Robert McIntosh wins $20,000 settlement after arrest for calling Boulder deputy a "f*cking ass"

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Update below: Last year, Robert McIntosh Jr. was so unhappy after being stopped for speeding that he dropped multiple f-bombs on the deputy who wrote him up. The immediate result? McIntosh's arrest. But now, Boulder County has agreed to pay a $20,000 settlement, and McIntosh's attorney, David Lane, thinks that's appropriate. "We have free speech in this country, and you have to have probable cause to be arrested," he says. "And when cops abuse their authority, it makes us all less free."

According to the arrest report on view below, Deputy Sheriff Tim Lynch stopped McIntosh in the Town of Superior after a radar gun caught him driving 41 miles per hour in a twenty-mile-per-hour school zone designated by a flashing light.

McIntosh wins Westword's "Shmuck of the Week"

Although McIntosh was talking on his cell phone as he motored through the zone (and hadn't finished his conversation when Lynch pulled him over), he kept his lips zipped as he handed over insurance and registration. But when Lynch gave him a ticket moments later, he says McIntosh told him a warning would have been sufficient. After Lynch disagreed, McIntosh pointed out that the speed limit for the area is usually 35 miles per hour, then said Lynch was being a "fucking ass... you know it." He added that he'd see the deputy "in fucking court."

Thumbnail image for david lane on today.JPG
David Lane.
Lynch informed McIntosh that if the abusive language continued, he'd arrest him. McIntosh responded by glowering at Lynch -- and when he took back his license and registration, he yelled, "Screw you!" Lynch reacted by taking McIntosh's keys, calling for backup and arresting him.

McIntosh didn't meekly accept punishment for his language. Instead, he hired Lane, who sent a letter to Boulder County alleging civil rights violations of the First and Fourth Amendments. Potential litigation was squelched by the county's decision to pay $20,000 to make the matter go away.

In Lane's opinion, "the significance of this case is that cops just have to learn that you're allowed to criticize them. You're not committing a crime by being critical of cops -- and because this cop has a thin skin, it cost the taxpayers of Boulder County $20,000."

Not that Lane limits his harsh words to the deputy alone. "Boulder County doesn't adequately train their cops," he maintains, "and failure to train and supervise is actionable in and of itself."

This incident is the second of its type in recent weeks. Note that Shane Boor was busted for flipping off a Colorado state trooper. After the ACLU agreed to defend him on First Amendment grounds, the allegation against Boor was dropped.

These incidents may seem minor, but Lane believes they have larger import.

"This may be a little flowery, but when you're standing outside, when does it become nightfall?" he asks. "There's no moment where darkness descends, but you know when it's dark, and you know when it's getting dark. And every infringement of civil rights adds to the darkness. That's why every one of these cases, no matter how small, needs to be fought. And that's why we bring them."

Update, June 8, 1:44 p.m.: Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle has released the following statement about the McIntosh case:

"A deputy sheriff assigned to the Town of Superior stopped Mr. Robert McIntosh on October 1, 2010 at 2:35 pm for speeding 41 mph in a 20 mph school zone. The stop did not go well, Mr. McIntosh was verbally abusive, vulgar and uncooperative during the contact. The deputy arrested Mr. McIntosh in lieu of releasing him on a summons at the scene. He was transported to the jail where he was booked and released. The entire process took approximately three hours. There was no use of force involved in the arrest. "Mr. McIntosh later pleaded guilty to the speeding charge in Superior Municipal Court, in exchange the charges of Disobeying a Police Officer were dropped. He then retained an attorney, claiming his rights were violated when he was physically arrested for expression of free speech toward the officer. "Our County Attorney's Office reviewed the facts of the case and felt there was some exposure, because courts have ruled that while not all speech is protected, police officers are expected to take a higher level of verbal abuse than would be expected from a member of the general public. The decision was made to settle the case quickly and as inexpensively as possible, as litigation and attorney's fees could become very expensive. "Our Office and the County Attorney's Office has taken full advantage of the situation to properly educate the deputy involved and all of our personnel on the appropriate constitutional limitations on free speech as they apply to peace officers."

