Missoula Police ‘Stand Behind the Mayor’ in Response to ‘Bare as You Dare’ Bike Ride
The Missoula Police Department's official policy regarding the 'Bare as You Dare' nude bicycle ride this Sunday, is that they 'stand behind the mayor in this situation'.
The City of Missoula website has posted a list of questions and answers regarding the upcoming 'Bare as You Dare' bicycle ride because of all the calls and emails the city has received regarding the event. Read the statements here.
The State of Montana code annotated for 2013 states :
45-5-504. Indecent exposure. (1) A person commits the offense of indecent exposure if the person knowingly or purposely exposes the person's genitals under circumstances in which the person knows the conduct is likely to cause affront or alarm in order to:
(a) abuse, humiliate, harass, or degrade another; or
(b) arouse or gratify the person's own sexual response or desire or the sexual response or desire of any person.
(2) (a) A person convicted of the offense of indecent exposure shall be fined an amount not to exceed $500 or be imprisoned in the county jail for a term of not more than 6 months, or both.
(b) On a second conviction, the person shall be fined an amount not to exceed $1,000 or be imprisoned in the county jail for a term of not more than 1 year, or both.
(c) On a third or subsequent conviction, the person shall be punished by life imprisonment or by imprisonment in a state prison for a term of not less than 5 years or more than 100 years and may be fined not more than $10,000.
Those sponsoring the bike ride insist it is merely intended to be a peaceful 'clothing optional' ride through Missoula, and those who might be offended don't have to watch or take part. Reactions have been strong in both directions, with those opposed sending angry messages to both the Mayor's office and the event organizer, while supporters accuse those opposed to the ride of engaging in 'hate speech'.
Missoula Police Department Public Information Officer Travis Welsh said on Friday morning, that the official stance of the department was to 'stand behind the mayor in this situation'.
Missoula City Attorney Jim Nugent said on Friday afternoon that it seemed the strategy of the organizers of the event was to garner enough publicity ahead of time so that no one would be surprised at seeing the bicyclists, giving those who might be offended plenty of time to avoid the area.
The National Weather Service says the weather for Sunday morning calls for partly sunny conditions and temperatures in the mid 60's for the start of the ride at 11:30 a.m.