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Thread: PA State Police Say Open Carry is Legal but Charge Man Near Obama Event with "Future Cr

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    THIS JUST IN! OpenCarry.org has obtained a video of Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Shawn L. Schexnaildreon the job, investigating future crimes:

    Video at http://tinyurl.com/5eus6b

    Second Video at
    http://tinyurl.com/5h224x is in German - OpenCarry.org has not yet determined which language State Police Trooper Shawn L. Schexnaildre actually uses primarly on the job as he patrols Pennsylvania keeping it safe from future crimes. It is believed though that Trooper Schexnaildre speaks English fluently.

    --

    NOTE 1: In the story below, note how Trooper Shawn L. Schexnaildre notes that in Pennsylvania having a political agenda is now an element of a crime. And postings on web sites to encourage others to meet in a park is nefarious, not protected by First Amendment freedom of assembly. Interestingly, there is no crime in Pennsylvania of merely "intending" to disrupt a meeting - here is the actual statute, entirely inapplicable to people merely assembling in a park where no meeting is being held:

    "18 Pa. C.S. § 5508. Disrupting meetings and processions

    A person commits a misdemeanor of the third degree if, with intent to prevent or disrupt a lawful meeting, procession or gathering, he [actually] disturbs or interrupts it."

    A Pennsylvania court in Commonwealth . v. Siwert reversed a jury trial gulty verdict for a violation of 18 Pa. C.S. § 5508 where a woman was proved to have interupted a church minister for 5 minutes and refused to leave the prmises, holding that "[t]hough willful, [disturbing behavior] will not constitute an offense if it is done in the reasonable exercise of a right.” 4 Pa. D. & C.3d 589, 596, 1977 WL 461, 4 (Pa.Com.Pl. 1977) (citing 2 Wharton's Criminal Law and Procedure, §813, 674-76 (Anderson Ed. 1957)).

    --

    Note 2: Now as for the Disorderly Conduct charge, Trooper Schexnaildrejustifies this charge against Mr. Noble merely because, he alleges, "Noble’s wearing the gun was alarming to others around him." Bill Vidonic, Industry man charged with disorderly conduct, Beaver County Times, September 5, 2008.

    "18 Pa.C.S. § 5503. Disorderly conduct

    (a) Offense defined.--A person is guilty of disorderly conduct if, with intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof, he:
    (1) engages in fighting or threatening, or in violent or tumultuous behavior;
    (2) makes unreasonable noise;
    (3) uses obscene language, or makes an obscene gesture; or
    (4) creates a hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose of the actor.
    (b) Grading.--An offense under this section is a misdemeanor of the third degree if the intent of the actor is to cause substantial harm or serious inconvenience, or if he persists in disorderly conduct after reasonable warning or request to desist. Otherwise disorderly conduct is a summary offense.
    (c) Definition.--As used in this section the word "public" means affecting or likely to affect persons in a place to which the public or a substantial group has access; among the places included are highways, transport facilities, schools, prisons, apartment houses, places of business or amusement, any neighborhood, or any premises which are open to the public."

    But the Pennsylvania Supreme Court hasemphasized repeatedly that "the offense of disorderly conduct is not intended as a catchall for every act which annoys or disturbs people; it is not to be used as a dragnet for all the irritations which breed in the ferment of a community." E.g., Commonwealth v. Hock, 728 A.2d 943, 947 (Pa. 1999) (reversing disorderly conduct conviction for uttering profamity at police officer in public).

    Further, judicial scrutiny of a disorderly conduct conviction does not end where conviction is proper under the statute - a subsequent constitutional analysis is applied to determine if the application of the statute interferes in the Constitutioal rights of the accused, i.e., to assembly, speak, and carry a gun. Without any doubt, carrying a bible and holstered gun is "expressive conduct."

    "The First Amendment generally prevents government from proscribing speech, or even expressive conduct." R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul, Minn., 505 U.S. 377, 382 (1992) (holding disorderly conduct conviction unconstitutional) (internal citations omitted) (emphasis added). See also Virginia v. Black, 538 U.S. 343, 358 (2003).(holding Virginia statute making all cross burning presumptively unlawful as facially invalid because "[t]he First Amendment affords protection to symbolic or expressive conduct as well as to actual speech").

    "Regulation of speech activity on governmental property that has been traditionally open to the public for expressive activity, such as public streets and parks, is examined under strict scrutiny."United Statesv. Kokinda, 497 U.S. 720, 726 (1990) (emphasis added). Further,the First "Amendment rests on the assumption that the widest possible dissemination of information from diverse and antagonistic sources is essential to the welfare of the public." Associated Press v. United States, 326 U.S. 1, 18 (1945).

