Greenville, SC– A South Carolina man was threatened with imprisonment over wearing a shirt that read “Police Lie” to a pre-trial conference on May 13. Thomas Roy was at the Greensville Courthouse on Wednesday for a conference, not appearing for the actual courtroom proceedings, yet he was repeatedly threatened with arrest by the judge over his use of his first amendment right with the simple, and true, two-word statement on his shirt.
The video, which Roy posted to Facebook, begins as he is being confronted by the judge.
“Mr. Roy, you leave here now with that shirt on, I’m the city judge, and do not come back into this building or on this property with that shirt on again, do you understand?” the judge tells Roy.
“Am I breaking some kind of law?” Roy asks calmly.
“-or you are going to be in contempt of this court.” the judge finishes.
“Am I breaking some kind of law?” Roy asks again.
“Sir, you’re violating the common law of this state, because that shirt and what it says puts at issue… witnesses against one another. It’s baiting, and I’m not going to have it, and I’m in charge of this courthouse, and im telling you go now- or you’re going to jail,” the judge says.
Roy is then forced to reschedule his pre-trial conference and is escorted by a police officer to do so, and out of the building.
We spoke to Roy briefly about the incident, and when asked why he decided to wear the shirt, he explained that he has been beaten by the police numerous times. He also believes he has been being targeted for speaking to the press after witnessing a police chase which ended in a wreck that killed the driver. Roy had been listening to the scanner and was following the state trooper to witness what was unfolding.
“I commented on scene with the news on camera and since then it’s been crazy.” Roy told The Free Thought Project.
In October, we reported on citizen journalist Michael Burns from Florida, who had stopped to film people who were being harassed by police, and then ended up being their next target after he left to head home. The cops gave him a bogus ticket, but instead of laying down and taking it Burns decided to fight it in court- in a “F*ck the Police” shirt. He won.