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Bills Around Protest In Ohio And Kentucky Draw Free-Speech Scrutiny

george floyd protest cincinnati
Jason Whitman

A number of bills have sprung up in state legislatures around the country following unrest over police killings of Black people, including some that seek penalties for those who direct harsh language at police.

Such proposed laws, including bills in Ohio and Kentucky, call up long-running debates about the relationship between free speech and police power. Is offensive language directed at law enforcement an example of "fighting words" and subject to criminal penalties? Or is it protected by the First Amendment?

Joining Cincinnati Edition are Kentucky State Senator Danny Carroll, who championed one such bill last session; civil rights attorney and Northern Kentucky University Law Professor Jennifer Kinsley; andACLU of Ohio Senior Staff Attorney David Carey. 

Listen to Cincinnati Edition live at noon M-F. Audio for this segment will be uploaded after 4 p.m. ET.

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Michael Monks brings a broad range of experience to WVXU-FM as the host of Cincinnati Edition, Cincinnati Public Radio's weekday news and information talk show.