Police Remove Political Yard Sign After Claims It Depicts Juvenile Sex Abuse
Hamilton, TX – A homemade political yard sign was taken by police after the city says the owner asked them to take it following numerous complaints.
The sign showed GOP elephant in red, white and blue with its trunk up a female's skirt.
The female on the sign was saying "Help."
The sign also said, “Your vote matters,” according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
There were other signs nearby promoting Democrats from U.S. Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke to Agricultural Commissioner candidate Kim Olson.
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller stated in a Facebook post that this “is supposed to be Judge Kavanaugh’s young daughter. The Democrat sleaze knows NO bounds!”
Marion Stanford was the homeowner who posted the sign.
"Here we have a political party that is using women," Stanford said, according to the Dallas Morning News. "I thought the sign represented what is going on now, and we can't just stand quiet. I wanted to tell people we could stop it with voting."
Stanford said she made the sign after watching Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testify last week about the sexual assault allegations against him.
"That was not Judge Kavanaugh’s daughter,” Stanford said, according to the Dallas Morning News. “The cartoon was made last year by Washington Post cartoonist Ann Telnaes, a Pulitzer Prize winner. … There's nothing in my sign that remotely suggests it's Kavanaugh's daughter."
Stanford said the police came to her house on Tuesday evening and said they had received complaints. Stanford said she was told by the police she had to remove the sign or they would take it and arrest her.
“So I let them take the sign,” Stanford said, according to the Dallas Morning News.
Pete Kampfer, the city manager of Hamilton, said the police did not mention arrest and did not forcibly take the sign.
“It’s political season, and a citizen here placed a yard sign that featured a political animal taking an inappropriate position with a young child,” Kampfer said, according to the Dallas Morning News. “A police member visited the owner’s home, and the owner asked the officer to take the sign.”
Kampfer said the sign is still at the police station. Dale Carpenter, a Southern Methodist University law professor, reviewed the sign and said it was fully protected under the First Amendment.
“There is no basis I can see for removing the sign,” Carpenter said, according to the Dallas Morning News. “It’s not obscene, and no court would find it to be. You can say it’s offensive or distasteful, but that’s protected under the Constitution.”
Miller posted Oct. 4 on Facebook that Stanford threatened to sue him.
“I'm glad that I called out this offensive campaign sign and am pleased that hundreds of others did so as well,” Miller wrote. “It's vulgar and just plain wrong and it had no place in someone's yard visible from the street. I appreciate the Hamilton, Texas Police Department taking action and asking it's owner to to take it down. Not only was the sign an attack on Judge Brett Kavanaugh's daughter, it made a mockery of sexual assault which is NO laughing matter. The sign's owner even threatened to sue me for bringing it to the public's attention. I told her to ‘Bring It!’”