Sunday, January 24, 2021

Tennessee: Man jailed for posting offensive image

A Tennessee man was arrested Friday for alleged harassment after authorities said he distributed a disrespectful photo of a law enforcement officer's grave on social media.

Joshua Andrew Garton, 28, was arrested on suspicion of harassment and jailed in Dickson County, Tennessee, on $76,000 bond, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said in a statement.

The bureau said Garton recently produced and distributed a doctored photo of two men urinating on the grave of Dickson County sheriff's Sgt. Daniel Baker, who was fatally shot in the line of duty in 2018.

"Just showing my respect to deputy Daniel Baker," text accompanying the image said.

State detectives visited the gravesite and determined the photo did not depict an actual desecration, according to the bureau.

Nashville lawyer Daniel Horwitz, who does not represent Garton, said by email that the arrest appeared to be a violation of the Constitution.

"The First Amendment clearly and unmistakably protects this man’s right to post an offensive photo about a police officer," he said. "The only people who broke the law here were the police officers and TBI agents who participated in this flagrantly unconstitutional arrest."

Read the rest here.

Being an obnoxious and ignorant cuss is not a crime in this country. If not already done, Mr. Garton needs to be released PDQ. And no matter how painful it may be, an apology is in order. Having a badge does not give one the right to jail somebody because they hurt your feelings. 

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