Woman refuses to remove crude anti-Trump message from pickup

Facebook via Sheriff Troy Nehls

The owner of a truck boasting a huge middle finger to the commander-in-chief is breaking the law, a Texas sheriff has alleged.

The controversy began when Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls posted a now-deleted photo of the truck on Facebook, saying he wanted to speak to the driver and bringing up the idea of a possible disorderly conduct charge.

"I have received numerous calls regarding the offensive display on this truck as it is often seen along FM 359", the post read.

FOX 26 News knocked on the door of the home of the woman who owns the truck, but she did not care to comment.

But what caused outrage was Nehls statement that per the station's prosecutor "she would accept disorderly conduct charges regarding it". The Facebook post has since been deleted after receiving nearly 20,000 comments and more than 10,000 shares, but no license plate number was visible in the photo.

Some said the sheriff was threatening Fonseca's right to freedom of speech.

The Houston Chronicle said the truck's owners have no plans to remove the custom graphic, which they ordered after Trump's election. "They want to shake your hand".

"Unless [Nehls] can show me where it says that in the law book, it's not coming down until the weather takes it down or I replace it with something else", he told local station KHOU. She receives some negative reactions, particularly among older white men, but most people stop to laugh, tell her stories or ask where to buy it, Fonseca said.

"F-K TRUMP AND F-K YOU FOR VOTING FOR HIM", screams the windshield-sized decal plastered on the back window of a pickup truck belonging to Karen Fonseca, 46, and her husband. "I hate profanities that can be seen or heard by children that breeches my peace".

Nehls says he wants to slap the couple with disorderly conduct charges for "inciting immediate breach of the peace", he said, in a Facebook post citing Texas state law.

The American Civil Liberties Union posted on Facebook that "you can't prosecute speech just because it contains words you don't like".

The Facebook post, as of Wednesday, was shared almost 5,000 times and had more than 9,000 comments.

A spokeswoman for the sheriff's office, which covers the county just southwest of Houston, said Thursday that Nehls' post was removed once the pickup driver was identified.

There are many different opinions about not only the decal but about freedom of speech.

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