SUMMARIES OF OPINIONS
Published Monday, October 2, 2017
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Please note: Opinion summaries are prepared by the Public Information Office for the general public and news media. Summaries are not prepared for every opinion released by the Court, but only for those cases considered of great public interest. Opinion summaries are not to be considered as official opinions of the Court. The full opinions are available on the Supreme Court website at www.gasupreme.us .
FREEMAN V. THE STATE (S17A1040)
The Supreme Court of Georgia has reversed the conviction of a man arrested in Hall County for disorderly conduct after he “flipped a bird” at his pastor during Sunday church services.
In today’s unanimous opinion, written by Presiding Justice Harold D. Melton, the high court finds that the man’s behavior was protected speech under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and he could not be convicted under Georgia’s disorderly conduct statute.
On Aug. 3, 2014, David Justin Freeman attended church with his family at the Flowery Branch campus of “12 Stones” Church, a large church with multiple locations in Gwinnett, Hall and Barrow counties. Pastor Jason Berry was conducting the service, and as it came to a close, the pastor asked any teachers present to stand and be recognized so the congregation could pray for them to have a successful year. Freeman, a homeschooling father who says he is a volunteer minister at the church, stood up in the back, raised his
Canton Police Press Release
On Thursday, September 21, just before 11:30 p.m., Canton Police officers were dispatched to the report of an armed robbery at 12 Jefferson Circle. A description of the suspect vehicle (a red Dodge Dart) was given by the victim and broadcast to units as they responded. Officers quickly spotted the vehicle on Main Street as it neared Interstate 575, initiated a traffic stop and took numerous individuals that were occupying the car into custody. Officers, along with police detectives, arrived at the Housing Authority unit on Jefferson Circle, cordoned off the crime scene, collected additional statements and secured a search warrant for the residence.
“The National Football League is home to some of the most talented athletes in the greatest nation of the world. While I respect their right to protest, I commend to them the examples of their colleagues Pat Tillman and Alejandro Villanueva. These men defended that freedom and their fellow citizens as Army Rangers, and their actions illustrate a patriotism that unifies Americans.
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Press Release Cherokee Marshal's Office - The Cherokee Marshal’s Office is currently investigating an animal cruelty case. At approximately 8:00 a.m. an 8-year-old Irish Sport Show Horse was found deceased in a pasture. Preliminary investigation indicates the horse sustained a gunshot wound to the head. The horse was boarded at The Stables at Union Hill which is a boarding facility. The Cherokee Marshal’s Office is requesting the publics assistance in this case; if anyone has any information regarding this case please contact the Cherokee Marshal’s Office at 678-493-6203. Owners’ are offering a reward of $15,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction of person(s) responsible.