Local media reports that Pittsburgh’s Allegheny County Sheriffs have nothing better to do than investigate an NFL player for allegedly “taunting” one of their police dogs at a football game this past Sunday between the Oakland Raiders and Pittsburgh Steelers in Heinz Field.

The report is so bizarre, that it sounds like the plot of an NFL Films blooper reel.

According to Marcie Cipriani, a reporter at WTAE, the still unidentified Oakland Raiders player lifted his shirt, pounded on his chest and barked at a police dog before the game started.

Clearly, the players allegedly criminal acts weighed heavily on his team, and the Raiders lost the game to the Steelers on a late field goal 38-35.

The law was pushed by Pittsburgh’s former police Chief Dom Costa who won a state legislator’s seat and State Senator John Rafferty.

“Year of the Law Enforcement Officer,” was another idea of the retired chief of police pushed this year.

Pennsylvania law 5511.2  criminalizes citizens speech directed at four legged police officers, “including, but not limited to, dogs and horses.”

It seems highly unlikely that a state law can curb constitutionally protected free speech directed at any agent of the state, let alone a dog or animal.

The United States Supreme Court already ruled way back in 1987 in Houston vs. Hill, that a law which criminalizes protected speech and gives broad discretion in application violates the Constitution’s First Amendment.

But Pittsburgh area cops have been aggressive in prosecuting (or persecuting) opposing teams and their fans outside the lines of the game.

Local television in Pittsburgh are more sensitive to the needless criminalization of sporting events ever since PINAC broke the news of a Cubs fan assaulted by a cop, assisted by a Pirates team official in a video that has since gone viral.

If this professional football player is arrested for barking at a dog, he won’t be the first Pennsylvanian to face charges under the law.

However, it’s likely that the Oakland Raiders franchise would rally behind their persecuted player, who did nothing more than lawfully express his enthusiasm for the game of football.

Because the autumn wind is a pirate, and if Allegheny’s Sheriffs press charges against an active NFL player, it’s likely they’ll reap a foul breeze of hateful comments on their highly rated Facebook page for their suppression of the First Amendment by the visiting team.

At least the Pennsylvania legislature is taking a positive step to establish clear guidelines to keep their police from killing people’s domesticated dogs – which is an epidemic throughout our country today.

If only we could convince all police officers to care about dogs enough to stop killing them for no reason, as much as the Allegheny police care about people who bark at their dogs, the world would be a better place.