Michael Francis McLaughlin, a 14-year old homeless man in the town of Gastonia, North Carolina spent some time in the slammer for displaying a sign reading “I’m thinking of a cheeseburger” this past weekend.
The police officer who made the arrest cited him for violating the local begging ordinance which makes it unlawful for anyone to beg or offer to work for money or other compensation by “accosting one another or forcing oneself upon the company of another.” McLaughlin was received a misdemeanor and was charged with unlawful solicitation and was jailed under a $500 secured bond.
The only thing I can think of is that at least Michael got a meal and a bed to sleep in. Although I really don’t know what this says about our state laws at times. Personally this also makes me question the reasoning of some police officers. If a man can get arrested for “thinking of a cheeseburger” maybe we’re not too far off from a 1984 Orwellian society. Watch out for the thought police.