Two Florida men prosecuted for “gang hand gestures” on MySpace

by Walter Olson on August 3, 2009

Two Lee County, Florida men face possible prison sentences of five years because their MySpace pages show them making hand gestures that prosecutors say are associated with street gangs. “Their prosecutions are the first under a state law passed last year that criminalizes the use of electronic media to ‘promote’ gangs.” The bill’s sponsor, state legislator Rep. William D. Snyder, R-Stuart, says in response to charges that the measure violates the First Amendment by criminalizing expression: “none of our freedoms are absolute, and the freedom of expression is not absolute”. [Steven Beardsley, Naples Daily News, Jul. 30] (& welcome Reason “Hit and Run”, Coyote readers)

{ 1 trackback }

DYSPEPSIA GENERATION » Blog Archive » Two Florida men prosecuted for “gang hand gestures” on MySpace
08.03.09 at 10:32 am

{ 5 comments }

1 Richard Nieporent 08.03.09 at 8:57 am

I have two suggestions.
1) The Florida legislature should purchase a copy of the Bill of Rights and read it, with special emphasis on the First Amendment.
2) Mr. Rodriguez and Mr. Figueroa-Santiago should change the hand sign on their my space account s to one that is clearly appropriate for the Florida Legislature given the law they passed.

2 Robert 08.03.09 at 11:16 am

Remember the guy who helped his roommate smuggle a handgun onto a US Air flight a few months back? He was making gang signs on MySpace, as this blog notes. You’d think if they were going to make a big deal about any instance of it, this case would be a better one to try.

Anyway, I’m going to help the Florida District Attorney lock up everyone! 5 minutes of Googling found some photos of kids in a Florida Boy Scout troop making Gang Signs on Flickr! Florida will have to get busy building prisons to hold about 50% of all kids that have photos online!

3 Foxfier 08.03.09 at 5:49 pm

I look forward to the first fifteen minutes of “Iron Man” being used in the defense of these men….

4 Bill Poser 08.04.09 at 8:41 pm

The Florida legislature should purchase a copy of the Bill of Rights and read it, with special emphasis on the First Amendment.

Heck, let’s go for it. Think we would get them to read the entire Constitution?

5 kristina 08.10.09 at 3:59 pm

I have a gesture for the imbeciles who are so damn arrest happy. :) It’s called my middle finger. :)
Yes, i’m affiliated with smart asses 007. OOooOOOo! Lock me up!!!!! Yes, our hand signs are flipping the bird, and we are everywhere! So next time someone has that gesture on myspace or even when someone flips you off on the street, you better run and call 911, because our weapons of mass desctruction are letting people know they need to get a damn sense of humor and stop being so paranoid around wannabe gangbangers on myspace. :)

Comments on this entry are closed.