U.S. free-speech advocates on Tuesday gave their annual “muzzle” awards to violators including police who charged a woman for swearing at her overflowing toilet, and a motor vehicles department that deemed a “GETOSAMA” license plate offensive.
The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression said police in Scranton, Pennsylvania had no right to issue a disorderly conduct citation to Dawn Herb, who “let loose a tirade of foul language” directed at her toilet. A neighbor who was an off-duty police officer made a complaint.
The charge was dismissed by a judge who concluded that Herb’s words, though “offensive, vulgar and imprudent” to some, were nonetheless protected under the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech, the Jefferson center said.
Click here for the full story …
[edit 9:52 p.m.] I’ll be interviewing Robert O’Neill, the director of the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression at 10 a.m. Thursday on WECK for about 10 to 15 minutes.