Iowa man defends right to fire cops on Facebook – FindLaw


Cartoon speech bubble for word curse edited

Every issue, even freedom of expression, is a hot political debate these days. But nearly everyone – liberal, moderate, and conservative – has experienced the frustrations of bureaucratic incompetence. Even worse is when a public servant takes advantage of ordinary citizens. Being able to speak freely about these frustrations is as American as apple pie.

An Iowa man proved that idea still holds true after Adams County Sheriffs arrested him last year for giving a Facebook speech filled with profanity against an officer. Iowa American Civil Liberties Union It was announced this week that the mayor’s office had agreed to settle a lawsuit in the man’s favor.

The origin of dementia

The episode began last summer, when John Goldsmith witnessed a traffic stop and searched a car. to me His lawsuit, The MPs who blocked the traffic acted unprofessional and had no probable reason to carry out the search. His lawsuit also alleged that he saw the officer treat and arrest a man who was behaving normally.

The next day, Goldsmith posted a malice directed at a lawmaker, It houses some rather “blue” languages. He referred to the officer as a “pile of pile” and “stupid amount b —-”, among other things that would make many people ashamed.

After the mayor’s department caught the attention of this rant on Facebook, lawmakers arrested Goldsmith on the harassment charge, referring to his loud speech as a “threatening and vulgar statement.” While the charge was eventually dropped, Goldsmith’s lawsuit alleged that he had to appoint a criminal defense attorney for the case and that he needed to Get medical attention due to the stress of the accident.

The hero rises

When the lawsuit is settled, Goldsmith will receive $ 10,000, the sheriff’s office will pay the ACLU’s legal fees for representing Goldsmith, and the office will need to conduct ACLU-certified free speech training for officers and adopt the social media policy.

The US District Court for the Southern District of Iowa also issued an injunction against the mayor’s oath banning them from arresting anyone for criticizing the oath.

Goldsmith put it best: “I hope it stops them from doing this to others. It’s silly to find a lawyer. I defend my right to freedom of expression. People should be able to speak when an officer makes a mistake. “

While you personally (are you listening mom?) Would never post such rants to Facebook, it is important to remember that Goldsmith’s victory is for all of us. The right to criticize our government is an established principle of our country, and we need heroes like it to hold it accountable.

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