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View Full Version : Man wins $20,000 settlement after arrest for dropping F Bombs on Boulder deputy


Deberg_1990
06-21-2011, 10:42 AM
http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/2011/06/robert_mcintosh_20000_settlement_f_bomb.php



Update below: Last year, Robert McIntosh Jr. was so unhappy after being stopped for speeding that he dropped multiple f-bombs on the deputy who wrote him up. The immediate result? McIntosh's arrest. But now, Boulder County has agreed to pay a $20,000 settlement, and McIntosh's attorney, David Lane, thinks that's appropriate. "We have free speech in this country, and you have to have probable cause to be arrested," he says. "And when cops abuse their authority, it makes us all less free."

According to the arrest report on view below, Deputy Sheriff Tim Lynch stopped McIntosh in the Town of Superior after a radar gun caught him driving 41 miles per hour in a twenty-mile-per-hour school zone designated by a flashing light.

McIntosh wins Westword's "Shmuck of the Week"

Although McIntosh was talking on his cell phone as he motored through the zone (and hadn't finished his conversation when Lynch pulled him over), he kept his lips zipped as he handed over insurance and registration. But when Lynch gave him a ticket moments later, he says McIntosh told him a warning would have been sufficient. After Lynch disagreed, McIntosh pointed out that the speed limit for the area is usually 35 miles per hour, then said Lynch was being a "fucking ass... you know it." He added that he'd see the deputy "in fucking court."

Lynch informed McIntosh that if the abusive language continued, he'd arrest him. McIntosh responded by glowering at Lynch -- and when he took back his license and registration, he yelled, "Screw you!" Lynch reacted by taking McIntosh's keys, calling for backup and arresting him.

McIntosh didn't meekly accept punishment for his language. Instead, he hired Lane, who sent a letter to Boulder County alleging civil rights violations of the First and Fourth Amendments. Potential litigation was squelched by the county's decision to pay $20,000 to make the matter go away.

In Lane's opinion, "the significance of this case is that cops just have to learn that you're allowed to criticize them. You're not committing a crime by being critical of cops -- and because this cop has a thin skin, it cost the taxpayers of Boulder County $20,000."

Not that Lane limits his harsh words to the deputy alone. "Boulder County doesn't adequately train their cops," he maintains, "and failure to train and supervise is actionable in and of itself."

This incident is the second of its type in recent weeks. Note that Shane Boor was busted for flipping off a Colorado state trooper. After the ACLU agreed to defend him on First Amendment grounds, the allegation against Boor was dropped.

These incidents may seem minor, but Lane believes they have larger import.

"This may be a little flowery, but when you're standing outside, when does it become nightfall?" he asks. "There's no moment where darkness descends, but you know when it's dark, and you know when it's getting dark. And every infringement of civil rights adds to the darkness. That's why every one of these cases, no matter how small, needs to be fought. And that's why we bring them."

Update, June 8, 1:44 p.m.: Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle has released the following statement about the McIntosh case:

"A deputy sheriff assigned to the Town of Superior stopped Mr. Robert McIntosh on October 1, 2010 at 2:35 pm for speeding 41 mph in a 20 mph school zone. The stop did not go well, Mr. McIntosh was verbally abusive, vulgar and uncooperative during the contact. The deputy arrested Mr. McIntosh in lieu of releasing him on a summons at the scene. He was transported to the jail where he was booked and released. The entire process took approximately three hours. There was no use of force involved in the arrest. "Mr. McIntosh later pleaded guilty to the speeding charge in Superior Municipal Court, in exchange the charges of Disobeying a Police Officer were dropped. He then retained an attorney, claiming his rights were violated when he was physically arrested for expression of free speech toward the officer. "Our County Attorney's Office reviewed the facts of the case and felt there was some exposure, because courts have ruled that while not all speech is protected, police officers are expected to take a higher level of verbal abuse than would be expected from a member of the general public. The decision was made to settle the case quickly and as inexpensively as possible, as litigation and attorney's fees could become very expensive. "Our Office and the County Attorney's Office has taken full advantage of the situation to properly educate the deputy involved and all of our personnel on the appropriate constitutional limitations on free speech as they apply to peace officers."

kepp
06-21-2011, 10:56 AM
Nobody wins here, IMO. The guy sounds like a douche.

BigCatDaddy
06-21-2011, 11:00 AM
Nobody wins here, IMO. The guy sounds like a douche.

