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This Happened: Judge Rules That Barking, Hissing Do Not Constitute Protected Speech

This has so many implications for evening opinion news programs. An Ohio judge has ruled that barking and hissing are not protected by the First Amendment.

You see, a man named Ryan Stephens got himself into a spot of trouble when he was charged with abusing a police dog after barking and hissing at the law-enforcing canine, who had been sitting in a police cruiser at the time. Stephens attempted to have the charges dismissed on grounds that they were vague and compromised his First Amendment right.

The judge disagreed, writing that even if there “was a communicative value to the defendant’s barking and hissing, it is clear that this ordinance is directed toward prohibited conduct and impairment of a First Amendment right is incidental.”

According to Stephens, “the dog started it.”

Moral of the story? Play it safe and refrain from antagonizing a police officer’s dog. Even if he did start it.

h/t UPI

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