Scott Tibbs
blog post
May 31st, 2005

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From the Indianapolis Star:
A 15-year-old boy who shouted profanities at a police officer during an investigation was exercising his right to free speech, the Indiana Court of Appeals has found.
Huh? It gets worse:
"The core of First Amendment freedom is the right to criticize the state in the exercise of political power," said Andrew Koppelman, a Northwestern University law professor. "The idea is that you can't have a democracy if government gets to shut down people who are criticizing" it.
This is asinine.

Democratic State Representative David Orentlicher whined that "you can't have a free society if people aren't allowed to criticize authority." Following is my response to Mr. Orentlicher.

----Original Message Follows----
From: Scott Tibbs <>
Subject: Disrespect for the police
Date: Mon, 30 May 2005 10:41:29 -0700 (PDT)

Representative Orentlicher:

I saw your comment in the Indianapolis Star that "you can't have a free society if people aren't allowed to criticize authority" in regards to a 15 year old who screamed profanities at a police officer.

I agree with you that anyone has the right to criticize the actions of police. However, the right to be critical of authority does not include the right to be abusive. Screaming profanities at anyone is abusive, and the First Amendment does not protect abusive or harassing behavior.

I find it unfortunate that a State Representative would show this kind of disrespect for the police, who put their lives on the line every day to "serve and protect" the citizens of Indiana. What kind of message does it send to Hoosier police officers when State Representatives are defending the "right" of people to verbally abuse them?

I hope that the voters of your district become very familiar with your statement leading up to the 2006 elections.

Scott Tibbs