Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Free Speech Or Dangerous Distraction?

Tim Peck at Et In Arcadia Ego posted this WLOS footage to YouTube:


Huw said...

Mmm. The gentleman is wearing a flag bandanna in full violation of the US Flag code - which prohibits using the flag or parts of it as clothing. Good thing the sheriffs didn't get involved in this as well!

I'm down with the no-signs-from bridges thing, btw. They are annoying and cause traffic problems - and can cause safety issues. I think we're in a grey area between public safety and free speech.

timpeck said...

Jonas Phillips was arrested for supposedly violating a city ordinance the prohibits obstructing pedestrians on a sidewalk (16.2) - which did not occur. The violation of traffic statutes was trumped up later, after the arrest on an alleged city ordinance violation. I still have not see a reference to the NCDOT traffic ordinance that was violated in this instance. Anyone?

Editor AC-T: "The officers charged Phillips with violating the city code, but he also could be charged with violating a state law that prohibits hanging signs on overpasses, which poses a danger to motorists passing below."

shadmarsh said...

While the officer may have been enforcing the letter of the law, he was almost certainly choosing to use his power and office to deny Phillips his first amendment right simply because he didn't like what he was saying, a gross abuse of power (This is something the officer pretty much admitted to Mr. Phillips) and should result in a civil lawsuit against the city and the immediate termination of the officers employment, as he took an oath to uphold the Constitution and through his actions has clearly show that he has no respect for that oath.

timpeck said...

Asheville Police Department Press Release

"At this point, Officer Crisp called his superior, Sgt. Randy Riddle, who came to the overpass and informed Mr. Phillips that he was in violation of Sec. 16-2 of the city’s municipal code pertaining to 'Obstruction of streets, sidewalks by persons prohibited.'

[...] Mr. Phillips was charged and arrested for being in violation of that code, and the department is also examining whether he may also be charged for violating an N.C. Department of Transportation law that prohibits hanging signs on an overpasses, which poses dangers for motorists passing below." -Asheville Chief of Police, Bill Hogan

timpeck said...


How To Avoid Obstructing Pedestrians on a Sidewalk

modpez said...

any effective opposition to the criminal overworld must include feet on the street.

timpeck said...

For continued communication on this and related matters, join our mailing list:

Citizen Awareness Asheville