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"Sticker stuck in cop's craw" - Officer threatens arrest unless anti-Bush sticker removed
Rocky Mountain News ^ | January 25, 2005 | Brian D. Crecente

Posted on 01/25/2005 10:02:23 AM PST by DaveLoneRanger

A Denver police sergeant is under investigation for allegedly threatening to arrest a woman Monday for displaying on her truck a derogatory bumper sticker about President Bush.

"He told her that this was a warning and that the next time he saw her truck, she was going to be arrested if she didn't remove the sticker," said Alinna Figueroa, 25, assistant manager of The UPS Store where the confrontation took place. "I couldn't believe it."

Denver police have initiated an investigation into the alleged incident, said Police Chief Gerry Whitman. He declined to comment further.

About 11 a.m., Shasta Bates, 26, was standing in the shopping center store in the 800 block of South Monaco Parkway when a man walked in and started arguing with her about a bumper sticker on the back of her truck that had "F--- Bush" in white letters on a black background.

"He was saying it was very sick and wrong and you shouldn't be doing that," Bates said. "He was very offended by it. I said, 'You didn't have to take it so personally.' "

The two argued for a few minutes, and then the man walked out of the store and stood behind Bates' truck. A few minutes later, the man flagged down police Sgt. Michael Karasek, who was patrolling the area.

Rocky Mountain News reporter Katie Kerwin McCrimmon, who happened to be at the store at the time, walked up to the two and asked what was going on.

The man pointed the bumper sticker out to McCrimmon, and then Karasek told her that it was illegal because it was profane, McCrimmon said.

Reached late Monday, City Attorney Cole Finnegan said he didn't believe there were any city ordinances against displaying a profane bumper sticker.

Karasek then walked into the store and confronted Bates.

"He said, 'You need to take off those stickers because it's profanity and it's against the law to have profanity on your truck,' " Bates said. "Then he said, 'If you ever show up here again, I'm going to make you take those stickers off and arrest you. Never come back into that area.' "

McCrimmon, who had followed the officer into the store, said Karasek wrote down the woman's license-plate number and then told her: "You take those bumper stickers off or I will come and find you and I will arrest you."

Bates said she hasn't had many complaints about her sticker, which has shared the space on the back of her truck with many other stickers since August.

She said she put the sticker on her truck because she disagrees with Bush's stance on homosexuality and "other issues."

"I get some older men who pull up at the side of me and start yelling and cussing," she said, "but it's not a crime unless they take some action."

Colorado ACLU Legal Director Mark Silverstein said that the alleged threat of arrest clearly violates First Amendment protection.

"The Supreme Court considered a case about 30-some years ago where a person was prosecuted for wearing a jacket that said, 'F--- the draft,' on the back. The Supreme Court said states could not prohibit people from wearing such a jacket," he said. "They said, 'One man's profanity is another man's lyric.' "

Ted Halaby, chairman of the Colorado Republican Party, said that while he finds the bumper sticker's message distasteful, he also realizes that it's probably protected under the First Amendment.

"There are all sorts of derogatory bumper stickers that seem to be covered under the First Amendment," he said, "whether or not you find them personally distasteful."


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Politics/Elections; US: Colorado
KEYWORDS: bumpersticker; bushcampaign; police
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If profanity is illegal in any case, then good for him. But it's not like it makes a big difference...they'll scrawl it on overpasses, in bathroom stalls, and on signs at the Inauguration. (Even in piles of police horse manure...my eyewitness account proves it)
1 posted on 01/25/2005 10:02:24 AM PST by DaveLoneRanger
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To: DaveLoneRanger

If you can't have it on your license plate, how is it okay to have it on your bumper?


2 posted on 01/25/2005 10:06:23 AM PST by OldFriend (America's glory is not dominion, but liberty.)
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Comment #3 Removed by Moderator

To: DaveLoneRanger
In other words, this threatened arrest was about the "F" bomb and not President Bush.

Nice job, media.

4 posted on 01/25/2005 10:08:57 AM PST by Coop (In memory of a true hero - Pat Tillman)
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To: DaveLoneRanger

Maybe this is the same cop that let me out of my speeding ticket because I have a Bush/Cheney 04 bumper sticker.

It's all Bush's fault!


5 posted on 01/25/2005 10:09:01 AM PST by RushCrush (GWB: Saving your ass whether you like it or not!)
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To: DaveLoneRanger

Would her sticker fall under a "hate crime" law? Or "fighting words" law? Maybe just an advertisement that the owner of the vehicle is a no-class slobasaurus.


6 posted on 01/25/2005 10:09:21 AM PST by muleskinner
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To: DaveLoneRanger
The left has lost any sense of common decency they may have once had.

Maybe she should be allowed to leave the sticker for all to see. That way she can offer more proof that the left is without ideals or morals and seeks to do nothing more than offend and hate.

