Free Speech? Ohio Man Ticketed For Holding A Sign

Protesting what he called “Nazi-esque” behavior by local cops, a Parma, Ohio man recently had an encounter with those very same authorities. According to reports, Doug Odolecki is upset over alleged abuses by officers and has mounted a campaign to fight such cases whenever he believes it is appropriate. Recently, upon learning of a sobriety checkpoint police set up on a nearby road, he took a position at a nearby intersection and held up a sign declaring: “Checkpoint ahead! Turn now!” He happened to be recording the surrounding action when police arrived and informed him he could be cited for warning passersby about the impending checkpoint. Authorities took exception to the instruction to turn around, suggesting it would impede their ability to perform official duties. One officer indicated that checkpoints are “all about educating the public,” contending that “we need them to come through the checkpoint to educate them.” Even though state law actually requires authorities to publicize checkpoints, officers interpreted Odolecki’s sign as disruptive. He objected to the warning and was ultimately issued a ticket for obstruction. Though he said he in no way advocates intoxicated driving, Odolecki is adamant about preserving individual rights. “We want to make sure that these cops are not doing anything bad,” he asserted; “but we also want to make sure that you guys are not out there drinking and driving as well.” While he is dedicated to fighting police overreach in general, Odolecki has a particular objection to traffic checkpoints. “You’re supposed to be protected against illegal searches and seizures,” he affirmed. “You’re supposed to be protected against just being harassed and stopped every time the police see you.” Odolecki said he plans to fight the ticket and has hired a lawyer to assist in the process. Despite the potential repercussions, he said he has no intention to curtail his ongoing activism.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

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