Texas sheriff thinks anti-Trump sticker is worthy of disorderly conduct charges

A window decal on a Texas pick-up truck is at the center of the latest latest controversy surrounding Donald Trump.

After Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls was alerted of the crude anti-Trump sticker, which reads: “FUCK TRUMP AND FUCK YOU FOR VOTING FOR HIM,” The Houston Chronicle reported he posted a warning on Facebook in hopes of identifying the owner of the vehicle and issuing disorderly conduct charges.

The post appears to have since been deleted, but it sparked a fair share of outrage, even gaining attention from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) — a non-profit organization dedicated to defending individual rights.

“I have received numerous calls regarding the offensive display on this truck as it is often seen along FM 359. If you know who owns this truck or it is yours, I would like to discuss it with you,” Nehls, a Republican who happens to be weighing a bid for Congress, wrote in the post.

“Our prosecutor has informed us she would accept disorderly conduct charges regarding it, but I feel we could come to an agreement regarding a modification to it,” the sheriff continued.

Before the post was deleted, CNN noted that Nehls also explained the legal definition of disorderly conduct in the state of Texas, defining it in the comments section as charges against someone who intentionally “uses abusive indecent, profane, or vulgar language in a public place” or “makes an offensive gesture or display in a public place” that “tends to incite an immediate breach of the peace.”

After the post began to gain traction, the owner’s wife, Karen Fonseca — who just so happened to work for Nehls at the county jail in the past — identified herself and spoke to The Houston Chronicle.

Fonseca told the publication the sticker has sparked discussion before, but she doesn’t see the harm, arguing it’s her right to share her political opinions.

“It’s not to cause hate or animosity,” Fonseca told The Chronicle. “It’s just our freedom of speech and we’re exercising it.”

The ACLU of Texas agrees. After learning of the controversy the organization addressed the sheriff on Facebook, reminding him of the First Amendment. 

“Constitutional Law 101: You can’t ban speech just because it has ‘f@ck’ in it. Hey truck owner, feel free to contact the ACLU of Texas,” the organization wrote, sharing a highlighted passage referencing Cohen v. California — a Supreme Court case from 1971 that ruled a jacket bearing the words “Fuck the Draft” was not in violation of publicly disturbing the peace.

This isn’t the first time a public display against Trump has come under fire. In October an image of a woman flipping off Trump’s motorcade while riding past on a bicycle went viral. Shortly afterwards the Virginia woman, Juli Briskman, told her employer and was fired from her job.

Since news of Briskman’s unemployment spread supporters have come together to raise over $100,000 for her through a GoFundMe account.

Mashable reached out to the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office for comment.

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