Free Speech

Tennessee Cops Arrest Man For Posting Photoshopped Picture of Men Urinating on Dead Officer's Grave

"The only people who broke the law here were the police officers and TBI agents who participated in this flagrantly unconstitutional arrest."

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Tennessee law enforcement arrested a man last week for posting a photoshopped picture of two men urinating on a dead police officer's grave.

The Dickson County Sheriff's Office, following an investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), arrested and charged Joshua Garton with harassment after Garton posted a picture to Facebook that appeared to show two men desecrating the tombstone of Sgt. Daniel Baker, who was shot and killed on duty in 2018. Garton was held on a $76,000 bond.

"Agents subsequently visited Baker's gravesite this morning and determined the photograph was digitally manufactured," a TBI press release says. The agency launched the investigation at the request of 23rd District Attorney General Ray Crouch.

While the picture was in poor taste, constitutional experts say law enforcement violated Garton's First Amendment rights by arresting him for the image.

"The First Amendment clearly and unmistakably protects this man's right to post an offensive photo about a police officer," says Daniel Horwitz, a Nashville civil rights attorney. "The only people who broke the law here were the police officers and TBI agents who participated in this flagrantly unconstitutional arrest."

The picture Garton posted is in fact a doctored photo of the cover of "Pissing on Your Grave," a single by The Rites, which originally depicted two people urinating on the tombstone of punk legend GG Allin.

It's unclear how a dead person can be criminally harassed under Tennessee law, which requires that the subject be "frightened, intimidated or emotionally distressed." Rather, Garton committed the unwritten crime of hurting a police officer's feelings, also known as "contempt of cop."

For example, in 2019 an Iowa man won a lawsuit after he was charged with third-degree harassment for saying online that a sheriff's deputy was a "stupid sum bitch" and "butthurt." (In hindsight, the latter seems undeniably true.)

Then there's the San Diego Police Department, which issued more than 80 tickets over the last decade for "seditious language" under an unconstitutional World War I–era law. The Voice of San Diego reported that the majority of the tickets were issued to minorities for allegedly using vulgarities.

Another Tennessee resident was arrested in 2017 after he wrote "Erin's police chief is a bitch" in white paint on the back of his car.

There's a wide body of case law upholding the right to flip off police officers, but despite this, arrests and tickets are still meted out to people who hurt cops' feelings by giving them the finger. Just this month, the Eight Circuit Court of Appeals denied qualified immunity to a Minnesota police officer who pulled over and arrested a man for flipping her off.

A spokesperson for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation directed a request for comment to Crouch's office.

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  1. YOU CAN STILL SEE THE NAME ALLIN ON THE GRAVE.

    WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK

    1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GG_Allin
      “A heavily intoxicated Allin stripped naked, defecated on the floor, wiped his feces on himself and threw feces into the audience.”

      Who gives a shit?!?! GG_Allin gives a shit!

      PS, isn’t a “golden shower” a sign of respect, in certain cultures? Maybe the pissers could use THAT idea in their own defense! Or would that be “cultural appropriation”? Which cultures are allowed to use “golden showers” as a sign of respect, anyway?

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      3. PS, isn’t a “golden shower” a sign of respect, in certain cultures?

        As expected of you, Sqrls.
        Only our resident coprophiliac could possibly think this.

        1. Q: How is Canuckistanistanistanistanistanian piss-beer (in other words, ANY beer from Canuckistanistanistan) highly similar to making love in a canoe?

          A: They are both fucking close to water!

          1. Tell me again about Bud Light.

            1. Someone *really* needs to be med compliant with their antipsychotics…

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          2. Ha ha ha! sqrlsy solicits turds on the internet 😀 😀 😀

          3. Flag, refresh

        2. PS:

          ANGRILY: I AM SICK AND TIRED OF YOUR SHIT!!!

          Quietly, slyly: Now, can I have some of your shit?

          1. Cripes! no.

            1. Jesus Chirst he just solicited you to give him your shit to eat

          2. Sorry, brain fart!

            Quietly, slyly: Now, can I have some of your ***piss***?

