Atlanta police are investigating how an image of an impossible-to-fig-leaf potential member of the pornography community came to blare from a billboard in Buckhead.
Drivers looking up at the wrong time on Saturday while passing the Franco Building on the corner of Peachtree and East Paces Ferry would have seen a digital picture of a bent over man, mooning, and he was also exposing other parts that usually remain more private.
The image, which appeared intermittently for an undetermined amount of time, is only one of the issues with the billboard. The owner is currently involved in a legal dispute with the City of Atlanta over whether its display violates the outdoor advertising law, said Councilman Howard Shook, who represents the district. But for the time being police are focused on finding who is responsible for the obscene image.
It is impossible to adequately describe or show the enormity of the offense without possibly violating laws and certainly the boundaries of good taste. Shook is pretty sure laws were broken,
“Like the Supreme Court says about pornography, you know it when you see it,” said Shook, shortly before shipping a picture of the image to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Well… you’ll know it.”
The scene drew a lot of attention Saturday after Officer T. Martin rolled up at 5:50 p.m. after getting complaints. Soon the Department of Homeland Security had dispatched a unit as had Georgia Power and Atlanta Fire. The building landlord Esther Franco Gordon showed up and the billboard’s owner Monumedia’s Christakis Makrides showed up and cut the power, deleting the images, Martin reported.
Shook was on the scene, telling 11Alive’s Duffie Dixon that the image was “highly disturbing, aggravating, obnoxious and illegal.”
Mooning, however, has a contorted legal history on whether it is defined as artistic expression protected by the First Amendment. But, the Atlanta Police cyber unit is investigating whether someone hacked into the billboard — which also could be a crime, Shook said. He voiced frustration he wasn’t being kept apprised by the APD.
Officer Kim Jones told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that there was no progress to report but that the APD had partnered with the FBI on the case.
“This has occurred in other states as well,” she said.
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