Man claims Oakland County deputy gave him noise violation because of anti-police language in song

James Webb was playing NWA song at gas station

PONTIAC, Mich. – A man is claiming that an Oakland County sheriff's deputy issued a noise violation because he was playing a song with anti-police language.

James Webb pulled into a Pontiac gas station Tuesday playing "[expletive] the Police" by NWA and next to a deputy who was conducting a traffic stop in the parking lot.

"That song just happened to be playing. I'm not going to turn it down because it's my music," Webb said.

Webb said the deputy walked up to his car and asked for his license. 

"I said, 'What for?'  [He] said, 'You can't be playing that. There is a lot of vulgarity and there is children present,'" Webb said.

The deputy issued a misdemeanor ticket for violating Pontiac's noise ordinance, which reads that no one shall create "any unreasonably loud, disturbing, unusual or unnecessary noise which annoys, disturbs or injures."

In his report, the deputy wrote, "I explained to James that I was not offended by his choice of music and or the song he chose to play while at the gas station. I explained to James that his choice of music and the language in the music might be offensive to other patrons at the gas station."

Attorney Nicholas Somberg picked up Webb's case. He is calling it a First Amendment issue.

"From what I have seen so far, the officer basically charged him with a criminal offense based on the content of his music," Somberg said. "Now, I wonder if the officer would have done the same thing if he was playing classical music outside?"

The encounter is under investigation.

About the Authors:

Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been with Local 4 News for more than a decade.