Here's the McIntosh arrest report, which can also be accessed by clicking here.

Robert McIntosh Police Report

More from our Follow That Story archive: "David Lane threatens to sue University of Wyoming over refusal to let Weather Underground founder William Ayers speak on campus."

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70 comments
mrebate
mrebate

It is called CONTEMPT OF COP and far too many low life pigs mistakenly believe they are above the law.  The time has come to start funding these settlements from the pension fund of every pig in the department.  Watch how quickly these  abuse of authority arrests subside.

Jar00743
Jar00743

I was arrested for calling a cop a Ass hole and I pleaded not guilty cause he was acting like one I need a attorney now

Stenniz
Stenniz

What do you think would have happened if he had said the same thing to the judge?

Brian Ladwig
Brian Ladwig

Wow, it is a SAD day when a jouranlist, and I use the term loosely, labels someone the "Schmuck of the week" for asserting their first ammendment rights when JOURNALISM is one of the major beneficiaries of the benefits of the first ammendment.

Rayvr
Rayvr

Well, if it's ok to call a policeman names when he arrests you for speeding, then it's OK to call a judge names in a court of law.  This is one crazy @#$%%^&^& country!  In fact, we can just mouth off obcenities to everybody.  This is NUTS! 

Datastat
Datastat

Re-read it Sport.  He wasn't arrested for speeding.  He was issued the citation, and all was normal until he cursed the cop.  THEN he was arrested.  Arrested for cursing a cop. 

And you cannot just "mouth off obcenities to everybody."  If fellow civilians are offended or bothered or threatened by your 'mouthing off', then all of the typical sanctions apply.  What most of you do not know is that police officers, by judicial precedent, CANNOT be offended.  Now, if there had been a person standing nearby, and the guy in the car started going off, the police officer could ask the bystander if he/she was offended by the remarks.  If that third person agreed, THEN the cop would have had some legal grounds for arrest.  As it were, that cop by himself had no grounds to deprive the driver of his liberty.    Think about that for a second.  If cops could be "legally" offended, then you could conceivably be arrested for ANYTHING that a cop found offensive.  Cross the street exactly the way that pisses off officer jimbob, and poof, your ass is in the can. 

If cops get to carry guns, and instanter people, then believe me (or don't.  For fuck sakes, feel free to do some research before posting your internet-based outrage) that you don't want to live in a society where your police cops are legally "offendable".  Think cold war era Soviet Union, or East Germany of old...

FYI

nerys
nerys

thats right. and its YOUR RIGHT. the PROPER solution to people like that? NOT arrest. the proper solution is SOCIETY SHUNS THEM and make their lives MISERABLE unless they behave.

thats how an educated enlightened society is SUPPOSED TO WORK.

not by cops stroking themselves on the public dime.

nerys
nerys

that little but of darkness was even in their REPLY.

not all speech is free. this is patently false. there is no such thing as speech that is not free.

the 1st amendment is absolutely.

they REFUSE to distinguish between free speech and RESPONSIBILITY for your actions.

while you are FREE to say anything you want you are NOT free to DO anything you want and that includes DOING things with your speech. while the speech is 100% free what you DO with it is not free.

So I can say (since I know someone will bring this up) I want to kill obama all I want. Free speech insures that. that one apparent exception in our constitution is NOT an exception. note it says  CREDIBLE threat. ie there has to be a reasonable "DO" that could follow that speech. its that reasonable DO that is illegal NOT THE SPEECH.

"because courts have ruled that while not all speech is free, police officers are expected to take a higher le"

that portion is total poppycock. The constitution is clear. it recognizes free speech and its PROHIBITION on interference with free speech is ABSOLUTE.

