By Marisa Kakoulas
Yesterday, our art historian and good friend Dr. Matt Lodder posted on the Needles & Sins FB group page a link to an article about the arrest of a man with a mosque bomb tattoo.
Earlier in the week, I had seen the buzz over the "Boom" tattoo, but decided not to post it because I didn't want to give anyone more press to Shaun Reah -- a pathetic man with an idiotic racist tattoo. Sadly, there are too many of those. And I'm guessing that, especially within the Islamophobic English Defence League (EDL), Reah is not alone.
However, what Matt posted yesterday sparked the tattoo law nerdiness in me because it was the first time that I've heard about a man who was actually arrested solely on the basis of the content of his tattoo. Sky.com wrote:
A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: "A 39-year-old man has been arrested in South Tyneside on behalf of West Midlands Police on suspicion of using words or behavior, or displaying written material with intent to stir up racial hatred."
As we can see from the photo captured at an EDL rally above, Reah not only has a hate tattoo, but is displaying it before the media.
The only US case involving a tattoo arrest that I know of was in April 2011, in which another dumbass explicitly tattooed the murder scene of a crime he had committed -- with details that only the murderer would really know -- and it was used as evidence against him.
And in Germany, Cy & Caro, on the Needles & Sins FB page, mentioned that the police gave a man a fine for a racist tattoo in Germany. If anyone knows of actual arrests for the content of a tattoo, please share it with the group.
The endnote to the story about the mosque bomb tattoo is that Reah got it removed, as noted in this video below (although it looks like it was just blacked out).
But is it really that he had a change of heart or just simply to get out of jail?