That's what I was thinking. It's like a Raiders-Broncos game when you hate both sides.

Brock
06-21-2011, 11:01 AM
Cops shouldn't be immune from most of the pitfalls of dealing with the public that anyone else has to deal with.

Count Alex's Losses
06-21-2011, 11:04 AM
Suck it, cops.

Okie_Apparition
06-21-2011, 11:09 AM
41 in a 20 school zone? Should have forced him to be a school guard for a week

BigCatDaddy
06-21-2011, 11:13 AM
Cops shouldn't be immune from most of the pitfalls of dealing with the public that anyone else has to deal with.

It was probably technically disorderly conduct. If the driver had said that to someone else in the presence of the officer and got arrested instead of to the officer I bet there would have never been an issue. But since it was an officer they can claim abuse of power, thin skin, blah blah blah.

Pants
06-21-2011, 11:15 AM
It was probably technically disorderly conduct. If the driver had said that to someone else in the presence of the officer and got arrested instead of to the officer I bet there would have never been an issue. But since it was an officer they can claim abuse of power, thin skin, blah blah blah.

Yeah, cursing somebody out to their face is not protected by any amendments. Too bad the cop couldn't call the police on that guy.

Brock
06-21-2011, 11:16 AM
If the driver had said that to someone else in the presence of the officer and got arrested instead of to the officer I bet there would have never been an issue.

No, that would still be an issue, as far as I'm concerned.

Bump
06-21-2011, 11:18 AM
the guy was on his cell phone, going more than double the speed limit in a school zone. Fuck him, it sounds like to me that this idiot just needed a little police brutality and him getting $20K is an outrage.

Hydrae
06-21-2011, 11:24 AM
the guy was on his cell phone, going more than double the speed limit in a school zone. **** him, it sounds like to me that this idiot just needed a little police brutality and him getting $20K is an outrage.

This. I hope he paid many hundreds of dollars for that ticket. He endangered every child around that school and then wanted to take it out on the cop for doing his job? Personally (I know it is not the law), he should have his license suspended if he can't follow the law in those kinds of areas.

Needless to say, this kind of action in a school zone is a huge pet peeve of mine. No excuse for his driving actions.

BigCatDaddy
06-21-2011, 11:27 AM
Yeah, cursing somebody out to their face is not protected by any amendments. Too bad the cop couldn't call the police on that guy.

Exactly, but I think arresting the guy was too much. Maybe just keep writing tickets until he learns to keep his mouth shut would have been a better idea.

vailpass
06-21-2011, 11:30 AM
Deputy should have shot him dead then planted a gun on him.

Cave Johnson
06-21-2011, 11:32 AM
Yeah, cursing somebody out to their face is not protected by any amendments. Too bad the cop couldn't call the police on that guy.

As long as you're not making threats, offensive speech is, in most cases, protected by the 1st amendment.

And f you for suggesting otherwise. ;)

vailpass
06-21-2011, 11:32 AM
Suck it, cops.

Shut your soft mouth. If your mom was out of town and you felt endangered you would run to the police for help in a heart beat.

gblowfish
06-21-2011, 11:35 AM
Deputy should have shot him dead then planted a gun on him.

They would have done that in Shawnee. Cops there are d-bags (IMHO)

Count Alex's Losses
06-21-2011, 11:37 AM
Shut your soft mouth. If your mom was out of town and you felt endangered you would run to the police for help in a heart beat.

LMAO

Cops around here are pussies. I got a fucking animal cruelty notice for an internet post I made.

Count Alex's Losses
06-21-2011, 11:37 AM
What do you want to bet there was almost no one walking in the school zone?

Those stupid lights are always flashing when school is deserted around here. Fucking money trap.

Count Alex's Losses
06-21-2011, 11:38 AM
Is school even in session in Boulder? LMAO

BigCatDaddy
06-21-2011, 11:44 AM
Is school even in session in Boulder? LMAO

Do you think he was arrested, went to trial, then hired an attorney and reached a settlement agreement in the few weeks school has been out?

ClevelandBronco
06-21-2011, 11:47 AM
My default settling is cop apologist, but fuck you, Officer Lynch. You don't get to define which words are acceptable and which aren't. Assuming that that douche bag Mr. McIntosh wasn't actually threatening to have forced sexual intercourse with you, you lose.

