Utah Deputy Arrests Person For Destroying 'Back The Blue' Sign, Adds Hate Crime Enhancement For 'Smirking'

from the this-deputy-should-be-neutered-and-assigned-a-caretaker dept

Let us gaze again in shock at the pathetic weakness of powerful people, unable to handle targeted criticism without resorting to violating people's rights. That's right, we're talking about cops again.

Certain states have added law enforcement officers to the list of protected groups that can benefit from hate crime laws. Cops are historically a very powerful group. They have not been oppressed in any way since the inception of law enforcement -- an idea that really took off when slave owners wished to see their dehumanizing, minimal investments protected.

Hello, Utah. What the actual fuck? (via C.J. Ciaramella and Reason)

A 19-year-old Utah woman has been charged with a hate crime for allegedly stomping on a "Back the Blue" sign in front of a police officer, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.

According to an affidavit obtained by the Tribune, a Garfield County Sheriff's deputy was conducting a traffic stop at a gas station in Panguitch, Utah, on Wednesday when he saw the woman "stomping on a 'Back the Blue' sign next to where the traffic stop was conducted, crumble it up in a destructive manner and throw it into a trash can all while smirking in an intimidating manner towards me."

"Crumbled [sic] it up in a destructive manner." YE GODS! Surely the anarchist apocalypse is upon us. Behold this deputy and their inability to handle being "smirked" at in an "intimidating manner."

After reading the woman her Miranda rights, the officer stated she gave “inconsistent stories” about where she found the sign, eventually stating she found it on the ground.

“Due to [the woman] destroying property that did not belong to her in a manner to attempt to intimidate law enforcement, I placed her under arrest,” the affidavit says.

OMFG. This is the reaction prompted by the "defacement" of a sign that contains nothing more than a pithless catchphrase popular with the nation's bootlickiest demograph. Grow up, Deputy Dawg. If you're intimidated by crumpled signs and smirks, you shouldn't be allowed to carry a gun and enforce laws. Bad things will happen. This bullshit arrest might be, unfortunately, the best case scenario.

Destroying property to "intimidate or terrorize" is a crime in Utah. But it doesn't appear offended cops are specific beneficiaries of this law.

According to the code, the act “must be accompanied with the intent to cause or has the effect of causing a person to reasonably fear to freely exercise or enjoy any right secured by the Constitution or laws of the state or by the Constitution or laws of the United States.”

I doubt this act infringed on the deputy's constitutional rights. The officer could not have possibly felt threatened to the extent their rights would have been curtailed. The evidence is right there. If the deputy felt so threatened they could not exercise their rights, this arrest wouldn't have happened. The perp (as it were) would have left the scene, still smirking and commenting on the ineffectual nature of this 21st century Barney Fife.

This pathetic horseshit all began with a traffic stop, as law enforcement horseshit normally does.

On Wednesday, a Garfield County sheriff’s deputy pulled over a car at a gas station in Panguitch for speeding. After the driver was issued a ticket and the traffic stop was completed, the deputy noticed several friends consoling the driver, according to a police booking affidavit.

Looks like someone unlawfully extended a stop to exact revenge on people the deputy felt weren't properly respectful of law enforcement.

“I stated to (the woman) that our sheriff’s office produced those specific signs and that I believed she had acquired it in our community,” the deputy wrote, adding that he checked with gas station employees who said the sign was not theirs. After reading her Miranda rights, the deputy said the woman provided “inconsistent stories” and eventually said she had found it on the ground.

Hey, maybe get out of the sign-making business, you clods. This sounds like the misuse of taxpayer funds. The sheriff is there to enforce the law, not ensure the populace is properly cowed by artisanal bootlickery. That this ever resulted in criminal charges is ridiculous. That these charges came with hate charge enhancements because of some crumpling and smirking is farcical.

Hopefully, the charges will be dropped before any other Garfield county government agencies embarrass themselves any further. But who knows? This is Utah, a state where legislators want to strip protections from social media services and consider porn to be something as harmful to public health as the coronavirus.

This is a lawsuit in the making. Given the courts' full-blooded support for criticizing police officers via even the crudest of gestures, this deputy appears headed for a reckoning that can't be swatted away with invocations of qualified immunity.

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Filed Under: back the blue, free speech, hate crime, police, utah


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  • icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 12 Jul 2021 @ 1:40pm

    This is a lawsuit in the making.

