Quantcast

Does Nazi Salute Arrest Violate the First Amendment?

News 2010/12/17 20:00:00
You!
Add Photos & Videos
Here's one way to get noticed at a city council meeting -- and, if you want, get illegally arrested.

In California, a homeless advocate who was upset with the council's treatment of the transient population briefly raised his hand in a Nazi salute and was arrested, according to The Los Angeles Times. But a federal appeals court said that violated Robert Norse's First Amendment rights, calling it "viewpoint discrimination." Norse had sued the city for violating his free speech rights.

Officials from the city of Santa Cruz said that activist Norse was arrested for disrupting a public meeting. But federal appeals Chief Judge Alex Kozinski didn't buy it.

"Norse raises his hand in a brief, silent protest of the mayor's
treatment of another speaker," he wrote in an opinion, according to the Times. "The mayor ignores Norse's fleeting gesture
until Councilman [Tim] Fitzmaurice throws a hissy fit."

A lower court had dismissed the case, saying the city was immune from legal liability.

Read More: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-1216-nazi-...

Add a comment above

Top Opinion

  • Tracker2 2010/12/17 20:48:19 (edited)
    No
    Tracker2
    +16
    Clicked wrong answer!

    There are some real problems with this:

    1) his action was not a "Nazi salute" since he did not make any other statements that could be considered of a Nazi nature at the time.

    2) freedom of speech at a public meeting held on public ground is protected by the constitution.

    3) saluting or making a gesture is not disturbing the peace or inciting violence otherwise people could not salute the US flag or wave hello.

    4) the officer said he was being arrested for trespassing but this was a public meeting for the public

    5) the officer did not tell him what the charges were before arresting him

    The city council has the right to have people removed IF they are creating a public disturbance and the man refused to leave so he could be arrested for trespassing at that point so the question is if his salute created a public disturbance and from the video it appears only one board member was disturbed and everyone else ignored it.

    I think the board member needs a reprimand for not handling this in a more mature manner and should publicly apologize to the individual.

    I am offended by true white supremacists throwing up a Nazi salute but it looks like this individual was making the point that the city board was acting like Nazi's and therefore his salute was actually a statement a...
    Clicked wrong answer!

    There are some real problems with this:

    1) his action was not a "Nazi salute" since he did not make any other statements that could be considered of a Nazi nature at the time.

    2) freedom of speech at a public meeting held on public ground is protected by the constitution.

    3) saluting or making a gesture is not disturbing the peace or inciting violence otherwise people could not salute the US flag or wave hello.

    4) the officer said he was being arrested for trespassing but this was a public meeting for the public

    5) the officer did not tell him what the charges were before arresting him

    The city council has the right to have people removed IF they are creating a public disturbance and the man refused to leave so he could be arrested for trespassing at that point so the question is if his salute created a public disturbance and from the video it appears only one board member was disturbed and everyone else ignored it.

    I think the board member needs a reprimand for not handling this in a more mature manner and should publicly apologize to the individual.

    I am offended by true white supremacists throwing up a Nazi salute but it looks like this individual was making the point that the city board was acting like Nazi's and therefore his salute was actually a statement against the excessive authority of the council and the video and arrest seems to support him that the city council is abusing their authority and acting like Nazi's.
    (more)

Sort By
  • Most Raves
  • Least Raves
  • Oldest
  • Newest
Opinions

  • Delete 2011/01/06 15:36:48
    No
    Delete
    Unfortunately it doesn't, I do believe in freedom of speech. But as a German American with Jewish beliefs, if i catch you saying/doing any of those actions there will be no law to protect you from me!

    german american jewish beliefs catch sayingdoing actions law protect Never again

  • abycinnamon BN-1 2010/12/23 04:52:06 (edited)
    No
    abycinnamon BN-1
    Oh damn - misread the question. I meant yes. The arrest is a violation. The salute is not.

