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No First Amendment Right to Bark at a Police Dog
July 26, 2011 5:08 PM   Subscribe

An Ohio trial court judge last Friday in State v. Stephens [.pdf] held that there is no First Amendment right to bark at a police dog.

Previously, State v. Gilchrist (Ohio Ct. App. 2003) .[pdf]
posted by T.D. Strange (35 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Ouch. That's ruff.
posted by Zozo at 5:10 PM on July 26, 2011 [16 favorites]


I was going to remark how bizarre it was that this issue has come up twice in Ohio, but I guess it makes sense if you've got a special law making it a crime to harass a police dog.

As a personal anecdote, I once was assigned(he didn't show up for court) a client in a DUI case who hit a parked car and fled the scene. The police brought out the dog to track him, and when they found him hiding behind a bush he announced that the it was the dog, not him, who was drunk. Then he started shouting HONDURAS! HONDURAS!
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 5:14 PM on July 26, 2011 [18 favorites]


Rover's Assuaged?
posted by Kinbote at 5:14 PM on July 26, 2011


Dog Cites Man!
posted by Rhaomi at 5:14 PM on July 26, 2011 [41 favorites]


ruffUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU ruffruff
posted by liza at 5:16 PM on July 26, 2011


When barks are made criminal, only criminals will bark.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:19 PM on July 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


But did the assailant have his front paws on the ground and his tail in the air to indicate playfulness?
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 5:19 PM on July 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


There is, however, a Second Amendment right for police dogs to bear arms, a Fourth Amendment right against quartering police dogs in your doghouse, a Fifth Amendment right against police dogs incriminating themselves and a 21st Amendment right to get a police dog drunk.
posted by box at 5:25 PM on July 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


What is striking is that the two cases reach opposite conclusions.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 5:26 PM on July 26, 2011


Oops--the Third Amendment is the doghouse one. The Fourth Amendment is the one about looking behind their cute little ears.
posted by box at 5:26 PM on July 26, 2011


if he had done that to a hoodlum's pit bull, then he'd be barking up the wrong g
posted by pyramid termite at 5:27 PM on July 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


There go my Friday nights.
posted by Splunge at 5:28 PM on July 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


yes, we're going to make arful jokes - that's why you posted this, right?
posted by pyramid termite at 5:28 PM on July 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


but the man should appeal this to the federal courts - does anyone want to make a dalmatian?
posted by pyramid termite at 5:31 PM on July 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure if it had been a corporation it would have been A-OK
posted by unSane at 5:39 PM on July 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


My dad would so be in jail over this. He barked at every dog, to tease them. Very realistic barks. They would go nuts. I was 8 or 9 before I realized that other people's dads didn't do this. By then, I'd learned to do a very realistic Basset Hound bark. Oh well.
posted by emjaybee at 5:42 PM on July 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


a robot made out of meat: "What is striking is that the two cases reach opposite conclusions."

It depends how far you are from the dog. If you're far away, you have a First Amendment right to bark; if close, you do not.

I'm interested in following the inevitable back-and-forth over how close is too close for the First Amendment right (possibly in the case of Does This Bug You vs. I'm Not Touching You I'm Not Touching You).
posted by subbes at 5:43 PM on July 26, 2011 [6 favorites]


It's clear the terriers have won.
posted by mmmbacon at 5:45 PM on July 26, 2011 [18 favorites]


box: There is, however, a Second Amendment right for police dogs to bear arms, a Fourth Amendment right against quartering police dogs in your doghouse, a Fifth Amendment right against police dogs incriminating themselves and a 21st Amendment right to get a police dog drunk.

Which Amendment is about honoring thy father and mother? I always forget that one.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:51 PM on July 26, 2011


Bulgaroktonos: "I was going to remark how bizarre it was that this issue has come up twice in Ohio, but I guess it makes sense if you've got a special law making it a crime to harass a police dog.

As a personal anecdote, I once was assigned(he didn't show up for court) a client in a DUI case who hit a parked car and fled the scene. The police brought out the dog to track him, and when they found him hiding behind a bush he announced that the it was the dog, not him, who was drunk. Then he started shouting HONDURAS! HONDURAS!
"

Allegedly.
posted by Songdog at 5:52 PM on July 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


