Will Walters has a bone to pick with the city of San Diego.
In 2011, he was arrested during San Diego Pride for dressing up as a sexy gladiator. The officers who arrested him claimed he was “over-exposed.” But Walters and his attorney say that’s a bunch of baloney, that he wasn’t showing any more skin than the average woman wearing a g-string on a San Diego beach, and that the only difference was that Walters is gay.
According to Walters, he was approached by the then newly-appointed head of the San Diego Police Department, Lieutenant David Nisleit, while inside the beer garden at a Pride event. Nisleit informed Walters that his gladiator-style, 12-inch long leather kilt was “borderline” too revealing. Walters disagreed, saying he had worn the kilt as past Pride events without any issue. Nisleit left then returned a few minutes later with backup.
The officers issued Walters a citation. But Walters maintained that what he was wearing did not break any laws. When he refused to sign the citation, he was put in handcuffs and booked into a local jail for “public nudity.” Once there, officers refused to provide him with any additional clothing.
Earlier this year, Walters filed a claim against the city for discrimination and harassment. U.S. District Court judge Cathy Ann Bencivengo dismissed it. Walters appealed. And now, a panel of judges review the claim and decide whether or not the case will move forward.
“In the days and weeks leading up to the 2011 San Diego Gay Pride Event, Lieutenant David Nisleit, the newly appointed head of the San Diego Police Department’s Special Events Police team met with the Pride event organizers and volunteers to discuss his enforcement policy,” the appeal reads. “As for public nudity, in particular ‘skimpy’ bottoms, Nisleit announced that he was abandoning the policy of his predecessor…and was replacing it with his own interpretation…. Under Nisleit’s new policy, all attendees and parade participants would now be required to ‘fully cover their buttocks.’”
The appeal called for the city to turn over all of its public nudity citations and arrest reports issued by the San Diego Police Department from the last five years.
“The city produced 104 redacted citations and reports,” the appeal reads. “In not one of those reports was a person arrested or cited for wearing a thong or a g-string type bathing suit bottom.”
A hearing date has not yet been scheduled.
h/t: San Diego Reader