A professional aerialist, Sam Panda was handcuffed on the beach in South Carolina with friends this weekend. After demanding to know the law under which she couldn’t wear a thong? The officers read an ordinance about public nudity, though she repeatedly argued she wasn’t nude.
The city does have a law against ‘indecent exposure’ that includes exposure of buttocks with the intent to outlaw thongs. Violation results in a ticket, which Sam ultimately did not get and was released.
A video shows Sam being handcuffed on a beach after ‘some Karen’ called the cops complaining about her thong.
Sam Panda, a professional aerialist, was enjoying some sand and sun in this weekend when police officers showed up and detained her in cuffs — all because, she said, another woman didn’t approve of her bathing suit.
This is what she wrote on her Facebook, ‘A woman called the cops on me because of my bikini. ‘That’s how this all started. Some Karen decided that my body was offensive to her and showed her child that her body could one day lead to her arrest.’ In the video, two police officers can be seen handcuffing Sam.
She has demanded to be shown the penal code that shows that she can’t wear her bikini on the beach, and one of the officers says they will shown them the ordinance at their car.
‘Why is it illegal to wear a bikini on the beach?’ a man off camera asks, as Sam adds: ‘I literally wear this every day.’
When they get to the car, however, the officer reads aloud an ordinance, which says that ‘it shall be unlawful for anyone to appear in the nude’ on public beaches.
‘I’m not nude!’ Sam protests.
The officer replies that she is wearing a thong, which Sam says isn’t nudity.
‘You put me in handcuffs for being in a thong!’ she says, begging the cop holding her to let her go.
While the nudity ordinance read by the officers doesn’t seem to actually apply to Sam’s thong bikini, the city of Myrtle Beach does, in fact, outlaw thongs on the beach.
Section 14-83 of the city’s municipal code, passed in 1993, reads: ‘Public exposure of specified anatomical parts unlawful.’
‘It shall be unlawful for any person to intentionally appear in any public place in such a state of dress or undress so as to expose to the view of others the human male or female genitals, pubic area, pubic hair, buttocks, anus, vulva or any portion of the female breast at or below the areola thereof,’ it reads.
The inclusion of ‘buttocks’ in particular rules out wearing thongs.
According to NBC affiliate WMBF, those who broke the law were initially given a warning to cover up before officers would issue a ticket.
However, in 2009, the City Council updated the ordinance to do away with warnings.
‘There’s been a law the last 16 years against thongs — period,’ then-Mayor John Rhodes said at the time. ‘Is it a good thing? A bad thing? Well, it’s the law.’
Still, though, the law and its update appear to call for the officers to have given Sam a ticket — not put her in handcuffs.
In the video, the officers also take issue with what Sam’s female friend is wearing: a sheer white top through which her nipples are visible.
After continued argument over whether or not a thong constitutes nudity, one of the officers changes direction, saying that she was detained because of ‘how [she was] acting.’
Some minutes pass before a third officer shows up. Sam explains the situation to the third officer, giving him a play-by-play of the events leading up to that point.
‘I am not nude. Everything that is a private part is covered,’ she says. ‘You can’t tell me I can’t wear a thong.’
Finally, the officers remove Sam’s handcuffs, but the group continues to argue about the detainment for several minutes.
TMZ reports that local police claim the call came from someone who complained of two women ‘who were wearing thong bikinis and a see-through top that were dancing and soliciting videos on the beach.’
The officers claim that Sam tried to walk away from them, which is why they detained her.
They were released without charges.
Sam later shared the video on Facebook — where she didn’t complain about the officers, but about the woman who called the police on her in the first place.
‘If you are a woman, and you decide to call the police on other women for their bodies ON A BEACH, IN FRONT OF YOUR TEENAGE DAUGHTER…
‘You have allowed a 105 pound woman to get rushed, aggressively grabbed, manhandled, and cuffed. You allowed two women to be s***-shamed publicly on a beach for their bathing suits.
‘And worst of all, you showed your daughter that her body is something she should be ashamed of and could be detained for. You showed her that a man can harm a woman over the way her body is viewed by other people.
‘You have objectified a female body that does not belong to you and have showed your daughter that those actions are acceptable. You should be absolutely ashamed of yourself,’ she wrote.
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