The Pa. State Police and state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union have reached an agreement regarding disorderly conduct citations.


    State troopers will no longer be allowed to issue citations solely for profanity, as the ACLU insists doing so jeopardize constitutionally protected speech.


    • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

    This ought to reduce the number of disorderly conduct citations, of which there were 750 in a recent year.


    A release issued today by the Pa. ACLU says troopers cannot issues citations solely for words or gestures, if they’re directed at an officer; troopers will receive training about First Amendment rights; and training materials will be revised to clarify the term “obscene.”


    Pa. State Troopers will now begin to review disorderly conduct citations for the next two years to ensure the new guidelines are being followed.


    The new practices stem from a lawsuit filed by a Luzerne County woman who was cited for disorderly conduct after calling a motorcyclist an “asshole.” The troopers will pay $17,500 in damages and legal fees for that case.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal