That was fast. Hours after we learned that Dallas authorities were seeking potential witnesses to Erykah Badu’s hotly contested Matt & Kim-inspired nude stroll through historic Dealey Plaza for her “Window Seat” video, Dallas police have decided to charge her with disorderly conduct. Erykah herself seems to be taking it in stride: “charged on Good Friday” she just tweeted. Is this really happening?
Badu faces a fine of up $500 for the offense, according to a statement from Dallas authorities.
The release, in full:
“The City Attorney’s Office and the Dallas Police Department have decided to charge the entertainer known as Erika [sic] Badu with Disorderly Conduct. After much discussion, it has been determined that this charge best fits her conduct when she disrobed in a public place without disregard to other individuals and children who were in close proximity. Disorderly Conduct is a class C misdemeanor which means Ms. Badu will be subject to a fine up to $500.00. The At-Large-Citation will be mailed to Ms. Badu in the near future. It will be up to her as to how she wants to proceed further with this case. She can contest it in a court of law or simply pay the fine. The delay in issuing the citation was due to the lack of witnesses, who were at the scene, who were willing to come forward and file a formal complaint with the police department. One witness did come forward yesterday, thus leading to the charges filed today.”
It’s somewhat stunning to see an artist charged for an act that no one evidently complained about until well after her video had become a topic of discussion by TV talking heads. (Badu and her crew shot the video two weeks ago). But Badu was in fact prepared for criminal charges — video directors Chike and Coodie told MTV that she knew she might face criminal charges for peeling off her clothes in public (and at a touchy location, the site of the 1963 fatal shooting of President John F. Kennedy), but she wanted to proceed anyway.
Chike told MTV that the whole crew was keeping an eye out for the police even as they went about the guerilla-style shoot: “I just remember hearing a siren, or every minute looking up and seeing some kind of sheriff’s car or something,” he said. “So I was like, ‘This is gonna be interesting.’ ”
It just got a whole lot moreso. More details as we get them.