    --

    http://www.timesonline.com/articles/...e040519053.txt

    Industry man charged with disorderly conduct

    By Bill Vidonic, Times Staff
    Published: Friday, September 5, 2008 10:39 PM EDT
    An Industry man intended to disrupt an Aug. 29 Barack Obama rally in Beaver by wearing a loaded gun holstered on his hip, state police said Friday.

    John A. Noble, 50, of 1063 Willowbrook Drive, has been charged with one count each of disorderly conduct and disrupting meetings and processions.

    In court documents, police said Noble “came to this proceeding with an agenda and a plan,” as he posted on a Web site prior to the rally that he was going to take his gun “to test what would happen.”

    Noble said Friday evening, “Why would there be a test? I was just inviting others from our group. There was no test about it.”

    Police said Noble posted messages on the Pennsylvania Firearms Owners Association under the user name “Mtn Jack,” which Noble confirmed is his user handle, urging other gun owners to join him.

    In filing charges, state police Trooper Shawn L. Schexnaildre said “the accused’s political agenda and intent to disrupt the proceedings at the Obama rally were clearly evident by his own statement and actions.”

    However, Schexnaildre pointed out that Noble did not violate the law by simply having the gun, as it’s legal in Pennsylvania to wear a weapon out in the open without a permit.

    Police and Beaver County deputy sheriffs earlier said that Noble was in McIntosh Square, adjacent to Irvine Park. A witness saw the gun, a Glock 9mm handgun holstered on Noble’s waist, and notified deputies more than an hour before Obama arrived. Noble also had fliers about gun rights.

    Schexnaildre said that when police first questioned him, Noble said he didn’t know Obama would be in Beaver until his wife told him about it just prior to their arrival. Schexnaildre wrote that was obviously untrue because of the Web posting.

    Noble had a Bible in one hand, and when he was questioned as to why, Schexnaildre said, Noble responded that he “was there to show Senator Obama that Pennsylvanians do, in fact ‘cling to their guns and religion.’ ”

    Obama was criticized for a San Francisco speech in April in which he said small-town Americans are “bitter.”

    Schexnaildre said Noble’s answers indicated “his intent was to disrupt the proceedings.” The trooper added that Noble said “he did not think he would get within a mile of the senator, but was apprehended within 100 yards of the podium after crossing the outer perimeter barrier tape and being in a position to see no less than a dozen police officers.”

    After being interviewed for a couple of hours after he was taken into custody, Noble was released and his gun confiscated.

    Police and deputy sheriffs said Noble did not threaten anyone and did not try to reach for his gun when approached by officers.

    Schexnaildre said Noble’s wearing the gun was alarming to others around him, thus the disorderly conduct charge.

    Noble said, “I wasn’t trying to go to the rally. I wasn’t at the rally. I just wanted to see people walking around.”

    Bill Vidonic can be reached online at bvidonic@timesonline.com.

    CALL TO ARMS?

    John A. Noble of Industry admits that he posted the following messages on the Internet prior to the Barack Obama campaign rally Aug. 29 in Beaver:

    •In a posting dated Aug. 29, apparently just hours before the Beaver rally, Noble wrote, “Bring your gun and Bible to Beaver tonite, lets show Obama how we hug our Bibles and guns.”

    •On the Web site OpenCarry.org, Noble posted a similar message, part of which read, “Come to beaver tonite and show Obama what a Bible toten gun owner really looks like. My women and i will be there with both in the open.”



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    Regular Member Statesman's Avatar
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    Trooper Shawn L. Schexnaildre should go ahead and turn in his gun and badge now.

    In filing charges, state police Trooper Shawn L. Schexnaildre said “the accused’s political agenda and intent to disrupt the proceedings at the Obama rally were clearly evident by his own statement and actions.”
    Mike,

    Agreed. I thought a competent understanding of the English language was a requirement for LEO in PA, but that is now in question.

    •In a posting dated Aug. 29, apparently just hours before the Beaver rally, Noble wrote, “Bring your gun and Bible to Beaver tonite, lets show Obama how we hug our Bibles and guns.”

    •On the Web site OpenCarry.org, Noble posted a similar message, part of which read, “Come to beaver tonite and show Obama what a Bible toten gun owner really looks like. My women and i will be there with both in the open.”

