If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(WRCB)   "48-year-old Patti M. Cole faces a charge of disorderly conduct after leaving the message on a broken toilet in front of a home she owns in Mount Pleasant"   (wrcbtv.com) divider line 72
    More: Fail, Mount Pleasant, woman charged  
•       •       •

8965 clicks; posted to Main » on 17 Mar 2013 at 2:37 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



72 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

Archived thread
 
2013-03-17 12:08:12 AM
That is most definitely protected speech.  Hope the  ACLU sees this.
 
2013-03-17 12:17:19 AM
Cops are so sensitive.  Call one a dirty pig and they get the vapours.
 
2013-03-17 12:20:27 AM
FTA: "created a physically offensive condition by an act that serves no legitimate purpose."

That pretty much sounds like the complaint my neighbors had when they called the cops about me the last time.
I said, "Hey, I have to shave, and when I shave, I shave in the nude, and when I shave in the nude, I sometimes get aroused!".
The cop told me to stop shaving while I'm washing my car in the driveway.
 
2013-03-17 12:24:44 AM
Meh, that's going to cost the taxpayers of that town a bit.
 
2013-03-17 12:38:58 AM
The officer who the message was directed toward, Maury County Sgt. Rob Wagonshutz, filed a complaint about the message, which led to the charge.

Wagonshutz said that the message crossed the line of free expression because it used vulgar language and "created a physically offensive condition by an act that serves no legitimate purpose."

 Oh God, I hope this either gets thrown out or runs all the way up to the Supreme Court.
 
2013-03-17 12:49:14 AM

basemetal: Meh, that's going to cost the taxpayers of that town a bit.


I can speak for personal knowledge and say that whatever they make the town pay, it doesn't have it.
 
2013-03-17 01:22:36 AM
I wish subby had submitted the page, linked to in this article, that has a picture of the vulgar physically offensive commode in question.

http://columbiadailyherald.com/sections/news/local-news/%E2%80%98dea r- john%E2%80%99-toilet-message-brings-charges.html
 
NFA
2013-03-17 02:33:32 AM
Just imagine if this situation was reversed and you were complaining about a police officers front yard toilet free speech.  How fast do you think it would take for you to be laughed out the precinct by those to which you complain?
 
2013-03-17 02:41:36 AM

Philbb: I wish subby had submitted the page, linked to in this article, that has a picture of the vulgar physically offensive commode in question.

http://columbiadailyherald.com/sections/news/local-news/%E2%80%98dea r- john%E2%80%99-toilet-message-brings-charges.html


OMG, she used the word "hell"! Oh the obscenity! I think I might faint.
 
2013-03-17 02:41:49 AM
Police harassment.
 
2013-03-17 02:41:53 AM
You have the right to say anything that doesn't offend those who enforce the rules.
 
2013-03-17 02:42:18 AM
Oh, she used "fark", too. Guess I should have read the article.
 
2013-03-17 02:44:52 AM

fusillade762: Oh, she used "fark", too. Guess I should have read the article.


Well, she wanted to, but it got wordfiltered.
 
2013-03-17 02:45:09 AM
She doesn't always scrawl angry messages on broken toilets in her front lawn.


But when she does she smokes meth.

/IANAL but depending on her community's obscenity laws, displaying the F word in a public place may be a no-no.
 
2013-03-17 02:48:12 AM

BarkingUnicorn: That is most definitely protected speech.  Hope the  ACLU sees this.


Glad that was already the first thing in the thread. This is about the officer getting revenge and not about the good of the public... but mostly, it is a clear case of someone's right of expression being trampled. Don't the police read the news? This is exactly the kind of case that gives the ACLU a raging hard on.
 
2013-03-17 03:16:14 AM
Did the police man's feelings get hurt? Awe.... poor fella.
 
2013-03-17 03:29:04 AM
So we have a judge who issued a warrant without probable cause and a DA who just makes shiat up about speech having to have "a legitimate purpose."  This is going to be good!
 
2013-03-17 03:40:36 AM
Yeah...a mildly retarded 5 year old could figure out this is protected speech...

Sue.
 
2013-03-17 03:42:31 AM
I remember back before telephones were common people would send toiletgrams all the time. Those were simpler days.
 
2013-03-17 03:43:11 AM
I seem to remember the Supreme Court ruling that this type of speech is protected.  So fark the police.
 
2013-03-17 03:46:30 AM
People outraged about censorship on a website named for a curse word that is censored.
 
2013-03-17 03:49:17 AM

Begoggle: People outraged about censorship on a website named for a curse word that is censored.


