Year ago, the Springfield (IL) Police Department did one of those stings where they round up people with outstanding warrants under the guise of telling them they’ve won some prize and all they have to do is collect it. The suspect comes inside thinking they’re getting a free flat screen, they confirm their identity, they’re put in cuffs.
Apparently the girlfriend of one of the suspects realized what was happening and started warning everyone within earshot what was going on. She was “detained,” according to an article I read about it the next day, but the piece didn’t say what happened to her afterwards.
Seems to be that the First Amendment is pretty clear here that she did nothing wrong. She was giving passer-by factual information, not yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater or inciting insurrection.
So, is it a crime to disrupt undercover police operations (through just words, not actual subterfuge)? If I noticed an unmarked police car doing surveillance on my street and I walked out with a bullhorn and shouted “Cops! Whatever you’re doing, they’re onto you!” is that a crime? What if a teenager recognized a narc at their high school and outed him? What if a truck driver recognized a truck-stop “prostitute” doing undercover and started shadowing her, yelling to all of her johns that she’s a cop?