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Judge: Man who harassed officers was exercising free speech

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Posted at 11:44 AM, Jul 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-15 12:44:15-04

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — An appellate judge has dismissed disorderly conduct charges against a man who stood outside a police garage and harassed off-duty officers, saying he was exercising his free speech rights.

Aaron Oleston stood outside the police station garage in Janesville in August 2018. He hurled profanity-laced insults at officers. He videotaped one officer as he got into his car from 5 feet away and stuck his camera in front of another officer's car as he tried to leave.

Judge Rachel Anne Graham of the 1st District Court of Appeals threw out three disorderly conduct charges against Oleston on Thursday, finding his insults amounted to free speech. She upheld two other charges related to blocking the officers' vehicles.