You don't get arrested for saying fark on Fark.

/Fark
 
2013-03-17 03:51:48 AM
fark da police
 
2013-03-17 03:55:46 AM
LIke clock work. A stoy like this pops up. Christmas lights in shape of a hand flipping bird. Nov 27 2012.

Link

Fark Comments
 
2013-03-17 04:00:25 AM
kmpunksays.files.wordpress.com
 
2013-03-17 04:05:38 AM

LordOfThePings: [kmpunksays.files.wordpress.com image 480x480]


I think they were lying. I ate the whole roll and I just feel kinda full.

/burrrrrrrrrrrrp
 
2013-03-17 04:10:38 AM
Boy. The city is going to pay alot for that one.
 
2013-03-17 04:28:35 AM

BarkingUnicorn: So we have a judge who issued a warrant without probable cause and a DA who just makes shiat up about speech having to have "a legitimate purpose."  This is going to be good!


Did you see the charges against her?  Seems like she had been under surveillance for a while.  She was a know drug dealer apparently.  And got caught with meth again in jail. Although breaking in on a warrant might be problematic, unless she was a wanted felon.  And TFA doesn't say, but the town may have obscenity laws.  But it's a $50 dollar fine.  I doubt the ACLU would get involved.
 
2013-03-17 04:55:58 AM

andychrist420: BarkingUnicorn: So we have a judge who issued a warrant without probable cause and a DA who just makes shiat up about speech having to have "a legitimate purpose."  This is going to be good!

Did you see the charges against her?  Seems like she had been under surveillance for a while.  She was a know drug dealer apparently.  And got caught with meth again in jail. Although breaking in on a warrant might be problematic, unless she was a wanted felon.  And TFA doesn't say, but the town may have obscenity laws.  But it's a $50 dollar fine.  I doubt the ACLU would get involved.


The drug charges are against her daughter, who was also the one caught with meth in jail.  TFA fails to clearly identify which "Powell" it's talking about in different sections.

If the town had an obscenity law that covered what she did, she would have been charged under it.

You don't know the ACLU very well.
 
2013-03-17 04:56:16 AM

andychrist420: BarkingUnicorn: So we have a judge who issued a warrant without probable cause and a DA who just makes shiat up about speech having to have "a legitimate purpose."  This is going to be good!

Did you see the charges against her?  Seems like she had been under surveillance for a while.  She was a know drug dealer apparently.  And got caught with meth again in jail. Although breaking in on a warrant might be problematic, unless she was a wanted felon.  And TFA doesn't say, but the town may have obscenity laws.  But it's a $50 dollar fine.  I doubt the ACLU would get involved.


Forget that it was on a toilet. The woman put a sign in her front yard that said "FARK YOU Rob Wagonshutz". Cop or not, placing a sign in your front yard with an obscenity on it is liable to get you charged with disorderly conduct in almost any town and city in the country.

It could be argued that the second sign that says "Rob Wagonshutz Special Place in Hell for U and UR Boys!" is free speech, but the first one seems pretty clear cut.

My favorite part is that the sign writer is school employee; where she apparently had been bragging about and showing off a picture of her art work.
 
2013-03-17 05:00:52 AM

BarkingUnicorn: You don't know the ACLU very well.


I don't know that even the ACLU would try to argue in court that people have the right to post a sign in their yard that says "FARK YOU :Insert Name:".

Can you imagine how much fun neighbor hood fights would be if the ACLU won that case?
 
2013-03-17 05:04:02 AM

BigBooper: Cop or not, placing a sign in your front yard with an obscenity on it is liable to get you charged with disorderly conduct in almost any town and city in the country.


And it will be dismissed by any judge with a shred of respect for the law.  You might want to research what "disorderly conduct" means.
 
2013-03-17 05:11:14 AM

BigBooper: I don't know that even the ACLU would try to argue in court that people have the right to post a sign in their yard that says "FARK YOU :Insert Name:".


The ACLU has defended NAMBLA and the Westboro Baptist Church, not to mention the KKK, neo-Nazis, and the Nation of Islam.  When criticized, the ACLU's response was,

"It is easy to defend freedom of speech when the message is something many people find at least reasonable. But the defense of freedom of speech is most critical when the message is one most people find repulsive."
 
2013-03-17 05:56:54 AM

BarkingUnicorn: BigBooper: Cop or not, placing a sign in your front yard with an obscenity on it is liable to get you charged with disorderly conduct in almost any town and city in the country.

And it will be dismissed by any judge with a shred of respect for the law.  You might want to research what "disorderly conduct" means.

