Sheriff Gary Long from Butts County had been posting large white signs on his neighborhood in preparation for this year’s Halloween, featuring two large stop-signs with a message that contained: 'WARNING! NO TRICK-OR-TREAT AT THIS ADDRESS!!' to various homes of verified and registered sex offenders in the city, urging families and children to avoid the said houses for the upcoming Halloween night.
This caused an outrage from the group of offenders, who immediately filed a lawsuit against the county Sheriff, and the group claimed to be utterly “humiliated” and “embarrassed” because of the incident, also raising concern that their constitutional rights are being violated because of Long’s actions.
However, it seems that the jury is still undecided over the incident, taking into consideration that the actions do still violate laws and can be counted as trespassing on the offender’s private property as well as the plaintiffs' constitutional rights against forced speech.
Albeit this counts to be their second year to be publicly humiliated since the last year, the group of sex offenders now aim to ask for the judge’s assistance to declare th Sheriff’s action as 'unlawful and invalid.'
The Sheriff has been advised by his lawyer to not make any unnecessary comments regarding the incident until the court decides a lawful action, but has released a statement which he says: 'Regardless of the judge's ruling, I WILL do everything within the letter of the law to protect the children of this community.'
Sheriff Long also posted the issue on his social media account on Facebook, where he states that the judge has not yet given his official ruling and that his office is currently being inundated with various calls pertaining to the incident.
The group seeks a jury trial as well as filing for damages.