Man arrested for holding sign, warning drivers of speed trap
FRISCO, Texas (CNN) – A Frisco man argues that his First Amendment right was violated when officers arrested him for going against the city’s sign ordinance.
Ron Martin says he was simply trying to warn other drivers to slow down when officers arrested him last October for holding a sign that alerted drivers to a speed trap nearby.
Martin said, “I think it’s absolutely important for officers to be on the streets and enforce laws.”
According to Martin’s arrest report, officers say they saw drivers waving at them before seeing Martin standing in the center median.
It said he was, “holding a sign in his right hand up over his shoulders that read, ‘Police Ahead.”
Martin says he wants people to drive slower though his community, including police officers.
Martin said, “Ultimately, we’re trying to do the exact same thing. I just don’t wear a uniform. I’m the same thing as a speed limit sign, just reminding people that there is a limit here.”
When two officers drove over to Martin, he pulled out his phone and recorded his own arrest.
Frisco police cited him for violating the city’s sign ordinance, which says the person holding a sign has to be on private property.
According to CNN- affiliate WFAA, Martin was in the median.
However, Martin says the ordinance shouldn’t apply to him since he is not a business.
On Wednesday, he made his first court appearance on the charge.
He has pleaded not guilty and has requested a Feb. 21 trial date.
The police department says it will not address this case publicly until the courts are finished with it.
He is only facing a misdemeanor charge but Martin says the issue is really about free speech.