    It is a legal expression of free speech. The arrest was illegal unless that was not the grounds for it.
  • FrederichJosephDeVaney 2010/12/22 14:26:31
    Yes
    FrederichJosephDeVaney
    Another idiotic waste of taxpayer money.
  • Frederi... Frederi... 2010/12/22 14:33:10
    FrederichJosephDeVaney
    If you look in your history books, the "Nazi" salute is an homage to the Roman salute. The only difference between the two is the Romans began the salute with their fist over their heart. Hitler loved pomp and circumstance, and the Romans knew how to throw a good parade.
  • morning40oz~mad as hell 2010/12/20 23:46:38
    Yes
    morning40oz~mad as hell
    +1
    I've friggin' raised the Nazi salute when I thought that someone, read a majority of our politicians, was pushing propaganda that spat/spits in the name of freedom and liberty. It is because I so detest what the Nazis were about that I throw that gesture up to the wolves who would arrest someone merely for making the gesture. Our rights are only as safe as those of our neighbors whether we agree with their philosophies or not. Even if it had been a jackass Nazi who had made the salute, we have a Constitution that was put into place to protect jackasses no less than the rest of us.
  • gfreeman BN-0 2010/12/20 19:21:40
    Yes
    gfreeman BN-0
    +1
    This is a classic example of the violation of someones 1st amendment rights.
  • Jaigo 2010/12/20 18:03:57
    Yes
    Jaigo
    Why can you be gay and screw in the middle of the street but you can't salute Hitler? I do not now nor will I ever support Nazis as a black man but I see a double standard. How is sex in the street protected but not the beliefs of a man?
  • voice_m... Jaigo 2010/12/20 21:01:59
    voice_matters
    wow two of the libs favorite issues gays and hitler. funny seeing that the court ruled that the salute was legal but hey why would you read the info given.
  • Jaigo voice_m... 2010/12/22 02:12:21 (edited)
    Jaigo
    +3
    If it was legal then he shouldn't have been arrested in the first place and they'd have no reason to detain him for any amount of time so please explain that smart one
  • voice_m... Jaigo 2010/12/22 03:01:25
    voice_matters
    they considered the salute an offensive so he was detained. sorry try to think before you post.
  • Jaigo voice_m... 2010/12/22 18:52:33
    Jaigo
    I do, do you? They can't arrest you for nothing so the fact that they did means it was a problem in their rule book which is why it went before judge. Think boy think!
  • voice_m... Jaigo 2010/12/28 18:38:59
    voice_matters
    sorry i am tired of ignorance. there are many reasons he can be arrested. disturbing the meeting, public disorder, obscene behavior. all of which can you get you arrested. seeing you are too stupid to understand the laws why should i waste any more time on you libby.
  • Marek 2010/12/20 17:08:20
    Yes
    Marek
    I have no sympathy for nazis and their salute but it is first amendment right and must not be infringed on.
  • Peru 2010/12/20 16:56:16
    Yes
    Peru
    Obviously.
  • b man 2010/12/20 15:56:42
    Yes
    b man
    I am so sick of this so called "bully behavior and bully laws"..... what happened to sticks and stones will break your bones but words will never hurt you!!!!!!!
  • Diane 2010/12/20 15:24:42
    Yes
    Diane
    After watching the video it's clear that the homeless advocate who was arrested was not a Nazi. He was making a statement saying that the city councilmen were displaying Nazilike tendencies by not allowing a homeless man to speak.
  • Tom 2010/12/20 14:49:44
    No
    Tom
    +1
    Sorry, misread the question, I thought the question was did the arm raiser violate the law. I should have marked yes, but you know how it is with butterfly ballots and those pesky hanging chads. Someone once said "I loathe what you are saying but I will defend to the death your right to say it". The first amendnent was specifically written to protect this kind of behavior. Harrumph.
  • dwc1971 Tom 2010/12/22 10:56:10
    dwc1971
    +1
    The quotation you note is a good one. About 10 years ago, (I can't remember what state it was in) a man was arrested for burning the American flag. His purpose for burning the flat was to demonstrate how free this country is and to show how many liberties we have. He wasnt burning the flag in protest, or because he hated this country, it was the other way around. Yet they officials still had him arrested. Like you, I'd never condone the use of the nazi salute or burning the flag but this great country gives us the freedom to do so and when it starts taking those freedoms away, we're in big trouble. And by the looks of it , we're in big trouble.
  • Divided... dwc1971 2010/12/23 03:27:48
    Divided States of America
    Money or freedom,we have to choose.Can't have both.
  • dwc1971 Divided... 2010/12/23 20:13:22
    dwc1971
    I'm not quite sure I understand your statment. My reply to Tom had nothing to do with money. And I disagree with your statement. If I have full freedom to do as I please (as long as I don't infringe upon the freedoms of others) I can work as hard as I like and prosper as much as I want. It's the Liberals who want to take away our freedom to earn as much as we can by taxing the rich. They claim they are the modern day robin hood's by taking from the rich and giving to the poor. what they don't realize is robin hood stole from the tyrannical, liberal, government, who stole freedoms through taxation, and then gave it back to the poor.
  • Divided... dwc1971 2010/12/26 06:06:03
    Divided States of America
    The lower class can't have both.We need more laws to keep them in line,or profit what we do today.
  • dwc1971 Divided... 2010/12/28 11:30:20
    dwc1971
    +1
    still not sure we're using the same language. we need no new laws. enforce the ones we have, re-institute personal freedoms, and leave us the hell alone. if you want more laws, move to China, they have plenty of laws you'd like.
  • Divided... dwc1971 2010/12/29 04:27:55
    Divided States of America
    I agree with you,others won't.Others matter I don't.
  • Sparky 2010/12/20 14:46:42
    Yes
    Sparky
    If it was silent and made no bodily contact--they may not have liked it, They may have found it very offensive but they have not made a case that he disrupted the meeting enough to be removed from the room much less arrested. Those in public office should be less egotistical and have more respect for the U.S> Constitution esp the Bill of Rights.
  • michael 2010/12/20 14:31:55
    Yes
    michael
    Let idiots be idiots. We even let the most racist black man become president. I dont see how a few morons doing the nazi salute is gonna hurt anyone.
  • jimbo 2010/12/20 14:30:42
    Yes
    jimbo
    +1
    Of course it violates the first amendment. California,right ? What the hell do they know about first amendments ? They are on their way to becoming a third world country.Try to ignore them as much as possible..........
  • CHARLESS 2010/12/20 14:11:36
    Yes
    CHARLESS
    +1
    Allowing it does not mean agreeing with it. And how better to know who these people are than to allow them to identify themselves in public

