Fort Bend County sheriff searching for driver with anti-Trump message

Lucy Bush
November 17, 2017

A Texas sheriff is under fire for making a Facebook post about his intention to take punitive measures against a truck driver displaying a bumper sticker declaring "FUCK TRUMP AND FUCK YOU FOR VOTING FOR HIM".

"Since the owner of the truck has been identified, the Sheriff took down the post", a Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office spokesperson said Thursday. The truck is often seen along FM 359, a state highway near Richmond, Nehls wrote. "I simply want to talk to the owner and say, 'Look, the last thing we need to do is have anyone have any confrontation over the language on your truck.' We have not threatened anybody with arrest".

Even with the negative backlash, Sheriff Nehls says he does not regret the post, but did seem to back away from considering the disorderly conduct charges. In his social media post, the sheriff mentions talking to a prosecutor about filing disorderly conduct charges.

Fonseca says the decal, which she had custom made 11 months ago for $25, speaks for many.

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"I'm glad to see our government officials are concentrating on what's important", one comment said.

During his press conference, Nehls said that he wanted to have a dialogue with the truck's owners because Trump stickers on vehicles have caused road rage incidents around the country.

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"The objective of the post was to find the owner/driver of the truck and have a conversation with them in order to prevent a potential altercation between the truck driver and those offended by the message", the sheriff's office said in a statement.

Facebook users responded to Nehls' post with plenty of criticism. "It's just our freedom of speech, and we're exercising it". "They smile. They stop you", said Fonseca. "Now you have a breach of the peace". But Fonseca, whose husband owns the truck, told a local ABC affiliate that the sticker has certainly attracted significant amounts of attention. Days later, the charges were dropped after police attorneys conceded that the stick-figure display was protected by the First Amendment.

KPRC2 legal analyst Brian Wice said this was a free speech issue and referred to the 1971 case of Cohen v. California.

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