A Texas sheriff posted to Facebook threatening criminal charges against the owner of a white pickup truck with an anti-Trump sticker decal displayed in the rear window.
Fort Bend Sheriff Troy E. Nehls, apparently unaware the First Amendment protects political speech, posted that he obtained permission from a prosecutor who informed him she would file criminal charges of disorderly conduct against the owner of the truck, which says “Fuck Trump. And fuck you for voting for him” on the back of it.
“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. 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 post reads.
Several people replied to the post, which now has over 1,100 shares.
Some criticized the sheriff for his anti-free speech stance.
Others criticized him for not focusing on real crimes, for being petty and for not upholding his oath as sheriff.
“Sheriff Troy E. Nehls, if you don’t like free speech move to Iraq or North Korea,” Nathaniel Dimof wrote.
“Someone displays a “Fuck Trump” sticker and you want to charge the person with breaching the peace?! You took an oath to uphold and defend the constitution. If you don’t do that, then you should be fired not holding up that oath,” Matt Giesler replied to the sheriff’s post.
Facebook poster Antonio Herrera used sarcasm, implying the sheriff probably had more important things to do with his time.
“I’m glad to see our government officials are concentrating on what’s important,” he wrote.
Sheriff Nehls took time out of his busy day of fighting crime to respond.
“It’s important to respond to calls from residents, yes. Glad we can agree on that.”
The sheriff also took the time to respond to the comments with the Texas disorderly conduct statute, although he didn’t mention anything about the First Amendment, which seems lost on him.
PINAC reached out to Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officers Bob Haenel and Caitlin Espinosa, but neither of them were available for comment.
According to Fort Bend County’s website, public information officers “assist news media on an on-call basis.”
We also attempted to contact the district and county attorneys’ offices, but our attempts to find the prosecutor who agreed to accept charges were unsuccessful.
Sheriff Nehls obviously thinks it’s important to respond to calls from concerned citizens.
The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office can be reached at (281) 341-4704.