A violinist who stood naked in front of the federal courthouse in Portland, Oregon last year is suing for $1.1 million in damages and claims police used excessive force in his arrest, caused him emotional distress and violated his First Amendment Rights, according to the timesfreepress.
Matthew T. Mglej, age 25, is suing Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and the Portland Police Bureau for mishandling him when he refused to walk during his arrest for indecent exposure. Mglej stood naked in front of the courthouse, played violin and quoted from the wit and wisdom of former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He was arrested for only indecent exposure, and apparently not for the quality of his playing or his choice of world leaders to quote.
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Mglej says police jerked on his handcuffs too hard and hurt his wrists and then called him names when he complained about the pain.
If Mglej is awarded $1.1 million in his suit indecent exposure (if there can be said to be a suit for indecent exposure), there is a concern that more starving artists and musicians who refuse to get real jobs will appear in the nude in front of courthouses and quote tyrants so they can make enough from their suing for damages to enable them to continue to write, paint or play with well-funded but mediocre, and possibly offensive, results. I don’t know if this argument will be used by the defendants, but it just might help.