Throwing beer and yelling racial slurs at kids? Disorderly conduct


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No assault, or assault&battery?
Racial slurs are nonjudicial community shun punishment in the US with radical free speach unless packaged with the assault as a hate crime.
Disorderly conduct, that is a bullshit charge, like Soviet hooliganism.


I’m betting it’s hard to prove to a jury that splashing with a beer is a form of bodily harm or an intent to cause bodily harm for assault. Sadly, “go back home” comments are stupid and racist, but not a clear threat. For child abuse to stick, the man would have to be a caregiver for the kids. And I don’t know if they’ll try for a hate crime given they aren’t charging this as something violent.

It just seems like a sad case of what will most likely stick.


Serving minors alcohol is illegal… maybe they should have charged him with that. :smile:


Except that in Russia you would get real jail time with that charge.

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In any assessment of abuse or injury emotional harm is a factor. How can the emotional harm done to these kids not be considered a factor? In many states emotional injury is enough of a factor for kids to be pulled from a situation and given protection from that kind of assault. Doesn’t seem to be much heart or energy put into the development of charges. Sounds like another good ol’ boy got a free ride out of the shit storm he should be facing. Maybe a little community service could be part of his sentence…maybe cleaning up the roadway “back home on the reservation” would be appropriate.

Looks like SD’s assault laws cover “attempting to cause injury to another person, or putting another person in fear of bodily harm” One would think throwing stuff at people would at least cause them to fear bodily harm. But we’d have to have a native guy assaulting a white hockey team to put it to the test, I guess.


I did a Google search on his name and his wedding announcement came up. Congratulations to you and your bride! (Please tell me you aren’t planning to reproduce).


What do you think would be an appropriate punishment for a jerk tossing booze at kids and saying abusive things? Up to 30 days and up to a $500 fine seem appropriate to me, but it seems you feel it should be more?


Hm. Once again, I wonder what would have happened if the race roles were reversed?


I thought throwing beer around and yelling insults were pretty much the definition of “disorderly conduct”, plus an optional “public drunkenness” if they thought to test him and if he’d consumed enough of his beer before he started throwing it. You can’t charge somebody for being an asshole, but he was acting like one in public.


Am I wrong in having read on an earlier story that he threw full beer cans in addition to hate? Is that not the textbook definition of assault?

Did I suggest any punishment at all?
In fact I even came out against the vague disorderly conduct charge which can and is thrown at anyone the community/police considers acting in an antisocial manner, I was simply surprised that he got it down from assault.

Anonymous? Where are you?

A discussion full of non-lawyers on the Internet discussing how they (instead of the courts, case-law, and the legal profession) interpret the law? Sign me up! Oh no, wait. Don’t.

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I think you’re wrong.

In most (I believe) jurisdictions the contact need only be offensive, which means that in most jurisdictions this would be either battery (actual offensive contact, in this case by the beer directed at them) or assault (reasonable fear of offensive contact, if the beer missed).

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Someone splash beer on a cop.

Whatchu think the charge will be? Get that conviction too.

You don’t even need racial slurs, which btw are implicit threat in our society.

Look everyone, let’s not get all riled up by who said what to who. Let’s just let this one go and not ruin another young man’s life. A life full of promise, of opportunity, of white privilege.


Well, the problem is that I don’t think that the charge of “Disorderly Conduct” really appropriate captures what this guy did or the hurt he caused. On the other hand, I don’t think that locking him up for a few years would somehow make things better. But that’s really a statement about how retribution just doesn’t really work and our whole justice system is kind of broken. It’s too bad there isn’t a way to both really acknowledge what he did and not screw up his life (and probably make him more likely to do something similar in the future rather than less) at the same time.

I don’t know anything about the culture of the Native Americans attacked by this guy, so this may not apply at all, but around where I live I know there are Aboriginal groups that practice their own forms of restorative justice for offenses committed by Aboriginals within reserves. It would be super awesome (if applicable) if this guy were, rather than being charged with some crime by his state, put through an indigenous justice system which places an emphasis on getting the perpetrator to understand the harm they’ve caused and voluntarily make amends. I guess I’d like to see our whole justice system replaced by such a system, though, so I’m pretty biased.


Well, the problem is that people are free to hurt each other as much as they want if they use words alone (Je suis Charlie Hebdo, and all): it’s not illegal to be an asshole. And in South Dakota you need to physically injure someone, or intend to do so, in order for it to become battery or assault.

But on the non-criminal, civil front he could probably be successfully sued for the tort of battery/assault (I don’t think either requires bodily injury in SD) and possibly for the intentional infliction of emotional distress (which generally requires proof of pretty severe emotional distress).

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I was mostly just responding to @benjaminterry’s question of whether I would like to see him get a stiffer penalty than the one he is getting. Most of the time I think jail sentences don’t do what they are supposed to do and fines are obviously pretty problematic since they punish you more the less income you have. I’d much rather have a justice system that was focused on helping people to understand that they’d caused harm (I’m not saying I actually know that this is realistic), and if we did have such a justice system then it would make a lot more sense actually charge people with shouting racist stuff at kids since being charged under such a justice system would be radically different than being charged under the actual system.

In the current system, I have no idea what charges were available in the state for what he did (where I am pouring a drink on someone would fit the definition of assault, I’ll take your word that in some/many places it would not) or what good will actually come out of him being charged and punished. Basically, in response to the question of whether he should be given a stiffer penalty than up to 30 days in prison / up to $500 in fines, I just have no idea.

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