Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Another Crazy Attack on Free Speech

The moral police are at it again - and I do mean police. A woman in Georgia recently received a $100 ticket because she had what the officer felt was a lewd bumpersticker on her car.
Denise Grier is a nurse at Emory University hospital in Georgia.

On March 10, she was driving home from dinner when a Dekalb County police officer pulled her over.

“At least initially, I was just surprised because I hadn’t done anything wrong,” she says.

“When he approached the car, he had his hand on his weapon, and I was in my nurse’s uniform with a stethoscope around my neck. He asked for my license, and then said, ‘Any idea why I stopped you.’

“I said no.

“ ‘You have a lewd decal on your car.’ ”

Grier says she immediately thought that one of her kids had put something nasty on her bumper as a joke.

“But then he mentioned the Bush sticker,” she says. That one says: “I’m tired of all the BUSHIT.” (This story was first reported by Joe Johnson of the Athens Banner-Herald [1].)

Grier says she told the officer it wasn’t lewd, and that it was clearly a political statement. When he insisted it was lewd, she said, “I’m not going to discuss this any further. Just give me the ticket.” Which he did.

Under “offense,” it says: “Lewd decals.”

The ticket is for $100.
Grier's court date is April 18 and the ACLU is representing her because, as Grier herself says, “It’s not just a Democrat/Republican issue. Y’all need to get beyond that. It’s my right to speak, and yours.”

UPDATE: Hat tip to The Impolitic for news and comments about this case: "I'm glad to see the judge threw the case out, even though it doesn't compensate the victim of this bogus arrest for her time and aggravation. I'm not a litigious soul but I think she should now sue the stupid cop for false arrest."


Consider The Boot (Lily) said...

I heard about this and it made me really want this sticker...

Rory Shock said...

what a story ... the offense of "lewd stickering" man that's a new one ... you know those little redneck stickers of a caricature guy urinating on the logo of the non-prefered pickup truck (eg urinating on
FORD) or whatever ... I wonder if you could get life for one of those, or if you would even get a ticket at all 'cause the deputies prolly have those on their pickups ... then again what if you converted one of those to the little urinating guy urinating on the word "BUSH" ... probably get arrested ... that'd be an interesting experiment ... display em both on different cars and see what happens ... frankly, if I were a deputy, I'd be sorely tempted to arrest anyone with a "bush/cheney 2004" sticker for obscenity and inciting nausea ....

Lew Scannon said...

I always wanted to get one of those urinating boys and have them pee on a cross or American flag, but I really hate to have any stickers on my vehicles (except my children's "Student Of the Month" stickers)for personal rreasons.
It seems like every day we slide a little farther into a police state where dissension is punished.

Lily said...

Well I don't have stickers but this might just make me rethink my policy!

Came to fix links, I know I was already here! :)

Kvatch said...

I heard about this and it made me really want this sticker...

Me too. Where can I get one. Course I'll have to stick it on my ass. (Don't own a car.)

ThePoetryMan said...

Can you run fast enough to get a speeding ticket? :>)

ThePoetryMan said...

I'm putting you on my favorites (Echoing Voices)...

Kathy said...

Funny comments!! I forgot all about the sticker of the urinating guy!

How about the confederate flag some rednecks plaster across their back windows? People here in the north take offense to that one. I've also seen some pretty rude anti-religion stickers.

The bottom line is that people have a right to free speech. However, Kvatch, you might want to make sure you're wearing pants when you wear that sticker. Nudity in public will get you a ticket!

Poetry man, thanks for adding me to your blog. I'll give your blog the same honors, along with Lily and Rory. Sorry, I'm bad about mentioning links. I usually just add them in here and there and go about my merry way!