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Judge: Activist defamed officer
Roanoke Times ^ | 07/30/2010 | Mike Gangloff

Posted on 07/30/2010 8:47:32 AM PDT by freedomwarrior998

A Roanoke community activist who compared a city police officer's shooting of a teenager with the actions of a Ku Klux Klansman must pay the officer $5,000 for defamation, a judge said Thursday.

(Excerpt) Read more at roanoke.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: communityorganizer; cops; defamation; donutwatch; police
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1 posted on 07/30/2010 8:47:38 AM PDT by freedomwarrior998
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To: freedomwarrior998

Meanwhile, the officer and his brothers remain completely insulated from THEIR actions.


2 posted on 07/30/2010 8:48:40 AM PDT by SJSAMPLE
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To: freedomwarrior998

more people who run around calling people names like this should be done in court, course the likes of MSNBC and the far left would lose a lot of money


3 posted on 07/30/2010 8:51:02 AM PDT by manc (WILL OBAMA EVER GO TO CHURCH ON A SUNDAY OR WILL HE LET THE MEDIA/THE LEFT BE FOOLED FOR EVER)
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To: SJSAMPLE

http://www.roanoke.com/news/roanoke/wb/255309

“...Omar’s comments at the city council meeting followed the December death of Raheim Alleyne, a 19-year-old suspect in a home invasion. Alleyne ran from officers, then opened fire as they closed in, a review by the Roanoke commonwealth’s attorney determined. Hicks, who is white, shot and killed Alleyne, who was black. The commonwealth’s attorney said the shooting was justified....”


4 posted on 07/30/2010 8:54:13 AM PDT by Protect the Bill of Rights (.)
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To: SJSAMPLE

Sounds like the shooting the cop was involved in was justified. The perp shot at him first.


5 posted on 07/30/2010 8:54:34 AM PDT by dis.kevin (Dry white toast)
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To: freedomwarrior998
The only evidence at the brief trial was Hicks' testimony that he'd been embarrassed by Omar's words and a videotape of the January council meeting where Omar spoke.

"He is acting no different than members of the Klan did years ago," Omar said at the meeting, referring to Hicks. "The only difference is that he and his other buddies have uniforms on now that provide them with legal cover as opposed to the white sheets. ... He's been wanting to shoot someone for a long time. Well, he finally has."

Lumsden called Omar to the witness stand, but Omar cited the Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination and did not testify.

"We didn't enter any evidence," Strelka said, "because it's my belief we didn't need to."

Another Roanoke officer sued a critic in 1995. In that case, an officer who was accused.

Funny, and here I thought that we had Freedom of Speech. Silly me, and a treasonous court.

6 posted on 07/30/2010 8:55:25 AM PDT by Hodar (Who needs laws .... when this "feels" so right?)
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To: dis.kevin

I agree, the guy needed a little shooting.

But the fact remains that a cop can sue you but you can’t sue a cop.


7 posted on 07/30/2010 8:57:37 AM PDT by SJSAMPLE
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To: dis.kevin
Sounds like the shooting the cop was involved in was justified. The perp shot at him first.

Sure, but when someone says something at a meeting; getting thrown in jail for making a statement is a bit extreme, and being fined $5,000 for saying it seems unAmerican.

8 posted on 07/30/2010 8:58:08 AM PDT by Hodar (Who needs laws .... when this "feels" so right?)
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To: SJSAMPLE
"Omar's comments at the city council meeting followed the December death of Raheim Alleyne, a 19-year-old suspect in a home invasion. Alleyne ran from officers, then opened fire as they closed in, a review by the Roanoke commonwealth's attorney determined. Hicks, who is white, shot and killed Alleyne, who was black. The commonwealth's attorney said the shooting was justified."
9 posted on 07/30/2010 8:58:27 AM PDT by Eagles6 ( Typical White Guy: Christian, Constitutionalist, Heterosexual, Redneck.)
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To: All

I would have NEVER used the Klan as a comparison to the police. They are more like Nazis to me. :-)


10 posted on 07/30/2010 8:58:37 AM PDT by texan75010
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To: freedomwarrior998

There are no certainties in the law racket, but there are a few rules of thumb. When you have a bench trial in a civil case, the best interests of banks, insurance companies and the government will be vigilantly protected. A criminal trial to the bench is usually a slow guilty plea.