            (I am still working on my PhD in stand-up comedy!)

            1. ahahahah you begged him to give you shit to eat ahahahahah

              I love having this to mock you for hhahhahh

              1. “Dear Abby” is a personal friend of mine. She gets some VERY strange letters! For my amusement, she forwards some of them to me from time to time. Here is a relevant one:

                Dear Abby, Dear Abby,
                My life is a mess,
                Even Bill Clinton won’t stain my dress,
                I whinny seductively for the horses,
                They tell me my picnic is short a few courses,
                My real name is Mary Stack,
                NO ONE wants my hairy crack!
                On disability, I live all alone,
                Spend desperate nights by the phone,
                I found a man named Richard (Dick) Decker,
                But he won’t give me his hairy pecker!
                Dick Decker’s pecker is reserved for farm beasts,
                I am beastly, yes! But my crack’s full of yeasts!

                So Dear Abby, that’s just a poetic summary… You can read about the Love of my Life, Richard Decker, here:
                https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/10/11/farmers-kept-refusing-let-him-have-sex-with-their-animals-so-he-sought-revenge-authorities-say/#comments-wrapper
                Farmers kept refusing to let him have sex with their animals. So he sought revenge, authorities say.
                Decker the hairy pecker told me a summary of his story as below:
                Decker: “Can I have sex with your horse?”
                Farmer: “Lemme go ask the horse.”
                Pause…
                Farmer: “My horse says ‘neigh’!”
                And THAT was straight from the horse’s mouth! I’m not horsin’ around, here, no mare!

                So Richard Decker the hairy pecker told me that, apparently never even realizing just HOW DEEPLY it hurt me, that he was all interested in farm beasts, while totally ignoring MEEE!!

                So I thought maybe I could at least liven up my lonely-heart social life, by refining my common interests that I share with Richard Decker… I, too, like to have sex with horses!

                But Dear Abby, the horses ALL keep on saying “neigh” to my whinnying sexual advances!
                Some tell me that my whinnying is too whiny… Abby, I don’t know how to fix it!

                Dear Abby, please don’t tell me “get therapy”… I can’t afford it on my disability check!

                Now, along with my crack full of yeasts… I am developing anorexia! Some are calling me a “quarter pounder with cheese”, but they are NOT interested at ALL, in eating me!!! They will NOT snack on my crack!

                What will I DO, Dear Abby?!?!?

                -Desperately Seeking Horses, Men, or ANYTHING, in Fort Worth,
                Yours Truly,
                Mary Stack / Tulpa / Mary’s Period / “.” / Satan

                1. Nobody read this (including me). LOL

                  1. You didn’t read it, but you’re feeling damned well qualified to post a comment on it? And then you wonder why civilized, intelligent beings in ALL galaxies, everywhere, regard trumpanzees as sub-human, sub-sentient beings? … I really do NOT get it! Can ye EXPLAIN?!?!

                    1. AHAHAHHA YOU BEGGED HIM FOR HIS SHIT SO YOU CAN EAT HAHAJAJAJAJAJAJA

                    2. LOL Didn’t read your last paragraph either. 😀

                    3. Okay, you kinda appealed to my principles, I read your last paragraph now. (God, why am I feeding this thing?!)

                      Anyways, some people don’t only feel qualified to comment, but even VOTE despite knowing squat about anything. So what was your point again?

                    4. My point was that your comments (perhaps even your existence?) are damned-near pointless!

                    5. LOL You’re butthurt. 😀

                      I know my existence is pointless. Just like yours. But as opposed to me, it really, really triggers when people don’t give you any attention. That’s why I (and the rest of the world) do not read your comments but instead just casually make fun of you. 😀

                    6. Edit: really, really triggers “you”

                2. ahahahah you begged him to give you shit to eat ahahahahah

                  I love having this to mock you for hhahhahh

                  and shitposting @ me won’t make it go away ahhhahhhhhah

            2. Still not an ounce of humor sarcasmic

          3. Flag, refresh

      4. Flag, referesh

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  2. Naturally, this event occurred in “Dickson” county.

