Pennsylvania Cops Now Let You Swear All You Want

Cops will no longer issue tickets for naughty words
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2011 9:43 AM CST
Go ahead, use all the bad words you want ... in Pennsylvania.   (©anarchosyn)

(Newser) – Say it with me, foul-mouthed Pennsylvanians: Hot damn! It is officially no longer a crime to utter choice four-letter words in the presence of state police. They've agreed to stop citing the public for cursing as part of a settlement yesterday of a federal free-speech lawsuit. That suit stems from the case of a woman who called police after a motorcyclist swerved toward her; she got charged for yelling some nasty words at the offender.

An even more memorable example: A Scranton woman got slapped with a "disorderly conduct" citation for swearing at her overflowing toilet. State troopers issued 700 such citations—which can lead to hundreds of dollars in fines and legal costs, not to mention the occasional jail stint—in a recent one-year span, reports the AP. "Using profanity toward someone, whether an officer or not, is just not one of those things that you can put someone in jail for," says an ACLU lawyer. "It may not be very smart, but you have a constitutional right to do that."

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