O.K.

2010 Tennessee Code
Title 39 - Criminal Offenses
Chapter 17 - Offenses Against Public Health, Safety and Welfare
Part 3 - Disorderly Conduct and Riots

39-17-305. Disorderly conduct.
(a)
A person commits an offense who, in a public place and with intent to cause public annoyance or alarm:
     (1)Engages in fighting or in violent or threatening behavior;
     (2)Refuses to obey an official order to disperse issued to maintain public safety in dangerous proximity to a fire, hazard or other emergency; or
     (3)Creates a hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act that serves no legitimate purpose.
(b)A person also violates this section who makes unreasonable noise that prevents others from carrying on lawful activities.
(c)A violation of this section is a Class C misdemeanor.
[Acts 1989, ch. 591, § 1.]

Hmmm. Obviously vague, but a(3) seems to fit pretty well to me.

And your comment about this case being dismissed by "any judge with a shred of respect for the law". This is happening in Tennessee! How many judges in that state are going to throw this out?
 
2013-03-17 05:59:47 AM

BarkingUnicorn: BigBooper: I don't know that even the ACLU would try to argue in court that people have the right to post a sign in their yard that says "FARK YOU :Insert Name:".

The ACLU has defended NAMBLA and the Westboro Baptist Church, not to mention the KKK, neo-Nazis, and the Nation of Islam.  When criticized, the ACLU's response was,

"It is easy to defend freedom of speech when the message is something many people find at least reasonable. But the defense of freedom of speech is most critical when the message is one most people find repulsive."


She created a sign, visible to the public, containing the word "F*ck". Can you site one case where the use of that word on a public sign has been found to be protected speech?
 
2013-03-17 06:18:59 AM
Where did the toilet come from?
 
2013-03-17 06:37:13 AM

20/20: Where did the toilet come from?


s21.postimage.org

Maybe..
 
2013-03-17 06:38:41 AM

BigBooper: 39-17-305. Disorderly conduct.
(a)A person commits an offense who, in a public place and with intent to cause public annoyance or alarm:
(1)Engages in fighting or in violent or threatening behavior;
(2)Refuses to obey an official order to disperse issued to maintain public safety in dangerous proximity to a fire, hazard or other emergency; or
(3)Creates a hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act that serves no legitimate purpose.
(b)A person also violates this section who makes unreasonable noise that prevents others from carrying on lawful activities.
(c)A violation of this section is a Class C misdemeanor.
[Acts 1989, ch. 591, § 1.]

Hmmm. Obviously vague, but a(3) seems to fit pretty well to me.

And your comment about this case being dismissed by "any judge with a shred of respect for the law". This is happening in Tennessee! How many judges in that state are going to throw this out?


Why do you think I added the qualifying phrase?

I'd argue all day over the Constitutionality of a(3).  Who the fark decides what's a legitimate purpose?  "Offense" is an emotional reaction in the law's context; what in Hell does "physically offensive" even mean?  That whole sentence is vague, arbitrary, and capricious.

In this case, the act is an act of political expression; the woman is criticizing a government official.  That puts the law under strict scrutiny, and it cannot be applied to this act.  Even if the act isn't political speech, "offensive" speech is is still very well protected by the First Amendment.
 
2013-03-17 06:48:16 AM
Can anyone recommend a good stool softener? It seems that my Wagonshutz from time to time.
 
2013-03-17 06:49:40 AM

BigBooper: She created a sign, visible to the public, containing the word "F*ck". Can you site one case where the use of that word on a public sign has been found to be protected speech?


How about Cohen v. California?

"Appellant was convicted of violating that part of Cal. Penal Code 415 which prohibits "maliciously and willfully disturb[ing] the peace or quiet of any neighborhood or person . . . by . . . offensive conduct," for wearing a jacket bearing the words "fark the Draft" in a corridor of the Los Angeles Courthouse. The Court of Appeal held that "offensive conduct" means "behavior which has a tendency to provoke others to acts of violence or to in turn disturb the peace," and affirmed the conviction. Held: Absent a more particularized and compelling reason for its actions, the State may not, consistently with the First and Fourteenth Amendments, make the simple public display of this single four-letter expletive a criminal offense. Pp. 22-26."
 
2013-03-17 08:06:31 AM
Stupid. It's not anywhere near vulgar. Only cause the guy is a cop.

2.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-03-17 08:21:54 AM

abhorrent1: Stupid. It's not anywhere near vulgar. Only cause the guy is a cop.


See the blurring? I think the "vulgar" part is there.
 
