Three swear words could land Chandler woman in jail

Posted at 6:43 AM, Oct 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-18 14:48:40-04

While standing in her house, 71-year-old Miriam Ingram yelled “___ you ___! ___ you!” to her neighbors last July. It was over a long-standing dispute with her neighbor over smoking.

Ingram’s neighbors recorded her yelling and then called police. 

Body cam footage shows a Chandler police officer talking with Ingram about what happened.  

In the police report, the officer wrote: “When I told her that I had a recording of her yelling ‘___ you ___! ___ you!’ She said that she yelled that from her back door into her own back yard. I told her that she could not yell that at her neighbor from her backyard.”

Ingram is now charged with disorderly conduct.

According to Arizona law, "a person commits disorderly conduct if, with intent to disturb the peace or quiet of a neighborhood, family or person, or with knowledge of doing so, such person."

Ingram’s attorney Marc Victor filed a motion to dismiss the charge and says this is a first amendment issue.

“It may be offensive speech but offensive speech is protected,” said Victor. “This case presents the questions is it a crime to swear at another person and the answer is — not in a free society.”

Victor says there are times when certain words aren’t protected but that’s not in Ingram’s case.

There is a hearing later this month on the motion to dismiss the case.