New indecency provisions regarding language are approved

Oct 05, 2016

The city of Edmonds has figured out what the definition of “is” is.

In July, Assistant Police Chief Jim Lawless made a presentation to the mayor and city councilmembers to update the city’s public indecency laws. The next month, due to public and councilmember concerns, the specific language of the new ordinance was called into question.

As a result, a meeting was held with Councilmembers Adrienne Fraley-Monillas and Diane Buckshnis, as well as representatives from the city attorney’s office and the prosecutor’s office.

The changes begin with the title of the ordinance, where “public indecency” and “morals” were replaced by “lewd conduct.” In addition, language related to public indecency and morals was changed to lewd conduct throughout the ordinance.

“We’re not trying to be moral police,” Lawless said.

Councilmembers voted 7-0 to approve the updated ordinance.

Councilmember Adrienne Fraley-Monillas said she was confident that Edmonds police would do the right thing and not search for workers with exposed clefts of the buttocks or scantily dressed women sunning on the beach.

Councilmember Dave Teitzel agreed the revised ordinance was an improvement and would not to lead to overzealous prosecution. He mentioned that he has a daughter in her early 20s who goes to the beach in a bathing suit he would prefer she not wear.

Lawless had previously stated that the police department had received complaints from the public over bikini-barista coffee stands, with concurrent fears of prostitution and other prurient activities.

Edmonds has one bikini-barista stand within city limits.

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