Comedian Ally Bruener, who has muscular dystrophy, and her promoter Forest Thomer, were recently detained by Cincinnati police for using the word "crippled" in a public park. Thomer was later cited for disorderly conduct, the AP reports.
Bruener and Thomer were attending Party in the Park, a weekly event at Yateman's Cove, when they were stopped by police for asking people if they wanted to "laugh at the crippled girl."
"Laugh at the Crippled Girl" is the name of Bruener's web site (where she also sells t-shirts emblazoned with the slogan).
After being detained, Thomer was given the disorderly conduct citation and required to appear in court on June 6, where, according to Bruener, he was charged with using “grossly abusive language”. Having pled "Not Guilty", Thomer is set to return to court on June 20.
Bruener described the incident in detail on her site:
For those of you who have made your way to my site after meeting me and my dear friend Forest ‘T-rex’ Thomer at Party in the Park at Yatemans Cove, I want to sincerely thank you for keeping an open mind and taking the time to visit my website. Sadly, I didn’t get to spread the joy of laughter with many others as I and Forest were detained by the police and forced to leave the event within the first thirty minutes of arriving.
It seems as though Cincinnati has a severe intolerance for people being proud of who they are. Apparently it is considered “vulgar” to use the word “crippled” in a public setting. Is society really that frightened of my self respect that they must dictate how I express it? Would it be better if I paraded around spouting the warm and fuzzy euphemistic terms that make it easier for everyone else to feel like they’re being accepting? For anyone that answered ‘yes’ to the second question, all I can say that I appreciate your ignorance.
Words don’t come with a stigma until they are reacted to negatively. Quick lesson: The more you use seemingly harsh words in a positive light, the faster you remove their power. Why is it not okay for me and my friends to encourage people to find humor in what most would consider hardships?
Long story, short: In the midst of many chuckles, Forest was handcuffed and escorted to a cop car. Once it was realized that I have no other way home and that it is highly unlikely that CMPD has any form of accessible transportation to jail, Forest was cited and will now be forced to appear in court on disorderly conduct charges. All because he wasn’t ashamed to say, “I laughed at the crippled girl.” Are you? If not, show your support by joining up at the court house on June 6th. Check out my facebook page for all the latest updates.
Again, I appreciate the support of everyone who witnessed this atrocity and expressed your support of my dreams. I hope you all have the balls to join me on this journey.
What do you think? Did the police in Cincinnati overreact? Are you offended by the word crippled and/or Bruener's use of it?