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View Full Version : Magistrate rules that it is OK to tell Police to "F**K OFF!"



Bushranger
08-08-2010, 07:33 PM
In a case being heard before the Court recently in Townsville, Queensland, a Magistrate ruled that it is OK to tell Police to "F**K OFF!" whilst Police went about their duties.

Needless to sy this ruling has created case law and the Queensland Police Service Union is appealling this decision. The link below takes you to the story.

http://www.news.com.au/national/its-ok-to-tell-police-officers-to-fck-off/story-e6frfkvr-1225901937675

It was also reported that costs were later awarded against Police.

As if our jobs are hard enough without idiotic rulings such as this. Can you imagine the uproar, not to mention formal complaints that would follow if it was reported that Police told grubs to "F**K OFF!"

brad601
08-08-2010, 07:54 PM
Well tell that Magistrate to F#(% Off whiles he's performing his duties and see how he likes it.

RoadKingTrooper
08-08-2010, 07:59 PM
Well tell that Magistrate to F#(% Off whiles he's performing his duties and see how he likes it.

Yup, evidently he sees nothing wrong with it

Dinosaur32
08-08-2010, 11:37 PM
Nothing new in that decision for officers here in NY. words are just that.....unless they along with the actions of the perp rise to the level of Disorderly Conduct, an arrestable offense.

Dingo990
08-08-2010, 11:50 PM
I've heard officers tell members of the public to f*ck off. I think the public should be allowed to do the same. They just shouldn't expect the officer to provide the level of service they would to a decent acting person.

Scipio
08-09-2010, 12:00 AM
That might be new for Queensland, but in the US that was already the law. First amendment and all.

creolecop
08-09-2010, 12:21 AM
That might be new for Queensland, but in the US that was already the law. First amendment and all.

Weeeellll sorta, for instance down here in Louisiana, we have "disturbing the peace by loud or abusive language" (a state charge). That means, if you say it in public where anyone else other than the police can hear then your hooked and booked and yes this has stood the test of time this is not a new law. If you began to argue with the police and you get loud and raise your voice loudly, not just raise the tone, but your yelling at the police (or anyone not just the police), again, if you are in public doing this you can be hooked and booked.

LINY
08-09-2010, 12:30 AM
Creolecop, I believe it's the same in NY except the other person hearing it has to be 'visibly alarmed' by what they said.

creolecop
08-09-2010, 12:44 AM
Creolecop, I believe it's the same in NY except the other person hearing it has to be 'visibly alarmed' by what they said.

This is a law here that the officer has to witness it, so they can't call and say so and so just cursed me out in the parking lot of burger king. Also when we arrest for this "society" is listed as the victim. So we don't have to get witness statements and names of civilians who were present and heard. We the arresting officer testifys on behalf of "society". I love this law, it allows us to hook the loud mouths up easily when we are out on a scene and trying to gain control of it. Plus most depts around us to include us have audio and dashboard video. So our body mics when out of sight of the camera still pick up the loud mouth. I rarely see these get dropped. The vast majority plead guilty and pay a fine up to $500. 1st conviction usually is $275, then from there it goes up (to $500) and they start adding community service, then from there your at max fine amount and they start with the days in jail in addition. So once your at your 4th and subsequent (which is easy to get if your a loud mouth disrespectful heffer or punk) then your looking at max fine, 24hrs community service and 3days in jail. It goes up to 6mo in jail. Oh, and no need for anyone to be visibly alarmed, the citizens around need not even speak to us about it, we take action and act on their behalf. Whats awesome is when on a scene and everyone there hates the police and is on the perps side and one starts to curse at us, because their family, or buddies are around when they started cursing then we can arrest the cursing subject for cursing around his own family or friends :p:D

Dinosaur32
08-09-2010, 01:20 AM
In NY "a person is guilty of disorderly conduct when, with intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk there of: 1. .....; or 2. he makes an unreasonable noise; or
3. in a public place, he uses abusive or obscene language, or makes an obscene gesture; or......."

No requirement for anyone to become visibly alarmed, the actor must just intend to do what the section requires. The other 5 possible causative actions do not invole language or speech. A Law Enforcement Officer is not usually considered a victim of either 1. or 2. since our training should enable us to resist being inconvenienced. annoyed or alarmed by such speech or language.

adeutch
08-09-2010, 01:41 AM
Weeeellll sorta, for instance down here in Louisiana, we have "disturbing the peace by loud or abusive language" (a state charge). That means, if you say it in public where anyone else other than the police can hear then your hooked and booked and yes this has stood the test of time this is not a new law. If you began to argue with the police and you get loud and raise your voice loudly, not just raise the tone, but your yelling at the police (or anyone not just the police), again, if you are in public doing this you can be hooked and booked.