    The above statements show absolutely NO intent to disrupt anything. Trooper Schexnaildre either has a serious logical malfunction, or is clearly abusing his authority. Since he admits that the law clearly permits Noble to openly carry and possess a holstered firearm in PA, he has to twist around the meaning of words and statements to show an intent to disrupt, where none exists.

    A reasonable person could not interpret his statements to show an intent to disrupt anything, since no statement was made in regards to an intent to disrupt. A reasonable person could not interpret his actions to disrupt anything, since none of his reported actions proves an intent to disrupt.

    The PA police caused the disruption here.

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    I don't think the arresting officers were aware of any Internet postings, and hence, this notion of "intent" by way of Internet communication cannot be asserted by the arresting officers.

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    Statesman wrote:
    Agreed. I thought a competent understanding of the English language was a requirement for LEO in PA, but that is now in question.
    A more general but parallel discussion/thread is on going elsewhere here on OCDO. There I noted...
    http://sundials.org/about/humpty.htm
    'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone,' it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.'

    'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean so many different things.'

    'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master - that's all.' [my emphasis of HD's prescience]

    Alice was too much puzzled to say anything; so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again.

    'They've a temper, some of them - particularly verbs: they're the proudest - adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs - however, I can manage the whole lot of them! Impenetrability! That's what I say!'

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    PSP Call of Honor

    I am a Pennsylvania State Trooper, a soldier of the law.

    To me is entrusted the honor of the force.

    I must serve honestly, faithfully, and if need be, lay down my life as others have done before me, rather than swerve from the path of duty.

    It is my duty to obey the law and to enforce it without any consideration of class, color, creed or condition.

    It is also my duty to be of service to anyone who may be in danger or distress, and at all times so conduct myself that the honor of the force may be upheld.

    -----------------------------------------------------------

    I am guessing
    Trooper Schexnaildre has memorized the first line...after that, well...

    -----------------------------------------------------------

    PSP trivia -
    The PSP was patterned after a military organization and PSP troopers have sometimes been referred to as "Soldiers of the Law." Divisions of the force are called "troops," and officers are known as "troopers" a title usually reserved for members of the United States Cavalry, and reminisant of the early beginnings of the department when officers patrolled on horseback. Regional headquarters, at which single troopers were once required to live, are referred to as "barracks." The original concept was that the troopers did not apply to join the PSP but "enlisted" for two-year periods, after which they could be honorably discharged or apply for reenlistment. The longstanding two-year enlistment periods were phased out in 1961.

    -----------------------------------------------------------


    "America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards." ~ Claire Wolfe




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    please delete

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    please delete

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    can someone say thought police?

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    Is this really happening in Pennsylvania? This is amazing! The PSP really have crossed the Rubicon.

    Do not be fooled by the false charges brought by the PSP. The civil rights violations perpetrated by the PA State Police and the S.S. are real. The right to openly carry and make political expressions isnot in question. They don't like it and are trying to pervert the law in order to suppressyour rights.

    Hypothesis:

    I think that the PA State Police have been hoodwinked by the S.S. or are their willing accomplices.

    1. There will be many more political rallies in PA due to the nature of the electorate in PA.

    2. Guns around these rallies are in the eyes of the S.S. a Bozo no no, but they are powerless to prevent lawful carry.

    3. They will use the useful stooges (PA State Troopers) to try and violate citizen rights, (Immediate suppression of undesirable behavior, i.e.; lawful open carry) and discourage lawful exercise of firearms rights in the future (Chilling Effect).

    Doug, your Alice in Wonderland post was spot on!

    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

    The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us....There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! ...The war is inevitableand let it come! I repeat it, Sir, let it come . PATRICK HENRY speech 1776

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    After re-reading all the posts I just had a really bad feeling about this whole thing. I sure hope that MTN Jack was savvy enough to **** while being interrogated by the S.S. and for two hours by the P.S.P. We just don't know what he said.

    Live Free or Die,

    Thundar
    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

    The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us....There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! ...The war is inevitableand let it come! I repeat it, Sir, let it come . PATRICK HENRY speech 1776

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    Thundar wrote:
    Is this really happening in Pennsylvania? This is amazing! The PSP really have crossed the Rubicon.

    Do not be fooled by the false charges brought by the PSP. The civil rights violations perpetrated by the PA State Police and the S.S. are real. The right to openly carry and make political expressions isnot in question. They don't like it and are trying to pervert the law in order to suppressyour rights.

    Hypothesis:

    I think that the PA State Police have been hoodwinked by the S.S. or are their willing accomplices.

