Here's how Bradley Justice got paid $25,000 for yelling "F*ck you, copper!"

Categories: News

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More photos below.
Attorney David Lane is well known for defending speech, even when it's rude. Note his 2010 advocacy on behalf of a bar owner who faced the prospect of losing his liquor license for singing "Fuck the condo people" to the tune of Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World." The latest example: Lane recently helped win a $25,000 settlement for Bradley Justice over the actions that followed his shout of "Fuck you, copper!" at a Colorado State Patrol trooper. Learn about what Lane calls the "pursuit of Justice" below.

On November 27, 2011, according to the complaint and jury demand on view below in its entirety, Justice was riding his bike westbound on the C-470 bike path in the vicinity of South Quebec Street.

The aforementioned trooper was conducting a traffic stop nearby, and as Justice peddled past, he took "poetic justice" by proclaiming, "Fuck you, copper!" and flipping a bird.

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A Google Maps image of the bike path near C-470 and South Quebec Street.
The trooper took umbrage at this display, the complaint maintains, and after finishing up with the motorist, he's said to have trailed after Justice and hassled other bikers -- something Justice saw because, in the words of the humor-infused document, he "is not blind."

At that point, Justice turned around, but the trooper allegedly went after him again, this time engaging his lights and siren en route.

Then, near the intersection of Park Meadows Drive and Acres Green, the trooper "steered his patrol vehicle onto the sidewalk to obstruct Justice," then bailed out of his cruiser and tackled the cyclist.

"Justice was done," the complaint states, and "Justice was hindered" -- because his shoes were clipped into his bike pedals, preventing him from bracing for the crash. He reportedly injured his knee in the process.

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David Lane.
At that point, the biker and the trooper exchanged words, and when the former tried to walk away, his pursuer "cried out for Justice" and told him not to leave.

In response, the cyclist called the Lone Tree Police Department, which subsequently charged the trooper with three counts: official oppression, first degree official misconduct and "third degree assault on Justice."

The complaint goes on to accuse the trooper with false arrest, excessive force and First Amendment retaliation for protected speech and demanded a jury trial. But instead, the legal team defending the trooper offered up a $25,000 settlement -- and Lane thinks that was appropriate.

Justice "wasn't hospitalized, he wasn't tased or shot or pepper sprayed," he acknowledges. "But he was tackled and roughed up."

Lane doesn't argue that Justice's invective or his one-finger salute were polite. But both qualify as protected speech, he maintains.

"Even the most repressive governments on earth will allow you to swap chocolate chip recipes with your mother," he notes. "But it is antagonizing speech, speech on the edge of the envelope, speech that stirs passions and emotions that we have to protect. Stupid speech is protected just as intelligent speech is protected, and the government can't be the arbiter of what speech is acceptable in a free society and what speech is not."

Here's the complaint.

Bradley Justice Complaint and Jury Demand

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

More from our News archive circa December 2010: "'F*ck the condo people' song enough to get bar's liquor license revoked?"


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23 comments
fratdawgg23
fratdawgg23

So many LEOs are just fragile snowflakes that must be called 'hero' regularly and deified for their job choice. Failure to submit to their authority typically results in extrajudicial violence.

Bryan Clark
Bryan Clark

sounds about right, "Fing Copper".......... now where is my money?

kozan
kozan

F*ck you, Michael Roberts!

IWorshipTheState
IWorshipTheState

These lawsuits are great, but these pigs are laughing all the way to the bank as the taxpayer is footing the bill for their corruption. We need to be able to sue these losers personally so that they are completely RUINED by debt.....What's good for us is surely good enough for them as they are simply servants.

Joshua Erwin
Joshua Erwin

Sounds right to me. Replace 'cop' with 'dude on the sidewalk' and you have yourself a case of some ass hole tackling another ass hole for saying 'fuck you' which I believe would be assault. The reason it is important to defend 'stupid' speech as well as 'intelligent' speech is that every voice deserves to be heard. This case is especially important because the tackler was a police officer. The idea that a person with the power to arrest me and put me in a cage could also cause me physical harm without retribution is more than disturbing. Thanks you for taking this to trial, and defending the basic human right to be a dumbass!

A Chris Heismann
A Chris Heismann

The proper response of a law enforcement officer (or any government official sworn to uphold the Constitution) to some one simply cursing at them should be "First Amendment to you too!"

Trapps Rawemotion Translated
Trapps Rawemotion Translated

its not freedom of speech or anything like that, its simply "fuck the police" and if they dnt like it, fuck em some more

Robert Tolbert
Robert Tolbert

It IS freedom of speech, it IS NOT a criminal act nor is it probable cause enough to stop somebody

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

So Bradley Justice "wasn't hospitalized, he wasn't tased or shot or pepper sprayed," just " tackled and roughed up" -- and CSP is supposed to be the best of this lot of thugs!  You omit the name of the trooper from your article -- why?  We may infer that Sajczuk faced no criminal charges for his assaults; is this violent criminal still roaming the breadth of Colorado pretending to enforce the Law, or not?  Readers deserve that much information so as to be able to protect themselves.

Chris Rixman
Chris Rixman

is that all he got??? I swear Westword from the sound of the disdain and lack of objectivity in the language of this story, you are becoming the journalistic lap dog fox news is for the neo con agenda. heres to you westword smuck of the year!

Tim Hauger
Tim Hauger

What a douchebag. On BOTH ACCOUNTS. Two douchebags poor judgment doesn't make a story. Just wait until the mega douche actually needs a cop and the cops will be like "nah ur that guy, go fist a goat mr 25k".

ofa.co.crixman
ofa.co.crixman

is that all he got???  I swear Westword from the sound of the disdain and lack of objectivity in the language of this story, you are becoming the journalistic lap dog fox news is for the neo con agenda.  heres to you westword smuck of the year! 

Rodger Sherman
Rodger Sherman

I'm pretty fucking sure he won that money for being tackled to the ground for protected speech, you fuckin cocksuckers. Way to put the wrong spin on this tale.

David Judd
David Judd

Someone should really proof read these articles before they get posted..

IWorshipTheState
IWorshipTheState

People are far better equipped to protect themselves and their neighbors than a blue gang of cowards is.....Police providing 'safety' to the community is an illusion. If you look at the violence they perpetrate upon the public, the danger they pose far outweighs their very SMALL benefit (finding stolen cars, etc...)

IWorshipTheState
IWorshipTheState

True. The cop should have went to jail for a LONG time. Justice served.

fratdawgg23
fratdawgg23

Then f-the cops again, they are paid to respond, not to retaliate with violence when butt hurt.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

Someone should proofread your comments too -- ever hear of compound words?

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