2013-03-17 08:24:53 AM
The thing I don't understand... Why a toilet?
 
2013-03-17 08:29:02 AM

BarkingUnicorn: BigBooper: She created a sign, visible to the public, containing the word "F*ck". Can you site one case where the use of that word on a public sign has been found to be protected speech?

How about Cohen v. California?

"Appellant was convicted of violating that part of Cal. Penal Code 415 which prohibits "maliciously and willfully disturb[ing] the peace or quiet of any neighborhood or person . . . by . . . offensive conduct," for wearing a jacket bearing the words "fark the Draft" in a corridor of the Los Angeles Courthouse. The Court of Appeal held that "offensive conduct" means "behavior which has a tendency to provoke others to acts of violence or to in turn disturb the peace," and affirmed the conviction. Held: Absent a more particularized and compelling reason for its actions, the State may not, consistently with the First and Fourteenth Amendments, make the simple public display of this single four-letter expletive a criminal offense. Pp. 22-26."


You're right. In 1971 arguably the most liberal Supreme court in the history of the nation over turned a conviction of a man who was protesting the Vietnam war.

Let's say this by some miracle makes it all the way up to TODAY's Supreme court. How confident are you that the modern court is going to decide for this defendant? A defendant not protesting an undeclared war, but the arrest of her meth dealing daughter.
 
2013-03-17 08:31:49 AM

kevinboehm: The thing I don't understand... Why a toilet?


The defendant's daughter was trying to flush a big bag of meth and it plugged up the toilet. To get the drugs, the cops tore up the toilet.

Thus the broken toilet.
 
2013-03-17 08:39:31 AM

LordOfThePings: abhorrent1: Stupid. It's not anywhere near vulgar. Only cause the guy is a cop.

See the blurring? I think the "vulgar" part is there.


I missed that. I thought that message seemed odd.
Still though, if he weren't a cop she probably wouldn't get charged. At worst they'd probably just make her take it down.
 
2013-03-17 08:53:24 AM
I really don't agree with her about the attitude towards the cop.  She should be really pissed at her daughter.  I am sure the daughter caused more damage to her life than the cops tearing up a toilet.  I would've told the cops to relax, I'll get my tools and we'll get the toilet up easier.  Then start planning who will fill her spot at the next Thanksgiving, because she won't be making it.

Good for her for not living in a HOA, that would be worse than the cops.
 
2013-03-17 08:59:41 AM
Reminds me of the time I was being sat with another boss on a project. Question came up. She had an answer. I knew for a fact it was the wrong answer.mi went to ask my boss. He was busy. I went to ask a coworker who gave me an answer (which would turn out to be correct in the end) boss got all pissed off at me, accused me of a bullshiat charge include insubordination. I was suspended for a week without pay and I walked out with a smile saying "thanks for the free weeks vacation!"

My wife commented "you can't suspend someone because your feelings were hurt"

Sounds like the same concept applies here.

My suspension was overturned first level which never happens. Shows just how ludicrous it was.

//CBSCBS
 
2013-03-17 09:26:42 AM
BigBooper: kevinboehm: The thing I don't understand... Why a toilet?

The defendant's daughter was trying to flush a big bag of meth and it plugged up the toilet. To get the drugs, the cops tore up the toilet.

Thus the broken disassembled toilet.

The pic clearly shows the tank and bowl intact. The cops obviously took the time to get the necessary tools to unfasten the four bolts holding the tank to the bowl and the bowl to the floor. They should have just smacked it with the same sledge hammer they always have on hand when executing a search warrant.
 
2013-03-17 10:02:35 AM
Image forensically restored in the FARK Laboratory.
i.imgur.com

/fail to see the problem
 
2013-03-17 10:10:50 AM

Taylor Mental: BigBooper: kevinboehm: The thing I don't understand... Why a toilet?

The defendant's daughter was trying to flush a big bag of meth and it plugged up the toilet. To get the drugs, the cops tore up the toilet.

Thus the broken disassembled toilet.

The pic clearly shows the tank and bowl intact. The cops obviously took the time to get the necessary tools to unfasten the four bolts holding the tank to the bowl and the bowl to the floor. They should have just smacked it with the same sledge hammer they always have on hand when executing a search warrant.


We can't see the base of the toilet, and TFA describes it as a "broken toilet". The toilet is obviously not shattered, but we don't know if the cops unscrewed the bolts, or if they just grabbed a handy crowbar. And all my toilets are attached with two bolts, not four. A good kick would easily break out the porcelain around those bolts.

