04 December 2012

Is this protected speech?

A few days ago, a Baltimore blogger was sitting in his home when the Baltimore Police brought their SWAT team to arrest him. While the police were outside, he was tweeting and broadcasting live audio, including his phone call with a police negotiator (read here for the story).

One of the principle issues surrounded the fact that the police department sent the SWAT team to arrest someone for a failure-to-appear (FTA) on a probation violation (added to the fact that his probation had since ended).

Knowing that there was a warrant for his arrest, he tweeted this:

(image here in case the tweet gets deleted)

He also tweeted a lot of other things, including other threats of violence, and about his impending death.

Additionally, he has a conviction for assault and a weapons charge.

Are you surprised, then, when the police showed up with a SWAT team?

More importantly, given the situation, what the police knew, what he knew, do you think the tweet above considered protected speech?
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