ACLU Defends Cussing at Cops

Lawsuits fault police for arresting potty mouths
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted May 14, 2010 3:50 PM CDT
ACLU Defends Cussing at Cops
Watch your mouth in Pennsylvania, especially around police officers.   (?bfhoyt)

(Newser) – Swearing is legal, but some institutions—including Pennsylvania law enforcement agencies—need a reminder, the ACLU tells the Philadelphia Inquirer. The organization is suing on behalf of two Pennsylvanians who were arrested and charged with scofflaw offenses for swearing in public; one of them called a police officer a "f---ing asshole." Both individuals were ultimately cleared, but the ACLU wants to change policies: Pennsylvania state police issued 750 citations for profane language last year.

"Unfortunately many police departments in the commonwealth do not seem to be getting the message that swearing is not a crime," says one ACLU lawyer. "The courts have repeatedly found that profanity, unlike obscenity, is protected speech. We will continue bringing lawsuits until this illegal practice is stopped."
(Read more profanity stories.)

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