I'm going to say the odds are much higher that the toilet is busted out rather than the cops took the time to be polite and disassemble the toilet.
 
2013-03-17 10:16:17 AM

wambu: Image forensically restored in the FARK Laboratory.
[i.imgur.com image 349x403]

/fail to see the problem


Now enhance that image. Zoom in on that speck in grid A6. It's a reflection! Zoom in further and enhance resolution. Get back to us when you have a picture of the perpetrator.

/It's science biatches!
 
2013-03-17 10:30:22 AM
2.bp.blogspot.com

It's vulga'.  I won't 'ave it!
 
2013-03-17 10:36:52 AM

BigBooper: BarkingUnicorn: BigBooper: She created a sign, visible to the public, containing the word "F*ck". Can you site one case where the use of that word on a public sign has been found to be protected speech?

How about Cohen v. California?

"Appellant was convicted of violating that part of Cal. Penal Code 415 which prohibits "maliciously and willfully disturb[ing] the peace or quiet of any neighborhood or person . . . by . . . offensive conduct," for wearing a jacket bearing the words "fark the Draft" in a corridor of the Los Angeles Courthouse. The Court of Appeal held that "offensive conduct" means "behavior which has a tendency to provoke others to acts of violence or to in turn disturb the peace," and affirmed the conviction. Held: Absent a more particularized and compelling reason for its actions, the State may not, consistently with the First and Fourteenth Amendments, make the simple public display of this single four-letter expletive a criminal offense. Pp. 22-26."

You're right. In 1971 arguably the most liberal Supreme court in the history of the nation over turned a conviction of a man who was protesting the Vietnam war.

Let's say this by some miracle makes it all the way up to TODAY's Supreme court. How confident are you that the modern court is going to decide for this defendant? A defendant not protesting an undeclared war, but the arrest of her meth dealing daughter.


I'd wager any amount that you care to name.

There's another difference between the California law and Tennesse's:  the latter is so vague that a defendant is not given fair notice of what is prohibited.  The Cali law explicitly prohibited lewd or vulgar language uttered in the presence of women or children.  Somehow that issue did not come before the Court, though it was noted in a footnote to the decision.
 
2013-03-17 10:42:11 AM

BigBooper: Taylor Mental: BigBooper: kevinboehm: The thing I don't understand... Why a toilet?

The defendant's daughter was trying to flush a big bag of meth and it plugged up the toilet. To get the drugs, the cops tore up the toilet.

Thus the broken disassembled toilet.

The pic clearly shows the tank and bowl intact. The cops obviously took the time to get the necessary tools to unfasten the four bolts holding the tank to the bowl and the bowl to the floor. They should have just smacked it with the same sledge hammer they always have on hand when executing a search warrant.

We can't see the base of the toilet, and TFA describes it as a "broken toilet". The toilet is obviously not shattered, but we don't know if the cops unscrewed the bolts, or if they just grabbed a handy crowbar. And all my toilets are attached with two bolts, not four. A good kick would easily break out the porcelain around those bolts.

I'm going to say the odds are much higher that the toilet is busted out rather than the cops took the time to be polite and disassemble the toilet.


It's not clear from TFA that the toilet in the pic is the one the cops "searched," or that they ever found drugs in the mother's house.  If  they had, I'm sure she would be with her daughter in jail.  The bust must have gone down at the daughter's residence.
 
2013-03-17 10:52:11 AM

BigBooper: BarkingUnicorn: BigBooper: Cop or not, placing a sign in your front yard with an obscenity on it is liable to get you charged with disorderly conduct in almost any town and city in the country.

And it will be dismissed by any judge with a shred of respect for the law.  You might want to research what "disorderly conduct" means.

O.K.
2010 Tennessee Code
Title 39 - Criminal Offenses
Chapter 17 - Offenses Against Public Health, Safety and Welfare
Part 3 - Disorderly Conduct and Riots

39-17-305. Disorderly conduct.
(a)A person commits an offense who, in a public place and with intent to cause public annoyance or alarm:
     (1)Engages in fighting or in violent or threatening behavior;
     (2)Refuses to obey an official order to disperse issued to maintain public safety in dangerous proximity to a fire, hazard or other emergency; or
     (3)Creates a hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act that serves no legitimate purpose.
(b)A person also violates this section who makes unreasonable noise that prevents others from carrying on lawful activities.
(c)A violation of this section is a Class C misdemeanor.
[Acts 1989, ch. 591, § 1.]

Hmmm. Obviously vague, but a(3) seems to fit pretty well to me.

And your comment about this case being dismissed by "any judge with a shred of respect for the law". This is happening in Tennessee! How many judges in that state are going to throw this out?


