Texas Driver Arrested Over Profane Anti-Trump Message on Truck

Texas Driver Arrested Over Profane Anti-Trump Message on Truck

And there she is, the window decal that caused such a stir in Fort Bend county in Texas, especially after the driver was arrested by a local sheriff named Nehls who claims he only sought to discuss the foul language with the driver displayed in the messaging on the truck. He said in a open social media post:

“I have received numerous calls regarding the offensive display on this truck as it is often seen along FM 359. If you know who owns this truck or it is yours, I would like to discuss it with you. Our Prosecutor has informed us she would accept Disorderly Conduct charges regarding it, but I feel we could come to an agreement regarding a modification to it,” the post read before Sheriff Nehls decided to delete it, claiming he received threats to his family, which he has yet to provide proof of, nor has the supposed prosecutor been identified. It also turns out, the owner of the truck, Karen Fonseca, worked for the sheriff in the past at the county jail.

Of course, leave it to the internet to become crazed over this. People falsely believed that Fonseca had been arrested over the decal and her First Amendment rights curtailed by the sheriff, but she was actually arrested over a warrant for fraud that had been out on her since August. Fonseca points to the "mysterious" timing of her arrest given that she had basically just been called out on social media, and wondered why on earth the Sheriff would need to essentially put out a manhunt on social media to help find her when there are easier ways to find people that police use everyday.

The ACLU quickly took to posting to Facebook, in response to the story and Nehls original post, that:

“No, Sheriff Troy E. Nehls, you can’t prosecute speech just because it contains words you don’t like. The owner of this truck should contact the ACLU of Texas.”

Expected to be released shortly on bond, Fonseca said she put the custom made sticker on the back of her truck about 11 months ago, shortly after Trump was elected, saying her family was merely expressing their First Amendment right and voicing their dismay with President Donald Trump. She also says that people like the sticker, shake her hand, and tell her it makes them laugh; she has absolutely positively no plans to remove the sticker.

Personally, I am torn on this one because though I would like to believe wholeheartedly in our first amendment rights, I also know that I wouldn't want my young nephew, or a school bus full of young children having to see this. If the Sheriff was actually acting on the premise of just plain decency and wanting to discuss alternative language, I'd have no problems with that, but if this was actually about trying to fully suppress her rights to express her First Amendment rights, then to the constitution we go! Ultimately in either case, it's quite a slippery slope on what we determine is inappropriate speech, so you start here and then how quickly it all escalates.


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What Guys Said 34

  • This is something that bothers me about GaG. That routinely people post things that are not factual. Anyone can verify what happened here.

    1. These people were not arrested for their sign.
    2. These people were arrested for an outstanding warrant and charged with fraud.
    3. The sheriff had a press conference saying that he may have to force them to remove the sign for their safety.
    4. But there is no legal standing for stopping people from saying "F Trump", or displaying it. It is protected speech under the First Amendment.
    5. But if her business should suffer because of her stance, if she can't find employment, etc. She cannot sue. Anyone can claim this violates their ethical conduct guidelines.

    The End!

    Stop posting inaccurate information!

    www.cbsnews.com/.../

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    • Did you actually read the take? I'm guessing a hard, no.

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    • Oh, so you mean the title is perfectly accurate.

      "Texas Driver Arrested Over Profane Anti-Trump Message on Truck"

      Let me fix it for you.

      "Couple with F Trump sign arrested for fraud charges".

      There you go!

  • Freedom of speech is not an unlimited concept. If it was, you could yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater with impunity.

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    • Sure walk up to the secret service and tell them you have plans to harm the president. I'll be waiting to see how free, ones free speech is. Ugh, if another person trots out the Constitution, (much like the Bible), and quotes a line and insists on the absolute be all end all truth of it, I'm going to hurl. Free speech... not actually free. There are at least 7 exceptions to ones free speech in this country. We literally have a court designed to argue for and against free speech if and when it comes down to it, and "Free Speech," doesn't always win. And trust, all these people who say, well it "should be" unlimited, have no clue what that would really mean for their lives, their jobs, their interactions with people, their genius ideas, school, etc. but I'm sure I'm merely preaching to the choir on this one with you.

