There have been claims of a ‘free speech crisis’ in America, with people saying that it is rampant on the internet and college campuses, where protesters are pepper-sprayed and social media posts are being reported or even controlled. Recently, this crisis has been seen in Florida, where a 23-year-old named Dillon Shane Webb was pulled over for a decal on his car that read, “I Eat Ass.”
Webb was asked to pull over by a sheriff’s deputy in Lake City, who said his car sticker was derogatory. Webb disagreed with the officer’s classification of his decal, and when asked to remove one of the letters “s” on the decal, he refused, resulting in his arrest. Webb was charged with resisting arrest and obscenity.
However, on Thursday, his charges were dropped, and a statement was released by the Assistant State Attorney indicating that Webb had a valid defense to his arrest raised under the United States Constitution’s First Amendment.
Webb’s attorney, Andrew Bonderud, said that his client’s refusal to take down what he thought protected his right or freedom of speech was a show of bravery. He added that Webb showed courage on his part.
The deputy who arrested Webb mentioned a sample scene of a 10-year-old child who might see the decal and ask his mom what it means, and how the parent is supposed to explain that. Webb responded back to the officer saying it was the parent’s job and not his, thinking the arrest for his decal was not warranted.
This case highlights the ongoing debate in America over free speech and its limits, particularly when it comes to expressions that may be considered offensive or derogatory. It also shows how the First Amendment continues to be a contentious issue in the United States, with many people claiming that their right to free speech is being infringed upon, while others argue that it is important to consider the impact of certain expressions on society as a whole.