Your interpretation of the statute is incorrect.

Number 3 requires the creation of "hazardous or physically offensive condition..."

The display of a sign, neither was "hazardous" and it didn't create a "physically offensive condition".  It would have been different if they had placed the toilet in the middle of the road where it could have interfered with traffic, but this was in her front yard.

Even it was hazardous or created a physically offensive condition, number 3 still wouldn't apply as the message had a legitimate purpose, in that it was a protest against actions taken by an agent of the state, and thus protected free speech.
 
2013-03-17 10:58:29 AM
Cops like this are why it's important to never let the camel's nose under the tent on the 1st amendment.  Hateful speech is free speech.  The corrupt don't need any more ammunition for disrespecting the rights we all have.
 
2013-03-17 11:05:50 AM

BigBooper: BarkingUnicorn: BigBooper: She created a sign, visible to the public, containing the word "F*ck". Can you site one case where the use of that word on a public sign has been found to be protected speech?

How about Cohen v. California?

"Appellant was convicted of violating that part of Cal. Penal Code 415 which prohibits "maliciously and willfully disturb[ing] the peace or quiet of any neighborhood or person . . . by . . . offensive conduct," for wearing a jacket bearing the words "fark the Draft" in a corridor of the Los Angeles Courthouse. The Court of Appeal held that "offensive conduct" means "behavior which has a tendency to provoke others to acts of violence or to in turn disturb the peace," and affirmed the conviction. Held: Absent a more particularized and compelling reason for its actions, the State may not, consistently with the First and Fourteenth Amendments, make the simple public display of this single four-letter expletive a criminal offense. Pp. 22-26."

You're right. In 1971 arguably the most liberal Supreme court in the history of the nation over turned a conviction of a man who was protesting the Vietnam war.

Let's say this by some miracle makes it all the way up to TODAY's Supreme court. How confident are you that the modern court is going to decide for this defendant? A defendant not protesting an undeclared war, but the arrest of her meth dealing daughter.


Looks like *someone* doesn't understand precedent.
 
2013-03-17 11:41:09 AM

JeffreyScott: BigBooper: BarkingUnicorn: BigBooper: Cop or not, placing a sign in your front yard with an obscenity on it is liable to get you charged with disorderly conduct in almost any town and city in the country.

And it will be dismissed by any judge with a shred of respect for the law.  You might want to research what "disorderly conduct" means.

O.K.
2010 Tennessee Code
Title 39 - Criminal Offenses
Chapter 17 - Offenses Against Public Health, Safety and Welfare
Part 3 - Disorderly Conduct and Riots

39-17-305. Disorderly conduct.
(a)A person commits an offense who, in a public place and with intent to cause public annoyance or alarm:
     (1)Engages in fighting or in violent or threatening behavior;
     (2)Refuses to obey an official order to disperse issued to maintain public safety in dangerous proximity to a fire, hazard or other emergency; or
     (3)Creates a hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act that serves no legitimate purpose.
(b)A person also violates this section who makes unreasonable noise that prevents others from carrying on lawful activities.
(c)A violation of this section is a Class C misdemeanor.
[Acts 1989, ch. 591, § 1.]

Hmmm. Obviously vague, but a(3) seems to fit pretty well to me.

And your comment about this case being dismissed by "any judge with a shred of respect for the law". This is happening in Tennessee! How many judges in that state are going to throw this out?

Your interpretation of the statute is incorrect.

Number 3 requires the creation of "hazardous or physically offensive condition..."

The display of a sign, neither was "hazardous" and it didn't create a "physically offensive condition".  It would have been different if they had placed the toilet in the middle of the road where it could have interfered with traffic, but this was in her front yard.


Even it was hazardous or created a physically offensive condition, number 3 still wouldn't apply as the message had a legitimate purpose, in that it was a protest against actions taken by an agent of the state, and thus protected free speech.

Agree. Also, who gets to decide what is a 'legitimate purpose'?

Any good lawyer, much less the ACLU, is going to bring up the point that unless the police are addressing all "physically offensive conditions by any act that serves no legitimate purpose" in town equally, that this is abuse of power on many levels.
 
2013-03-17 11:41:54 AM

BigBooper: Taylor Mental: BigBooper: kevinboehm: The thing I don't understand... Why a toilet?

The defendant's daughter was trying to flush a big bag of meth and it plugged up the toilet. To get the drugs, the cops tore up the toilet.

Thus the broken disassembled toilet.

