A Grand Junction (Mesa County), Colorado judge ruled that the Facebook posting of a man charged with making threats is admissible to prove the charges against him. Because he was overseas, the man was charged with the Federal crime of making interstate threatening communications. However, the same principals could apply under Colorado law for crimes such as Harassment (C.R.S. 18-9-111) or Disorderly Conduct (C.R.S. 18-9-106).
In Colorado jurisdictions such as Denver, Broomfield, and Adams County, a person can be accused of Harassment if “with the intent to harass, annoy, or alarm another person, he or she…initiates communication with a person, anonymously or otherwise, by telephone, telephone network, data network, text message, instant message, computer, computer network, or computer system in a manner intended to harass or threaten bodily injury…”
In this case, the Facebook post was not direct communication with any particular person, and in fact, the poster had recently de-friended all of his friends on Facebook. The post itself consisted of rather delusional ramblings, but did encourage people to kill police officers. However, the situation begs the question, how can the government punish people for their thoughts and words if no one is listening? Well, it certainly will try as government tries to keep busy with cases which have drama appeal and make it look like police are busy at work.
The police and prosecutors in Douglas, Arapahoe, and Jefferson County will stop at nothing to infringe upon your constitutional rights, including your freedom of expression. If you have been charged with a crime like Harassment or a police involved crime like Resisting Arrest (C.R.S. 18-8-103), you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to protect your right to due process of law and the First Amendment’s freedom of speech guarantee. At the O’Malley Law Office, we will not allow the government to infringe upon your rights. So, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and call us today at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.