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