Daniel Martins was arrested by Nassau County police on June 6 for holding an “Impeach Obama” sign on an overpass above the Long Island Expressway in New York.
Martins filmed the police confronting and arresting him on his cell phone (video below).
The Hofstra University student claimed he was expressing his First Amendment rights, but the police officers said he was creating a dangerous distraction for drivers on the highway and might cause an accident.
Martins, who has been holding his sign on the same overpass every Friday since September 2013, was charged with disorderly conduct and being a criminal nuisance, reports News 12 (video below).
Martins and his attorney held a news conference on Tuesday, declared his innocence and accused the police of violating his First Amendment rights.
"[Prosecutors] would rather bargain and plea down violent drug and DWI offenders, but I’m being prosecuted for peacefully protesting, which is completely legal,” Martins told CBS New York. “It doesn’t make any sense to me. If that’s justice, then our Founding Fathers would be turning in their graves.”
In response, the Nassau District Attorney’s Office issued a statement: “Political protesters have a First Amendment right to display signs and flags, but they cannot create a public safety hazard in the process. We continue to review this case."
According to the New York State Department of Transportation, only municipalities can give people to permission to post signs on state highways.