The judge issued an embarko on free speech.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:18 PM on July 26, 2011


but can you "meow"?
posted by ennui.bz at 6:21 PM on July 26, 2011


But can you baa, baa, bark (like a seal), bell, bellow, bleat, boom, bray, buzz, cackle, call, caw, chant, chatter, cheep, chirp, chirp chirp, chirrup, chitter, chortle, chuckle, click, clop, cluck, cock-a'doodle-doo, coo, cough, croak, crow, cry, cuckoo, dook, drone, drum, ehh ehh, fink, galumph, gibber, gobble, goble, groan, growl, grunt, hee-haw, hiss, hom hom, honk, hoot, howl, hum, laugh, low, meow, mew, moo, moof, neigh, oink, pipe, purr, quack, ribbit, roar, rumble, scream, screech, shriek, simper, sing, snarl, snort, squawk, squeak, squeal, tipper, to-keh, trumpet, tweet, twitter, wail, warble, wheek, whine, whinny, whistle, whoop, yell, yelp, yodel, or yowl?
posted by troll at 6:22 PM on July 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Jinx. You owe me a cat.
posted by troll at 6:25 PM on July 26, 2011


My dad would so be in jail over this. He barked at every dog, to tease them. Very realistic barks. They would go nuts. I was 8 or 9 before I realized that other people's dads didn't do this. By then, I'd learned to do a very realistic Basset Hound bark. Oh well.

My father used to bark at ME, all the time. One day we were at the mall, doing some shopping, and he starts to make this face. The face he would make before he barked at me. So I look at him with terror in my eyes and say "no, dad, don't do it..." and he says "We're in a mall, would I bark in a mall?" Then I relaxed, and, of he barked, really loud.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:33 PM on July 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


There is, however, a Second Amendment right for police dogs to bear arms..

Hmm.. As I interpret it, the Second Amendment asserts your right to keep and bear police dogs shall not be infringed. So you can't bark at a police dog, but you can have your own police dog do it for you.
posted by charlie don't surf at 7:31 PM on July 26, 2011


But can I insult the dog? Like if I call him an insult to canines, walking around with all that pork and not tearing into it? Maybe attack his dogness?

Loving the stories of dad trolling in here. Mine could do a pretty realistic coyote howl and anytime the dogs would act up, he'd do it to make them go nuts.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 8:22 PM on July 26, 2011


As though dogs needed a law for this. I once barked at a dog at close range. It pretty efficiently, erm, protected its rights by biting me in the face.
posted by progosk at 10:23 PM on July 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Laughing at cops on bicycles: that's a taserin'.

Rolling your eyes at meter maids: 30 days in stir.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:45 PM on July 26, 2011


This is why I always carry a harmonica. No dog can resist a mouth organ.
posted by taz at 12:46 AM on July 27, 2011


No dog can resist a mouth organ.

There is a joke in there somewhere, but I'm no comedian.
posted by XhaustedProphet at 2:02 AM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Loving the stories of dad trolling in here.
Well, here's one. I lived in a 4 story residential building that had a large basement with a lot of little individual cellars, one for each apartment. Our cellar was quite far from the stairs and it had a lamp independent from the ones in the corridor. When I was maybe 10, I was once in the basement fetching something for my mum, and when I wanted to go back, I opened the door of our cellar into complete darkness. While I was contemplating the prospect of venturing into it, figuring that maybe someone just switched the lights off not knowing I was there, I heard a long grrrowl at the top of the stairs, where the light switch would be.
It was my dad, it turned out a moment later, when I heard him laughing. I don't know what got into him, he never scared me like that before (and after).
posted by hat_eater at 2:17 AM on July 27, 2011


I should point out that while my father antagonized me by making dog noises, he antagonized the dog by making people noises. Specifically, he did this really, really, horrible imitation of a distant relative singing the gospel song "Life is Like a Mountain Railroad" in the horrible, high pitched, whiny accent that you find in the backwoods of North Carolina. The dog would walk over to him, sit down at his feet, look up at him, and howl in pain and displeasure. He loved doing that.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:23 AM on July 27, 2011


Over the years of owning and dealing with many dogs, I've come to discover one thing that they all seem to have in common; they absolutely hate it when you imitate them.

Not just the barking, but the panting, looking around, breathing rhythm, little whines, snorting, etc. Do it for about a minute and most of the time the dog will be frantically trying to get you to stop, either by licking you like crazy or barking angrily.

I imagine that the same would hold true if you did it to a cop. (regardless of whether or not it was a police dog.)
posted by quin at 8:10 AM on July 27, 2011


I don't know, my dog reacts enthusiastically on me "wagging" my palm in response to him wagging his tail. OTOH, when I growled once at my previous dog during play, in half a second he went from joyfully jumping around to skulking in the corner with folded ears and tail between his legs. I must have said something really terrible to him.
posted by hat_eater at 9:43 AM on July 27, 2011


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