Man Arrested for Yard Sign

A Valley Center, Kansas man was arrested and charged with “criminal defamation” for placing a sign in his own front yard that was critical of the city and specifically the city administrator Joel Pile.

He was cuffed, fingerprinted, booked into the Sedgwick County Jail and released on bail. His crime: putting up a yard sign critical of the Valley Center city administrator.

Jarrod West is out on bail, facing criminal defamation charges for a sign he put in his front yard about persistent flooding issues he says cost him over $50,000 over the last three years. The sign says, “Dear Valley Center, I did not buy Lake Front Property! Fix this problem. This is what I pay taxes for. PS. Joel this means you!” Joel being City Administrator Joel Pile.

“They want me to shut up and go away,” said West. “I’ve got a home to protect. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s mine.”

When City Administrator Joel Pile saw the sign, West was arrested and booked into the Sedgwick County Jail on a criminal charge of defamation. He spent the night behind bars and is now free on a $10,000 bond.

Read the rest here.

When asked about the arrest, Joel Pile said, “People and individuals have an absolute right to free speech. “But however, when they do it and continue to do it within the realms of what we believe is actual malice for the purpose of holding me accountable to the public, we believe that crosses a line (emphasis added).”

While Mr. Pile is obviously a thin-skinned bureaucrat who dispatched the guns of local government to kidnap someone whose opinions differed from his,  it is the officers who carried out the arrest that should feel the full weight of our rebuke.  It takes a special kind of thug to carry out violence against someone simply because he wrote words on a sign that he himself owned.  The foot soldiers of tyranny can easily put down their weapons and refuse to participate in the caging of innocent people, but they choose not to.  Disgusting authoritarians such as Joel Pile would loose all their power if their thugs refused to do the dirty work.


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Paula Parmeley Carter

Paula is a Staff Writer at CopBlock. She advocates ending the monopoly on policing and protection services. When not writing at CopBlock she enjoys being a wife and mother, reading and drinking good beer.