The Washington State Supreme Court ruled Thursday swearing and yelling at police is protected free speech. The ruling is from a case where a teen boy swore at police arresting his teen sister for misbehaving while drunk.

The majority opinion was citizens should not have to restrain their criticism of police procedure out of fear of being arrested for obstruction.

Another judge who agreed with the opinion added that obstruction charges are used most often when police are dealing with minorities. Seattle's tiny African American population accounted for more than half of the city's obstruction charges.

Many controversial encounters with police can be avoided if more respect is shown officers. While we want our rights to criticize government and government employees to be protected, we don't want disrespect to officers to increase.