Becker Cleared Of Charges

Nov 20, 2012


ST. LOUIS, MO — On Nov. 18, the ACLU of Eastern Missouri filed a suit against the City of Poplar Bluff for an unconstitutional ordinance regarding the distribution of handbills without a permit and advance written consent of the operators of each vehicle. The ACLU is representing Brian Becker, who feared arrest after distributing handbills opposing a local $20 million bond initiative for sewer upgrades.

Earlier this month, a Poplar Bluff Police Department officer cited Becker for placing handbills on vehicles without a permit. The officer also wanted to know who provided the handbills, but Becker declined to answer. A Poplar Bluff officer went to the local Office Depot, but employees refused to voluntarily turn over any records regarding who had printed the handbills. Later that evening, an officer with a warrant seized a note with the name and cell phone number of the person who copied the handbills, a receipt, two proofs of the handbills and a thumb drive with digital images of the original handbill design.

“We are challenging this ordinance to make sure that our client and others can freely express their opinions in ways protected by the First Amendment, without fear of fines or arrest,” says Tony Rothert, legal director of the ACLU-EM.

The ACLU-EM is a non-partisan, not-for-profit membership organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of civil liberties in eastern Missouri. Located in St. Louis, the ACLU-EM is an affiliate of the national ACLU.

  1. Terry Wood

    You need to move ever thing out side the city limits where the city can not bother you any more and let them weep over the tax loss.

  2. C. L.

    Hopefully the ACLU will be successful and the people that initiated this will also have to empty some of the “green” out of their pockets to reimburse
    Brian for the expense they have caused him!

  3. Gene Kirby

    I don’t care for the ACLU, but compared to the city government of Poplar Bluff they might be considered saints!

  4. jerry

    glad to see charges dropped ..all this is completely out of hand.. politics is all it is. all though i have no use for the ACLU

  5. Terry

    I am glad you have some good news finally. Big business and City officials tend to do things “their” way just because they are used to having their way and think they can get by with it whether it is legal or not. I guess they think their opinion is always right no matter what the voters thoughts may be. I hope things turn out well for you. The lord be with you and guide you. Remember him in all things and he will take care of you.