DesertExile: A big double standard

02 September 2007

A big double standard

Mesa cop to be disciplined for gestures
[Illegal Aliens show their respect for YOU]
A uniformed, on-duty Mesa police sergeant was among dozens who hurled insults or obscene gestures at immigrant protesters earlier this week, the Mesa Police Department announced Thursday.
Sgt. Mike Doherty, a 20-year veteran, will be disciplined for making an insulting gesture twice with his hands at a group of about 30 protesters when he drove past them Wednesday at Alma School Road and Main Street in his marked police truck, said spokeswoman Holly Hosac.
A few protesters took down Doherty’s license plate number and description and reported him to the department, Hosac said.Neither Doherty nor a representative of Immigrants Without Borders, which organized the protest, could be reached for comment late Thursday.
The Mesa protest group was among several throughout the Valley who were trying to bring attention to new laws that will punish employers for hiring illegal immigrants.Their signs said things such as “I am your cook,” and “Sorry your house isn’t clean.”Doherty told Mesa investigators his gestures were not ethnically motivated, pointing out that his wife is Hispanic, Hosac said.He told them “he just has a general distaste for protesters,” she said.
In the early 70's, a fellow Officer had to go to court in downtown Los Angeles.
The City Attorney subpoenas you to be there at 8:00 AM, but you have to sit through the cases in front of you.
A man was contesting the search of his car by a Los Angeles Police motorcycle rider.
His attorney alleged that the Officer had no "Probable Cause" to stop the man, charged with transporting and possesion for sale of drugs.
The Officer testified that he was westbound on Wilshire Bl. when he noticed the man driving eastbound, as the man neared and passed, he raised his middle finger to the Officer. The Officer executed a u-turn and stopped the man to ascertain what his hostility stemmed from. After stopping the man, an odor was noted of leaf marijuana, and a search turned up some "Bricks" in the back seat, convered with a blanket.
The judge then declared that this was no reason to stop the man, and elaborated that this was simply a gesture with no special meaning behind it, and dismissed the case.
The Officer then stood up, raised his mid-finger to the judge and said, " Have a nice day, your honor"
The judge exploded, and ordered the baliff to take the offcer into custody. At this point, the defendant's attorney rose and said, "Your Honor, you just got through saying it was a gesture meaning nothing". The Officer was released.

Federal. An arrestee's display of his middle finger in an upward gesture, commonly referred to as "flipping someone off," "the bird," or "giving someone the finger," did not constitute "fighting words" and, thus, was protected as free speech under the First Amendment in a civil rights action brought under 42 U.S.C. sec. 1983. The court ruled that the arresting police officer was not entitled to qualified immunity in the lawsuit. It said the arrestee-plaintiff's gesture was clearly established as protected free speech at the time when the officer issued a ticket to the arrestee for disorderly conduct.

"While we agree the gesture utilized by Nichols was crude, insensitive, offensive, and disturbing to Chacon's sensibilities, it was not obscene under the relevant Supreme Court precedent, did not constitute 'fighting words,' and was protected as 'free speech' under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. We also believe that this right was clearly established on August 6th of 1998 when Chacon arrested Nichols. Accordingly, we hold as a matter of law that Chacon is not entitled to qualified immunity and that his arrest of Nichols violated Nichols' First and Fourth Amendment rights."
So, here we go again.
IF it is done by a citizen, it is "Protected Speech".
IF it is done by an officer, it is cause for discipline.
So, in this case, you have a police sergeant, with 20 years of experience, who is going to be "Disciplined" for expressing his opinion of people here illegally, and who are advocating that U S Citizen Employers be given immunity for IlLEGALLY employing them.
Action should be taken on whom?


At September 10, 2007 9:24 AM, Anonymous linda said...

Makes no sense, does it?!


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