11 posted on 07/30/2010 9:01:04 AM PDT by kbennkc (For those who have fought for it freedom has a flavor the protected will never know .F Trp 8th Cav)
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To: Hodar

Indeed. I really can’t see how the standard for slander was met. I also note that Omar was defended by the Rutherford Foundation, a right-wing civil liberties group.

Methinks that this verdict will be overturned on appeal, but IANAL.


12 posted on 07/30/2010 9:01:13 AM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have IngSoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: Hodar
Funny, and here I thought that we had Freedom of Speech. Silly me, and a treasonous court.

Freedom of Speech has NEVER meant Freedom to Slander.

13 posted on 07/30/2010 9:02:47 AM PDT by Onelifetogive (For the record, McCarthy was right.)
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To: freedomwarrior998
"He is acting no different than members of the Klan did years ago," Omar said at the meeting, referring to Hicks. "The only difference is that he and his other buddies have uniforms on now that provide them with legal cover as opposed to the white sheets. ... He's been wanting to shoot someone for a long time. Well, he finally has."

Unless he can present facts to support those statements (and he can't, or he would have) how are those words not libelous???

14 posted on 07/30/2010 9:03:26 AM PDT by Sooth2222 ("Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of congress. But I repeat myself." M.Twain)
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To: freedomwarrior998
Can we add having him placed in the Town/Village stocks on the Public Square for 30 days?


15 posted on 07/30/2010 9:03:50 AM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country! What else needs said?)
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To: texan75010
I would have NEVER used the Klan as a comparison to the police. They are more like Nazis to me. :-)

You nailed it. Klan cops hide their association with the government with bedsheets. Nazis have snappy uniforms, their own compliant judges, and beautiful court rooms with inspiring architecture.

16 posted on 07/30/2010 9:06:15 AM PDT by kbennkc (For those who have fought for it freedom has a flavor the protected will never know .F Trp 8th Cav)
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To: Hodar

“Sure, but when someone says something at a meeting; getting thrown in jail for making a statement is a bit extreme, and being fined $5,000 for saying it seems unAmerican.”

If the comment was made at a public meeting, and was addressing a public official’s actions while on duty, that person probably gave up his right to privacy, etc when they took the job. However, the laws of that particular state may eb different from the laws in Florida, which are the one’s I refer to.

Giving an opinion of someone seems to be a Constitutionally protected act.
Hopefully, the scummy race-baiter activist will appeal and win.

I don’t like precidents restricting speech, especially speech against officials. They are, after all, public servants and the servant must listen to the master, not sue over “hurt feelings”.

I wonder if this is a false flag suit to curtail 1st Amendment rights. Something smells about this case.


17 posted on 07/30/2010 9:06:32 AM PDT by GladesGuru (In a society predicated upon freedom, it is essential to examine principles,)
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To: Hodar

The First Amendment wasn’t intended to protect libel, slander or defamation of character.


18 posted on 07/30/2010 9:07:04 AM PDT by Howie66 (I can see November from my house.)
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To: Hodar
Funny, and here I thought that we had Freedom of Speech. Silly me, and a treasonous court.

You do not have the freedom to defame others. Defamation has never been protected under the First Amendment.

19 posted on 07/30/2010 9:08:01 AM PDT by freedomwarrior998
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To: Onelifetogive

Slander is in the eye of the beholder.

For example, I believe that Pres. Jughead is a Marxist, elitist, racist who wants to destroy America.

That is my opinion, and I am free to state it. The fact that you may (or may not) disagree is the sole determination of what slander is. In my view, I am stating the facts as I see them. To you, you may (or may not) view this as slander.

When we imprison someone for saying something we don’t want to hear; we have no freedom of speech.


20 posted on 07/30/2010 9:08:59 AM PDT by Hodar (Who needs laws .... when this "feels" so right?)
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To: Howie66
The First Amendment wasn’t intended to protect libel, slander or defamation of character.

Correct.

21 posted on 07/30/2010 9:09:23 AM PDT by freedomwarrior998
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To: Hodar
Lumsden called Omar to the witness stand, but Omar cited the Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination and did not testify.

In a civil trial the fifth amendment does not apply.

If a witness refuses to testify, the testimony of opposing witnesses is deemed to be true. That is the civil penalty for refusing to testify.

