Woman goes topless, gets ticket; Now suing city of Chicago

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A woman is suing the city of Chicago after being ticketed for going topless this summer.

Kenneth Flaxman is representing 41-year-old Sonoko Tagami in her case.

Flaxman says his client was participating in a "Go Topless" event in August along the city`s beachfront. The event was designed to be a protest for women to have the right to expose their breasts in public.

Flaxman insists his client was wearing opaque body- paint on her nipples when she was approached by two female Chicago police officers who cited Tagami for violating the city’s “indecent exposure” ordinance-- by being topless.

"We’re seeking protection for basic rights protected by the 1st and 4th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States," Flaxman said. "You can’t enforce that ordinance if you don’t like what someone is saying, which I think what happened.  And the ordinance also seems to apply uneven treatment to men and to women.”

Tagami was slapped with a $140 fine and was threatened with arrest if she didn`t cover up.

The lawsuit does not specify a dollar amount for damages. Flaxman is hoping a jury will decide that.

Tagami's attorney says the ultimate goal is to see this ordinance changed.

The city says it has not yet reviewed the lawsuit.

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22 comments

  • Tom

    I APPLAUD HER FOR APPEARING TOPLESS IN PUBLIC. I WAS WORKING IN TORONTO ABOUT 10 YEARS AGO WHEN THE CANADIAN SUPREME COURT DECLARED A SIMILAR LAW IN TORONTO WAS DECLARED UNCONSTITUTIONAL WAS OVERTURNED AND WOMEN OVER THE BORDER WERE TESTING THE NEW STANDARD. ONE WOMAN WALKING THERE WITH HER HUSBAND AND I STOPPED HER AND SHOOK HER HAND.

    • smarter than you are

      Tom it’s common decency…kids have to see that. It’s just wrong…maybe I’ll get a friend of mine who wears his pants down to his ankles to stand right in front of you on a crowded train.. I think you don’t understand infringing on the rights of one thousand to satisfy the one. People want to carry guns in public but I’ve seen too many times where people get mad and probably wouldn’t think twice about it

  • John

    Everyone wants to push the envelope. We are a society of laws that creates order in which we all can live in peace. If we surrender to every nit wit that wants to promote their cause or themself, we then lose control of a civil society. It’s starts little with someone going topless and then their is no end in site. So now she is going to sue the City, she is nothing more than a selfish opportunist! What ever cause she is promotting has been surrendered to her greed.

  • carol

    We have enough smut in this world. She’s lucky I wasn’t the Judge. It would have been a bigger fine, and community services with foster teens. Im all for exposing your boonies for breastfeeding. But other than that, go to a nudist colony if you want to perk. Besides I don’t think she was interested in any women’s rights . She just wanted to get noticed and that she did.

    • smarter than you are

      You know what zebra? You are just plain ignorant…this is obviously a woman craving attention either that or she is as dumb as you are. Nothing wrong with breasts but all in its place.. And if she gets groped she’ll want the man arrested..as for your Wal Mart comment I’ll bet you aren’t much to look at

  • tanya

    The only reason it is considered indecent for a woman to expose her breast in public is because that’s what has been taught to us at a young age. Boys can show their chest but woman can’t expose their breast. But in other cultures it’s perfectly normal and not looked upon as obscene for women’s breast to be fully exposed at all times.. I think many people in America view this topless nudity as a perverse thing. When in all reality it’s a life line between you and your children. To have an innocent child suckle a breast is beautiful thing but with out the child it’s pornographic. That’s not the woman or her breast problem but society.

  • Lindy

    I wish everyone had to cover up! No one wants to see gross people going topless whether they’re male or female but you also can’t make a law say only hot people with perfect bodies can go topless! I could see having topless beaches and restaraunts where you could go to be topless but you would defiantly have to be an adult. I don’t want to see topless people at the Shedd when I’m with my kids.

  • chuck

    Fat old men with very large breast can be topless. 5 year old girls can be topless. So whats the age or size of breast that makes it illegal. Animals, children, and men are allowed to expose breast. But a woman, not sure when the law draws that line can be topless. Kinda like why is it ok for a male gang banger to walk around exposing his underwear. But a female doing that while wearing a g string would be indecent exposure?