According to M Live, James Webb, who is a white man, stopped at a gas station in June when he noticed that a Sheriff’s deputy had pulled over a Black driver named Dejuante Franklin. As a “form of protest,” Webb pulled up near Franklin’s car playing N.W.A.’s 1984 hit and left it blaring while he went into the store.
“I went over there and played that song loud. I meant to do it to the officer but as a form of protest,” Webb told Fox 2 News. “It was already up but I turned it up louder. Didn’t mean no violence, nothing, as a complete form of protest.”
Franklin said the music angered the deputy.
“The cop was talking to me, handing me my ticket, and was like ‘is he playing that for me?’” Franklin said. “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.’”
The officer reportedly followed Webb into the store and issued him a ticket for a noise complaint. In the police report, the officer specifically noted that the music was vulgar and offensive.
But instead of paying the ticket, Webb decided to fight the ticket in court, facing a higher fine of $500 and 93 days in jail.
“You got people standing out here and you’re playing ‘F*ck tha Police’ cause I’m sitting right here,” said the offended deputy. “I don’t care if it’s any other rap song, he’s dropping the F-bomb and cursing and swearing, nobody wants to hear that.”
Webb’s attorney, Nicholas Somberg, shot down the officer’s reasoning, noting that the music couldn’t have possibly disturbed anyone, even the people who were trying to sleep at the BP gas station. Somberg also had video proof that the officer wasn’t necessarily offended by the F-word.
“The police officer’s reasoning was that he said this music was vulgar,” Somberg said in court. “And part of the vulgarity was that it used the F-word, but we had on the video that the first man the officer had pulled over; the officer is dropping F-bombs with him. So why is it OK for this man to hear the F-word but not other people?”
It took the jury less than 10 minutes to find Webb not guilty.