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Freedom of speech in America is an argument that never gets old, and the indigenous people of Hamilton County have continued the argument following the recent events surrounding a local man charged with the felony crime of “Retaliation for Past Actions.”
Free speech is only free when it is not taken for granted
Despite the public records attesting to my statements, for the sake of maintaining solid bowel movements for The Pulse legal team I will refer to this man only as “Bill” for the duration of this column.
Bill’s wife was pulled over for a traffic violation and in the course of her detainment she was found to have what turned out to be Bill’s late grandmother’s slapjack. A slapjack is a piece of metal (usually lead) with a long, stout spring attached to it that is wrapped in leather, about 8 to 10 inches long. You hold it by the narrow spring-end and when you “slap” the thick metal end against someone’s head, it has the expected effect of knocking the shit out of them and usually splitting the skin in the process (and getting them to pause for the effect, which was the point), such is the impact to the skull.
For obvious reasons, police were banned from using these a few decades ago. And for obvious reasons, Bill’s wife was given a misdemeanor citation for possessing this wig-splitting weapon, in addition to the traffic offense for which she was stopped for in the first place.
This seems pretty straight forward until we discover that Bill has become so incensed over the incident that he asks on “the Facebooks” if anyone knows the officer in question by name and unique badge number (“Officer Doe,” as I call him for similar reasons as outlined before) and states that, “I am going to kill this son of a bitch and any other cop who wants to cross me. No point in living like a slave. Come get me you Godless Nazi shit heel. Anyone who knows [“Ofc. Doe”] PLEASE send him my way so that I may send him to Hell. Thank you.”
Before I go much further, I ask if this sounds nonchalant or off the cuff: He cites the officer’s name, badge and makes the statement that “I am going to kill him and any other cop who wants to cross me.” Do you take this as “hah-hah funny,” or a fairly literal statement? Any wiggle room? Or is it just “OK,” since the person being threatened is a cop and being threatened is not only “our job,” but nothing to take seriously?
If so, what if you replace “Officer Doe” with your son’s or daughter’s name or your parent’s names. Still funny? “I’m going to burn down John Doe’s House (yours) at (a specific street address) and kill anyone that tries to stop me.” “Hahaha!” says the reader in response. Seem as likely now?
Well, it did to a local magistrate who has this anti-government, law-enforcement threatening nimrod siting in the pokey as we speak on a $175,000 bond.
Freedom of speech does exist. It is important. But so is the accountability that accompanies those words, and in this case it turns out the specific threat and/or solicitation of murder of a peace officer is not constitutionally protected and the accountability for such is a Class E felony.
Bill isn’t a hero. He isn’t a farmer feeding his family from the land who has aimed a double-barrel shotgun at a burglar that has crept through his window in the darkness; Bill is an idiot who needs a serious amount of time to get his head right,and learn to equate a “misdemeanor ticket for a clearly dangerous weapon” as something other than a literal death warrant for the one that found his wife in possession of such. He’s loyal to his wife, I get it … but capital murder over a ticket? Please.
Take advantage of your inalienable rights. Stand up for yourself and others, and more importantly for others who cannot stand up for themselves—but keep your head about you and you can keep $175,000 dollars in bond and a shitload of unnecessary shame and embarrassment.
Our forefathers fought for our liberties. They didn’t fight for you to be a bullying moron.