22 posted on 07/30/2010 9:10:38 AM PDT by Dan(9698)
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To: Howie66

you are correct, but this was editorial opinion in the form of speech at a public meeting. That is protected speech,not matter how vile or perhaps wrong.


23 posted on 07/30/2010 9:10:43 AM PDT by abigkahuna (Step on up folks and see the "Strange Thing" only a thin dollar, babies free)
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To: Hodar
Slander is in the eye of the beholder. For example, I believe that Pres. Jughead is a Marxist, elitist, racist who wants to destroy America. That is my opinion, and I am free to state it. The fact that you may (or may not) disagree is the sole determination of what slander is. In my view, I am stating the facts as I see them. To you, you may (or may not) view this as slander. When we imprison someone for saying something we don’t want to hear; we have no freedom of speech.

1. Defamation has a working definition and elements that have to be met. It isn't just how someone views what you say.

24 posted on 07/30/2010 9:15:08 AM PDT by freedomwarrior998
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To: freedomwarrior998
You do not have the freedom to defame others. Defamation has never been protected under the First Amendment.

You need to re-visit this period in History, and read the newspapers of the time. This is EXACTLY what the founding fathers were defending. Depicting King George III as an Ass in the newspapers was treated as treason. The Founding Fathers stated unequivatively that we have Freedom of Speech - and there are no "but" statements in that phrase.

Now in cases where physical damage may be done, there are common sense limitations - such as yelling 'Fire' in a crowded theater. But calling a cop, or any elected offical a name - that goes with the job.

How would you feel about paying a fine and going to jail for posting your opinion about Pres. Barak Hussein Obama?

25 posted on 07/30/2010 9:15:24 AM PDT by Hodar (Who needs laws .... when this "feels" so right?)
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To: Sooth2222
Unless he can present facts to support those statements (and he can't, or he would have) how are those words not libelous???

They are libelous, no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

26 posted on 07/30/2010 9:16:47 AM PDT by freedomwarrior998
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To: abigkahuna
but this was editorial opinion in the form of speech at a public meeting.

In a civil trial setting, his attorney knew full well that a refusal to testify makes whatever his accuser says, true in the eyes of the law.

It is not about free speech. It is about rules of civil procedure.

If he wanted to argue about free speech, he should have testified. Since he refused to testify, he forfeited that defense.

27 posted on 07/30/2010 9:20:17 AM PDT by Dan(9698)
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To: abigkahuna

Evidently the judge did not see that way. Thankfully.


28 posted on 07/30/2010 9:21:03 AM PDT by Howie66 (I can see November from my house.)
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To: freedomwarrior998
1. Defamation has a working definition and elements that have to be met. It isn't just how someone views what you say.

IANAL, but I do believe that in order for Slander to be met, I must know the facts and then malicously state a lie as the truth.

Such as stating that Pres. Barak Hussein Obama is a fine, upstanding, trustworthy, honorable President. That is something I believe is slanderous; for I know the truth, and what I said has little or no bearing upon the facts as I know them.

So, did this Activist state his opinion (protected) or did he know the facts and opt to espouse a lie? Given the context of the meeting, this appears to be an abuse of this man's Constitutional rights.

Or, ask yourself another question "How would you rather have the courts react - punish by imprisonment and fine for saying something they don 't like, or allow the protection of the First Ammendment?" Given the option, I'd rather that we honor the First Ammendment.

29 posted on 07/30/2010 9:21:23 AM PDT by Hodar (Who needs laws .... when this "feels" so right?)
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To: freedomwarrior998

How about Sherrod saying the Andrew Breitbart wants black people “back on the plantation”?

I hope he counter-sues!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


30 posted on 07/30/2010 9:22:07 AM PDT by Mr. K (Physically unable to proofreed (<---oops! see?))
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To: freedomwarrior998

Outstanding!


31 posted on 07/30/2010 9:22:25 AM PDT by Mobties
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To: freedomwarrior998

All he would have had to do is preface his statements with the phrase “In my opinion.....” and it wouldn’t have been defamation. Expensive lesson in the law for him.


32 posted on 07/30/2010 9:22:49 AM PDT by circlecity
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To: SJSAMPLE
Meanwhile, the officer and his brothers remain completely insulated from THEIR actions.

Not knowing this specifics of this case, I'm wondering what you think the police officer should be charged with and why.