    1. What does this story have to do with Biden? Do you have Biden Derangement Syndrome?

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      2. ahahaha omfg he’s crying “LEAVE BIDEN ALONE” AHAAHAHHAH

        1. But he has no teams.

      3. It’s the era where this will be promoted as justified and fine by the media because the target was a police officer. Free speech is fine, but the problem is they don’t have to worry about any backlash in the (social/sociopath) media. Instead impostor free speech advocates will use this to attack people who are (rightfully) offended.

      4. Isn’t this story too local?

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  3. They were pissed off I guess.

    1. Sorry, that one was too easy, no extra credit for you!

      1. Someone had to do it.
        I took one for the team.

        1. Meanwhile squirrel took 1 and 2, apparently.

  4. Biden, Pelosi and Schumer have imposed a potentially permanent police state lockdown of DC with tens of thousands of national guard troops.

    But Reason distracts readers from the new nonlibertarian reality in DC with articles like this.

    1. Look, if a military lockdown which was utterly trampling on every imaginable human right had to occur, it’s hard for me to get my blood up that it’s happening in DC.

      1. There were mean words on Parler or something, and if you substitute Trump’s speech with a totally different speech, you’ll find that he called for insurrection.
        Even a libertarian magazine knows when freedom’s gone too far. Those troops are necessary.

    2. I hate to cite Politico, but – – – –
      Republican governors of New Hampshire, Florida, Texas and Montana all now have said they’re calling Guardsmen from their states home. Some 7,000 will remain in D.C. through Feb. 6.

      For reference, that is (almost) twice as many troops as we have in Afghanistan.

      Kinda makes me proud to be so scary just by voting – – – – – – – –

  5. Lock up that DA. He’s a lawyer and should know better. Revoke his license. I don’t believe for one second this wasn’t premeditated and criminal.

    1. I hate to fucking agree with a bot, but Stroozle’s right about the DA. Nobody should go to jail for merely being a cunt on the internet. This is clearly illegal.

      1. Our legal profession is bankrupt.

        The courts have become nakedly partisan. The country is filled with nakedly partisan prosecutors. And we have mechanisms for dealing with this type of malfeasance. They just protect their own.

        The idea that the legal profession would take action against one of their own for abusing their office in going after one of us proles is laughable.

        The NY attorney general ran for office on a promise that she would use her office to pursue and prosecute Trump, his family, and anyone associated with him. The Bar should have immediately taken action, as this is obviously unethical. Instead they cheered and donated to her campaign. And he was the sitting president of the United States. What chance do you think you have?

      2. Lament Johnson is right about Strazele Jonhson being right!!

    2. Slap everyone involved with 18 USC 241 charges. They conspired to injure and oppress him because he exercised a right under the Constitution. Making the laws we have actually apply to the morons in the justice system is the quickest way to actual reform.

      1. That hilarious… The law applying to the members of the justice system.

        Yer killin’ me!

      2. 242, I believe.

        1. 241, 242…whatever it takes.

        2. 241 is conspiracy to deprive rights, 242 is deprivation of rights. Since this was a multifaceted approach to suppress his speech, it is conspiracy.

    3. “…I don’t believe for one second this wasn’t premeditated and criminal.”

      Pod, speaking as a 6th-grade student, please tell us what was premeditated and criminal?

  6. While the picture was in poor taste, constitutional experts say law enforcement violated Garton’s First Amendment rights by arresting him for the image.

    I remember when it was considered in poor taste to kidnap people. Ha, just kidding. That particular social more has seldom applied to law enforcement.

  7. This must be really emotionally painful to see for the relatives of the officer. It’s a little more than just offensive.

    1. ITS A FAKE PICTURE. IT DIDN’T REALLY HAPPEN. LIKE A MOVIE OR SOMETHING.

      1. Correct. That’s why they can’t be charged with desecrating a grave.

        And as your empathy is likely just a matter of socially appropriate computation that may or may not fail, you can’t spontaneously grasp how this may not matter at all to the relatives of the officer.