    1. There will be many more political rallies in PA due to the nature of the electorate in PA.

    2. Guns around these rallies are in the eyes of the S.S. a Bozo no no, but they are powerless to prevent lawful carry.

    3. They will use the useful stooges (PA State Troopers) to try and violate citizen rights, (Immediate suppression of undesirable behavior, i.e.; lawful open carry) and discourage lawful exercise of firearms rights in the future (Chilling Effect).

    Doug, your Alice in Wonderland post was spot on!

    You are absolutely right!

    We must all rally round Mr. Noble and open carry to all future appearances of the candidates in PA.

    According to this John McCain will be in Lancaster on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m.: Palin will be there too!

    http://blogs.mcall.com/penn_ave/

    Can we expect to be treated differently at this event? How many of you can I count on to be there and to open carry?

    Can we have a show of support!

    Ken




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    How many of you can I count on to be there and to open carry?
    With you, all the way from Texas?

    Our owner has asked us to note our city and state in our profile.

    Or you're from Pennsylvania?

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    Ken, I've followed your dissenting arguments for several days now. And I truly cannot tell if you support open carry or are simply trolling. Am I just missing your biting humor? You seem to be pretty intelligent, I just can't understand your position. What is it you want?

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    Doug Huffman wrote:
    How many of you can I count on to be there and to open carry?
    With you, all the way from Texas?

    Our owner has asked us to note our city and state in our profile.

    Or you're from Pennsylvania?
    Actually, I am in New Jersey right now, not all that far from Lancaster. I grew up in Philadelphia and I have a PA LTCF. Is that enough Bio for you or do you want more?

    Ken

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    cccook wrote:
    Ken, I've followed your dissenting arguments for several days now. And I truly cannot tell if you support open carry or are simply trolling. Am I just missing your biting humor? You seem to be pretty intelligent, I just can't understand your position. What is it you want?
    cc, you are very astute. My interest lies mostly in the legal issues surroundinghaving and carrying firearms as well as certain shooting activities.

    I try to keep out of flame wars but if I post a comment on a legal issue and someone bashes me I bash back.If you take a look at my posts on the Nevada board, for instance (I also have property there and a Nevada permit), they are mostly about Nevada law.

    I will not call anyone names or belittle them (on purpose) but some here seem to take great glee in making an open discussion of issues difficult. I don't like bullies.

    Oh yeah, I definitely am for open carry. But I don't think the law will allow it in the vicinity of the Presidential candidates and I think the courts will find it is not a right supported in the constitution to do so in that situation. I strongly support the right to test this but you must be serious about it.

    Ken

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    CowboyKen wrote:
    Oh yeah, I definitely am for open carry. But I don't think the law will allow it in the vicinity of the Presidential candidates and I think the courts will find it is not a right supported in the constitution to do so in that situation.
    Instead of "thinking" about it why not look it up and find out for sure... We did.

    There is no law prohibiting firearms carry in the "vicinity" f a presidential candidate.



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    Pa. Patriot wrote:
    CowboyKen wrote:
    Oh yeah, I definitely am for open carry. But I don't think the law will allow it in the vicinity of the Presidential candidates and I think the courts will find it is not a right supported in the constitution to do so in that situation.
    Instead of "thinking" about it why not look it up and find out for sure... We did.

    There is no law prohibiting firearms carry in the "vicinity" f a presidential candidate.

    Mr. Banks,

    Don't you think it will take a court test to establish that the federal laws that provide for the Secret Service to protect the candidates don't allow the authorities to interfere with your "right" to open carry?

    No, then I invite you to open carry on Tuesday, in the "vicinity" of Mr. McCain's appearance. Please let us know if you will be there. Someone may want to arrange for press coverage.

    Ken

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    CowboyKen wrote:
    Oh yeah, I definitely am for open carry. But I don't think the law will allow it in the vicinity of the Presidential candidates and I think the courts will find it is not a right supported in the constitution to do so in that situation. I strongly support the right to test this but you must be serious about it.

    Ken
    Thanks for clearing up my confusion Ken. Let's agree to disagree about the legal points. Peace.

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    CowboyKen wrote:
    Is that enough Bio for you or do you want more? Ken
    I don't want any. John Pierce has asked us to incorporate our city and state into our profiles. But for the on-going SQL d/b error, I would cite his post.

    But you do as you will

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    Doug Huffman wrote:
    CowboyKen wrote:
    Is that enough Bio for you or do you want more? Ken
    I don't want any. John Pierce has asked us to incorporate our city and state into our profiles. But for the on-going SQL d/b error, I would cite his post.

