Constitution-Hating Cops Swarm, Arrest Man for Practicing 100% LEGAL Free Speech
Constitution-Hating Cops Swarm, Arrest Man for Practicing 100% LEGAL Free Speech by Matt Agorist for The Free Thought Project
Stamford, CT — Last week, free speech and liberty activist, Michael Picard had harmed no one, had not committed a crime, and was merely expressing his right to free speech by holding up a sign to protest the government’s threats to use eminent domain against a Stamford family. Picard is upset that the city is threatening to steal a family’s home to widen a road, so last week, he practiced his First Amendment protected right to protest it. However, because more and more police continue to forget their oaths to the constitution, Picard was arrested for practicing his freedom of speech.
Picard and his friend and fellow activist Michael Friend, were at the Stamford Government Center on 888 Washington Blvd last Thursday to protest the city’s proposed use of negotiations or eminent domain to acquire a Pulaski Street private residence.
“I was protesting Stamford’s threatened use of eminent domain to force a family off their property in order to widen roads in that area,” Picard tells the Free Thought Project. But his right to protest would barely last five minutes once the Stamford police arrived.
When police arrived, they demanded to know why Picard was there.
“I’m here to protest about the city’s threatened use of eminent domain,” Picard told police. “I’m here because I think eminent domain is wrong. Even if you give someone some sort of compensation (for their property), it’s wrong.”
His sign made his point perfectly clear, saying, “‘F**k your property’ – Stamford.”
“What are we here for? Property rights,” said Friend, who is also a resident of Stamford.
Despite the complete lack of probable cause that a crime had been committed or was about to be committed, police then detained the two men.
“This is private property,” one of the cops says — clearly displaying his ignorance.
“No it isn’t,” Picard responded. “It’s a government building.”
“Oh, yeah, you’re right,” the cop admits.
As the pair is escorted outside, more cops show up — for a sign that said “f**k.”
In total, it appears that over the course of the arrest, seven cops were dispatched to violate the constitutional rights of these two men.
“They charged me with breach of peace and interfering,” Picard tells the Free Thought Project. “They initially set bail $250, but then decided to release me on my own recognizance an hour and a half after they put me in a cell.”
Picard said that although Friend was not arrested, he was detained and held against his will for an hour and a half.
Connecticut’s breach of peace statute reads as follows:
“A person is guilty of breach of the peace in the second degree when, with intent to cause inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof, such person: (1) Engages in fighting or in violent, tumultuous or threatening behavior in a public place; or (2) assaults or strikes another; or (3) threatens to commit any crime against another person or such other person’s property; or (4) publicly exhibits, distributes, posts up or advertises any offensive, indecent or abusive matter concerning any person; or (5) in a public place, uses abusive or obscene language or makes an obscene gesture; or (6) creates a public and hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act which such person is not licensed or privileged to do. For purposes of this section, “public place” means any area that is used or held out for use by the public whether owned or operated by public or private interests.”
None of these indicators were present in Picard’s protest as he was using his free speech to make a point, not to annoy or otherwise alarm or inconvenience anyone. When police can use such laws to arrest people for protesting, this is highly problematic.
“Word taboo and word fetish appear to have, once again, led to the arrest of a peaceful and law abiding citizen. Hopefully, cooler heads than those of the police who made the foolish decision to arrest Mr. Picard will prevail in the courthouse, and the charges will be dismissed or else defeated in short order. Its been 77 years since New Hampshire v. Chaplinsky and fifty years since Cohen v. California and still the same hysterical drama plays out over and over again in our state courts because of police, prosecutors and judges who cannot seem to fight the urge to allow their fetish of the word “fuck” to blind them to reason. There is no right in America against being offended and anyway, who in this day and age can really say they are truly shocked at the word “fuck?”. If anyone present for Mr. Picard’s protest was truly offended, which I seriously doubt, then the solution should have been for them to simply turn their heads away. Instead, what we will see will be lawmen, prosecutors, and judge’s turning their heads away from decades of clear precedent. The State of Connecticut’s case against Mr. Picard has been lost probably hundreds or thousands of times in identical cases tried throughout the land before Mr. Picard was arrested,” Picard’s attorney, Joseph R. Sastre told the Free Thought Project via email.