33 posted on 07/30/2010 9:22:57 AM PDT by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)
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To: Howie66

Remember your opinion when the time comes that you are imprisoned and fined for stating your opinion about Pres. Obama.


34 posted on 07/30/2010 9:23:24 AM PDT by Hodar (Who needs laws .... when this "feels" so right?)
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To: manc
more people who run around calling people names like this should be done in court

Freedom is overrated. /s

35 posted on 07/30/2010 9:24:34 AM PDT by Fundamentally Fair (Bush: Mission Accomplished. Obama: Commission Accomplished.)
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To: Hodar
You need to re-visit this period in History, and read the newspapers of the time. This is EXACTLY what the founding fathers were defending. Depicting King George III as an Ass in the newspapers was treated as treason. The Founding Fathers stated unequivatively that we have Freedom of Speech - and there are no "but" statements in that phrase.

Defamation has been a tort since the founding of the nation. You are just flat out wrong if you assert otherwise. To be exact, defamation law actually pre-dates the Constitution. Read up on the Zenger case (1734.)

Now in cases where physical damage may be done, there are common sense limitations - such as yelling 'Fire' in a crowded theater. But calling a cop, or any elected offical a name - that goes with the job.

You seem to not know what Defamation is. Defamation isn't "calling someone a name." Defamation has working elements.

How would you feel about paying a fine and going to jail for posting your opinion about Pres. Barak Hussein Obama?

Red herring. No one is talking about putting people in jail or fining them. Defamation is a Civil Tort (a private wrong) between the person who is defamed and the person committing the defamation. Further, as I previously stated, one is free to have an opinion or state an opinion about anyone. You seem to have trouble understanding the elements of defamation. Perhaps you should look them up?

36 posted on 07/30/2010 9:27:42 AM PDT by freedomwarrior998
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Race hustling Muslim Omar vs cop who defended himself when attempting to arrest a violent offender. I am with the cop.


37 posted on 07/30/2010 9:29:04 AM PDT by Godwin1
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To: GladesGuru
Hopefully, the scummy race-baiter activist will appeal and win.

I like your style.

38 posted on 07/30/2010 9:29:14 AM PDT by Fundamentally Fair (Bush: Mission Accomplished. Obama: Commission Accomplished.)
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To: Howie66
The First Amendment wasn't intended to protect libel, slander or defamation of character.

"Is, then, the Federal Government, it will be asked, destitute of every authority for restraining the licentiousness of the press, and for shielding itself against the libellous attacks which may be made on those who administer it?

The Constitution alone can answer this question. If no such power be expressly delegated, and if it be not both necessary and proper to carry into execution an express power--above all, if it be expressly forbidden, by a declaratory amendment to the Constitution--the answer must be, that the Federal Government is destitute of all such authority."

James Madison, Report on the Virginia Resolutions; Jan. 1800

http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/amendI_speechs24.html

39 posted on 07/30/2010 9:37:02 AM PDT by Ken H
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To: Hodar

I do believe that you are comparing apples to oranges.


40 posted on 07/30/2010 9:38:14 AM PDT by Howie66 (I can see November from my house.)
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To: GladesGuru
Giving an opinion of someone seems to be a Constitutionally protected act.

Hopefully, the scummy race-baiter activist will appeal and win.

Since he elected to not give a defense, he has no grounds for appeal.

The only thing he could challenge is the application of the rules of civil procedure.

Free speech was never presented as a defense, so it could not be used in the verdict.

41 posted on 07/30/2010 9:40:27 AM PDT by Dan(9698)
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To: SJSAMPLE

Yes you can sue a cop, civil rights violations are filed all the time against officers. You can sue a department too, it happens all the time for the smallest of infractions.


42 posted on 07/30/2010 9:41:21 AM PDT by Cathy
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To: Fundamentally Fair

Hopefully the race-baiter scumbag community organizer will be mugged and there won’t be a police officer in hearing distance.


43 posted on 07/30/2010 9:41:32 AM PDT by Howie66 (I can see November from my house.)
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To: SJSAMPLE
you can’t sue a cop.

Where did you come up with that tid bit?

44 posted on 07/30/2010 9:49:58 AM PDT by Graybeard58 (A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things. Eccl 10 v 19)
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To: Fundamentally Fair

Thank you!

