Police in Willmar, Minnesota, have cited a man for leaving a pig’s foot at a Somali booth at a recent farmer’s market.
Joseph Fernkes is challenging the constitutionality of the disorderly conduct charge filed against him, claiming he was exercising his right to free speech, however offensive it might have been to Muslims.
At a hearing Tuesday before Judge Michael Thompson in Kandiyohi County District Court, the state was given until Oct. 31 to file a response to a motion for dismissal of the case, the West Central Tribune reported.
Fernkes was charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct for his actions taken at the Aug. 12 farmer’s market located in the parking lot of the YMCA in Willmar, a small city that has been inundated with Somali refugees over the last 15 years.
The 61-year-old grandfather allegedly drove up in his wheelchair to a Somali-staffed vendor booth, placed a pickled pig’s foot on the table and then drove away while directing an obscene gesture at the vendors, according to the local newspaper. (Read more from “Muslims Squeal ‘Hate Crime’ Over Pig’s Foot at Farmer’s Market” HERE)