Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Winona, MN: Vets VS Pokemon Go Players Near Memorial Park // UPDATED on 08/02/16

(Originally written on 07/30/16): One of my cousins wrote last night about a video that was posted online. (Two of them actually: here and here.) The videos were filmed in Winona, MN, and show two veterans yelling and cussing as a group of teens for playing Pokemon Go at Veterans Memorial Park. It appears that Veterans Memorial Park is located within a larger public park.

Here is the description from this video:
Here's the first part of that video the other day that nobody has seen. It shows them coming over, my pregnant gf is the only one under the canopy which was there for rain that day and she doesn't even play, then he immediately loses his shit. Tearing it down was premeditated before he even came over as he stated in the longer video. I would not have reacted the way I did if he was rational about it and not verbally and physically attacking my gf. Please share this so people can see how it started. Sorry for the drama but this guy was an ass. Many other vets have came down and were civil about everything. These people drove by multiple times yesterday verbally harassing us while there were parents there bonding with their kids, many younger than 10. That kind of behavior is completely disrespectful. Many random people driving by and yelling obscenities as well. There was an older couple walking around reading names on bricks as some lady in a blue crew cab Ford with matching topper drove through calling us worthless pieces of shit then continued to drive off. All of these people are 100% disrespectful and inconsiderate.
Both videos show this incident from different perspectives. Basically, the teens were playing Pokemon Go at the memorial park. One player's girlfriend was not playing, but hanging out at the park. She is pregnant and was sitting under a canopy for protection from the rain. The vets were screaming, swearing, and pushing the teens. The one veteran torn down the canopy and destroyed it before the cops arrived. The veterans were so out of control that they couldn't even calm down after the police started interviewing witnesses. It appears that one of the vets was eventually charged with disorderly conduct and fourth-degree criminal damage of property.


It appears that the Winona City Council is now considering a new ordinance that would ban all sorts of activities at Veterans Memorial Park, including recreational activities and games (electronic or not), sunbathing, having pets in the area, and playing music. Hammocks and tents would be barred from the park. Picketing would be barred from the park. Demonstrating would be barred at the park. It would be illegal to make speeches or display flags or placards at the park.

In fact, only specific military memorial ceremonies would be allowed at Veterans Memorial Park or other ceremonies explicitly approved by the City Council.

You could be convicted of a misdemeanor if you violate the strict restrictions, if this new ordinance gets passed.

Updated on 08/02/16: The Winona City Council met last night and made some major adjustments to this proposed ordinance that would ban people from playing Pokemon Go at Veterans Memorial Park, as well as a variety of other activities, such as sunbathing, sleeping, being with your pet, playing music, picketing, or demonstrating.

Basically, they thought that it would be a huge annoyance for police to determine if people were playing online games or not. Plus, there are already laws against littering or damaging the monuments. And it was pointed out that one could be technically sunbathing if s/he was sitting on a park bench during their lunch hour.

Instead, the new ordinance will now defined Veterans Memorial Park as a memorial as opposed to a park. It also "bars certain recreational activities 'including sports, athletics, grilling or cooking, putting up hammocks or tents, and bicycles or rollerblades in the designated memorial.'"

But it's still legal to play Pokemon Go at Veterans Memorial Park in Winona, MN.

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