Entertainment » Culture

It’s a Wonderful Life: Louisiana Woman Allowed to Hang Foul Xmas Lights

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Tuesday Dec 25, 2012

A Louisiana woman has a strange way of expressing holiday cheer.

After having a run in with local police for hanging up Christmas lights in the shape of the middle finger, a district court ruled that Sarah Childs could display the offensive holiday decorations, Mediaite reports.

Childs of Denham Springs, La., claims that the lights were intended to tell off neighbors, but once the authorities got wind of the glowing middle finger, they threatened to arrest her. According to the article, Childs was in the middle of a fight with neighbors last month and decided to kill two birds with one stone: by getting into the holiday spirit and hanging her Christmas lights in the shape of the ultimate "F you."

Neighbors, however, fought back, reported Childs to the police, and the disgruntled woman took down the controversial lights - at first. Shortly after, Childs put the middle finger back up and this time police said they would have to place her under arrest because she was violating the city's "obscenity statue." The only problem is that Denham Springs doesn't have an "obscenity statue" and the local authorities apparently made up the law.

The police slapped Childs with two unrelated tickets that lawyers call a "collateral attack," prompting her to contact the local ACLU to help her in her lawsuit. The tickets were for obstructing the flow of traffic because she was walking down the street, the other for disturbing the peace while singing a song about her tiff with neighbors while on her property.

When Childs' case was brought before Judge James Brady, he ultimately ruled in her favor and issued an order that temporarily prohibited police from meddling with holiday displays. Brady said that when police made Childs' take down her middle finger it violated her right to free speech and due process. A full hearing, however, will take place on Jan. 7 in Baton Rouge.


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