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Wed Sep 29, 2021, 09:04 PM

A Florida Man was jailed over a bumper sticker. The cops just got qualified immunity.

AllAloneInTheMoonHat Retweeted

Here's a story for you: A Florida Man was jailed over an "I Eat Ass" bumper sticker. The cops just got qualified immunity.

The state has the power to put you in a cage over words without having to fear accountability themselves.

My latest
@reason
:



FIRST AMENDMENT

Cops Get Qualified Immunity After Jailing Florida Man for 'I Eat Ass' Bumper Sticker

Dillon Shane Webb will thus not be able to sue for the alleged violation of his free speech rights.

BILLY BINION | 9.28.2021 5:10 PM

New life was injected into a free speech legal saga over an "I Eat Ass" bumper sticker yesterday when a federal judge ruled that the expression might violate Florida's obscenity law and would thus be unprotected by the First Amendment.

At the center of the odyssey is Florida man Dillon Shane Webb, who was pulled over in May of 2019 after Columbia County Sheriff's Deputy Travis English took exception to the sticker. Webb declined to censor it on the spot, his vehicle was searched, and he was subsequently arrested and booked in jail for "obscene writing on vehicles" and "resisting an officer without violence." (The "resisting" in question refers to his refusal to alter the sticker's appearance at the officer's demand.)

Those charges were dropped shortly thereafter, with the State Attorney's Office citing the First Amendment. .. But the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida ruled yesterday that the case is not so cut and dry, awarding qualified immunity to English and thus dooming the suit Webb brought against him for allegedly violating his free speech rights and for falsely arresting him.

"While Webb denies the Sticker was in fact obscene, in interviews he repeatedly acknowledged the sexual nature of his Sticker," wrote Judge Marcia Morales Howard in Webb v. English, "albeit couched as an attempt at humor, showing that the notion that an erotic message was more than hypothetical—it could reasonably be viewed as the predominant message being communicated." She added that "if the Sticker depicted a sexual act, it would be protected speech under the First Amendment only if it had serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value." English, as well as Corporal Chad Kirby—who via phone agreed Webb should be arrested—thus can't be held liable over their subjective determination and the subsequent arrest.

Yet the law in question—Fla. Stat. § 847.011(2), which prohibits "any sticker, decal, emblem or other device attached to a motor vehicle containing obscene descriptions, photographs, or depictions"—is unconstitutional on its face, according to Eugene Volokh, a professor of law at the University of California at Berkeley. "This entire provision is therefore unconstitutionally overbroad and thus invalid on its face, and thus can't be applied even to possession of obscenity in public," Volokh argued in May 2019.

{snip}

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Reply A Florida Man was jailed over a bumper sticker. The cops just got qualified immunity. (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Sep 2021 OP
msongs Sep 2021 #1

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Sep 29, 2021, 09:08 PM

1. another thing democrats in congress could eliminate but they just won't nt

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