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Published On: Tue, Jun 12th, 2012

Dropping the ‘F bomb’ in Middleborough, Mass. will cost you

Who said speech was free?

Who would have guessed when Middleborough, Massachusetts police chief Bruce Gates proposed a little over a month ago to give $20 tickets to vulgar loudmouths as a deterrent to downtown air pollution would materialize?

The Chief got what he desired Monday night.

According to an MSNBC report, residents voted 183-50 to approve a proposal from the police chief to impose a $20 fine on public profanity.

Officials insist the proposal was not intended to censor casual or private conversations, but instead to crack down on loud, profanity-laden language used by teens and other young people in the downtown area and public parks.

Business owners like the idea of fining those kids and adults that use high-volume obscenities on the otherwise quiet downtown. One business owner says all the loud cussing intimidates her customers.

However, not everyone is so smitten with the idea, including the ACLU. Matthew Segal, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, said the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the government cannot prohibit public speech just because it contains profanity.

If you think a $20 ticket for swearing seems stiff, consider the fine some townspeople prefered to see levied: $100 per curse.

No matter how you cut it, $20 is a pretty expensive swear jar.

US government public domain photo

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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