SHALL MAKE NO LAW.

not shall make ALMOST no law. not shall make no law except. not sometimes shall make no law but ABSOLUTELY

SHALL MAKE NO LAW.

people say well you can not yell fire in a theater thats illegal. INCORRECT. any law saying as such is illegal and invalid on inception as per the Constitution and every one challenged has LOST the law was over turned.

the reason is simple. the illegal act is NOT yelling fire (which is free speech) the illegal act is CAUSING A PANIC OR POSSIBLE INJURY WITHOUT CAUSE.

how you caused that panic is IRRELEVANT.

it might sound like semantics but the distinction is 100% critical.

what part of shall make NO LAW is unclear here?

they may NOT MAKE LAWS regarding what you can SAY. they however MAY make laws regarding what you can DO with that speech cause harm to others.

its the ACTION/RESULT that can be regulated NOT THE SPEECH NOT THE WORDS.

Free speech MUST be absolute or you HAVE no free speech. the moment you have a "forbidden" word list you are at the mercy of whoever writes the LIST inevitably that list will include anything they do not "want" you to say.

this is why the first amendment is written 100% absolutely. SHALL MAKE NO LAW. Period. End of Discussion.

I only wish that $20,000 would come out of that officers salary.

Keager
Keager

".... He then retained an attorney, claiming his rights were violated when he was physically arrested for expression of free speech toward the officer. "Our County Attorney's Office reviewed the facts of the case and felt there was some exposure, because courts have ruled that while not all speech is protected, police officers are expected to take a higher level of verbal abuse than would be expected from a member of the general public. ..."

whoa whoa whoa. Didn't the supreme court, of the Unites States, declare that the Westboro Baptist Church was within the law of free speech to protest at military funerals? How exactly is "verbal abuse" not protected? Bad word said are just done just for shock. Yes, the officer should of walked away. No, he should not have been arrested for it. I am in agreement that any rights must be constantly fought for.

Kuei
Kuei

How is it that cops are clueless about the laws they are paid to uphold?

Matt in Boulder
Matt in Boulder

Have you ever looked into the requirements of becoming a cop?  I think that answers your question..."All police departments require at least a high school diploma or equivalent education from their officers. While some hire graduates right out of high school, many require potential officers to be at least 21 years old."http://education-portal.com/re...

Ronald Sanders
Ronald Sanders

There is no police department in the US that hires out of high school.

Other
Other

again! I thought the nazis were all gone?

NRAJIM
NRAJIM

If McIntosh called the Deputy a gay Fuc#ing Homo Fag Fudge-packer, he would get a year in jail (where he would have to pick up the soap) followed by lifetime sesitivity training.

NRAJIM
NRAJIM

That's *sensitivity* training. Rockwell is right, not much crime in Superior and the copsare always at the school at 3:00 PM and easy to see, if you are not on your phone.

Chest Rockwell
Chest Rockwell

I lived in Superior for a short time - the cop station is literally down the street from that intersection.

Superior is like Pleasantville and the cops there really have nothing better to do than bust people for minor traffic violations.

They are lazy and sit in the same spots.  I never got pulled over in the 2 years I spent there.

Guest
Guest

Hey David Lane,  do you see the darkness falling over Colorado's constitutionally protected mmj patients?  How about helping a bunch of sick people who chose the safest therapeutic substance known to man over big pharma?  Patients will be videotaped buying a federally illegal substance and the video will be provided to all law enforcement including the DEA mandatory on July 1.  How about a little help?

Dlane
Dlane

My number is in the book.  (303) 571-1000.  David Lane

Matty
Matty

There is a difference between questioning authority and being a prick.  This isn't a case of an officer being overzealous, this is the case of someone driving with undue care and attention doing double the speed limit in a school zone.  What if instead of being pulled over he hit a group of kids crossing the road, would that be better for you shmucks?

malasangre
malasangre

what if god made little green apples? what if it does't rain in Indianapolis in the summer time?

nerys
nerys

You fail miserably at seeing the point. YOU FAIL to grasp intent.

he DID NOT arrest him for speeding.he DID NOT arrest him for talking on the phonehe DID NOT arrest him for speeding in a school zone.

he ARRESTED HIM For not bowing down to his EGO and sucking his boots. He arrested him because his ego was bruised by him mouthing off to him and he STATED AS SUCH.

shall I quote the officer himself

"Lynch informed McIntosh that if the abusive language continued, he'd arrest him"

EVERYTHING ELSE IS IRRELEVANT. one crime does not justify another crime.

