When James Webb saw a police officer conducting a traffic stop in a gas station parking lot, the Michigan man said he decided to turn up the music.
He was already playing NWA's "F--- the Police" when he rolled up to the gas station in Pontiac, Michigan, Webb told Fox2, so he decided to increase the volume and went inside the store.
He told WXYZ that it was "a form of protest."
"I went over there with all my windows down, the music was loud," Webb said. "I knew what I was doing."
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"It was already up but I turned it up louder," the man added to Fox2. "Didn't mean no violence, nothing, as a complete form of protest."
The officer began to question Webb after the man left the store and tried to return to his car, attorney Nick Somberg said in an interview with MLive. The deputy from the Oakland County Sheriff's Office ended up giving him a misdemeanor ticket, which Somberg said he intends to challenge in court if necessary.
Webb shared an image of the ticket on Facebook.
According to a police report obtained by WDIV, the police officer said he didn't care about the song — but rather issued the ticket because others nearby, including children, might not have liked the loud music and the explicit lyrics.
The city of Pontiac has a law that says, “It shall be unlawful for any person to permit the continuance of any unreasonably loud, disturbing noise, which disturbs the comfort or safety of others within the city limits of Pontiac," as reported by WXYZ.
Somberg said he doesn't believe that the officer's decision to ticket Webb had nothing to do with the anti-police lyrics. But if that's the case, he told Fox2, "it's quite the coincidence then."
The lawyer argues that the ticket is a clear violation of Webb's constitutional rights, according to MLive, and agreed to represent the man for free.
"I think the ticket is bulls---," Somberg said.
And the man whom the police officer originally pulled over told Fox2 in an interview that the officer seemed frustrated by the message of the song.
"The cop was talking to me, handing me my ticket, and was like 'is he playing that for me?'" Dejuante Franklin told Fox2. "I was like 'I don't know him, you ask him that question.' He was like 'I'm sick of this...I'm going over there now'."
No matter what happens, Webb said he's standing by his decision to play the song.
"I just believe what I believe in," he told WXYZ, "and I was just doing it in a sign of protest."
In 2006, a police officer arrested a man named John Swartz in New York after he gave the middle finger to officers, according to The Huffington Post. The police charged him with disorderly conduct, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit ruled in 2013 that the arrest was unconstitutional.
The “ancient gesture of insult is not the basis for a reasonable suspicion of a traffic violation," the ruling said, "or impending criminal activity.”