Police are hunting a man with a huge “F*** Trump” sign on his pick-up truck – after there was reportedly a barrage of phone calls to officers over the “offensive display”.
Sheriff Troy E. Nehls posted a photo of the white Sierra light-duty vehicle showing the sticker on its back window while it was on a motorway in Fort Bend County in Texas.
In his Facebook post, he sought help in tracking down the owner of the vehicle, saying that a prosecutor informed his office she would accept a “disorderly conduct” charge.
Sheriff Nehls wrote: “I have received numerous calls regarding the offensive display on this truck as it is often seen along FM 359. If you know who owns this truck or it is yours, I would like to discuss it with you.
“Our Prosecutor has informed us she would accept disorderly conduct charges regarding it, but I feel we could come to an agreement regarding a modification to it.”
His post of the truck, photographed on the FM 395 outside Crystal City, drew in 11,000 likes, was shared more than 10,000 times and pulled in more than 20,000 comments.
But rather than help Sheriff Nehls track down the driver, the bulk of the remarks centred on how the owner of the truck enjoyed the right to free speech under the First Amendment.
Joshua Smith wrote: “Law enforcement officers such as yourself are a stain on the freedom of individuals.
“There is no victim here besides the individual YOU are harassing.”
Rin Marie posted: “I would never put this on my car, but I’d fight to the death to defend this persons right to do so.”
And Rich Flores wrote: “I support the President and voted for him but who cares if this guy has that on his truck. We still have a Constitution and you can’t pick and choose when you want to defend or stand up for it. Just flip the guy off and yell “f*** you” out your window as you pass him. That’s the ‘Murican way to handle it stop being bitches.”
A number of replies also pointed out how the Supreme Court in 1971 overturned a conviction of Robert Cohen, 19, after he wore a jacket in a courthouse that read “F*** the draft”.
That legal decision is often referred to in cases involving free speech in the US.
A spokeswoman at Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office declined to say if it had located the driver of the pick-up truck that displayed the offensive sign.
She told The Independent: “No on has been arrested and the Sheriff will not be commenting any further.”
Thousands of comments on Facebook told Sheriff Nehls that the driver enjoyed the right to free speech under the First Amendment: Sheriff Troy E. Nehls/Facebook