COBB COUNTY, Ga. - A Cobb County woman believes officers violated her First Amendment right when she was arrested after swearing at them. Now, she’s fighting back.
Amy Barnes said she was riding her bike on Austell Road to get butter for her family Easter Sunday when she saw the two officers. She said she cursed at them and flipped them off, and they came after her.
"They came after me like it was some action movie,” Barnes said.
Barnes is hearing impaired and said that's the reason police gave her for putting her in solitary confinement for 23 hours on a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge. She called it torture.
“Having no clock, no person to speak, to empty walls. We need human contact," she said.
Channel 2’s Liz Artz was with Barnes when she met with her attorney Monday. Cynthia Counts plans to file a federal lawsuit against the Cobb County Police Department for violating her client's freedom of speech.
Artz came forward after seeing a similar report involving another one of Counts’ clients, Mary Kirkendoll, who recently won a $85,000 settlement against Smyrna after she was arrested for cursing during a City Council meeting.
Counts said there are noteworthy distinctions between the two cases.
"It is much more egregious than Mary's. Twenty-three hours in jail for insulting the police is contrary to a free country. It is shocking," Counts said.