HOUSTON — A Houston-area sheriff stated Wednesday he is involved the driving force of a truck displaying an expletive stuffed message towards President Trump and people who voted for him is making a state of affairs that would result in confrontations with individuals offended by the signal.
In a Facebook submit, Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls stated he mentioned with an area prosecutor the potential of a disorderly conduct cost — a misdemeanor — towards the driving force.
But at a information convention later Wednesday, Nehls appeared to again down from that concept, saying he helps freedom of speech and acknowledging a 1971 Supreme Court case that overturned the conviction of a person for disturbing the peace for carrying a jacket with an expletive as a part of an effort to protest the navy draft and the Vietnam War.
“People have called and are offended by the language,” stated Nehls, in response to CBS affiliate KHOU-TV. “I simply want to talk to the owner and say, ‘Look, the last thing we need to do is have anyone have any confrontation over the language on your truck.'”
“We have not threatened anybody with arrest. We have not written any citations,” Nehls stated. “But I think now it would be a good time to have meaningful dialogue with that person and express the concerns out there regarding the language on the truck.”
Authorities know who the driving force is however haven’t but spoken with the person. Nehls didn’t title the driving force at his information convention, however KHOU tracked down the house owners, Karen and Mike Fonseca. They stated they have been shocked by the sheriff’s submit and stated they have been entitled to free speech.
“There’s no law against freedom of speech, nothing in the law book here in Texas, I’ve been stopped numerous times, but they can’t write me a ticket,” stated Karen Fonseca.
Her husband stated they’d not take away the decal.
“No plans to take it down,” stated Mike. “Unless he can show me where it says that in the law book, it’s not coming down until the weather takes it down or I replace it with something else.”
The sheriff stated he needs to keep away from a state of affairs the place any person might take offense to the signal on the truck, probably resulting in a confrontation.
“I don’t want to see anything happen to anyone,” Nehls stated. “With people’s … mindset today, that’s the last thing we need, a breach of the peace.”
Legal specialists say the Fonsecas have a constitutionally protected proper to precise the message on the truck.
“It would be dangerous to our freedoms if you start going that route where a sheriff has the right to start censoring people about what might be offensive,” stated Philip Hilder, a Houston legal protection lawyer and former federal prosecutor.
Hilder stated he would not badume Fort Bend County — situated southwest of Houston — would have a case for disorderly conduct towards the driving force of the truck.
“Is (the sign on the truck) tasteful? No. Is it dignified? No, but it’s still a person’s statement that is constitutionally protected,” Hilder stated.
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