Ronald Sanders
Ronald Sanders

God damn nerys are you a dumbass. DISORDERLY CONDUCT. DISORDERLY CONDUCT. DISORDERLY CONDUCT. Know your laws and know your rights and you won't get arrested for DISORDERLY CONDUCT.

nerys
nerys

 Disorderly Conduct is an illegal and unconstitutional offense. its one of the largest violations of common sense and the constitution IN THIS COUNTRY. its a blanket we can screw you anytime we want for any reason we want with no proof whatsoever JUST BECAUSE WE CAN law.

I WILL resist any attempt to arrest me for "disorderly conduct" YES I know I will get my ass beat I don't care. I draw the line their.

its an illegal law and in my book I am lawful in resisting an arrest on THAT charge.

what part of SHALL MAKE NO LAW REGARDING FREE SPEECH exactly is unclear to you ronald sanders?

Tark
Tark

He wasn't questioning authority, he was cussing at the officer. He received the proper punishment for speeding and the officer's report states that he provided the necessary information and signed the ticket. He was pissed at getting the ticket and cussed at the cop. Immature? Yes. Illegal? No. That's the point of the case, not the speeding. The officer had no legal right to arrest him simply for cussing at him. Consider this: someone cuts you off on the road and you yell something profane at them. An officer hears you. Should he then be able to arrest you for cussing? If someone calls you an asshole or tells you to screw off, they can't have you arrested for it.

Tark
Tark

Sorry, correction:  If someone calls you an asshole or tells you to screw off, *you* can't have *them* arrested for it.

AZ rocks
AZ rocks

Boulder - same liberal city that bungled the Jon Benet Ramsey case.  Still as good as always.  you rock Boulder

-=rex
-=rex

20K for what!?  The idiot is going 21 mph over the speed limit through a school zone talking on his cell.  He should have been arrested for reckless driving and "tripped and fell" during the arrest for being an ass.  I'll bet this smart ass would not be as brave and mouthy if the officer in question was an off duty plain clothes citizen.

nerys
nerys

all the cop had to do was SHUT his damned mouth and DO HIS JOB AND DUTY. let the judge throw the book at him when the cop testifies to the judge about him doing 21mph over in an ACTIVE school zone while talking on his phone and being belligerent.

but instead the cop took the judges job into his hands to "teach the guy a lesson"

FORGET ABOUT THE FACT THAT THE GUY DESERVED IT. thats not relevant. the cop broke the law and broke his sworn oath to uphold and defend the constitution.

THAT is the crime here and it should be punished harshly.

all he had to do was SHUT UP and do his job. but no. he lets his bruised ego get in the way and ABUSED the power and authority that WE TRUSTED TO HIM

Ronald Sanders
Ronald Sanders

No where did the cop break any law. It's called disorderly conduct.

A person who recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally:(1) engages in fighting or in tumultuous conduct;(2) makes unreasonable noise and continues to do so after being asked to stop; or(3) disrupts a lawful assembly of persons;

stop playing street corner lawyer because you are a retard.

malasangre
malasangre

sorry officer speaking your mind is not disorderly conduct. pork chop was mad cause he tried to "stare" him down.  of course logically that can only mean porky was trying to "stare" him down.stop playing street corner DA you already failed, do you really think they made this go away cause your hero was right? he broke the law get over it. retard? why yes, yes you are

nerys
nerys

see my other post. I read the constitution. Disorderly conduct is an illegal law that was null and void the moment it was made. its a DIRECT violation of the constitution.

the constitution was not written for lawyers it was written for YOU AND ME. normal people it uses simple crystal clear language.

exactly what do you find so unclear about SHALL MAKE NO LAW REGARDING FREE SPEECH ronald?

and WHERE exactly was he fighting or tumultuous? what NOISES was he making? was lawful assembly of person was he disrupting.

Disorderly Conduct DOES NOT EVEN APPLY here you retard. all he did was say "screw you" thats it. 2 words.

did you even read the stinking article?

