Why should police officer read Legal Juice? If they did, they would know, as all regular Juice readers do, that the Constitution allows folks to flip them off, and to cuss. Sure, they can make an arrest, but in the end, the flipper or cusser will be walking away with some cash. (For example, see this recent Juice post.) Until Legal Juice is required reading for all police officers, The Juice has no doubt that this will happen over and over again. The most recent example was reported by The Marietta Daily Journal.
Amy Barnes, a member of the Occupy movement, says she flipped off police and cussed at them as she was on her bike on Austell Road near her Marietta home. Two Cobb Police officers had teenagers stopped outside a store as Barnes showed her displeasure from the moving bike.
A two-fer – flipping and cussing. Whether she was disrespectful or not is irrelevant. The First Amendment applies regardless. So what happened next?
Police followed and arrested her couple of blocks away.”They told me I shouldn’t be presenting a lewd gesture in front of children,” said Barnes.
Police charged Barnes with disorderly conduct. She says she spent 23 hours in jail — six in solitary confinement. The misdemeanor is still making its’ way through the courts, but Barnes’ attorney, Cynthia Counts, says police violated Barnes’ constitutional rights.
“It’s infringing speech; the government cannot just chase down a citizen and arrest them when they speak their mind,” said Counts.
Yes, it is. Now stop wasting everyone’s time, dismiss the criminal case, and pay the lady. And next time, as difficult as you may find it, just walk away. Here’s the source. (Image via Thirteen-Fifty/Shutterstock.com)