A Florida man who was handcuffed and taken in for processing because a police officer thought a sticker on the back of his truck was too naughty has gotten the charges against him dropped, The New York Post reports.
Dillon Shane Webb, 23, was driving his truck last Sunday afternoon when he got pulled over, as The Inquisitr previously reported. The reason for the stop was a sticker on the rear window of his truck. The deputy who pulled him over took exception to the message on that sticker: “I Eat A**.”
The deputy apparently attempted to have a conversation with Webb and his passenger over whether or not the sticker was appropriate for display in public, asking what Webb would say to a parent who saw the sticker, and had to explain it to a child. Webb held his ground, however, and the deputy asked him to remove one of the letters to make the sticker’s meaning less obviously “offensive.” Webb refused, and he was arrested and taking in for booking.
Webb was charged with two misdemeanors, one for the “obscene” sticker — which the deputy claimed violated a Florida law that forbids the distribution of obscene material — and one for resisting arrest without violence, for refusing to obey the deputy’s command.
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On Thursday, Webb received some good news — prosecutors determined that his sticker didn’t meet the definition of “obscenity.” What’s more, prosecutors determined that Webb could defend himself in court by invoking the First Amendment, which guarantees the right to free speech, and that the court would likely see things his way. The charges against him have been dropped.
Webb was thrilled at the news in commenting on the matter.
“[The deputy] overstepped his boundaries by asking me to remove the sticker. I want people to see that police officers are not above the law.”
Webb also noted that, while there are limits to free speech, the phrase “I Eat A**” is easily within the boundaries of acceptable speech.
“Saying ‘bomb’ on a plane — that’s just being stupid. [My sticker] is just funny.”
Meanwhile, Webb’s attorney says that his team is “transitioning from defense to offense,” obliquely suggesting that there may be a lawsuit forthcoming.
Although the Supreme Court has ruled that the First Amendment’s free speech protections do not extend to “obscenity,” the definition of “obscenity” is subjective. States have attempted to prosecute individuals for bumper stickers with bad words on them, but those charges are often dropped — or the accused wins in court.