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Pa. State Police To Stop Citing People For Using Profanity

HARRISBURG (CBS) – The ACLU of Pennsylvania says State Police have agreed to stop citing people for disorderly conduct when they use profanity.

Senior ACLU staff attorney Mary Catherine Roper says these citations are not unusual.

“And that’s why we started bringing these cases,” she said. “Because we are finding that police all over Pennsylvania have been issuing criminal citations because people use profanity.”

Roper says the case that brought about the settlement involved a Luzerne County woman who shouted an unkind epithet at a motorcyclist who swerved close to her. She says Pennsylvania State Police have agreed to stop citing people for cussing and to provide mandatory training for troopers about free speech.

Roper says Pittsburgh police agreed to a similar settlement and that ACLU will continue to take on local police departments that misuse the state’s disorderly conduct statute.

A spokesman for state police did not respond to requests for comment.

Reported by Tony Romeo, KYW Newsradio

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