    But you do as you will
    I have more then one and I chose not to confuse myself.

    Ken

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    CowboyKen wrote:
    Mr. Banks,

    Don't you think it will take a court test to establish that the federal laws that provide for the Secret Service to protect the candidates don't allow the authorities to interfere with your "right" to open carry?

    No, then I invite you to open carry on Tuesday, in the "vicinity" of Mr. McCain's appearance. Please let us know if you will be there. Someone may want to arrange for press coverage.

    Ken
    Now you twist what I said. Do you work for the PSP?

    I said there was no law. I did not say you would be allowed in past a security check.

    Of course it has been explained to you,ad nauseum, that that doesnt apply to Jack's case or if anyone else in a public area OUTSIDE a secured event.

    You continue to argue points that are not in play.

    What authority did the PSP have to arrest Mt Noble? Clearly none. If you disagree please post up the cite tothe law. Thanks.






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    Pa. Patriot wrote:
    Now you twist what I said. Do you work for the PSP?

    I said there was no law. I did not say you would be allowed in past a security check.

    Of course it has been explained to you,ad nauseum, that that doesnt apply to Jack's case or if anyone else in a public area OUTSIDE a secured event.

    You continue to argue points that are not in play.

    What authority did the PSP have to arrest Mt Noble? Clearly none. If you disagree please post up the cite tothe law. Thanks.
    OK, So what say we have our own little rally, right outside of the check point for McCains appearance on Tueasday, at say 3:00p.m. We'll bring signs that say we support McCain - Palin and that we Cling to our Guns and our Bibles, and we'll all open carry.

    Will you help organize this? Are you with me?

    Ken

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    CowboyKen wrote:
    I definitely am for open carry. But I don't think the law will allow it in the vicinity of the Presidential candidates and I think the courts will find it is not a right supported in the constitution to do so in that situation.
    Ken - the issue of a "right" only come up if their is a law against the conduct - only then, must an individul assert the "right" as a defense for his conduct to defeat the application of the law to his facts.

    Let's say there was no right to carry. This would be irrelevant if there was no law against carry at Presidential candidate's events.

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    Mike wrote:
    CowboyKen wrote:
    I definitely am for open carry. But I don't think the law will allow it in the vicinity of the Presidential candidates and I think the courts will find it is not a right supported in the constitution to do so in that situation.
    Ken - the issue of a "right" only come up if their is a law against the conduct - only then, must an individul assert the "right" as a defense for his conduct to defeat the application of the law to his facts.

    Let's say there was no right to carry. This would be irrelevant if there was no law against carry at Presidential candidate's events.
    So, Mike, does that mean that I can count on you to be there at our rally on Tuesday, after all there is "no law against carry at Presidential candidate's events"? And it is our right to open carry!

    I hope I will see you there.

    Ken

    p.s.; It seems to me that if the authorities assert that they can stop you from doing a "thing," and you belive it is not unlawful for you to go ahead and do that "thing" and you choose to press the issue, you will end up having your "right" to do it adjudicated. Law or no law.





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    CowboyKen wrote:
    p.s.; It seems to me that if the authorities assert that they can stop you from doing a "thing," and you belive it is not unlawful for you to go ahead and do that "thing" and you choose to press the issue, you will end up having your "right" to do it adjudicated. Law or no law.
    Well, no - if charges are actually pressed, then the government must first prove the existence of the statute alleged to be violated and prove that the Defendant committed the offense. The Defendant need not allege any right to have been violated.

    But regardless, at some point, after having the government "stop you from doing a 'thing,' and you belive it is not unlawful," the aggrieved person can assert that the police conduct in charging them with bogus crimes and/arresting them was itself unlawful as a violation of e.g., Fourth Amendment. Such suits are usually for damages - open carriers are winning damages when police unlawfully detain or arrest them and will continue to do so. So I guess Ken you are partly right in that a "right" will at some point be lititgated, but it is not the right to do the "thing," but rather the right to be free of unlawful police harassment and restraint.

    Here is a recent article on law suits against the Pittsburgh area police for unlawfully writing disorderly conduct tickets against folks for merey cussing out police officers, etc. http://www.pennlive.com/newsflash/pa/index.ssf?/base/news-66/1220415647196860.xml&storylist=penn

    One party won a $3,000 settlement against the police for this unlawful application of the disorderly conduct statute. The ACLU of PA is involved and no doubt may take an interest in John Nobles case soon

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