WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Cops arrested a man in Florida for refusing to remove a bumper sticker on his truck that read “I eat a–,” a report said on Tuesday.
- A deputy noticed the sexually suggestive sticker on 23-year-old Dillon Webb’s brown Chevrolet truck on Sunday and told Webb that he is in violation of a state obscenity law.
- Webb was charged with obscene writing on vehicles and resisting an officer arrest.
A Florida man has been arrested on suspicion of obscenity after he refused to remove a bumper sticker from his truck that read: “I eat ass.”
Dillon Shane Webb of Lake City was charged on May 5 with misdemeanor counts of possession of obscene material and resisting arrest without violence following an incident on Highway 90.
A deputy noticed the sticker on a brown Chevrolet truck around 5:50 p.m, according to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.
The sticker violated the state’s Statute 847.011, according to the deputy. The law bans the possession of obscene or lewd material, such as drawings, pictures, or any other written or printed matter.
When the deputy confronted the suspect about the sticker, Webb said that they were “just words,” according to the Lake City Reporter.
When the officer asked Webb how “a parent of a small child” would explain what those words meant to a child, Webb replied it would be “up to the parent.”
Webb was asked to remove one of the letters from the sticker to make it less offensive, but he refused, citing his First Amendment rights.
Webb said he is planning on filing a wrongful arrest lawsuit against the police department.
“I’m tired of police forces thinking they are above the Constitution, the Bill of Rights,” Webb told the Associated Press.
Webb also said that he has never had any issues with the “obscene” sticker.
“I’ve had parents drive by me with their kids taking pictures. They point and laugh and giggle, and they go on about their day.”
Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida questioned why the sheriff’s office was bothering with such a trivial matter, according to Newsweek.
In a statement, ACLU spokeswoman Casey Bruce-White asked: “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?”
“Using the excuse that a child would see and ask questions about this particular bumper sticker is absurd,” the spokeswoman added.
Defending the arrest, Sergeant Murray Smith told the AP, “If the law is faulty then the legislature can address that or if the law is unconstitutional then the judiciary will address it.”