Texan Criminally Charged For Using Bad Word In Front of Teenager

nicubunu_open_mouthTexas authorities continue their criminal crackdown on potty mouths. The latest criminal is Joseph Loflin, 48, who was charged with using the word “shit” in front of a 13-year-old girl in Texas City, Texas. Loflin used the word to describe cat droppings left in his garden.

A former police officer, Loflin confronted his neighbors about their cats going on his lawn and used the descriptive term in front of his daughter.

He was upset because his dogs are attracted to the droppings and then lick him and carry them into the house. When he threatened to call the animal welfare people, they threatened to call the speech police for his use of profanity.

Debbie Rainey explained “He kept repeating the word in front of my child” and objected to his use of the word in front of his teenager.

He is the third person charged under the law, which comes with a $170 fine. He has demanded a jury trial.

These laws are highly questionable from a constitutional standpoint on grounds ranging from free speech to vagueness. The right to swear at police was upheld recently in South Dakota.. Conversely, swearing in court remains a grounds for discipline.

It is unclear why the Rainey’s did not ask their teenager to step away from the conversations. There is no question that Loflin was being rude and boorish. But, the use of criminal law to police speech is not how to instill good manners or force people to say “Holy Cat Feces.”

For the full story, click here.

21 thoughts on “Texan Criminally Charged For Using Bad Word In Front of Teenager”

  1. Why do all of these crazy cases seem to happen in Texas? It can’t be a coincidence can it? Can lightning strike 20 times in a row. I agree with Gov. Perry. It is time for Texas to secede.

  2. Better be careful. A load of shit is hot in Texas. I know I worked in a Commercial Greenhouse. I had to shovel it in August. Oh well what the hell.

  3. Christianity in action! This is asinine, 13 year olds have heard worse than this, probably from her own mother! The first stroke of fascism is banning speech.


  4. I’ve been to Texas City. Shit is about the only word I can use to describe most of it. Hook ’em Horns.

  5. Mierda, you’d think we Texans would learn some spanish curse words. Shinga.

  6. Once Texas secedes at least 15% of our problems will be solved.
    It will be scary though to have a Fascist Theocracy on our doorstep.

  7. George Carlin:

    They have more words to describe these ‘bad’ words then there are ‘bad’ words to begin with!

    All I could think of was ‘shit piss cunt fuck cocksucker motherfucker tits’.

    Lewis Black:

    There is no bad language. These are the words we use to express: frustration, rage, and anger (and sometimes cat poop)… in order that we don’t pick up a tire iron and beat the s**t out of someone

    A fucking amen to that.

  8. Now Yankee,

    I am sure you left some out, your list is extensive though. I presume you were referring to most members of congress in some respect or did you leave some out intentionally?

    I am only kidding.

  9. Here’s an excersize for our distinguished commenters:

    Find the swear word. Go:

    retard, nigger, fool, floor flusher, yellow-belly, homo-lover, fag, puny penis, coward, fecal matter, athiest, taliban, scum-bag, slim-bag, douche-bag, nazi, moron, murderer, fascist, racist, abortionist, baby killer…..

    Plenty of words. Offensive. Shall we all go screaming to the court when we are offended over a word?

  10. AY,

    I know there are some fine Texans, unfortunately none of them work in government. Besides, I’ve admitted to an anti-Texas bias which I feel I have good reason (the guns in traffic, et al.). But more importantly, people who want to tell me (or anyone) what language is appropriate makes me go Carlin. The road to tyranny often starts with the language police, kissing cousins to the thought police. I find such statutes as mentioned more offensive than any mere word.

  11. Hey Buddha,

    There are some fine Texan indeed. Washington State has a statue like that, Michigan does. Unfortunately, they are only used when nothing else will stick.

    I am sure that this Former Cop has had to piss someone off and this is all they got. Texas city is a Port, Shipping Channel. Shit is probably the least of the worst words ever heard or proclaimed. I wonder what else this Former Cop said, did or insinuated that he would or could do.

    Who is this woman that called the cops? What did she do to provoke….

  12. People need to grow the hell up. (go ahead, fine me.) I’m sure their 13 yo has heard worse from her parents directly. Fining the guy for swearing is a classic pissing match maneuver. I see a dead cat in the neighbors future.

  13. The point of laws against bad language is that they can be used with discretion by the righteous to punish working class people expressing anger, especially justified anger.

    Most people use bad language some of the time, many including members of the “upper classes” use it most of the time. When working class people express anger against unfair treatment they are bound by statistics to use some prosecutable words which allow any policeman overhearing to slap them down.

  14. Texas City is part of the Texas Shipping Ports. However, it has the distinction of triggering the first ever class action lawsuit against the United States government, under the then-recently enacted Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), on behalf of 8,485 victims, when a French Freighter exploded. The Texas City Disaster is generally considered the worst industrial accident in American history. Comparable to Japan and explosions in Germany.

    It has a History of its own making, in this article the word I like is former police officer. Who did he piss off to no longer be employed as a police officer, when That is thar G-d given right?

    This is probably not the first time that the neighbors have had problems. I don’t think his speech should be censured but I do not know of what aggressive behavior this former officer used and this was the least restrictive that they could come up with.

    I have read about a case in Michigan that I believe went to the Sct and upheld a Statute that held that a man get this is guilty of a Misd if he uses foul language in front of women or children. That case was a man was floating in a river drinking beer and got upset about something and started cussing.

    Not to be disrespectful, or mabye I have hung around too many women in law school, I guess you can call them that, used language that would make me blush.

    I hope that this case is dismissed. The irony would be if this same officer has arrested and helped to convict with this same law. That would be classic.

  15. Uh, I meant to post the above post on the thread about zero tolerance.. Don’t know how I managed to foul this up but whatever 🙂

  16. I can only hope that the Supreme Court will affirm the ruling of the lower courts, though I’m sure I’ll turn on NPR this afternoon to hear Nina Totenberg tell us all about some of the riduculous questions and comments that Justices Alito and Roberts will undoubtedly utter. I believe you said it best, Mr. Turley, when you exposed zero tolerance policies for what they really are: zero thought policies.

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