An unsanctioned nude beach in Minnesota has caused quite the hassle for cops and city officials, emails and documents obtained by Motherboard show.
Last month, police in Golden Valley, Minnesota harassed a bunch of beachgoers for hanging out naked after flying a drone over the scene to see if they could spot some nudity.
The incident happened on a beach in Theodore Wirth Regional Park, on a section of the park known to everyone—locals, law enforcement, and the mayor himself—as Bare Ass Beach. It was a spot people knew to be hidden enough that you could let some skin show without offending anyone, and it was the center of a city-wide nudity ordinance debate to repeal laws against female toplessness in Minnesota parks.
But the push for cracking down on nudity on the beach came all the way from the top, emails obtained by Motherboard show.
Golden Valley Mayor Shep Harris emailed the city manager, Tim Cruikshank on July 5. “I’ve gotten several complaints lately about the nudity at Bare Ass Beach on Twin Lake. Sounds like the patrols need to be beefed up either by us or MPRB Police,” Harris wrote, from his iPhone.
From there, the police and city held meetings and went back and forth in email threads about how best to manage people relaxing with their junk out on the beach. Police Lieutenant Calvin Noble confirmed that the Golden Valley police used drones prior to officers “moving in” on the beach.
“I explained our stance on toplessness and that we wouldn’t cite for that,” Noble wrote in a July 9 email, referring to a Zoom meeting with the Chief of Police and Police Commander. “Apparently, this beach is a big issue for their mayor and city council. I saw the video and it looked like Hidden Beach on a slow day.”
The next day, an email outlining the night’s events notes that police issued five or six tickets at Sweeney Beach. “Golden Valley wrote most of [the] tickets, since they will charge topless females over there. Think one was for consume [sic], before the beach goers started chanting/rioting and we had to clear out of there.”
Original publication 18 August, 2020
Posted on NatCorn 20th November 2020
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