An Abuse of Power?

Readers weigh in on mall cops and First Amendment rights.

Mall Cops

Online readers respond to "You've Heard It Effin' Before: Cops Wash Out With Soap Another Galveston County Potty-Mouth," by Richard Connelly, August 20:

Backing the officer: If you cuss at a cop, you get what's coming to you. Even if the cop is treating you in a way you think is unfair, stooping to their level just makes it worse. And I can just picture a 15-year-old cussing at a cop; he's bound to be a smartass who needs it anyway.

jacob

Out-of-control cops: Fuck that cop and all other unarmed man-killing cops in this state. They are out of control. There exists no law that says you have to respect anybody, much less a man giving you trouble, even if he is a cop. This notion that you must stay still and show your hands when pulled over, and this yes-sir, no-sir bullshit, only allows cops to walk all over the public, or shoot them, which seems to be the preferred method of law enforcement in Texas.

bradley

Sue him: You have got to be kidding me, Jacob. So I am guessing the First Amendment doesn't mean much to you? Cops don't get to be offended by vulgar language. Language is not disorderly conduct (check the Supreme Court rulings on it). This kid should beat the ticket without even a fight simply on First Amendment grounds. Vulgarity is not against the law.

I happen to be a professional in my field and have all the respect in the world for the police, right up until they abuse their power. And this is an abuse of power. I have 30-some-odd tattoos and wear a wallet chain to work at one of the largest oil and gas companies in the Houston area. I would probably drop an F-bomb myself if an officer told me I needed to leave a mall based on my wallet chain. I have never been a gang member and never will be. I also wear a cowboy hat and boots along with the wallet chain, so I expect I wouldn't be asked to leave the mall by these peace officers, but if that's the case, then it's discrimination.

Any way you shake it, the officers in question were wrong, and any statute that allows them to kick people out of a public place based on attire is a violation of the right to freely associate. If you look into it, many states, counties and cities have tried and failed to do this, based on the rights given to us in the Constitution.

I am very happy to have cops for friends and never think ill of departments as a whole, but let a cop tell me to leave somewhere based on my attire when I am otherwise within the law, and there will be more than an F-bomb. I am not talking physical violence at all. I am talking civil rights lawsuits, which is exactly what the mother in this case should be talking to lawyers about right now.

Romeo Sid Vicious

Talking Blue

Online readers respond to "Aftermath: Blue October and Its Mystifying Cult at Verizon Wireless Theater," by Chris Gray, August 17:

Intense: I think Blue October has so many followers here because it's a Houston band. I was at this show, and it was pretty good. The energy was intense and seemed to never have stopped. Some may say I'm crazy, but I just saw Depeche Mode last week at Lollapalooza, and in my opinion the Blue October show from the other night was much better. Justin had the crowd into it, the setting was more intimate, the energy was stronger. It was just a better show all around. (And yes, I do realize that I'm comparing apples to green apples here.)

Jeff Flowers

Cash cow: It's just they are a Houston band with some sort of fame outside of those bands that play at Sherlock's on a Friday night. Blue October will always make money off these fans way into their tenth mediocre album.

Anonymous

It's real: Maybe their fans are so loyal and know all the lyrics because most of them hear where Justin's coming from. They understand his ups and downs. Maybe because their music is real! Get over yourself! FYI, I don't even live in Texas. I get it!

Anonymous

Interesting accent: Talent or no, it's quite an "accormplishment" to sell that many records.

Los

Phony: I went to the show because a friend had an extra ticket. The whole thing just seemed so put on to me that I doubt he even has all these "troubles" he sings about. It sounded more like he has picked a depressing theme and just run with it. Every song was the same thing over and over.

Anonymous

Pathetic: Blue October is my favorite band, they are real, not just put on. I've been to enough shows, tracked the band long enough, read all the interviews, done my homework, met them and I can assure you that the lyrics are real. How can anyone argue differently after listening to all of the albums? Every lyric out of Justin's voice sounds so sincere. Every song has its own, separate meaning. And every song means something different to everyone listening. The fans are proof that anyone wasting their time putting down this band, or any other beloved band for that matter, is pathetic and needs to get a life!

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