Duckuguys
Duckuguys

  Mr.McIntosh, you are a pathetic whiner.  Enjoy your $20K, but please next time use your brain and slow the hell down in a school zone.   If you think that cop deserved your harsh words I hope you understand that you deserve them as well.  You are a leach and while I do agree you should not have been arrested, now that is overshadowed by your attitude.  Perhaps a night in jail would knock you down a peg or two.  You and that ambulance chasing lawyer...scumbags.

Ronald Sanders
Ronald Sanders

well said Duckuguys

Ajanimosity
Ajanimosity

So are we supposed to just lay down and let the police state roll through? What's your solution to this blatant violation of the rights they took an oath to protect? 

nerys
nerys

FORGET the speeding. the speeding is IRRELEVANT. The relevant part of the cop abused his authority because he did not "like" being mouthed off too.

you notice I can not arrest a cop who gets testy with me now can I? he is GRANTED THE PRIVILEGE of authority and power he WILL respect it and use it properly or THIS is what should happen.

that $20,00 should NOT come from tax payers. it should come out of his salary. 50% of his paycheck till its paid off.

you say wait your going to ruin his life he might lose his home if you take that much. so where is your sympathy for the petty crook who goes to jail and loses their home because they miss the next 6 mortgage payments while in jail?

but he is a criminal he did the crime he pays the price and takes the consequences.

WELL SO IS THE COP. what he did was a CRIME a crime of the HIGHEST LEVEL in this country. violating the supreme law of this land violating the rights HE SWORE TO PROTECT IN OATH when he took that job.

he is a CRIMINAL. do the crime you pay the price and take the consequences.

Guest
Guest

deffinitely not a reason to arrest him, there is a part of Route 23 in i think Riverdale NJ that has 2 traffic lights about 100 ft or so apart...when i went under the first one it turned yellow..then the second one turned yellow as i went under it...got pulled over and told i ran a red light, i insisted i did not..and the cop says "hmm how's your license" i told him spotless he commented "yeah we'll see" came back and said "i'm just giving you a warning from now on follow the laws of the state", whooooaaaa i got pissed and said excuse me "the laws of the state? it is not against the law to go thru a yellow light and how would i slow down within 100 feet of the two lights to begin with?, going 50 mph" he just walked away..rude  as hell and i should have gotten his badge number..i see his tiny trolly self all the time at Hess

Jamlocaldenver
Jamlocaldenver

OK...let me get this straight...there was a matter of a difference of opinion. You didn't think you ran the light....he did. He gave you a warning. You shot off at the mouth.

So, on one hand, you guys complain because you yell and act like morons, and thy arrest you. Then, on the other hand, you yell, act like morons, and the cop just walks away....and he's a rude troll.

Jesus Christ, these guys can't win with you idiots. No wonder they hate people.

nerys
nerys

when the cop treats you like a petty scoflaw with his tone and selection of words YES you should mouth off. assuming the cop used the words kimbev said he used "I" would have mouthed off to and I would have said no thanks on the warning give me a ticket see you in court and then OWN his ass with my dash cam proving I did not do anything wrong.

now if you did do something wrong well you shut up and take the warning with humility and don't do it again.

Guest
Guest

Hey, David Lane,  why do you not see the darkness that has shadowed ALL Coloradans right to the medical use of cannabis which is constitutionally protected?  I know people have asked you to help in the mmj lawsuits that need to be filed, but why not help?   You seem to share the mindset of freedom in the US.  Why not help sick people who chose the safest therapeutic substance known to man over deadly pharmaceutics? 

Kwame
Kwame

9 out of 10 times you aren't gonna get 20,000 though you are gonna get a brutal ass whooping and an "assualt on a police officer" charge , which will never be dropped or contested. 

This dude is extremely lucky , I wonder if David Lane takes pro-bono all resisting arrest type injustice cases on? 

i dunno

nerys
nerys

that is what dash cams are for. you can get them for $30 now folks. get it install it use it NEVER tell any officer you have it (or they will destroy the video)

Ronald Sanders
Ronald Sanders

you watch too much TV

Ajanimosity
Ajanimosity

You tow the party line, and are railing against our first and fourth amendment rights. 

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