Walter Mencken 11 a.m., May 24
He chalks the line: City Attorney prosecutes man for writing anti-bank slogans in water soluble chalkI have been a high school Government teacher for the past 20 years, and I just can't believe that this is what our judicial system has become! I will absolutely be using this as an example of a violation of First Amendment rights to free speech this fall in my classroom. Perhaps the city attorney would like to sit in and learn a few things from the up and coming voters of California? I, too, am appalled at the clear bias illustrated in this case...graffiti? REALLY? The last time the neighborhood "vandals" chalked something I didn't like on my sidewalk, I called their parent's; not the city attorney. If you had written a protest sign in chalk in front of ANY other local mom and pop business, would you have been prosecuted by the city? Would that establishment have claimed $6000 in clean up costs? I'm sure the C.A. would have laughed the proprietor right out of his office and threatened the business owner with harassment after the third "follow up" call. The judge clearly doesn't want to include the free speech argument because he realizes that the ACLU will jump all over it! I assume you or your attorney have already contacted them about this absurdity...? I am truly ashamed at what out government has become. I know similar sentiments have been expressed throughout our history, but I think the Founding Fathers would be truly dismayed to see how far America has strayed from the Constitutional values and civil liberties that once made this country an example for others to follow. I wish you the best, Jeff. I'm not sure if you intended to become the next "poster child" for Free Speech, but I hope you and your legal team will continue to fight the good fight in the name of what America SHOULD be. Best of luck!
— June 28, 2013 2:32 p.m.