A Tennessee man was arrested Friday for alleged harassment after authorities said he distributed a disrespectful photo of a law enforcement officer’s grave on social media.
Joshua Andrew Garton, 28, has been arrested on suspicion of harassment and jailed in Dickson County, Tennessee, on a $ 76,000 bail, the Tennessee State Bureau of Investigation said in a statement.
The office said that Garton had recently produced and distributed a fake photo of two men urinating on the grave of the Dickson County sheriff. Sgt. Daniel Baker, Who was fatally shot while performing his duty in 2018.
“I just show my respect to Representative Daniel Baker,” the text accompanying the photo read.
State investigators visited the cemetery and determined that the photo did not depict actual desecration, according to the office.
Nashville attorney Daniel Horowitz, who does not represent Garton, said via email that the arrest appeared to be a violation of the constitution.
“The First Amendment clearly and unequivocally protects this man’s right to publish an offensive picture of a police officer,” he said. “The only people here breaking the law are the police officers and agents of the Central Bank who participated in this flagrantly unconstitutional detention.”
The office said by email that the investigation and arrest were at the request of Attorney General Ray Crouch.
“When the local attorney general requested an investigation into an accident, the bank’s clients act as fact-finders,” said office spokeswoman Leslie Earhart. “The DA determines the fees charged, if any.”
Crouch did not respond to a request for comment on Saturday. The county public defense lawyer also did not respond.
On TwitterHorowitz, a specialist in constitutional law, criticized law enforcement for his arrest.
“I am angry that the government imprisoned someone for not respecting them,” he said.