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(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  
•       •       •

8966 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»



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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 [TotalFark]
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
 
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