Published on: Thursday, March 2, 2023

Stamford, CT, police set up checkpoint designed to catch drivers who were distracted by their phones. Man decided to warn drivers so they could avoid getting a ticket and set up on a nearby public sidewalk with a  “Cops Ahead” sign. What should you do when the police confiscate your handmade sign warning motorists of a nearby "traffic-enforcement operation"? Make another sign, of course! It got him arrested, of course! The charge was ultimately dismissed, with the prosecutor saying that his sign actually helped reduce distracted driving! Man sues for malicious prosecution and violation of free speech. District court: dismisses claims. Second Circuit: No way. Proceed with the claims. There was no probable cause to arrest and the signs were also speech protected by the First Amendment.