I have liberal relatives who are becoming increasingly disenchanted with what the left is becoming. 4 more years of seeing garbage like that may very well drive them to vote 3rd party, moderate republican or not at all.
7 posted on 01/25/2005 10:10:40 AM PST by cripplecreek (they call me tater.)
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To: DaveLoneRanger

2nd time around

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1328004/posts?page=27#27


8 posted on 01/25/2005 10:11:06 AM PST by Vaquero
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To: DaveLoneRanger
F- Bush, eh?  Hmmm... the liberal makes a sound arguement.  See ya guys, I'm off the R/Conservative bandwagon and headed over to get a screen name on D.U.
 
Owl_Eagle

"You know, I'm going to start thanking
the woman who cleans the restroom in
the building I work in.  I'm going to start
thinking of her as a human being"

-Hillary Clinton
(Yes, she really said that
Peggy Noonan
The Case Against Hillary Clinton, pg 55)

9 posted on 01/25/2005 10:12:27 AM PST by South Hawthorne ("If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace;" –Thomas Paine)
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To: DaveLoneRanger
I've said it on other threads, and I'll say it again here. We should not be trying to eliminate these bumper stickers. We should be passing them out to anyone who wants one, in fact. You can't defeat an enemy you can't see. These sorts of stickers, as well as t-shirts, etc., make it so much easier to identify the lunatic fringe. Anyone who wants to put a sticker on their car that says "Hey, look at me! I'm a full-blown idiot with a very, very limited vocabulary!" is fine by me. They identify themselves, and make it easier for us to know who we have to combat.

So let 'em have their bumper stickers. They get to feel good about their "comformist non-comformity", and we get to know who they are. Makes it easier.

10 posted on 01/25/2005 10:12:30 AM PST by Jokelahoma (Animal testing is a bad idea. They get all nervous and give wrong answers.)
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To: Coop

So I take this as the officer being mistaken about the profanity? Why couldn't he arrest her for DO? My buddy got arrested for DO for getting into an argument and using the f-word in public (loudly). It had nothing to do with the First Amendment, just acting "disorderly" on . Hmmm. I thought about the "F-the draft case" when he was arrested, too...but his lawyer said it did not apply to the DO charge. Some lawyer explain this to me.


11 posted on 01/25/2005 10:13:16 AM PST by Electrowoman
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To: Electrowoman

Sorry, that's Disorderly Conduct. Should have written DOC.


12 posted on 01/25/2005 10:13:48 AM PST by Electrowoman
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To: DaveLoneRanger
(Even in piles of police horse manure...my eyewitness account proves it)

Maybe the lesbian-rights supporter sporting the sticker is one of them coprophiliacs?

13 posted on 01/25/2005 10:14:29 AM PST by Old Professer (When the fear of dying no longer obtains no act is unimaginable.)
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To: OldFriend

The state owns your license plate.


14 posted on 01/25/2005 10:15:05 AM PST by Old Professer (When the fear of dying no longer obtains no act is unimaginable.)
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To: Jokelahoma

Nicely said.


15 posted on 01/25/2005 10:16:21 AM PST by cripplecreek (they call me tater.)
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To: DaveLoneRanger
"About 11 a.m., Shasta Bates, 26, was standing in the shopping center store..."

OMG, I just love that name...gotta be a sick joke in there somewhere, hmmmmmm?

16 posted on 01/25/2005 10:17:06 AM PST by Lekker 1 (A government policy to rob Peter to pay Paul can be assured of the support of Paul [G.B. Shaw])
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To: DaveLoneRanger

Do you mean there's something wrong with my "F- the Police" bumper sticker?? < / sarcasm>


17 posted on 01/25/2005 10:21:05 AM PST by Tall_Texan (Let's REALLY Split The Country! (http://righteverytime3.blogspot.com))
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To: Owl_Eagle
"See ya guys, I'm off the R/Conservative bandwagon and headed over to get a screen name on D.U."

Be careful, spending time at the D.U. causes a loss of brain function. We will miss you!!

18 posted on 01/25/2005 10:27:48 AM PST by Jersey Republican Biker Chick (Never play leapfrog with a unicorn!)
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To: Jokelahoma

Yep. The "reformers" are losing and the loons are still firmly in charge of the left - and making sure everyone knows it.


19 posted on 01/25/2005 10:29:40 AM PST by colorado tanker (The People Have Spoken)
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To: DaveLoneRanger

Hmmm - I wonder what the outcome would be if the sticker said "F--- Queers" or something of the sort? Would it pass from being a 1st Amendment issue to a hate crime?


20 posted on 01/25/2005 10:31:22 AM PST by trebb ("I am the way... no one comes to the Father, but by me..." - Jesus in John 14:6 (RSV))
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