MEDINA, OH – Today, the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio filed a not guilty plea in Medina Municipal Court on behalf of Joseph W. Resovsky, a Columbia Station man charged with inducing panic for his online commentary made in the aftermath of the tragic school shootings in Sandy Hook, Connecticut.

“We believe the defendant's statements are protected speech under the First Amendment,” said ACLU of Ohio Legal Director James Hardiman. “His attention-seeking comments made no direct threats. They may have been in bad taste, and they may have offended people, but our Constitution makes it very clear that offending people is not illegal.”

“It's also important to remember that arresting people for non-threatening protected speech only makes it harder for communities to recognize true danger,” added Hardiman. “In times like these, it's more important than ever for schools, police departments, and community leaders to use their heads as well as their hearts when dealing with these free speech issues. We can keep our communities safe without sacrificing the First Amendment.”