Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy E. Nehls doesn’t know much about the law if he thinks that he can lawfully arrest someone for posting a “FUCK TRUMP” sign on their truck. Nehls stated that he was looking for the owner of the truck after he received several complaints about the display from unhappy people.
The Republican Sheriff who is reported to fancy a run for higher office posted a picture of the truck with the message – “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.”
The truck’s owner is having none of it and appears to be hiding in plain sight. Karen Fonseca, wife of the truck’s owner, told the Houston Chronicle that they would not be removing the sign and that “It’s just our freedom of speech and we’re exercising it.”
The U.S. Supreme Court would appear to have the Fonsecas back. In the case of Cohen v. California, the Supreme Court overturned a the conviction for disturbing-the-peace of Cohen after he’d gone to a courthouse in Los Angeles wearing a jacket that said “Fuck the Draft.”
From the Annals of the Racists – In 1888, the Jaybirds, a whites-only political association, met in Richmond and ordered Charles Ferguson and several other black political leaders to leave Fort Bend County within ten hours. The Jaybirds represented the resentful white population (all Democrats) who were still smarting over the Republican government that controlled the county during Reconstruction. The competing faction was the Woodpeckers who were nominally Democrats but held office as a result of Republican and black voters. The Woodpeckers had controlled the county for about 20 years. The so-called Jaybird-Woodpecker War was fight between these two factions for control of Fort Bend County. The Jaybirds met in Richmond and “expelled” a number of Woodpecker leaders.
The Woodpeckers won the election despite the expulsion, and the violence continued. In the spring of 1889, Tax Assesstor Kyle Terry, a Woodpecker, murdered Ned Gibson, a leader of the Jaybirds who was set to testify against one of Terry’s friends in an unrelated cattle-rustling trial. Terry was arrested but posted bail and decamped to Galveston where he was later killed by the Jaybirds. The cycle of violence continued culminating in the Battle of Richmond, on August 16, 1889, when Woodpecker Sheriff Garvey was killed. After that, the Woodpeckers were driven from office.
The Jaybirds had a long-lasting influence mostly through the creation of the “Whites Only” Democratic primary system in Fort Bend County which effectively ended any political strength for black voters. The system was so successful that the Legislature adopted a similar Whites Only primary measure which ensured that the Jaybird Democrats would retain control. The blatantly unconstitutional and discriminatory practice continued until it was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in Terry v. Adams, 345 U.S. 461 (1953).