The Naked Cowboy just won $90,000 in a settlement against Daytona Beach.
This past Wednesday, the city made the decision to settle with the Naked Cowboy, a performer who wears a cowboy hat and white underwear while busking at tourist areas around the U.S. As part of his circuit, the Naked Cowboy often goes to Bike Week in Daytona Beach. In fact, the performer has been appearing at Bike Week for 20 years. But last year, the performer was arrested on charges of violating the city’s panhandling ordinance and resisting arrest without violence.
This past March, the Naked Cowboy, real name Robert Burck, sued the city and two police officers, saying the city’s panhandling ordinance is unconstitutional under state and federal constitutions and that the officers violated the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures.
Eventually, Burck offered to settle his claims for $90,000. Then on Wednesday, he got his wish. With a vote of 7 – 0, city commissioners decided to go through with the proposal. That said, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal, the settlement did not require the city to rescind its panhandling ordinance nor include any admission of fault by the city or the officers. Figures.
And what ordinance was “violated” by Robert Burck? As WKMG News 6 ClickOrlando reported last year, two officers approached Burck to get him away from the front of a commercially zoned property. A city ordinance “prohibits panhandling within 20 feet in any direction from any entrance or exit of a commercially zoned property.” So simply by standing too close to a store, Burck was arrested.
Unfortunately, camera footage of the moment shows that Burck got heated and started calling the officers gay slurs. Though, he later apologized.
And now, Burck has received $90,000 from the city for the arrest. That amount includes his costs and attorney fees.