The taxpayers can thank thin skin and poor training for the $20K bill.

Pants
06-21-2011, 11:49 AM
As long as you're not making threats, offensive speech is, in most cases, protected by the 1st amendment.

And f you for suggesting otherwise. ;)

Offensive speech is fine unless it's directed at someone, right?. If someone called you a mother****er, couldn't you hypothetically claim libel or slander or something like that?

ClevelandBronco
06-21-2011, 11:51 AM
Offensive speech is fine unless it's directed at someone, right?. If someone called you a mother****er, couldn't you hypothetically claim libel or slander or something like that?

Not if you've fucked at least one mother.

Pants
06-21-2011, 11:52 AM
Not if you've ****ed at least one mother.

That's a given.

BigCatDaddy
06-21-2011, 11:53 AM
My default settling is cop apologist, but **** you, Officer Lynch. You don't get to define which words are acceptable and which aren't. Assuming that that douche bag Mr. McIntosh wasn't actually threatening to have forced sexual intercourse with you, you lose.

The taxpayers can thank thin skin and poor training for the $20K bill.

If other people are around isn't that disorderly conduct however? I'm sure people don't want someone popping off like that when there kids are around.

ClevelandBronco
06-21-2011, 11:56 AM
If other people are around isn't that disorderly conduct however? I'm sure people don't want someone popping off like that when there kids are around.

No, I don't want people throwing f-grenades around my kids, but that's life. You ask the offender to stop using that language. If he refuses, you move along and use it as a teaching opportunity for the kids.

As for whether it's disorderly conduct, Mr. McIntosh has $20 Gs that says it isn't.

Bwana
06-21-2011, 12:03 PM
Heh, this is why I could never be a cop. I would have been fired, the county would have owed a lot more money and this guy would be still trying to find his teeth.

Cave Johnson
06-21-2011, 12:07 PM
Offensive speech is fine unless it's directed at someone, right?. If someone called you a mother****er, couldn't you hypothetically claim libel or slander or something like that?

Nope. If I call you a mother****er, I'm not saying you actually ****ed your mother. You can sue for defamation, sure, but whether you're successful will depend on the meaning and factual accuracy of your insult. Interestingly, courts use Urban Dictionary in that instance.

durtyrute
06-21-2011, 12:07 PM
Heh, this is why I could never be a cop. I would have been fired, the county would have owed a lot more money and this guy would be still trying to find his teeth.

You should join, you'd fit right in with some of them.......;)

Bwana
06-21-2011, 12:10 PM
You should join, you'd fit right in with some of them.......;)

No, working out works fine for me, but thanks for the suggestion.

Cave Johnson
06-21-2011, 12:14 PM
Example: calling someone a pharisee isn't defamatory.

http://www.lawandpolitics.com/washington/Lawsuits-of-the-Year/cc92e901-9e3d-4881-894d-2214398771da.html

Simplex3
06-21-2011, 01:34 PM
They would have done that in Shawnee. Cops there are d-bags (IMHO)

I've dealt with the Shawnee cops 4 times since living there and never had any problem with them. Twice I reported something and twice I was pulled over for traffic stops.

Bump
06-21-2011, 01:38 PM
both parties involved were extremely stupid. It should have canceled each other out. To the cop: you're suspended without pay for being stupid. To the guy: You're a moron and a night in jail might have taught you something.

Pitt Gorilla
06-21-2011, 01:39 PM
No, I don't want people throwing f-grenades around my kids, but that's life. You ask the offender to stop using that language. If he refuses, you move along and use it as a teaching opportunity for the kids.

As for whether it's disorderly conduct, Mr. McIntosh has $20 Gs that says it isn't.I agree. I don't want that language around my kids, but I'm not going to call the cops to get the guy to stop.

I'm just glad this precedent was set.

Garcia Bronco
06-22-2011, 01:47 PM
Nobody wins here, IMO. The guy sounds like a douche.

He might be a total douche...but he's right. Dipshit cops need to learn that's it's not always their way. I wouldn't drop f-bombs on an officer...but if I did it's protected free speech.

Garcia Bronco
06-22-2011, 01:49 PM
Offensive speech is fine unless it's directed at someone, right?. If someone called you a mother****er, couldn't you hypothetically claim libel or slander or something like that?

That or it could be contrewed as assault...but you'll have a hard time getting it to stick