One creative gentleman created a Facebook page that looked almost exactly like his local police department’s page.
But the differences became apparent when you looked closer. For instance, in the jobs section, it said “minorities need not apply.”
It also included posts about the department giving honorary police commissions to pedophiles.
It was a parody page, and clearly this man had an interesting sense of humor…
But as offensive as these posts may be to police, and others, it’s not a crime.
That didn’t stop the police from sending in the SWAT team. They raided the man’s home, arrested him, and charged him with impairing police services.
He spent a few days in jail before posting bail. And when the case went to trial, he was acquitted by the jury.
Since his arrest was an obvious violation of free speech, the man sued.
Usually this is the part where cops get qualified immunity, meaning they can’t be sued because it wasn’t clear to them that they were violating someone’s rights.
But in a rare moment of clarity, a judge decided that this one was pretty obvious: police should have known they were violating this man’s well established rights.
The First Amendment suit will move forward.
Sonia Rina Landry is a passionate entrepreneur, speaker, author, and personal development coach. She is an outspoken advocate of the free market economy and has helped countless clients identify their core values, envision and realize goals that resonate with those values. She oversees several businesses online and offline.
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