Man Protests Police Department's Violation of Speech Rights, So Cops Arrest Him

 | Scott Shackford 05/11/2018 11:55 AM MDT
Credit: Public Domain

The chief of police of Stamford, Connecticut, personally oversaw the arrest of a protester who held a sign that criticized the police department's disrespect for freedom of speech.

In April, Michael Picard staged a protest outside the Stamford courthouse with a sign that read "Fuck Free Speech —Stamford PD." Picard was showing support for a buddy, Michael Friend, who had been arrested earlier that month for standing around in public holding a sign warning drivers of a police checkpoint designed to catch and ticket distracted drivers.

Police ordered Friend to dump the sign. He refused. He was then charged with a misdemeanor count of interfering with police.


That arrest, of course, was a violation of Friend's speech rights, and that's why Picard showed up in front of the courthouse with his own sign when Friend was being arraigned. He had a fellow protester, Dawud Talib, recording him. Picard provided video of what happened next to Reason. Picard and Talib wandered next door to the police station, and that's where they were confronted by Police Chief Jon Fontneau, who ordered them to put the sign down or face arrest for breach of peace. When Picard refused, he was arrested by three other officers and escorted into the police station, leaving Talib out on the curb.