Ares Amour founder Dimitri Karras posted messages to the department's Facebook page that eventually lead the department to take down their page. Sheriff’s spokeswoman Jan Caldwell said the posts included profanity.
“I’m not saying you can’t say it," Caldwell said. "You can say it, and I support you with that right –- you just cant say it on our property.”
“Jan Caldwell came out and said, 'I’m a strong supporter of the First Amendment,'" Karras said. “'I didn’t say you couldn’t say those things. I just said you couldn’t say them on our page.' Well it’s not your page Jan. It’s the public's page.”
Karras says he sued the department in October 2014 for violating his constitutional right to free speech after his comments were removed from the sheriff's Facebook page and he was banned from posting to the page.
"There’s no right for you not to be offended by something," Karas said. "The first amendment protects unpopular speech. That’s the whole reason it exists in the first place."
According to attorney Brian Watkins, Karras has every right to voice his opinion no matter the content.
“If the sheriff’s department promotes something and they want to hear from the public, they have to hear both good and bad,” Watkins said.
Caldwell said comments posted by follower of Karras were profane and inappropriate, and that forced the department to shut down the site.
“We didn’t want to litigate hundred of thousand of dollars toward this case.” Caldwell said.
Instead, they settled case, agreeing to pay about $23,000 in legal fees and $20 to Karras. The former Marine, who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, said he had to take a stand to protect the Constitution.
“People gave their lives for those rights, and people should start standing up and protecting them,” he said.