The Constitution of the United States protects free speech, even speech that is offensive or lewd. Despite this, police officers or legislatures often take things into their own hands and attempt to eliminate speech they don’t agree with. Take the case of two eighth graders from Ohio.
On August twelfth of this year, the two teens were walking through Northwood, Ohio, wearing “Insane Clown Posse” T-shirts, including one which had profanity on it. Not surprisingly, they were soon stopped by local police officers, who threatened to rip the shirts off if they were not voluntarily removed. Apparently yet another illiterate person incapable of reading the first amendment has slipped through the cracks of our marvelous government school system.
“Whatever the officers may think, the First Amendment protects the right to say offensive things, and police may not strong-arm juveniles for exercising their constitutional right to free expression,” said ACLU of Ohio Vice President, Jeffrey Gamso.
Apparently the agents of our government are not able to comprehend this little tidbit of information, and were quoted in the Toledo Blade, on August 7th as saying, “You can’t be wearing that out in public, … [the T-shirt] is not freedom of speech.” Another officer told the paper that he could have charged the teens with disorderly conduct as a result of the T-shirt. Their ignorance caused the two teens Free Speech rights and property rights (in the form of an illegal search and seizure) to be violated.
|Yet another illiterate person incapable of reading the first amendment
By not becoming violent or verbally abusive with the police, the teenagers avoided being put in a negative light by the media, and have emphasized the government’s clown-like stupidity. If this ever happens to you, you have the right refuse the officers’ demands, sue them and the city.