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17 November 2017, 01:11 | Floyd Cook
Opinion is split
In a post on Facebook, Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy E. Nehls said he had received numerous calls about the offending sticker.
Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls on Wednesday posted a photo of a sign on a truck that reads, "F (expletive) Trump and f (expletive) you for voting for him".
In Nehls' now-deleted post, which was saved and shared by the ACLU, the sheriff asked anyone who knows the owner of the truck to contact his office.
Nehls said Wednesday that the message could cause offense and raised the possibility of a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge. In his social media post, the sheriff mentions talking to a prosecutor about filing disorderly conduct charges.
Karen Cook Fonseca, who owns the truck with her husband, told CNN she put the decal up about 11 months ago.
The Texas division of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), an organisation that works to defend individual rights, responded to the sheriff on Facebook, writing: "Constitutional Law 101: You can't ban speech just because it has 'f***' in it".
"It's not to cause hate or anonymity", she told the paper.
"Interesting... your cop cars have "in god we trust" smeared all over them - can I file a disorderly conduct against you?" another critic wrote.
Others see Forsenca's display covered under the umbrella of free speech, however. She said the decal had attracted attention before and that she had been pulled over, but had never gotten a ticket.
But the Facebook post was removed Thursday as a First Amendment controversy swirled around Nehls.
"The objective of the post was to find the owner/driver of the truck and have a conversation with them in order to prevent a potential altercation between the truck driver and those offended by the message".
Fonseca told the newspaper she and her husband were just exercising their freedom of speech and did not plan to remove the sticker. "They're like, 'we wish that we could do this and we had enough guts to do it, and you're doing it'".
"Anybody traveling down the road that is behind that truck may have voted for Trump [and] that is where we might see a breach of the peace", the sheriff explained.
The U.S. Supreme Court in 1971's Cohen v. California said that a law on disturbing the peace violated the Constitution when it was applied against a man who wore the phrase "f-k the draft" on a jacket.
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