    This article suggests the action was more a protest of the conduct of the city council than any support for a particular ideology.
  • Sutekh 2010/12/20 13:42:47
    No
    Sutekh
    +1
    A Nazi salute these days is the equivalent of flashing a gang sign. To my way of thinking, to prosecute, one would have to prove that the one doing it is indeed a member of the associated gang, or prove that it was done in an attempt to incite violence.

    Now anyone who flashes anything that looks like a gang sign can expect to be hauled in by the police and questioned, at the very least.
  • SebaThe... Sutekh 2010/12/20 14:16:22
    SebaTheSociallyAwkwardPenguin 平和
    yep, basically just like you said it. it sucks
  • b man Sutekh 2010/12/20 15:59:20
    b man
    hows this
    hows middle finger
  • dwc1971 Sutekh 2010/12/22 11:04:14
    dwc1971
    so when did it become illegal to flash a gang sign? Although I think the nazi salute is extremely inappropriate and so is a gang sign, it still should't be illegal. I don't neccessarily disagree with you, but neither one should be illegal unless, like you said, it was proven to be done in such a way that the person was intentionally trying to stir up violent reactions from others. The gesture itself should be protected even though the person is an idiot. The constitution protects the rights of idiots too, which is definitely frustrating at times.
  • Sutekh dwc1971 2010/12/22 13:08:14
    Sutekh
    Well, my view does make enforcement of law difficult. It's like trying to prove conspiracy. But basically, that's the way it lies.

