Did You Know Spitting on the Sidewalk in Kalamazoo is Illegal?
Spitting on the sidewalk in Kalamazoo could get you arrested. A horrific example of this happened in 2008.
The exact wording of the law according to ecode360.com says,
Spitting on sidewalks or floors of public conveyances and places.
[P&L Code § PL216]
The State of Michigan has a similar law that prohibits spitting, urinating, and defecating on sidewalks, parkways, alleys, and parking structures. It is unclear what the punishment would be for spitting on a sidewalk in Kalamazoo or anywhere else in Michigan. However, it does seem to fall under the 'Disorderly Conduct' umbrella.
There are lots of outdated Michigan laws. This law likely comes from the early 1900s as a way to prevent the spread of tuberculosis. I did a deep dive on this law hoping to find two things:
- Has this law been repealed yet?
- Is there any recent precedent of this law being enforced in Kalamazoo in the last 20 years?
I can't find any information about the law being repealed in Kalamazoo. However, it does look like Grand Rapids deleted the law a couple of years ago.
I did find a case where a teen was arrested in Kalamazoo for spitting on a sidewalk downtown. In May of 2008, a KDPS officer arrested 16-year-old Michael Goldman for spitting according to Mlive,
Derek Nugent arrested Goldman at the Kalamazoo Transportation Center for allegedly creating a disturbance and spitting on the sidewalk.
The arrest resulted in KDPS officer Nugent slamming Goldman's face into a wall and badly injuring him at police headquarters. A lawsuit against the officer and city of Kalamazoo alleging racial profiling and accessive force was later settled. Nugent was also involved in a near $1 million lawsuit in the death of a man he and his partner had in custody in 2016.
The only other arrests involving the action of spitting in Kalamazoo that we can find are assault cases where the suspects are spitting on another person. Spitting on a sidewalk is something a person might do without thinking, almost like an involuntary action. Spitting on another person is clearly a different issue altogether.
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As far as we can tell, the law does in fact, still exist in Kalamazoo. Although, you'll be hard-pressed to find a handful of cases where the law has been enforced.
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