Charges against a Columbia Station man who made inflammatory remarks supporting the shooting deaths of 26 people in Connecticut last month were dropped Friday in Medina Municipal Court.
Joseph Resovsky, 20, had been charged with inducing panic, a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail.
Medina police arrested Resovsky on Dec. 16 after they said they received several phone calls and emails from people concerned that his Facebook posting could indicate he might be plotting a similar crime.
“I’m so happy somebody shot up all those little [expletives]. Viva la School Shootings,” Resovsky wrote Dec. 15 on his Facebook page.
Police Lt. Dave Birckbichler said Resovsky claimed he did not harbor ill intentions. Rather, the man said, he was trying to show his girlfriend how people can put things on the Internet “no matter how stupid.”
On Dec. 14, a gunman killed 20 children and six adults inside Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
The ACLU of Ohio argued on Resovsky’s behalf that his statements were protected under the First Amendment.
On Friday, the Medina city law director told the court he had reviewed the facts and determined Resovsky’s statements were constitutionally protected, the ACLU said in a written news release.
“His comments may have offended people, but that is not illegal,” ACLU of Ohio Legal Director James Hardiman said.
“One of the many terrible things about tragedies like the Connecticut shooting is the climate of fear and anxiety they create all over the country,” Hardiman added. “In times like these, a clear legal line must be drawn between threatening behavior and protected free speech. This clarity helps protect our communities as well as the First Amendment.”
©2013 the Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)
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