So if you don't want to get arrested you just gotta go up and whisper it in the cop's ear.:D

CPDEMT
08-09-2010, 02:44 AM
California Penal Code

415. Any of the following persons shall be punished by imprisonment
in the county jail for a period of not more than 90 days, a fine of
not more than four hundred dollars ($400), or both such imprisonment
and fine:
(1) Any person who unlawfully fights in a public place or
challenges another person in a public place to fight.
(2) Any person who maliciously and willfully disturbs another
person by loud and unreasonable noise.
(3) Any person who uses offensive words in a public place which
are inherently likely to provoke an immediate violent reaction.

In California, there needs to be a victim who is willing to sign the citation and testify.

LA DEP
08-09-2010, 02:10 PM
California Penal Code


In California, there needs to be a victim who is willing to sign the citation and testify.

Yup....and we cant be the victim either......

DAL
08-09-2010, 02:23 PM
There are many appellate decisions throughout the U.S. that hold that the First Amendment freedom of speech protects the use of obscene, offensive language.

JSD73
08-09-2010, 02:39 PM
While we as peace officers can't be offended by the utterance of such language, it doesn't mean someone else's peace can't be breached and they are offended.

DAL
08-09-2010, 03:14 PM
While we as peace officers can't be offended by the utterance of such language, it doesn't mean someone else's peace can't be breached and they are offended.

True, but offending someone is not a crime. The Westboro Baptist Church cases provide a high-profile example of the lengths to which appellate courts have gone in protecting repugnant and disturbing behavior. I look forward to seeing what the Supreme Court has to say.

http://www.abpnews.com/content/view/5413/53/

Attorneys for Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., will go to the high court Oct. 6 to argue the case weighing the limits of free speech and assembly against an individual's right to privacy.

In 2007, a federal jury in Baltimore awarded nearly $11 million to the father of a fallen Marine who alleged intrusion upon seclusion and infliction of emotional distress after members of the church protested near his son's funeral in 2006.

Last fall the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voided that judgment. The appellate court said signs carried by the protesters -- with messages such as "God Hates Fags" and "Thank God for Dead Soldiers" -- were "distasteful and repugnant" but are protected as free speech guaranteed by the First Amendment.

Lawyers for Westboro Baptist -- a small congregation not affiliated with any national denomination and composed mostly of members of Pastor Fred Phelps' family -- will argue that their protest signs are "imaginative and hyperbolic rhetoric intended to spark debate" and not "objectively verifiable facts" subject to damages.

The church, which claims to have conducted more than 43,000 peaceful demonstrations against homosexuality since 1991, says America "crossed the line" in 2003 when the Supreme Court found sodomy laws unconstitutional and that God is using war to punish the nation for condoning sin.

Groups ranging from the American Civil Liberties Union on the left to the Rutherford Institute and Liberty Counsel on the right have filed friend-of-the-court briefs supporting Westboro's free-speech argument.

Lawyers for Albert Snyder of York, Pa. -- whose son, Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, died in a non-combat-related vehicle accident March 3, 2006, in Iraq -- will contend the church's free-speech rights do not trump the family's right to mourn in private. They say the appellate court's broad ruling "completely vitiates" -- undermines -- state laws that allow private citizens to receive damages for emotional distress.

Attorneys general of 48 states and the District of Columbia signed on to a brief supporting Snyder. Since Westboro Baptist Church began targeting military funerals for protest in 2005, 40 states have enacted laws regulating protests around funerals. The brief argued that the states "have a compelling interest in protecting the sanctity and privacy of funerals, both to honor deceased citizens and to support and comfort grieving families."

The Topeka Capital-Journal reported that while lawyers are inside the Supreme Court building arguing the case Oct. 6, other members of Westboro Baptist Church will be outside, picketing with signs carrying messages including "Fag Court."

The church, which has picketed the Supreme Court twice before, also plans to demonstrate at the White House, the Capitol and Arlington National Cemetery, Shirley Phelps-Roper, one of the congregation's lawyers, told the newspaper.

"Why would we drive to that city without going to those seats of government?" Phelps-Roper said.

The case is Snyder v. Phelps, No. 09-751.

