Friday, June 14, 2024

No crime at drag show, prosecutors say

Hagadone News Network | July 2, 2022 1:00 AM

COEUR d’ALENE — A drag queen accused of indecent exposure has been cleared of wrongdoing after an investigation by police and city prosecutors.

Multiple people reportedly contacted Coeur d’Alene police earlier this month to complain about a drag performance at the Pride in the Park celebration, where they claimed a dancer’s genitals were exposed to the audience.

None of the callers watched the performance firsthand, police said.

Instead, they saw an edited video that circulated widely on social media, in which the dancer’s pelvic area was blurred out.

Coeur d’Alene police investigated the performance and forwarded the case to the Coeur d’Alene City Prosecutor’s Office.

Prosecutors reviewed the unedited recording of the performance and the edited footage that were both widely shared online, as well as a longer video.

The unedited recordings do not depict any exposure of genitalia, city prosecutors said.

“The allegations of indecent exposure or other crimes cannot be supported by the evidence,” Wes Somerton, chief criminal deputy city attorney, said in a news release Friday.

As such, no charges will be filed.

The edited video first appeared June 12 on The Bushnell Report, a North Idaho-based Facebook page operated by Summer Bushnell.

The Facebook post claimed the dancer’s genitals were exposed to the crowd and called for the dancer’s arrest, urging the public to contact police and the Idaho Attorney General’s Office.

The post garnered thousands of views, as well as hundreds of shares and comments expressing outrage.

What appeared to be an unedited version of the video, without blurring, surfaced on social media the following day. No genitals were visible.

“I obviously don’t agree,” Bushnell said Friday in a statement emailed to The Press.

The same statement appeared on The Bushnell Report Facebook page.

Bushnell maintained that the unedited footage — which prosecutors confirmed showed no genitals — is too graphic for her to share on social media.

She emailed a link to The Press that she said contained the unedited footage.

But the video — which file details show was uploaded June 18 — was not viewable.

“No preview available,” the webpage said. “File is in owner’s trash.”