David Clarke crossed a line and must now appear for a trial on Jan. 22 after posting threatening Facebook messages directed at a man he encountered last year at an airport, the Huffington Post reported.
Clarke’s posts could “reasonably be understood as a threat, coercion, or intimidation that punishment … will immediately follow,” U.S. District Judge J.P. Stadtmueller ruled on Friday while dismissing most of Daniel Black’s civil rights lawsuit.
Here’s the backstory. The two men were on the same flight to Milwaukee. Black asked the sheriff if was David Clarke. He nodded yes, and Black shook his head disparagingly and walked away. Clarke felt disrespected and asked six of his deputies to have a talk with Black after the plane landed. Black posted on social media about the incident and filed a complaint with county officials before filing a lawsuit. It alleged that Clarke violated his Fourth Amendment right (unreasonable seizure by the deputies) in retaliation for exercising his First Amendment right (the free speech of shaking his head at the sheriff) and deprived him of due process under the 14th Amendment. The judge threw out most of Black’s lawsuit, noting in part that being questioned by the deputies may have been unpleasant but wasn’t really a seizure.
Clarke, however, may have crossed a line when he posted threatening message against Black, which could constitute intimidation, the judge said. The former sheriff wrote this in one of the posts: “Cheer up, snowflake … if Sheriff Clarke were to really harass you, you wouldn’t be around to whine about it.” Another post said that if anyone “pulls this stunt on a plane they may get knocked out.” Those threats could have violated Black’s free speech rights. It will be up to a jury to decide.
SOURCE: Huffington Post
In Honor Of President's Day, Here Are Photos That Will Make You Miss Barack Obama
1. Barack Gives Daughter Malia a KissSource:Getty 1 of 14
2. Michelle and Barack tell the kids a storySource:Getty 2 of 14
3. Michelle and Barack KissSource:Getty 3 of 14
4. Michelle and BarackSource:Getty 4 of 14
5. Two TermsSource:Getty 5 of 14
6. Michelle and Barack Host a State DinnerSource:Getty 6 of 14
7. Barack Obama and Michelle ObamaSource:Getty 7 of 14
8. Flashback To The Old DaysSource:Pete Souza 8 of 14
9. Candidly AwesomeSource:Pete Souza 9 of 14
10. TV TimeSource:Pete Souza 10 of 14
11. Reading TimeSource:Pete Souza 11 of 14
12. Supporting MomSource:Pete Souza 12 of 14
13. 50th Anniversary Of March On SelmaSource:Pete Souza 13 of 14
14.14 of 14
Former Sheriff David Clarke To Face Trial For His Threats was originally published on newsone.com