How America deals with its weakest, or its unpopular, is important.

Note that Muslims are antithetical to, and irreconcilable with, America. Which raises the question of how can America deal with Islam. My humble suggestion is “Islam Delenda Est” - because they forced us.


45 posted on 07/30/2010 9:50:09 AM PDT by GladesGuru (In a society predicated upon freedom, it is essential to examine principles,)
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To: Cathy

It’s the reason my son’s department carries $1 mil. liability ins on each cop. I believe he carries an extra mil on his own - it’s not expensive.

Some just have a compulsion to bash cops. Could be that they have found themselves on the wrong side of the law at some point in their lives.


46 posted on 07/30/2010 9:55:04 AM PDT by Graybeard58 (A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things. Eccl 10 v 19)
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To: SJSAMPLE

I was wondering what it is that you don’t understand about the statement in the article about the guy who was shot by police running from police and then opening fire on them before he was shot.

If a perp shoots at police officers, I have no problem with police officers defending themselves. I do have a problem with mindless race baiting and hustling character assination from “community activists.”


47 posted on 07/30/2010 9:58:47 AM PDT by SaraJohnson
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To: Graybeard58

“qualified immunity”

Bivens v Six Unknown Named Agents(1971)

Many states have adopted these as well.
You can sure the department, city or the state, but the officers themselves remain shielded.


48 posted on 07/30/2010 10:24:10 AM PDT by SJSAMPLE
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To: Sooth2222

It bothers me that our congressmen can say that in session and are immune from prosecution, but a citizen speaking at a meeting isn’t protected.

But he did make the mistake of not saying “in my opinion”, thus instead making a claim of fact.

However, they should have hired a speech expert, or gotten some other testimony comparing this rhetoric to other rhetoric in speeches, which would show that the phrases were not MEANT to be taken literally, but were simply rhetorical flourishes that convey meaning without literal truth.

The thing I think he said that was most likely to get him convicted was the statement “He’S been wanting to shoot someone for a long time”. That is clearly a statement of truth, and if either knowably false, or if given with no evidence (since this is not a public figure), would be libelous.

I don’t imagine that the Klan comparison would be libelous, although he’d been better to say “acting like members”, rather than “acting no different than”, as the first is clearly NOT saying he is a Klansman, while the 2nd could mean he’s a Klansman in spirit.

A person can take the same actions as other people without the same motivation. Technically, if the defendant could show that a Klan member had shot a person, they could argue that “acting like a Klan member” was literally true since they both were white people who shot a black person.


49 posted on 07/30/2010 12:08:10 PM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
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To: Hodar
"Slander is in the eye of the beholder."

Wrong. Slander is not an opinion.

slander:

[Function: noun] 1 : the utterance of false charges or misrepresentations which defame and damage another's reputation 2 : a false and defamatory oral statement about a person

You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own false facts.

Your example: "...I believe that Pres. Jughead is a Marxist, elitist, racist who wants to destroy America." is not slander because you stated it as your belief (opinion).

If you do not include the disclaimer that it is your belief or opinion, then it may or may not be slander, depending upon whether or not you can provide factual proof sufficient to convince a judge and/or jury that each and every charge made is factually true.

To further illustrate the need for civil laws protecting against slander, suppose that someone in a public meeting states that you are a gay, pervert, pedophile who should never be allowed within 1000 yards of any child. Further suppose that Child Protective Services immediately takes possession of your children and that the police may arrest you.

After a lengthy amount of time and money proving your innocence and regaining custody of your children, you discover that you've been fired from your job and unable to get another one, and that friends and neighbors now avoid you.

Would you not want to sue the person that slandered you and recover some compensation for the emotional and financial pain caused to you?

(Oh, wait - you believe that people are entitled to say whatever they want under the 'freedom of speech' clause of the first ammendment. After all, they are entitled to their opinion. Nevermind.) /s

As for your assertion that "...we imprison someone for saying something we don’t want to hear...", that is false. I am not aware of any law in any jurisdiction which provides such criminal penalties for that civil tort alone. (Such statements might, however, be used to prove intent for charges of criminal action or behaviour.)

50 posted on 07/30/2010 2:01:12 PM PDT by RebelTex (FREEDOM IS EVERYONE'S RIGHT! AND EVERYONE'S RESPONSIBILITY!)
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