'F*** TRUMP' bumper sticker leads to free speech debate

Houston-area sheriff goes after driver with 'offensive' anti-Trump decal

A profane anti-Trump sticker is drawing outrage from a Texas community and its sheriff, who wants a couple to change the sticker on their truck so it doesn't contain obscenities.

What the message lacks in wit it apparently made up for in offense, with Nehls saying he had received "numerous calls regarding the offensive display" from citizens hoping that the driver's foul mouth and truck can be washed clean by the law. In his social media post, the sheriff mentions talking to a prosecutor about filing disorderly conduct charges. The post included a photo of the white pickup truck with the bumper sticker. Some supported his message, while others defended free speech or said the sheriff's department should focus on other high-profile crime in the community.

The Houston Chronicle said the truck's owners have no plans to remove the custom graphic, which they ordered after Trump's election.

In a Twitter post, the ACLU told the sheriff, "you can't prosecute speech just because it has the word "f*ck" in it". "They honk their horn, they give you a thumbs up".

According to The Associated Press, Nehls said Wednesday at a news conference about his viral Facebook post that he's concerned the sign may lead to a confrontation.

"It's not to cause hate or anonymity", she told the paper.

"F-K TRUMP AND F-K YOU FOR VOTING FOR HIM", screams the windshield-sized decal plastered on the back window of a pickup truck belonging to Karen Fonseca, 46, and her husband.

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Texas penal code describes disorderly conduct as "intentionally or knowingly [using] abusive, indecent, profane, or vulgar language in a public place, and the language by its very utterance tends to incite an immediate breach of peace".

"It would be a good time to have meaningful dialogue with that person and express the concerns out there regarding the language on the truck", Nehls said.

"I don't want to see anything happen to anyone", the sheriff said.

The tens of thousands of comments on his post are mixed.

District Attorney John Healey disputed Nehls' suggestion that disorderly conduct charges were appropriate in this case, as did free speech advocates.

The Texas division of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), an organisation that works to defend individual rights, responded to the sheriff on Facebook, writing: "Constitutional Law 101: You can't ban speech just because it has 'f***' in it".

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