Texas cops are on the hunt for a local man who caused uproar after brandishing his car with an expletive anti-Trump sticker.
Sheriff Troy E Nehls posted a photo of the pickup to his Facebook with the sign ‘F**k Trump and f**k you for voting for him’ plastered on the back window.
It’s safe to say he wasn’t happy.
The Sheriff wrote:
I have received numerous calls regarding the offensive display on this truck as it is often seen along FM 359. If you know who owns this truck or it is yours, I would like to discuss it with you.
Our Prosecutor has informed us she would accept Disorderly Conduct charges regarding it, but I feel we could come to an agreement regarding a modification to it.
A Mexican Day of the Dead skull can also be seen on the car, the number plate of which is not shown.
Nehls soon felt the brunt of those in support of the sticker, and free speech in general.
Nick Poehl fumed:
Sheriff Troy E. Nehls, as a former prosecutor and current defense attorney, I really hope you cite this person. It’ll give quite a lot of business to people in my line of work, and you’ll be out of a job.
Seriously, do a little research on that statute you cut and pasted. When you get to the case law about ‘fighting words’, maybe you’ll get a clue. Your constituents will be better served by a Sheriff who understands the law he’s tasked with enforcing.
Another commenter, Josh Merbitz, said:
Wow, I’m glad I don’t live in your County, Sheriff. My sheriff is currently in federal prison, but this? This is just wrong. We’re gonna charge people with crimes for bumper stickers now? What a bunch of cowardly snowflakes.
Y’all need a safe space from those meanies and their mean words? Hopefully, the citizens of your county in Texas will remember sh*t like this when they vote for you and the county commission.
Nehls replied with the definition of disorderly conduct according to local law, citing ‘abusive, indecent, profane, or vulgar language in a public place’ that ‘tends to incite an immediate breach of the peace.’
It has been likened to the Cohen v California case in 1971 when the Supreme Court overturned a conviction against 19-year-old Paul Robert Cohen for donning a jacket reading ‘F**k the draft’ in reference to the Vietnam war.
.@SheriffTNehls, you can't prosecute speech just because it has the word "f*ck" in it. (And the owner of the truck should feel free to contact @ACLUTx.) #ConstitutionalLaw101 #FreeSpeech pic.twitter.com/WPWUW5fFwo
— ACLU of Texas (@ACLUTx) November 15, 2017
Justice John Marshall Harlan II wrote in a statement:
Absent a more particularized and compelling reason for its actions, the State may not, consistently with the First and Fourteenth Amendments, make the simple public display of this single four-letter expletive a criminal offense.
One man’s vulgarity is another’s lyric.
And that’s precisely the reason why Eminem isn’t on death row, folks.