A man in Florida says he is weighing his options following what he believes was a wrongful arrest on Sunday.
According to 23-year-old Dillon Webb, he was driving in Columbia County when a sheriff’s deputy pulled him over.
The officer reportedly instructed him to remove a portion of a sticker displayed on his bumper.
When Webb refused, citing his constitutional right to free speech, the deputy initiated an arrest. The message — “I eat a–” — was a violation of state law.
The driver was reportedly booked into jail and released after posting $2,500 bond. His Chevrolet truck was towed away from the scene. And now he says he looks forward to filing a lawsuit against the agency.
“I’m tired of police forces thinking they are above the Constitution, the Bill of Rights,” he said.
Describing the deputy as “just really rude,” Webb said he made it seem that “his goal was to get me in jail.”
Webb is expected to face criminal charges including obscene writing on vehicles and resisting an officer without violence.
He disagrees with the justification for his arrest, saying that what strikes him a vulgar “might not be vulgar to someone else.”
The sheriff’s department, however, stands by the deputy’s application of the law.
“If the law is faulty, then the legislature can address that,” Sgt. Murray Smith said. “Or if the law is unconstitutional, then the judiciary will address it.”
In a statement on the matter, the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union seems to side with Webb.
“Shouldn’t police officers spend their time serving and protecting communities and not pulling Floridians over for speech that is already protected by the First Amendment?” the statement read. “Using the excuse that a child would see and ask questions about this particular bumper sticker is absurd.”
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