The pic clearly shows the tank and bowl intact. The cops obviously took the time to get the necessary tools to unfasten the four bolts holding the tank to the bowl and the bowl to the floor. They should have just smacked it with the same sledge hammer they always have on hand when executing a search warrant.

We can't see the base of the toilet, and TFA describes it as a "broken toilet". The toilet is obviously not shattered, but we don't know if the cops unscrewed the bolts, or if they just grabbed a handy crowbar. And all my toilets are attached with two bolts, not four. A good kick would easily break out the porcelain around those bolts.

I'm going to say the odds are much higher that the toilet is busted out rather than the cops took the time to be polite and disassemble the toilet.


LOL, you've never removed a toilet, have you?

I don't care what the article says. The picture clearly shows the part of the bowl with the two holes where the tank attaches to be intact. You cannot remove the tank from the bowl without either sawing through or unscrewing the nuts and bolts. Prying will only result in shattering either the tank, the bowl, or both. Toilets are made of vitreous china, which is basically kiln fired clay. It has the molecular consistency of glass.

I don't think the cops were being polite either, I think they were being stupid. And had they somehow managed to carefully break the two bottom bolt mounts securing the bowl to the floor without shattering it (highly unlikely) why would they go to the trouble of unscrewing the bolts attaching the tank to the bowl? Once the lower bolts are off you just pull the entire thing up and off its flange.

And believe me, the only thing you're going to accomplish by kicking a toilet bowl is breaking your foot.
 
2013-03-17 11:46:43 AM

BarkingUnicorn: BigBooper: 39-17-305. Disorderly conduct.
(a)A person commits an offense who, in a public place and with intent to cause public annoyance or alarm:
(1)Engages in fighting or in violent or threatening behavior;
(2)Refuses to obey an official order to disperse issued to maintain public safety in dangerous proximity to a fire, hazard or other emergency; or
(3)Creates a hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act that serves no legitimate purpose.
(b)A person also violates this section who makes unreasonable noise that prevents others from carrying on lawful activities.
(c)A violation of this section is a Class C misdemeanor.
[Acts 1989, ch. 591, § 1.]

Hmmm. Obviously vague, but a(3) seems to fit pretty well to me.

And your comment about this case being dismissed by "any judge with a shred of respect for the law". This is happening in Tennessee! How many judges in that state are going to throw this out?

Why do you think I added the qualifying phrase?

I'd argue all day over the Constitutionality of a(3).  Who the fark decides what's a legitimate purpose?  "Offense" is an emotional reaction in the law's context; what in Hell does "physically offensive" even mean?  That whole sentence is vague, arbitrary, and capricious.

In this case, the act is an act of political expression; the woman is criticizing a government official.  That puts the law under strict scrutiny, and it cannot be applied to this act.  Even if the act isn't political speech, "offensive" speech is is still very well protected by the First Amendment.


I'd argue all day about "physically offensive" since her sign clearly wasn't.
 
2013-03-17 12:05:10 PM
Oh, Mount Pleasant, TN. In DC's Mount Pleasant neighborhood this would be taken as a art installation and promptly ignored.
 
2013-03-17 02:20:53 PM

BarkingUnicorn: andychrist420: BarkingUnicorn: So we have a judge who issued a warrant without probable cause and a DA who just makes shiat up about speech having to have "a legitimate purpose."  This is going to be good!

Did you see the charges against her?  Seems like she had been under surveillance for a while.  She was a know drug dealer apparently.  And got caught with meth again in jail. Although breaking in on a warrant might be problematic, unless she was a wanted felon.  And TFA doesn't say, but the town may have obscenity laws.  But it's a $50 dollar fine.  I doubt the ACLU would get involved.

The drug charges are against her daughter, who was also the one caught with meth in jail.  TFA fails to clearly identify which "Powell" it's talking about in different sections.

If the town had an obscenity law that covered what she did, she would have been charged under it.

You don't know the ACLU very well.


It was pretty clear to me which Powell was being talked about in which section.

/reading comprehension
//they used to teach it in schools
 
2013-03-17 02:26:04 PM

GAT_00: basemetal: Meh, that's going to cost the taxpayers of that town a bit.

I can speak for personal knowledge and say that whatever they make the town pay, it doesn't have it.


There's at least one Police Officer's salary they can use to pay for violating a citizen's rights.
 
2013-03-17 02:41:17 PM

BarkingUnicorn: BigBooper: BarkingUnicorn: BigBooper: She created a sign, visible to the public, containing the word "F*ck". Can you site one case where the use of that word on a public sign has been found to be protected speech?

How about Cohen v. California?