    But flashing a gang sign approaches the idiocy of joking with airline personnel that one will hijack the plane if one does not get one's cocktail. It can lead to a lot of inconvenience and several hours of talking to people who are very unpleasant and who will not let one go to the bathroom.
  • maleRN 2010/12/20 11:26:46
    Yes
    maleRN
    +2
    Politically-correct bitches had to ruin their freedom to salute
  • Bulanova (Team Hargitay) 2010/12/20 11:15:57
    Yes
    Bulanova (Team Hargitay)
    +1
    Whew! The question on the main page and the question as the title of the article are (as usual) complete opposites. I'm relieved to see that the majority of people seem to think it violates free speech, because at first it looked like the majority was in favor of the arrest thanks to the dual wording on SH's index.
  • nightlight 2010/12/20 10:14:54 (edited)
    Yes
    nightlight
    +2
    What were those cops thinking?
    Maybe that they can do anything they want because they are cops.
    And it's not so suprising that this happened in CALIFORNIA though things like this are starting to happen all over.
    A man in Shreveport, LA was pulled over because he had a pro-2nd amendment sticker on his car. The cop asked him if he had a weapon and when he said he had one in the car, the cop searched the car (illegally - without the man's permission) and conficated it (read stole it) even though the man had a concealed carry permit and told the cop so.
  • morning... nightlight 2010/12/20 23:42:15
    morning40oz~mad as hell
    +1
    The National Guard stormed into people's homes after Katrina and took guns away from law-abiding people. Some have still never gotten their guns back. Land of the free??? No it ain't.
  • nightlight morning... 2010/12/21 00:11:02 (edited)
    nightlight
    +1
    Thanks. At the time of Katrina, I had been a resident of New Orleans since I was born and have long known about the Katrina /gun thing. It was an outrageously stupid act on the part of the Chief of Police leaving ordinary, law abiding citizens unarmed against gangs of criminals who were freely roaming the city at the time. But it appears to have been a preview of things to come.
    Not too long ago a man in Shreveport, LA with a pro-2nd Amendment sticker on his car was pulled over by a cop - because he had a pro-2nd Amendment sticker on his car!. When the cop asked the man if he had a weapon in his car, the man answered truthfully that he did. Then the cop searched the man's car (illegally, without the man's permission) and confiscated (read stole) the man's gun. When the man phoned the mayor about this, the mayor laughed at the man and supported the cop.
  • morning... nightlight 2010/12/21 00:16:45
    morning40oz~mad as hell
    In early 2009, people were being pulled over and their cars searched if they had a "Don't Tread On Me" bumper sticker.

    I'm from New Orleans. Katrina, itself, didn't have as much effect on our city as the impact of the National Guard accompanied by Blackwater. Until 2008, I never evacuated from a hurricane in my life. I just didn't want to deal with the curfews and the police state which is something I will never believe took place on US soil. So, for Gustav, I did evacuate. If I mistrusted my government before Katrina, which I did, I can tell you that I have zero trust in our government and much research quantifies my regard for the travesty that is and has been operating as our government for decades.
  • Mizz Conservative 2010/12/20 09:03:06
    Yes
    Mizz Conservative
    +3
    I think it does.
  • Terry J Vey 2010/12/20 08:49:52
    Yes
    Terry J Vey
    +1
    Local politicians aren't they the best!
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 15 Next » Last »

See Votes by State

The map above displays the winning answer by region.

News & Politics

2014/12/20 13:47:50

Hot Questions on SodaHead
More Hot Questions

More Community More Originals