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Michigan man says he was ticketed for playing song with anti-police lyrics

Posted at 9:51 PM, Jun 06, 2018

A lawyer is up in arms after his client got a ticket for noise amplification in Pontiac while playing NWA's "F--- The Police" too loud.  

The attorney said he believes his client got the ticket because of the song he was playing.

Attorney Nick Somberg said the ticket shouldn't have been issued in the first place and said he will fight for his client all the way to a jury trial if necessary. 

"I wonder if he would do the same thing if it was 'I love the police,'" Somberg said.

He added that his client was singled out, not for the loud music, but for the songs lyrics.

"I’m pretty sure it was the content of the music which sort of triggered this officer," Somberg said.

The song, "F--- The Police" by NWA hit a soft spot for officers, especially after the group performed it at Joe Louis Arena in 1989, causing chaos in the crowd. 

"I knew what I was doing," said James Webb, the driver. "I went over there with all my windows down, the music was loud. I knew what I was doing... but as a form of protest," Webb said.

Webb received the ticket on June 5 at the BP gas station at Walton and Telegraph.  

According to the City of Pontiac ordinance section 58-203 general prohibition. It states, in part:  “It shall be unlawful for any person to permit the continuance of any unreasonably loud, disturbing noise, which disturbs the comfort or safety of others within the city limits of Pontiac.”

"There was no person who came forward to the officer and say, 'hey this music is offending me or disturbing me'," Somberg said.

Scripps station WXYZ in Detroit reached out to the Oakland County Sheriff's Office for comment.

The office said the ticket is like any other misdemeanor. 

The individual will present themselves and the deputy in front of a magistrate judge and plead their cases.

"Once they look at the ticket, and see that it’s a little silly," Somberg said. "However, since it’s a misdemeanor, he does have full due process rights.  We have the right to take this all the way to a jury trial," Somberg said.

Webb says he didn't mean any disrespect towards the deputy or law enforcement. 

"I just believe what I believe in and I was just doing it in a sign of protest," he said.

Somberg said he found out about the incident after someone tagged him on a Facebook post and is handling the case pro bono.