Briefing Room: rude, but not illegal

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Dear Lt. Nicholas,

Just now a lady was walking on our quiet street, repeatedly swearing LOUDLY into her phone. My first thought: We have a lot of little kids on this street. My second thought: This isn’t enjoyable for any age group. Is there anything that can be done about exceptionally rude people like this please?

John

Hi John,

Thank you so much for your question, as we receive this inquiry frequently.  Speech, even swearing and using profanity, is generally protected under the First Amendment, unless it is directly pitched to you and it is threatening in nature.  Regarding the lady yelling profanities on your street, even in front of your children, although it is certainly disrespectful, at the minimum, unfortunately it is not against the law.  All that being written, the Seal Beach Police Department’s Mission is to “Drive down crime and improve the quality of life for all residents, businesses, and visitors of Seal Beach.”  If you ever feel as though your quality of life is being impacted, please call us on our non-emergency number (562) 594-7232, as we’d be more than happy to respond and assess/address the situation.

Thanks again John and please keep your questions coming Seal Beach!  Email me at askacop@sealbeachca.gov today!

Briefing Room: rude, but not illegal