JSD73
08-09-2010, 05:16 PM
Well, while we have the Disorderly conduct - abusive/profane language here in Texas, it's still a valid charge :)

creolecop
08-09-2010, 05:19 PM
Well, while we have the Disorderly conduct - abusive/profane language here in Texas, it's still a valid charge :)

thats what I'm saying, we arrest for this like crazy out here (really a P.O.P. charge) especially when we want to stack charges for a higher bail ;) Other than that until it's struck down in our higher courts, it's valid in our jurisdiction, so I'm going to use it to the wheels fall off :D

DAL
08-09-2010, 05:42 PM
That strategy has been tried unsuccessfully elsewhere. There is a good possibility that you will be sued in federal court and lose.

bigcop97
08-09-2010, 08:13 PM
For the city I work with, we have a city code for "using abusive epithets and gestures" as an arrestable misdemeanor charge... it does not matter who the victim is... normally this charge is combined with a public intox though

damode1985
08-09-2010, 10:03 PM
Let them F bomb all the way. Just make sure you write every applicable criminal charge or citation/infraction they deserve without mercy.

They get a little physical with the F bombs, slam em to the ground and add a few more charges.

Words dont mean crap. We do our most damage with the pen we carry.

JSD73
08-09-2010, 11:47 PM
I think it's more of a human and moral type deal. Personally, I think it's rude, idiotic, trashy, and moronic to curse in public and I for one don't want my daughter exposed to language like that when I'm out and about and I think any decent parent would say the same thing. That is what I would normally reserve that charge for unless I have a complaint from someone who has been placed in the same situation and wishes to pursue charges. I'll let the JP sort it out after that.

creolecop
08-10-2010, 11:07 AM
That strategy has been tried unsuccessfully elsewhere. There is a good possibility that you will be sued in federal court and lose.

Not sure how you derive to it being a strategy it's a State law here. Which leads me to ask, how you figure I will be sued when I arrest someone on a state law that is on the books and has been longer than I'v been alive (I'm in my 30's). This law also to note is not a rarely used law, this is probably one of the most common laws we arrest for. So much so that rookies quickly learn the statute code by heart immediately. They can sue the state of Louisiana in an attempt to get the law shot down, I'm protected under good faith because I'm arresting on a Louisiana Statute. No different than if I arrest someone on a faulty warrant that should not have been signed by a judge but was, I can't be sued for arresting on that warrant. Can you site caselaw where an officer was sued successfully for arresting under this particular law that we are speaking about?

LA DEP
08-10-2010, 12:27 PM
Not sure how you derive to it being a strategy it's a State law here. Which leads me to ask, how you figure I will be sued when I arrest someone on a state law that is on the books and has been longer than I'v been alive (I'm in my 30's). This law also to note is not a rarely used law, this is probably one of the most common laws we arrest for. So much so that rookies quickly learn the statute code by heart immediately. They can sue the state of Louisiana in an attempt to get the law shot down, I'm protected under good faith because I'm arresting on a Louisiana Statute. No different than if I arrest someone on a faulty warrant that should not have been signed by a judge but was, I can't be sued for arresting on that warrant. Can you site caselaw where an officer was sued successfully for arresting under this particular law that we are speaking about?

You can be personally sued in Federal Court for a violation of civil rights for starters.......State law means pretty much zilch in Federal Court.........

As DAL as pointed out, there are numerous court decision from all over the country on this......they just havent gotten around to your neck of the woods yet......

If I even considered arresting someone for this out here, I would be sued in Federal Court, as well as investigated by my own agency.

jcioccke
08-10-2010, 12:42 PM
Funny thing is though, The majority that would say this to an Officer is normally the first one calling the Police for baby mama dram ,DV, and other shi-.

Love the double standard some people have. Love the tough guy that would never dare say that to someone in a bar or in public. (street clothes)

Dingbat
08-10-2010, 02:13 PM
I dont see why police need to be protected from foul language. Noone else in any line of work is. Ask any customer service person at your local retail place. I promise you they get cussed out and yelled at as much if not more then the average officer. Yet they dont get protected.

opencarry
08-10-2010, 07:14 PM
There are many appellate decisions throughout the U.S. that hold that the First Amendment freedom of speech protects the use of obscene, offensive language.

You provided a lot of interesting information on this topic, do you believe that with proper representation one could fight these charges of violating ordinances for the use of the language in public based on freedom of speech?

