Monday, August 23, 2010

Arrested for Sketching

Ram Hull draws with a forbidden fat marker in Wichita's Riverside Park on August 21, 2010. He is an illustrator for the WSU paper the Sunflower. Photo by Fernando Salazar/The Wichita Eagle.

Dateline: Wichita, Kansas:

You are an artist. You are outside, sketching. It's your job.

Then the local police see what you are doing and arrest you. You will be in jail up six months and fined up to $1,000. Hey, they are just doing their job.

As The Wichita Eagle's Tim Potter writes:

Wichita police say a new ordinance outlawing broad-tipped markers and spray paint on or near public property will give them a needed tool to fight an increasing graffiti problem. But a few days after the City Council approved the ordinance, some residents say they worry that innocent people who use the materials for legitimate purposes, such as artwork, could be fined or jailed.

Under the law, expected to receive final approval Tuesday, people are banned from having spray paint, broad-tipped markers and other potential graffiti tools on or within 100 feet of public property. Violators can be fined $250 to $1,000 and jailed for up to six months.

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