'F__k Trump' driver considering civil rights lawsuit against sheriff

KHOU 11's Stephanie Whitfield reports from the Fort Bend County Justice Center in Texas

FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas -- The owner of the truck with the controversial "F__k Trump" sticker added a new one over the weekend: "F__k Troy Nehls."

Karen Fonseca and her family are making it clear they aren't backing down.

Along with her attorney and family, Fonseca held a press conference outside the Fort Bend County Justice Center Monday morning "regarding the injustice against" her by "Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy E. Nehls."

Related: Woman with 'F__k Trump' sticker adds new one: 'F__k Troy Nehls'

Her attorney said they are considering filing civil rights lawsuit against the sheriff.

Her supporters say they are "fighting to protect her against the political target placed on her for simply exercising her First Amendment Right to Free Speech in opposition to President Trump!"

(You can watch the entire press conference below. Skip to 7:30 for the start.)

Facebook Video: Watch Monday's press conference

Fonseca's daughters also spoke at Monday's press conference.

“You haven't been with my mom for 18 years.That's my hero right there. She's everything,” Fonseca’s daughter said after her family received backlash last week.

"No matter what race, religion, or belief you may have, we are all equal. Not any one of us is any better than anyone else. Everyone's voice should be heard. And I'm just one person," mom Karen Fonseca said at the press conference.

"What are we teaching our next generation of presidents to be?... If you can say ‘grab those women by the p****,’” Fonseca said, referencing President Trump. "He says it and nobody deletes it.”

Fonseca originally made headlines after Nehls threatened to arrest her for the anti-Trump sticker on her pickup. His Facebook post went viral and thousands of commenters defended the sticker as free speech. 

 

Fonseca was arrested hours later an outstanding fraud warrant from 2014.

She said Monday, however, the sheriff's Facebook post only strengthened her case.

"He actually put us out there and more recognized than it ever has been before. And to me, it's been coming back as a positive for going ahead standing up and not backing down," said Fonseca.

But Fonseca was also joined by State Ron Reynolds, who demanded an apology from Nehls for “making her family’s life a nightmare."

The sheriff responded Monday afternoon in a lengthy statement: 

"Last week, I received complaints from Fort Bend County residents regarding the window sticker on her truck, which states, “F*** Trump, and F*** You for voting for him.”  The residents informed me they were offended at the language displayed on the truck, and I asked for a photo. I received the photo of the truck with the sticker, but the photo failed to display the license plate number of the truck.

     I asked my office to post the photo of the truck with the sticker on my “Sheriff Troy Nehls” Facebook page, and obscured the offensive language.  The intent behind the post was to identify the owner of the truck with the intent on speaking with that person(s) and have a conversation with the owner regarding the complaints I received and a possible modification of the sticker.  My post also included my office phone number.

     As a result of the posting, we received information which helped us identify the owner of the truck. Once we identified the owner of the truck, we took down the post. As a result of the publicity, we also received information that Karen Fonseca was wanted on a Felony warrant pursuant to a grand jury indictment. 

     Once we verified the outstanding warrant, steps were taken to serve the warrant.  This warrant was served in a professional manner and without publicity on the part of the Sheriff’s Office.  It is to be noted that the case surrounding this warrant was not one investigated by the Sheriff’s Office; we only served the Felony warrant.

     The facts in this case as I see them are that Karen Fonseca wanted to place her feelings into the public realm by driving around with an obscenity on her vehicle.  She got just that -- much public recognition.  This recognition did not cause her to be indicted by a grand jury for Felony Fraud (this happened back in August of 2017), but it did bring the subsequent warrant to our attention and we did our job by arresting her.

     In the beginning of this incident, I was hopeful that the person driving around with an obscenity for full view of all (including children) would be reasonable and would be willing to talk about coming to an agreed solution that satisfied her 1st Amendment rights while respecting the rights of parents and others offended by this display of an obscenity. 

     Having heard her talk in the public since the beginning of this, I am now quite aware that no such hope for a calm and reasonable discussion exists with her.  This is sad and I hope that in the end she can come to see that just because citizens may have the legal right to do something, it does not always make it the right thing to do.

     Neither I nor the Sheriff’s Office will be issuing further statements concerning this matter as it relates to these now past events as it only serves to bring added publicity to this display of obscenity.-Sheriff Troy Nehls"

Related: Woman with 'F__k Trump' sticker arrested

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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