BLUE RAPIDS, Kan. — A Kansas town has dropped all charges against a man prosecuted for flying a flag outside his home with a profanity against President Joe Biden, a civil rights group said Wednesday.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas got involved after the city of Blue Rapids charged David Sain in August with promoting obscenity. The ACLU sent the city a letter saying the prosecution was unconstitutional and should be dismissed.
"This was a clear violation of the First Amendment," Sharon Brett, legal director of the ACLU of Kansas, said in a news release. "Each of us, Mr. Sain included, enjoys a constitutionally protected right to freedom of speech."
The city added an additional claim of public nuisance. The ACLU said both charges were related to Sain's exercise of free speech rights, although the added claim also mentioned other issues on his property.
In October, the city amended the complaint to drop the obscenity charge, but insisted on pursuing the nuisance claim. The ACLU argued in a motion that the prosecution was not just unlawful, but retaliatory. All charges were later dropped.
"I'm grateful that I can continue to express myself with my flag without the fear of prosecution," Sain said.
Blue Rapids officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.