RICHMOND, Texas - A photo posted on social media
showing a truck sticker with an expletive directed toward President
Donald Trump is going viral and prompting local law enforcement to
search for the driver.
Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls
posted a photo of the back of a white pickup truck with a tinted back
window and a large sticker that reads, "F*** Trump, and f*** you for
voting for him."
WATCH: Interview with owner of truck that has "F*** Trump" sticker
Here was Nehls' caption of the photo:
"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."
In the comments of the post, Nehls posted
context about the disorderly conduct charge: "(a) A person commits an
offense if he intentionally or knowingly: (1) uses abusive, indecent,
profane, or vulgar language in a public place, and the language by its
very utterance tends to incite an immediate breach of the peace; (2)
makes an offensive gesture or display in a public place, and the gesture
or display tends to incite an immediate breach of the peace."
KPRC 2 spoke with the driver of the truck.
Karen Forsenca said she and her husband have had the decal on their truck for almost a year.
"I thought the whole thing was totally
crazy. It's been on there for such a long time and we have so much
positive out of it -- more positive that outweighs the negative," Karen
The mother of 12 said she and her husband
stand by the stickers and don’t plan on taking them down. Forsenca said
she doesn’t understand why the sheriff didn’t reach out to her, instead
of posting it on Facebook.
“I mean, look, y'all don't know me and y’all
found me. He could have done that at the same time, it is an invasion
of privacy and everything else because he put me on blast on his
Facebook Page,” explained Forsenca.
Nehls said he had received many complaints about the language used on the decal and that’s why posted the picture.
"I want to reach out to the owner of this
truck and say 'Hey, listen, the last thing we need to do is have any
type of confrontation over the language on your truck,” said Nehls
during a press conference Wednesday afternoon.
“I drive it all the time on a daily basis,
I'm not fearful, there's too much positive, and it makes people smile.
They honk their horn, they give you a thumbs up, there is some
negativity because we're in a diversified community, but the plusses
outweigh the negativity,” said Forsenca.
There are many different opinions about not only the decal but about freedom of speech.
Forsenca said she doesn’t believe they have
broken any laws. She also said, she doesn’t think what’s on her truck is
any different than what is on TV and social media.
“I understand I have 12 children of our own,
at the same time, what we have on the back of our truck is nothing
compared to what you see every day on the music videos, see on TV and
KPRC 2 legal analyst Brian Wice said this
was a free speech issue and referred to the 1971 case of Cohen v.
California. According to the case, the Supreme Court "overturned a man's
conviction for the crime of disturbing the peace for wearing a jacket
in the public corridors of a courthouse that displayed the phrase,
'F*** the draft.'"
LINK: Read more about the case from 1971
“Is it a slow news day in Fort Bend County,
or worse yet, isn’t there any real crime?” Wice said. “The fact that it
offends people doesn’t mean that anybody, particularly law enforcement,
has the right to act as a censor to second guess their taste, their
views, their beliefs.”
Comments on Nehls' Facebook post were
varied. Some supported his message, while others defended free speech or
said the sheriff's department should focus on other high-profile crime
in the community.
“I don’t think people are offended, and if
they are, they just need to take a deep breath, change the channel,
drive by the car, and get on with their lives,” Wice said.
Nehls defended his post, commenting "It is important to respond to calls from residents, yes."