Thursday, February 19, 2009

Redefining 'Free Speech'

From Johnny Johnson at The Oklahoman:
The police officers who stopped Oklahoma City motorist Chip Harrison and confiscated a sign from his car told him he has a right to his beliefs, but the U.S. Secret Service "could construe this as a threat against President Obama," according to the incident report released this morning.
Capt. Steve McCool of the Oklahoma City Police Department is seen in this video frame grab. McCool says an officer who wrongly pulled a man over last week and confiscated an anti-Barack Obama sign from his vehicle misinterpreted the sign as threatening.
The sign, which read "Abort Obama Not the Unborn," was returned to Harrison later that day, the report said.
Police spokesman Steve McCool said this morning that the sign was taken in error, and Oklahoma City residents should not be worried that their First Amendment rights will be violated. He said a supervisor "intervened and quickly returned the sign" after Harrison called the police department.
"Obviously, it was not a good decision to confiscate the sign," McCool said.
Harrison, who could not be reached for comment this morning, told the officers that in his opinion the words "Abort Obama" meant to impeach him. He told the officers he does not believe in abortion because he is a Christian.
Harrison was stopped while driving a white truck on westbound Interstate 44 at SW 119th at 8:45 a.m. on Feb. 12, according to the police report.


Young Republican from PA said...

Unfortunately, I don't think this was a purposeful infringement on this man's rights. Also, just as unfortunately, I believe that the police officer wasn't smart enough to recognize that the sign was a statement on abortion. It seems he honestly thought it was a threat towards the President.

Young Republican from PA said...