Little Rock, AR -- Veteran Little Rock police officer Robert ‘Bobby’ Ward appeared to be enjoying a quiet peaceful night at his home this past summer when Sherwood police officers received a 911 call for a noise complaint. However, when the egos of the cops collided all hell broke loose.
When Sherwood police officers arrived, Ward and the officers both agreed they heard no noise coming from his home and Ward directed the two officers to another location “over there,” he said.
At first, the police contact was cordial. Ward was in his driveway, just outside his garage, on his own property, apparently minding his own business. But Sherwood officers pressed him for more information to fill out their “report,” one officer said.
Ward, who like so many residents who do not wish to have police contact, refused to answer the officers’ questions. “Why,” he asked when pressed for his phone number.
The two originally agreed there was no noise coming from Ward’s home and that should have been the end to the police contact. However the Sherwood officers kept insisting on information from Ward, and some could say, pressing his buttons.
The media edited out most of the body camera footage and even the footage we found was edited. However, during the entire incident, it appears the only thing Ward did to anger the Sherwood officers was curse at the police officers, something Arkansas courts have said is protected 1st Amendment speech.
Going further, Ward was on his own property, a contention he made with the rookie officers noting he had 22 years of police work under his belt.
One of the Sherwood officers warned him he would be arrested if he cursed again, something Ward knew was not illegal. So he cursed again, as many residents would, openly defying the perceived authority of his fellow badge-wearing boys in blue standing in his driveway seemingly provoking him.
The Sherwood officer even told Ward he would only give him “one warning” as if to say he would arrest him for cursing at him on his own property.
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It must be worth noting the officers simply could have walked away had they been satisfied there was no noise coming from Ward’s home, and both officers agreed there wasn’t any. Why the officers remained on scene is a mystery to us here at TFTP.
However, when Ward called his fellow boys in blue “motherf--kers”, that was all the Sherwood officer needed to violently take ward to the ground, hitting his head on the sidewalk as he did.
For not cooperating with the police and their investigation of a noise complaint, for refusing to give the Sherwood officers any identifying information, and most notably, for cursing at the officers, Ward was given citations.
He was cited for “Public Intoxication, Disorderly Conduct and Resisting Arrest," according to police records.
It’s unclear how anyone can get cited for being drunk on their own property but that’s what happened to Ward. Unfortunately, the cop who knew the actual law got fired from Pulaski County as a deputy as a result of his encounter with Sherwood police. He was accused of violating the Pulaski County code of contact, according to reports.
It’s very rare to catch police on police activity, especially on film, given the thin blue line and wall of silence. Ward, it seems, was completely within his rights to call the cops “f--kheads” and tell them to leave his property.
Unfortunately, it seems, free speech may truly be dead in America. If a man cannot say what he wants and express his feelings on his own property, where else is he able to practice such a right?
It’s unclear if Ward will be suing Sherwood and Pulaski police departments but we report on thousands of civil rights cases each year and we think he has a pretty strong one. What do you think? Was Officer Ward well within his rights to say whatever he wanted to the Sherwood cops? Should Pulaski have fired him? Like, comment, and share, below.