*** disclaimer*** I am not advocating anyone use foul language in public, I just started having some changing viewpoints on what I initially thought when I began reading the article based on some of the information provided *******

creolecop
08-10-2010, 07:21 PM
I dont see why police need to be protected from foul language. Noone else in any line of work is. Ask any customer service person at your local retail place. I promise you they get cussed out and yelled at as much if not more then the average officer. Yet they dont get protected.

Ok, come to Louisiana and curse out the walmart cashier with me standing there and see how fast you will be eating breakfast consisting of (1) hardboiled egg, (2) slices of bread and a 8oz bag of milk ;)

Don't know what you'd call protection but thats what I would call it.

Dingbat
08-10-2010, 08:47 PM
So you would be the same person trying to arrest someone for cussing at you in public? The court already ruled that its not illegal. The worst you could give me was disturbing the peace.

On that note i tend to skip breakfast and go for a good lunch and dinner.

Scipio
08-10-2010, 09:47 PM
Free speech is a pretty complex area of jurisprudence. I suspect that plenty of local/state ordinances wouldn't pass an appellate challenge, but they've never actually been tested. Most people charged with screaming obscenities in public probably lack the education and resources to mount a defense. It's just cheaper and easier to simply buckle and pay the (relatively) small fine.

State and local ordinances should be limited to restricting unprotected speech to be constitutional. That means they can restrict obscene speech (good luck figuring out what qualifies as obscene) and fighting words. Merely offensive or abusive speech is protected. Fighting words are defined as words that by "their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace." Not especially helpful, but there you go.

For further reading check out:
Gooding v. Wilson 405 U.S. 518 (1972)
LEWIS V. CITY OF NEW ORLEANS, 415 U. S. 130 (1974)

Results of suits against cities are a lot harder to find since most of them are settled. But here is an article that mentions a $19k and a $50k settlement in Pennsylvania.
http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/20100513_ACLU_defends_right_to_swear_in_Pa_.html

creolecop
08-10-2010, 09:49 PM
So you would be the same person trying to arrest someone for cussing at you in public? The court already ruled that its not illegal. The worst you could give me was disturbing the peace.
.
another student who swears to know everything (sigh) :rolleyes: , tell you what come to Louisiana, anywhere in Louisiana and be a test subject. BTW, pupil, Disturbing the Peace is the law in LOUISIANA that covers cursing in public. This state law has been in effect for over 35yrs and is still a very actively used law. Hundreds of people are arrested every week for this, funny, I have yet to hear of any of their convictions for it being overturned. Even with the 3rd circuit reviewing random cases they have yet to over turn any convictions of this law here (they've had a long time to review this very used statute). Might want to ask your professor for more knowledge before you speak. As a matter of fact I went to court on this charge a month ago, She was fined, given 24hrs of community service and 1 week in jail (she was a regular). 1st time or two it'll just be a fine, then fine, and community service and then you start spending some time in the hotel. She sure could use you here to fight for her at the 3rd circuit court since the entire judicial system down here doesn't know what you know and continue to allow this unjust conviction to stand :rolleyes:

Sarge048
08-11-2010, 06:28 AM
Well tell that Magistrate to F#(% Off whiles he's performing his duties and see how he likes it.

I agree. I think we had this same discussion with "the finger". Judge told the officer "Maybe that was his way of waving and saying have a nice day." The officer walked out of the court, turned to the judge, raised both middle fingers, and said; "Have a nice day your honor!"

opencarry
08-11-2010, 09:09 AM
I agree. I think we had this same discussion with "the finger". Judge told the officer "Maybe that was his way of waving and saying have a nice day." The officer walked out of the court, turned to the judge, raised both middle fingers, and said; "Have a nice day your honor!"

LOL That would be priceless

LA DEP
08-11-2010, 01:08 PM
LOL That would be priceless

yeah.....really priceless.....

esp. after the judge orders the LEO held in contempt of court........and then an IA Sgt melts the Deputys' badge down to make his Lts' bars out of them.......:rolleyes:

lb18532
08-11-2010, 02:24 PM
Dino 32
I loved the discon tags lol 7 subdivisions and they would talk themselves into one of them then when you do a warrant check they clam up :D
I always started mine with T/P/O deft was acting in a loud and tumultuous manner causing vehicular/pedestrian alarm then the subdivision and just watch the smile fade away from their face one tag for each sub if they were really being a azzhole.

Dinosaur32
08-11-2010, 07:20 PM
lb28532........A classic.........vehicular/pedestrian alarm is always a winner....takes you right out of the equation and leaves it all on him. Never like to see that on the back of a "C" summons when I'm in 346 Broadway with a client.