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Courts and Crime

Medina drops charges against Facebook poster who applauded Sandy Hook shootings
Joseph Resovsky argued his speech was protected under the First Amendment, and did not induce panic

Ozie Ikuenobe
In The Region:
The case has been dismissed against a Columbia Station man accused of inducing panic after his Facebook posting cheered the school shootings in Newtown, Conn., last month.

Joseph Resovsky had pleaded not guilty. He argued his comments were protected under the First Amendment. The ACLU defended the 20-year-old in Municipal Court in Medina, and ACLU Legal Director Jeff Gamso says the dismissal affirms the right to free speech.
Facebook poster sees charges dismissed

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“He has a Constitutional right to say offensive things, even really offensive things.  And the city attorney looked at the case and said, ‘You know what?  He’s right.  He has a right to do that.’  That’s what our system is about.  And we asked the court to dismiss the charges.”

Police had said the posting on Dec. 14, the day of the Connecticut shootings, concerned people who thought it was an endorsement of school violence.

At the start of an interview with Ohio Public Radio’s Bill Cohen, Gamso reads the inflammatory statement his client had written.

Bill Cohen with Jeff Gamso

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That’s lawyer Jeffrey Gamso of the Ohio chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. Asked if the ACLU would agree that police should at least keep a close watch on the man who had applauded the Connecticut school shooter, Gamso said "no."
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