"Appellant was convicted of violating that part of Cal. Penal Code 415 which prohibits "maliciously and willfully disturb[ing] the peace or quiet of any neighborhood or person . . . by . . . offensive conduct," for wearing a jacket bearing the words "fark the Draft" in a corridor of the Los Angeles Courthouse. The Court of Appeal held that "offensive conduct" means "behavior which has a tendency to provoke others to acts of violence or to in turn disturb the peace," and affirmed the conviction. Held: Absent a more particularized and compelling reason for its actions, the State may not, consistently with the First and Fourteenth Amendments, make the simple public display of this single four-letter expletive a criminal offense. Pp. 22-26."

You're right. In 1971 arguably the most liberal Supreme court in the history of the nation over turned a conviction of a man who was protesting the Vietnam war.

Let's say this by some miracle makes it all the way up to TODAY's Supreme court. How confident are you that the modern court is going to decide for this defendant? A defendant not protesting an undeclared war, but the arrest of her meth dealing daughter.

I'd wager any amount that you care to name.

There's another difference between the California law and Tennesse's:  the latter is so vague that a defendant is not given fair notice of what is prohibited.  The Cali law explicitly prohibited lewd or vulgar language uttered in the presence of women or children.  Somehow that issue did not come before the Court, though it was noted in a footnote to the decision.


Google arrested for flipping off cop or something similar. You will find a litany of court cases where police officers arrested someone who flicked them off or said fark you to them. You'll also find that the person had the charge thrown out, the judge admonished the DA and policeman, and the person successfully sued the town for false arrest or something similar.

That article has three links for you

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/01/flipping-off-cop-case/
 
2013-03-17 03:50:13 PM

untaken_name: LordOfThePings: [kmpunksays.files.wordpress.com image 480x480]

I think they were lying. I ate the whole roll and I just feel kinda full.

/burrrrrrrrrrrrp


Don't eat the brown acid
 
2013-03-17 05:03:01 PM
Free speech oinker. You will never win the popularity contest so get over it.
 
2013-03-17 08:22:53 PM

redmid17: Google arrested for flipping off cop or something similar. You will find a litany of court cases where police officers arrested someone who flicked them off or said fark you to them. You'll also find that the person had the charge thrown out, the judge admonished the DA and policeman, and the person successfully sued the town for false arrest or something similar.


When I was 17, I flipped off a cop hoping he would beat me down and I could get a big payday from the city. I had a couple of "witnesses" just in case. We must have flipped off about 10 cops that day, before we gave up. The only reaction I even got was one cop who busted out laughing and flipped me off back. I have to admit, that wasn't the result we expected.
 
2013-03-17 08:26:27 PM

untaken_name: redmid17: Google arrested for flipping off cop or something similar. You will find a litany of court cases where police officers arrested someone who flicked them off or said fark you to them. You'll also find that the person had the charge thrown out, the judge admonished the DA and policeman, and the person successfully sued the town for false arrest or something similar.

When I was 17, I flipped off a cop hoping he would beat me down and I could get a big payday from the city. I had a couple of "witnesses" just in case. We must have flipped off about 10 cops that day, before we gave up. The only reaction I even got was one cop who busted out laughing and flipped me off back. I have to admit, that wasn't the result we expected.


Haha that reaction would have been worth seeing live and in person. "Did he seriously just flip me off back?"
 
2013-03-17 09:11:22 PM
Free Speech V. Meth
/No winners here
//case is gonna go on and on ...
 
2013-03-17 10:59:18 PM
Broken toilet on front line - Ok
Insulting a cop with it - YER GOING DOWN!

Tennessee
 
2013-03-18 12:49:21 AM

redmid17: untaken_name: redmid17: Google arrested for flipping off cop or something similar. You will find a litany of court cases where police officers arrested someone who flicked them off or said fark you to them. You'll also find that the person had the charge thrown out, the judge admonished the DA and policeman, and the person successfully sued the town for false arrest or something similar.

When I was 17, I flipped off a cop hoping he would beat me down and I could get a big payday from the city. I had a couple of "witnesses" just in case. We must have flipped off about 10 cops that day, before we gave up. The only reaction I even got was one cop who busted out laughing and flipped me off back. I have to admit, that wasn't the result we expected.

Haha that reaction would have been worth seeing live and in person. "Did he seriously just flip me off back?"


Yeah, I wish there had been cellular phones with cheap cameras on them back then. I bet the video would have gone viral. I am, however, glad that I tried this in the early 90s and not today.
 
Displayed 72 of 72 comments

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »






Report