    Slight correction: This is a hefty cash settlement in the making.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Baron von Robber, 12 Jul 2021 @ 1:50pm

    A snowflake with gun worries me. With a badge too, even worse.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Glen, 12 Jul 2021 @ 1:52pm

    Panguitch? Yeah. Small town hicks to be sure. I'm not saying the rest of the state is much better but that town is fairly awful. Damn near every house in that tiny town has those moronic signs.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That Anonymous Coward (profile), 12 Jul 2021 @ 3:04pm

      Re:

      "Damn near every house in that tiny town has those moronic signs."

      So everyone in town knows what thin skinned assholes their local PD is and they all took & put up the signs (almost like compelled speech kids) to avoid being hassled by this group of toddlers who are terrified if a sign is stomped & a smirk is seen.

      Its like a rights case waiting to happen with many many 0's, that those same idiots who were forced to have the signs on display will have to pay themselves for.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jul 2021 @ 2:03pm

    Good thing the cop had a gun to defend himself with or else that sign crumpling could have been the end of him!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 12 Jul 2021 @ 2:31pm

    'Respect takes work, let's try fear and contempt instead'

    Yup, acting like a thug that can't take someone looking at you funny is definitely how you counter the public's perception that police are nothing more than thugs on a perpetual power-trip, arrests ad charges for refusing to respect my authoritah! is absolutely the right way to get the public to respect the police.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jul 2021 @ 2:32pm

    If he had genuinely felt threatened in the slightest, he would be giving excuses for shooting the woman, not arresting her.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jul 2021 @ 2:44pm

    This is Utah, a state where legislators want to strip protections from social media services and consider porn to be something as harmful to public health as the coronavirus.

    So, Utah thinks porn is a fictional thing which is as bad as a mild cold?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Mononymous Tim (profile), 12 Jul 2021 @ 2:58pm

    I'm sure he remains clueless as to why she feels like that in the first place.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 12 Jul 2021 @ 3:16pm

    Armed men can be the victims of hate crimes?
    Quick someone look up some stats...
    When was the last cop lynched in Utah?
    When was the last cop dragged to death behind a truck?
    When was the last cop beaten to death & left for dead on a fence?
    When was the last cop bar shot up by someone who hated them?
    When was the last cop jumped on the street & beaten to death while onlookers did nothing?
    When was the last cop murdered & then called names in the press?
    When was the last cop beaten for just holding hands?

    Something something that thing where humans love to label things & then keep cramming more and more into those labels until they are useless.

    Cops are not targeted for simply for being a cop, in fact a cop can take off their uniform then no one would know they were a cop, they can chose to no longer be a cop... unlike other people who can't take off their skin, change their orientation, feeling like they are in the wrong body...

    But sure tell me more how cops who can murder people & walk away because no court told them killing someone that way was wrong before.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jul 2021 @ 3:33pm

    I doubt this act infringed on the deputy's constitutional rights.

    Hey, she can always just claim in court that there is no clearly established law stating that her actions violated his constitutional rights...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Someone, 12 Jul 2021 @ 4:23pm

      Re:

      What rights? He was acting under the color of law, he was the government at the time. This is why many times you see cops can not be the reporting person for some crimes. Now maybe this whole there has been played out in courts in the past and has been shot down, but I'd give it a try to the DA. A blue line sign just callout one part of the government. Burning a US flag shows you really don't like the gov. And flag burning has been declared legal. So blue line person sign scrunching should also be fine and dandy.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 12 Jul 2021 @ 11:01pm

        Re: Re:

        What rights?

        "no clearly established law stating actions violated constitutional rights" is the Qualified Immunity defense. I was trying to make a joke that she could claim QI against the cop. Guess it didn't work.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jul 2021 @ 4:50pm

    If there were no list of protected groups, there would be no new additions to that list.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 12 Jul 2021 @ 5:02pm

      Re:

      And if you defined 'starvation' as 'dying due to not having enough caviar' you could solve the starvation problem overnight, the problem here is not that there exists certain groups that are recognized as historically being discriminated against and therefore could do with some extra protections but that a group that has enjoyed massive privilege historically is considered deserving of the same protections.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        AnonOps, 12 Jul 2021 @ 6:00pm

        Re: Re:

        IIRC, Jail guards left someone in jail over a weekend locked in a space as big as a closet and the person was forced to drink his own urine to survive in 100+ degree heat. That cop got qualified immunity judgement from the corrupt judge and court system. There is no end to the injustice system it's a feature not a bug.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2021 @ 11:29am

        Re: Re:

        "If you have always believed that everyone should play by the same rules and be judged by the same standards, that would have gotten you labeled a radical 60 years ago, a liberal 30 years ago and a racist today."

