Brewster man acquitted for swearing in police station

2:58 PM, May 2, 2013   |    comments
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MASSILLON -- A judge has acquitted a Brewster man charged after he swore while inside the Massillon Police Station.

Heath Devoll faced a charge of disorderly conduct after uttering "This is bull____" on April 8.

He had been attempting to file a police report after someone shot out the windshield of his vehicle and, according to a release from the ACLU, was frustrated an officer wouldn't take his complaint.

After uttering the expletive, the ACLU says Devoll was taken back inside, detained and cited for "cussing."

A police supervisor later told Devoll he would be able to file the report for the vandalism as he originally attempted to do.

The ACLU says the court's decision is a victory for protected speech.

"This was the victim of a crime who came to the police station for help. Not only was he turned away, he was detained and cited for expressing his frustration with an unhelpful system," said ACLU Staff Attorney Drew Dennis.

"When law enforcement officials disregard the First Amendment it has implications for all of us. That is why the Massillon Municipal Court made the right decision in this case."


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