        1. Or were you being sarcastic and I didn’t get that? In that case I apologize.

        2. That’s why they can’t be charged with desecrating a grave.

          Nor anything else, for that matter.

          1. Look, I’m sorry I was being a dick to you in another thread which might have given you a me-derangement-syndrome, but the point I am making is extralegal. We don’t have to solve every problem using the law as our cudgel.

            The real problem is that is shouldn’t take the law to get an appropriate reaction for this shit.

            1. Look, I’m sorry I was being a dick to you in another thread which might have given you a me-derangement-syndrome

              You might want to check your ego there, snowflake. I have no idea who the hell you are, nor do I recall ever seeing your pseudonym before responding to your comment here. Do you assume that every 1-time short and factual response to you is a result of some sort of derangement?

              but the point I am making is extralegal.

              Making a claim about why someone can’t be charged with a crime is a pretty stupid way to make an “extralegal” point.

              1. Lol the old man is butthurt because I called im old and irrelevant in another thread and now he is denying it 😀

                Lots of energy went into that post old man. I would go slow now for a few days if I were you. 😉

      2. Ok i read some of your other posts in another thread. So Im nearly certain it was sarcasm. Sorry about that, its really hard to tell sometimes.

    2. No, that’s still just offensive. The world doesn’t owe you compassion for your losses, however tragic.

      1. Well I would solve that problem European village style and beat them up, but Americans are kind of wussies when it comes to stuff like that.

  8. “Authority has always attracted the lowest elements in the human race. All through history, mankind has been bullied by scum.”
    ~ PJ O’Rourke

    Public employees, especially cops, literally live for their fat and early defined benefit pensions, which should be immediately revoked for any misconduct. They’d behave if we hit’em where they live, and they live for their fat pensions and perks.

  9. ‘When contacted for comment, a Facebook representative responded, “We fully support the right to free speech and recognize that this image is protected and object to the police arrest.

    “Haha, JK. We would have sent years of the users historical data right over if the police had bothered to ask us. This guy is clearly an idiot with a hidden agenda. He even used his own name and image.” ‘

  10. “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”

    ― Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn , The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956

    1. Violence in defense of liberty is our moral obligation.

  11. Probably apocryphal, but the story has the Gunny telling the grunt that the grunt will probably piss on the Gunny’s grave.
    Grunt: ‘Nope. After my discharge, I’m not standing in any long lines again’.

  12. He was also held on “unrelated legal issues”, which suggests to me that there was enough legal cover to protect law enforcement. Like if you give the finger to a cop while driving 56 in a 55 zone. The real charge is contempt of cop but the judge will be happy to hear a charge of speeding with no mention on the record of why this unusual ticket was written.

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  14. It’s unclear how a dead person can be criminally harassed

    If they can vote, they can be harassed.

    constitutional experts say law enforcement violated Garton’s First Amendment rights

    So does anyone who didn’t sleep through 6th grade Civics class.

  15. Seems like a public lewdness charge or something to that effect would have been a better outcome. Have the judge sentence them public service…maybe say by licking the gravestone clean.

    1. Seems like a public lewdness charge or something to that effect would have been a better outcome. Have the judge sentence them public service…maybe say by licking the gravestone clean.

      You appear to be unfamiliar with the word “Photoshopped” as used in the title of the piece you’re commenting on, as well as rushing to comment before even making it past that title.

      1. Are you some kind of matter of factly douche package?

        1. No. Are you a complete moron? Or just some other moron’s sockpuppet?

          1. Lol sorry you’re butthurt. 😉

  16. People clearly have too much time on their hands.

  17. Every_one says but i asked..READ MORE

  18. What about this ?
    “Twitter Troll Tricked 4,900 Democrats in Vote-by-Phone Scheme, U.S. Says?”
    https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/twitter-troll-tricked-4900-democrats-in-vote-by-phone-scheme-u-s-says/

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