  • I don't know enough about this situation, its important to really research from multiple sources before coming to a conclusion (people like to claim that their is an issue with one thing when really its for another reason), however assuming that it is has nothing to do with the warrant out for her arrest, I would say that it is illegal to detain her in any way as it is the first amendment right to be able to speak freely. I don't agree with it, but that does not change the fact that it is legal and any attempt to punish her for it would be illegal based upon the constitution (not to mention un-American). Banning this would be no different then the laws that are being passed elsewhere that punish people for using the "wrong" words (California, New York, Canada which have made it illegal to use the wrong pronoun for some one resulting in a year or more in prison). I think its unacceptable to punish a person based upon their opinion no matter how crudely worded.

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  • If you outstanding warrants, don't draw attention to yourself. Doesn't seem like rocket science to me. The timing isn't convenient. She put herself in the spotlight for all to see. Someone found out she had a warrant. Hurrrrrrrrrr duurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. What a concept.

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    • Seriously... add to the fact, she used to work for this guy. Hello. Do you here the "Cops" theme song playing in the background of this story, because I do, LOL

    • Bingo. If you shout out to the world "Here I am!" it should not be surprising that if you have pending charges against you already, law enforcement will say, "There you are!"

  • I don't have a problem with free speech, and I don't care for Trump either, but still, we don't need kids looking at obscenities like that. Same thing goes for those assholes who have a set of nuts hanging off the back of their pickup trucks. There are some things where you just have to say 'NO'. They should just be fined for every day they do something like that. Polluters need to pay for polluting.

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  • That person had ever legal right to have that sign on their truck whether it contained profane or explicit language as last I remember there is something in the United States called "Freedom Of Speech" and the person was expressing there feelings about it.

    I wished I was there as I would have loved to shake hands with the driver for having the balls to put that on his vehicle.

    If the person is smart they will hire a civil rights attorney and sue the balls off of that straight scum bag Sheriff, the County and State that they live in as they have a case with full merit.

    U. S. President Trump's reply to that driver was no better at all!!!

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    • She was arrested on a warrent for fraud. It had nothing to do with the sign.

  • "Ultimately in either case, it's quite a slippery slope on what we determine is inappropriate speech, so you start here and then how quickly it all escalates."

    It's not a slippery slope at all. The first amendment protects your right to free speech. No government entity or it's agents can prosecute or otherwise persecute you for exercising it, regardless of whether or not it offends people.

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    • Freedom of speech isn't that absolute though, there's plenty of exceptions, even in cases such as this one. Now, I think personally that this kind of message should be protected, but there is precedent for exempting obscene language from first amendment protections, though that was in the case of language being used on TV during hours where children might hear it.

    • Free speech has never been free. People make the mistake of believing in that edict all the time. It makes them sleep better at night or something. There are literally exceptions spelled out if you will only nudge your finger a little to the right and keep reading... and those would be hate speech, inciting violence, supporting terrorism, defamation, abuse of public employee speech, true threats, and proclaiming someone's intellectual property as your own. I mean, give it a go. You are more than welcome to exercise the rights to which you think are free by picking any of the above to be the banner case proving that you can do whatever you want... because, you know, free speech, but most likely you'll lose your job, be jailed, or worse depending on where you trot it out.

  • What is profound about this story is how truly tolerant most Texans are.

    In California and all other "liberal" states, you DARE NOT put a "Trump" or "Make America Great Again" sticker on your car or truck, lest your vehicle be vandalized.

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    • Yea those fuckin liberals are the worst when it comes to tolerance. Republicans will talk shit, liberals get violent

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    • So... basically, all other states have Trump supporters who are idiots and break the law because vandalism is breaking the law.

      It has nothing to do with tolerance lol, just common sense. Don't break the law.

    • @EllieAyye uh, no. it is the leftists who vandalize.

  • Conservatives:Them Libcucks can't tolerate free speech look those pussies getting so offended

    Liberal: puts up anti Trump writing

    Conservatives:OMG no it's so mean get rid of them

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  • I think the prosecution is going to have an uphill battle as a very similar matter was addressed in Cohen v. California in favor of the defendant.

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  • We should punish those that infringe on our Constitutional Rights. Just because you don't like our message, doesn't mean you have the right to punish us because of it - unless it literally is a threat or harm to someone.

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  • Profane cuss words aren't protected under the first amendment, you'll be asked to leave in most places if you cuss.