        -- Thomas Sowell

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 12 Jul 2021 @ 4:50pm

    Rather than destroy the signs, they need a slight modification.

    BareBack the Blue!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2021 @ 5:31am

    You have a constitutional right to give cops the finger.

    Exercise it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    peter, 13 Jul 2021 @ 6:41am

    American Justice

    Woman stamps on a sign.......immediately arrested, charged, possible year in prison.

    Cop stamps on someone's head.....paid vacation and returns to work after "investigation found he did nothing wrong".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    dickeyrat, 13 Jul 2021 @ 7:42am

    But, but...haven't y'all heard? ALL Cops are Heroes, deserving of our unquestioning and obsequious full-time Worship. They have their reasons, certainly steeped in Glorious Patriotism, for shooting family pets, Black people, Black children, and harassing and intimidating wily ordinary citizens who just may harbor disloyal, disrespectful thoughts in their warped brains. Cops are especially heroic in their beatings and abuse of women, ranging from their own wives, to any brazen hussy who dares exhibit herself in public. Yes, ALLCops are heroes and beings of sheer wonder, for whom we must have respect, adulation and obedience. After all, Lord-god Trump SAID SO a few years ago, remember?

    And it's just another day in Amerika, our Fatherland.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Lostinlodos (profile), 13 Jul 2021 @ 1:44pm

    But if she was arrested for desiccation of a BLm or Joe Biden sign, you’d probably all be cheering!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 13 Jul 2021 @ 2:32pm

      Re:

      But if she was arrested for desiccation of a BLm or Joe Biden sign, you’d probably all be cheering!

      Some people actually decide things based on principle rather than partisanship, believe it or not.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        icon
        Lostinlodos (profile), 13 Jul 2021 @ 3:39pm

        Re: Re:

        Some.
        Honestly she should be hit with vandalism, destruction of proper, maybe petty theft.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Rocky, 13 Jul 2021 @ 2:38pm

      Re:

      Well, I don't know if drying out a sign is a felony. Or perhaps you meant desecrate, which also would be a very odd word to use.

      Regardless, your statement above indicates you have substituted reason with emotional garbage. Why is it that you can't understand that some things are bad and some things are good, regardless who the parties involved are? Instead you come up with some argument devoid of reason in the belief it's a condemnation of other people when it only shows us that you rather act like a childish fool than an adult.

      Grow up.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Lostinlodos (profile), 13 Jul 2021 @ 3:41pm

        Re: Re:

        *destroying

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Lostinlodos (profile), 13 Jul 2021 @ 3:45pm

        Re: Re:

        No, my intent is we have reached a point we’re the protection nanny laws are reaching the extreme.

        4 examples
        Black Lives Matter
        Blue lives matter
        Palestine or death
        Israel or death

        If you take a sign. That’s theft
        If you damage the sign, that vandalism.
        And there’s 0 logic in protection of any of those signs under some sort of hate target law.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2021 @ 2:53pm

      Re:

      But if she was arrested for desiccation of a BLm or Joe Biden sign, you’d probably all be cheering!

      Please point out a single instance where somebody has been arrested for desiccation of a sign?

      des·ic·ca·tion
      /ˌdesəˈkāSHən/

      noun
      the removal of moisture from something.
      "long periods of drought have led to the desiccation of farming land"

      Ummm, learn to spell you fucking idiot.

      Also, do you have any problems with all the GQP desecrations of the American flag with Trump, Qanon, etc.?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Lostinlodos (profile), 13 Jul 2021 @ 3:56pm

        Re: Re:

        I haven’t seen any. Not a user of social media. I’d find it interesting if such people who claim to be American patriots would do anything to dishonour our flag.

        I have a serious problem with anyone who desecrates or dishonours the flag of our country. But no law or amendment should stop them from doing so to their own flags.

        I despise the fact that the far right has taken our (libertarians) symbol in the Continental Marine flag (don’t tree on me) and turned it into a public symbol of hate.

        But they have that right.

        I didn’t say I supported the arrest. You jumped to that conclusion all on your own.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
            icon
            Lostinlodos (profile), 13 Jul 2021 @ 6:18pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Well the first one is the blue line flag. Not the American flag.
            The second one is disgusting
            The third one is total lack of respect in transport
            The fourth one is disgusting
            The fifth one is disrespectful… though I don’t think it’s the American flag. Is there enough stripes?

