A Texas woman who gained notoriety last week for driving a pickup truck sporting a expletive-laden anti-Trump sticker on the back window added a new message to her vehicle.
Karen Fonseca’s truck’s original message boldly stated, “F*** Trump and f*** you for voting for him.” Her new message targeted the Fort Bend County sheriff: “F*** Troy Nehls and f*** you for voting for him.” The swear word isn’t censored on the stickers.
What’s the story?
Earlier this month, Nehls posted on his personal Facebook page asking for help in finding the driver of the truck with the anti-Trump sticker. In the post, he said he received numerous complaints about the expletive message, and the county prosecutor was considering charging the driver with disorderly conduct.
“If you know who owns this truck or it is yours, I would like to discuss it with you,” Nehls wrote.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas responded to the sheriff on Facebook. “Constitutional Law 101: You can’t ban speech just because it has ‘f@ck’ in it,” the organization posted, according to the Houston Chronicle. “Hey truck owner, feel free to contact the ACLU of Texas.”
The sheriff deleted the social media post after a free speech firestorm ensued.
The sticker has been on her truck for nearly a year, Fonseca told The Associated Press, adding she has no plans to remove it.
“It’s not to cause hate or animosity,” Fonseca said, according to the Chronicle. “It’s just our freedom of speech, and we’re exercising it.”
What else happened?
On Thursday, police arrested Fonseca on an outstanding felony warrant unrelated to the profane message on her vehicle.
Fonseca’s felony warrant stemmed from a June 29, 2015, case for alleged fraudulent possession or use of identifying information, according to the Chronicle. A grand jury reviewed the case in July 2017 and issued a warrant at that time.
The 46-year-old woman said she believes police arrested her because of the message on the truck, KHOU-TV reported. The pickup belongs to her husband, Mike.
“People abuse the badge, and in my opinion, money talks. When you’re in politics, people know how to work the system,” Fonseca told KHOU. “It’s hard to believe that a simple sticker could cause so much arousal. I have no regrets.”
Police released Fonseca after posting $1,500 bail.
During a news conference Monday, Fonseca told reporters that she’s not backing down and may file a civil rights lawsuit against the sheriff.
“I’m just one person,” she said on Monday during a news conference. “But if I can be used as bait for Troy Nehls to try to gain … supporters for him in his upcoming race for Congress against Pete Olson, then this is how the system works: Pick on the people who are vulnerable and step in and turn their lives around for gain.”
Nehls, a Republican who’s considering a run for Congress, told KHOU he isn’t surprised and called the message “somewhat disgusting.”
Fonseca’s selling what now?
Fonseca told KHOU she didn’t ask for the attention she’s gained since her story went viral, but she’s going to cash in on it.
“I never chose to be in the news at all,” said Fonseca. “Until Troy Nehls made it public on his personal Facebook page.”
She and her children are selling the now infamous “F-Trump” stickers designed by young Fort Bend County Democrats for $15 each.
Fonseca also plans to sell “F-Troy Nehls” bumper stickers.
Money raised by stickers sold by Fort Bend County Democrats will go toward a voter registration drive aimed at getting elderly voters to the polls, according to KHOU.