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  • I could care less about the guys message, and I voted for Donald. What I'm wondering... is if he's openly displaying that to millions in public-how does he TREAT people he finds out that did vote for him? Does he assault them? Spit on them? Get them fired from their jobs? Rip them off? I'd bet the answer is yes, to at least 1 of them. Most people nowadays can't agree to disagree, they have to attack you if you're not like them. It's the way we've been conditioned the last 15 years.

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  • The first amendment supports truck balls!

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  • Eh, I'd just leave it to local authorities and courts to sort out, that said I don't think it's illegal.

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  • I am pro-Trump but I support free speech.

    Let her keep her decal.

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  • freedom of Speech?

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  • First admenendment rights , do not include the right to offend , terroristically threaten , liable or slander another's character or character assassination.

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    • Actually, the "right to offend" is most definitely the POINT of the 1st amendment.

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    • But here's the funny part of it all (oxymoron ) , when you offend someone , you cut off they're hearing and both of you argue at each other like two

  • Good. Pro Trump speech has been being censored for months. It works both ways.

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  • In the UK you would be arrested for incitement (at a guess) for that. And/or some other law banning offensive words or gestures.

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What Girls Said 10

  • Cursing isn't a form of protected speech. Under constitutional law there are several categories of speech that are not protected. They are. Obscenity
    Language that incites people to violence or illegal activity
    Libel and defamation
    Threats
    False advertising

    This is why the FCC can regulate obscenity over radio and TV and also why this woman may have some legal jeopardy particularly in relations to the statement about telling people "fuck you for coting for him". Under texas law, particularly since the comment was unprovoked this is likely a misdemeanor crime.

    There are many ways to protect her free speech rights and preventing her from using obscenities isn't the end of the world or even a danger to free speech. Though, i'd daresay the consequences of her having the message on her truck is far worse than her having a misdemeanor so id be fine with her leaving it on. It already got her enough attention to make sure she was arrested on an outstanding warrant. She points to the "mysterious timing" as though standing on a street corner with a neon sign saying here I am come get me would be any different.

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    • It isn't really that clear cut though. First off, "obscenity" in the constitutional law context refers largely to sexual obscenity, so porn and things like that. And while swearing can fall under that in certain cases, it specifically has to be repetitive or frequent usage of that language in a context where minors are likely to hear it. Additionally, the court case that determined this was specifically about language on television, so it's really not clear whether a textual version of a swearword displayed in public would be protected or not.

    • @cipher42

      Profanity/cursing is considered obscenity and subject to regulation but that doesn't make it illegal necessarily. It does allow the states and the federal government leeway in making law around obscene speech. It is likely that the statement "Fuck Trump" is legal and the statement Fuck those of you who voted for trump is illegal because the latter can be considered a direct appeal to violence because of its usage. When a person says it is not protected speech, it does not mean it is illegal, it just means that it could be subject to review and censorship. Nonetheless I personally don't mind her driving around with it on her car. Its a teaching moment for the kids. See kids, people that do this are stupid. Don't be stupid.

    • Yeah, kind of. Like, its not necessarily protected speech, but as far as I know the main precedent on swearing not being protected speech is specifically about speech on television being subject to federal regulations, so there's no clear ruling on whether something like this would be protected or not. There's reason to believe it might not be, but its still possible that if it were to come up in court it would be protected.

  • In pretty much every state, you can be cited for having something that is considered offensive posted on your vehicle. It's like how local channels aren't allowed to have foul language and nudity either. If I drove around with penises plastered all over my cadillac and enough people whined I could be cited and asked to remove or repaint the vehicle. The sticker is extremely childish and petty no matter who it says should be fucked.

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  • It's stupid, it's only a window decal and she has the right to have it on her truck. While some people don't agree with it, freedom of speech is a thing

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  • HOW ARE YOU GOING TO ARREST SOMEONE FOR FREEDOM OF SPEECH! Thats messed up, I would give that dude a high five and tell him about how much I like his car.

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  • She wasn’t arrested for the sticker.

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  • Lol nice to see liberals crucified by their own hate speech laws. You live by the SJW sword you die by it.

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  • That is a funny window decal though.. Omgosh, just think if she was in Nebraska with that decal and something that said how Huskers sucked, they would have lost it lol

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  • not a smart move

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  • They should look up civility. there's no need of that sign being in someones window and it brands them as a rude person who has no social skills.

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  • She has the right to free speech. Why are we even discussing this?

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