            Repeated image. If replacement was the intention or result, yes, that’s incredibly disrespectful!

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2021 @ 5:34pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I have a serious problem with anyone who desecrates or dishonours the flag of our country

          That is the authoritarian attitude, where any dissent should result in harsh measures to correct the persons attitude, if not removal of the dissenter from society.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
            icon
            Lostinlodos (profile), 13 Jul 2021 @ 6:21pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Again: you jump to a conclusion.
            I didn’t say punishment, in fact I did say I was against it.
            My opinion shouldn’t be law.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 13 Jul 2021 @ 7:47pm

          I’d find it interesting if such people who claim to be American patriots would do anything to dishonour our flag.

          I’d find it disconcerting if people who claim to be American patriots wouldn’t dishonor a symbol of the country they claim to love as an act of criticism of the actions done in the name of that country and its people. I’d find it discomforting if people who wrap themselves in the flag can’t understand the idea that people who burn the flag have serious issues with the country represented by that piece of cloth. I’d find it disturbing if people who make a big fuss about showing their patriotism with flags and borderline-religious rituals like the national anthem think anyone who doesn’t do the same⁠—or even protests those things⁠—isn’t sufficiently patriotic enough to be a citizen.

          People who criticize the country by burning flags and protesting during the anthem are absolutely patriots⁠—hell, they’re better patriots than those who claim the title without criticizing the country. A nationalist believes their country is always right and needs no improvement; a patriot knows their country can be wrong, but can also improve itself.

          “My country, right or wrong⁠—if right, to be kept right; if wrong, to be set right.” That’s the motto of a patriot. Learn it, then live it.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Lostinlodos (profile), 13 Jul 2021 @ 8:44pm

            Re:

            “ isn’t sufficiently patriotic enough to be a citizen.”
            More grouping.
            I didn’t say that. You really have a knack for pointing out things I didn’t say.

            “ My country”
            Wow, you quote a Republican?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 13 Jul 2021 @ 9:02pm

              I didn’t say that.

              Show me where I said you did. I don’t like people shoving words down my throat that didn’t first come from it; I try my damnedest to avoid doing the same, save for obvious hyperbole.

              Wow, you quote a Republican?

              I quote a saying that is a marker of true patriotism: the idea that you can love a country but also think it has problems that need fixing. The United States is not a perfect country; hell, it might not even be a “great” one. But it is my country⁠—right or wrong⁠—and I’d rather its wrongs be set right than ignored or whitewashed. That’s why I’m willing to accept the fact that the majority of the Founding Fathers enslaved Black people⁠—and one of said Founding Fathers repeatedly raped one of those enslaved Black people starting when she was 14 and forced her to bear his children.

              Now compare that to the nationalists of the Republican party, who keep trying to ban any discussion of race in schools under the guise of banning “critical race theory” and (in my lifetime) have always shit on people who protest the problems with America. They’re not patriots; they’re fascists-in-waiting. They don’t want to fix America⁠—they want to strip-mine its resources (including its “human resources”) and sell everything to the highest bidder, then sail away on yachts and hole up in super-secure mega-mansions to ride out the consequences of their decisions.

              My country is wrong more often than it is right. But I love my country enough to say that. Show me a current officeholding Republican who is willing to say the same.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Samuel Abram (profile), 14 Jul 2021 @ 5:51am

            Re:

            Personally, I like what James Baldwin said:

            I love America more than any other country in the world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2021 @ 6:04pm

      Re:

      No way. Drying signs is serious business. Only a hardboiled criminal would do such a thing. Fire hazard.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 13 Jul 2021 @ 8:16pm

      Re:

      Your fictional versions of people are certainly strange ones, but as they're likely to have little if any relation to reality I suppose that's not unexpected.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2021 @ 6:47am

    Isn't Utah the state where they still want to bring back the death penalty for being Gay, but it keeps being barely slapped down?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    unforgiven (profile), 14 Jul 2021 @ 9:20am

    Once again

    Once again an officer of the law demonstrating actions which justify the public's mistrust, antipathy and disgust of officers. Sadly these actions also reflect poorly on the few officers with good intentions.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2021 @ 12:04pm

    all while smirking in an intimidating manner towards me.

    Yeah, if that's all it takes to make this pussy nervous, perhaps someone should start asking the question as to what this candy-ass chicken-shit would do with a real criminal.

    I really don't understand how these charges are supposed to bolster confidence that police can face danger, without shitting their pants. A smirk is intimidating? This guy really needs to go fuck himself.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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