Makes sense, doesn’t it? If you’re chasing someone with a knife, it doesn’t particularly matter how you’re dressed because you’re committing a serious crime. If you’re holding up a convenience store, it doesn’t matter if you look like Ronald McDonald or not. If you’re harassing someone, that’s a crime all by itself, whether you look like Stephen King’s It or not. Disorderly conduct is a thing. Disturbing the peace is a thing. I think.
So, Parker, let your Halloween crazy out all you want: the law has no beef with you as long as you’re being sensible.
PS- I’m not certain that banning costumes would be constitutional anyway. Retired attorney Lee Rowland says people’s choice of clothing is protected by the First Amendment.
PPS- I feel a little bad for real professional clowns who are just trying to make a living. But not too bad. It’s difficult to feel real emotions for people whose smiles are literally painted onto their faces.
PPPS- There are probably more creative Halloween costumes to wear. If you think about it.
PPPPS- If you want a good, fun, safe, family-friendly Halloween event to go to, check THIS ONE out.
PPPPPS- Courtesy of River Lodge Resort: