Maybe You Can Flip A Police Officer Off, But What About The F-Bomb?
It's not uncommon for police officers to charge people who flip them off. When those people fight the charges, they win. But what about f-bombing a police officer? Well, that depends, as an Ohio woman recently found out. As reported in The Knoxville News Sentinel:
Dorthea Frazier’s son Cody was arrested by Akron police after a brief car chase. Dorthea Frazier yelled at the arresting officers: “What the f[uck] are you arresting my son for? What are you doing?” She then yelled at a lieutenant: “You f[uck]ing crooked a– cop” and “You’re a b[astard?].” [uncensored by The Juice].
The lieutenant apparently ordered her to desist from further yelling, but Frazier persisted. Officers on the scene testified that her cursing drew a growing crowd and presented a possibly dangerous situation.
Officers charged her with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. In the course of her arrest, she suffered a broken arm.Her defense, of course, was the First Amendment. The result?
A jury found her guilty of disorderly conduct. During that trial, she requested a jury instruction on freedom of speech that read in part:
“In the event that you find that the Defendant’s conduct was Constitutionally protected free speech, then you must find the defendant not guilty. A person cannot be convicted of disorderly conduct based on the words the person has spoken because such speech is constitutionally protected unless the defendant’s words rise to the level of fighting words.
“A person cannot be convicted of disorderly conduct by the use of words because the First Amendment protects a significant amount of verbal criticism and challenge directed at police officers.”The Judge refused the request. Ms Frazier appealed and ... lost. You can read a lot more here.