by: the Admiral
Unbelievably, this is a true story. The DC Police have set up “Prostitution Free Zones” (PFZs) where women carrying 3 condoms can be arrested for prostitution under the following vague and ambiguous criteria.
This chart simplifies it a little; here are the just as ridiculous particulars of how ladies with 3 condoms can now be arrested for prostitution in our Nation's Capitol.
1) A woman is seen in a designated PFZ, proceed to #2.
2) This woman congregates with 1 or more people with no reasonable purpose or destination. If a police officer, who isn’t even involved in the congregants’ conversation, decides without any objective criteria that the congregating is not reasonable, proceed to #3.
3) The female and congregators are told that they are in a PFZ and must disperse (whether they are prostituting, just talking to a friend, or trying to give it up for free) within a “reasonable” time. If the officer decides the dispersing time is not reasonable, again with no objective criteria, proceed to #4.
4) If the police officer sees the woman again, he is automatically allowed to search her, and upon finding out that she is carrying 3 or more condoms, she is ARRESTED FOR PROSTITUION.
When I first read this article I thought it was something from theonion.com, but apparently PFZs are popping up all over the city. There are so many things wrong here. Let’s take them one at a time.
1) You must be seen in a PFZ. The problem is that while the DC Government website posts the location of PFZs, I doubt that many females while doing their hair and makeup getting ready to head to the District bars want to spend time downloading APPS for their iPhones ensuring that they do not cross imaginary lines where their civil liberties evaporate. And even if they do take the time to check, there is another huge problem; I have a decent sense of direction, but trying to read just a sample of some current PFZ zones makes my head spin. (See below)
Boundaries of Prostitution Free Zones:
Starting at the northwest corner of the zone at the intersection of the eastern curbline of 2nd St NE and the northern curbline of L St NE, proceeding eastward along the curbline to the intersection of the curbline and the eastern curbline of 4th St NE, proceeding southward along the curbline to the intersection of the curbline and the southern curbline of K St NE, proceeding westward along the curbline to the intersection of the curbline and the western curbline of 3rd St NE, proceeding southward along the curbline to the intersection of the curbline and the southern curbline of Parker St NE, proceeding westward along the curbline to the intersection of the curbline and the eastern curbline of 2nd St NE, proceeding northward to the starting point.
Starting at the northwest corner of the zone at the intersection of the curb line on the west side of Barnaby St., SE and the curb line on the north side of Wheeler Rd., SE, proceed east along the curb line on the north side of Wheeler Rd., SE to the intersection on the south curb line of Southern Ave., SE. Proceed south to the intersection of the curb line on the south side of 9th St., SE. Proceed northwest along the curb line on the south side of 9th St., SE to the intersection of the curb line on the west side of Barnaby St., SE and the curb line on the south side of 9th St., SE. Proceed north finally returning to the starting point.
Starting at the northwest corner of the zone at the intersection of the curbline on the west side of M.L. King, Jr. Ave., SE and the curbline on the north side of Lebaum St., SE, proceed east along the curbline on the north side of Lebaum St., SE to the intersection on the east curbline of 7th St., SE. Proceed south to the intersection of the curbline on the south side of Raleigh Pl., SE. Proceed west along the curbline on the south side of Raleigh Pl., SE to the intersection of the curbline on the west side of M.L. King, Jr. Ave., SE and the curbline on the south side of Raleigh Pl., SE. Proceed north finally returning to the starting point.
I see the word “curbline” a few hundred times and then a bunch of words jumbled together that I can’t map in my head. It’s like watching wrestling on Telemundo; “Spanish spanish spanish spanish spanish spanish spanish spanish HULK HOGAN, spanish spanish spanish spanish RANDY MACHO MAN SAVAGE spanish spanish spanish spanish spanish MEAN GENE OKERLAND spanish spanish spanish spanish spanish spanish spanish spanish GOOOOOOAAAAALLLL!!!!”
2) A woman congregates with 1 or more people with no apparent reason or destination. The Problem: Have you ever seen Adams Morgan after last call? Besides the few drunks intent on making it to Jumbo Slice or ORIGINAL Jumbo Slice, or THE REAL ORIGINAL Jumbo Slice, most people are just congregating with no official purpose except to sober up their drunk designated driver, peruse for free non-prostitute sex, or to be drunk, stammer around, and babble to anyone that will listen. All of which moves you on to Step 3.
3) After the DC Police disperses (cockblocks or the female equivalent) you, then you have a reasonable amount of time to disappear. Again ladies, you have one friend on a Grail Quest to get a Jumbo slice, one who is stalking her X-boyfriend’s new girlfriend in an attempt to start a fight, your designated driver is throwing up on Q street, and another friend left her purse and phone at Madam’s Organ. So if you can’t round up this rag tag gaggle of skanky ladies and get passed the imaginary curbline discussed earlier then you are moving onto Step 4 and are eligible for search.
Calling all sluts. Hurry up!!! DISPERSE!!!!!
4) Now, if you get to this stage and you are searched, you will be arrested for prostitution if you are carrying 3 or more condoms. Now, Miss Manners may claim it is unladylike to carry 3 condoms, but I can imagine at least 20 scenarios where this is reasonable thing for a woman to do. Some of the scenarios are not flattering and while many women who need 3 condoms for one night on the town are likely to appear on Maury Povich at some point in their life, this does not make them prostitutes. BUT, the #1 reason why it’s perfectly reasonable to be carrying 3 condoms is so obvious that it makes this police practice laughable. CONDOMS COME IN PACKS OF THREE!!!
Real Life Hypothetical Scenario – Sally Barhop Goes to Jail
So, Sally Barhop, you are oblivious to the DC Prostitute Free Zones, dress in your normal Saturday night skank uniform and head into the District. Unknowingly and unluckily you end up at a bar inside and imaginary curbline on whatever street is now in the crosshairs of D.C. police.
The night continues on like most of your Saturday nights with your galpals; binge drinking, catfights, bumping and grinding on the dance floor, puking while Jenny Barhop holds your hair, then going back to the dance floor pukebreathed you make out with the first greasy slimebag that notices your roofieesque state. You then wander outside the club to get fresh air, forget why you are outside and where you friends are, and decide to start a conversation with the handsome gentlemen spending his Saturday night on the curb outside said club waiting for you (or any of the 100 clones that will come out after you).
Slutty Girls Do it For Free
Everything is normal up to this point until Joe Cop spots you speaking to this man within the confines of the Prostitute Free Zone and immediately cockblocks Johnny Sidewalk by informing you both that you are in said PFZ and must disperse. Neither you or Johnny Sidewalk are ready to give up on this budding romance so you both wander around looking for your friends to tell them you “have a ride” only to end up doing a full circle around the block, first stopping at CVS for a 3 pack of Trojan Ribbed.
Joe Cop sees you two again as you round the corner and under D.C. Law is now perfectly within his authority to perform his condom search. By my count you have just met requirements 1, 2, 3, and 4 under the D.C. Prostitution Free Zone laws.
So the described Saturday night scenario that would normally only end in a morning walk of shame for you to the nearest Metro station with a broken heel and shattered self worth, will now result in a trip to the local police station with a criminal charge that your parents will be oh so proud of. Oh well, they weren’t that proud of you anyway.
“Officer I swear, I’m not a prostitute, I’m just slutty.”