If "bird" is in fact the word, then call this a vindication of free speech.
A US Court of Appeals has ruled that a driver giving the finger to a police officer does not constitute "reasonable suspicion that criminal activity or a traffic violation was afoot." Prompted by a lawsuit filed by a couple who in 2006 were pulled over and later arrested after flipping a police cruiser the bird, the ruling upends the testimony by a police officer involved that the two were trying to alert him to an imminent crime or crime in progress.
Circuit Judge Jon O. Newman explains:
T]he nearly universal recognition that this gesture is an insult deprives such an interpretation of reasonableness. This ancient gesture of insult is not the basis for a reasonable suspicion of a traffic violation or impending criminal activity. Surely no passenger planning some wrongful conduct toward another occupant of an automobile would call attention to himself by giving the finger to a police officer.
As a general practice I give cops the benefit of the doubt til other evidence may change my mind but I have and I will give the finger to a punk cop. I'm allowed that opinion in the First Amendment and I'd still flip the bird to a punk even if I weren't. The cop in this case perverted his authority just because he took the finger personal. Some things you just have to suck up. This is still America.
As a former law enforcement officer, I too have received the 'middle finger salute' on several occasions, any good officer would return that salute with nimble dexterity without further adieu. Ones usually safe engaging 'smokey' in this manner without recourse. However, I have investigated a couple of shootings that left several dead that emanated over the sign language of 'FU'. Be careful it could happen to you as well......
@MongoAPillager Yes, because as we all know a fedeal judge siding with free speech over a warrantless search and incarceration is the very definition of going against the constitution. <If you missed it, that was sarcasm.
Communicating with cops while driving may cause you to be distracted. Just stick with your "Cops are Wusses" or "Bad Cop No Donut" bumperstickers instead. BTW, when you get pulled over from here on out, it will be because of a broken taillight, and I'm sure the jury will believe you when you tell them the drugs found in your car aren't yours (actually I might if you had those bumperstickers).
I have become so paranoid of cops that before I leave the house I start the vehicle, turn on the lights, check my lights, check my turn signals and use "the club" to check my brake lights. That ole dodge about your broken taillight is probably because the cop broke it.
This article is misleading or I am reading it wrong. The “reasonable suspicion” was probably what the officer stated was his reason for pulling them over. I don’t know why he would have arrested them. If it is for the finger, he should have known it would have gotten thrown out. It is outlandish behavior and if they are causing a distraction to other driver's that is a reason to at least see if they were intoxicated or just a progressive.
It's pretty much accepted that if one is up to something nefarious you wouldn't call a cop's attention to yourself. In the case of the flying finger at a cop there would be a 'reasonable suspicion' that they were just giving the finger.
If you don't know why he arrested them you don't get it. He arrested him because he could. He abused his authority. I hope they sue him and the department and win big enough so every city out there gets the message and orders cops to leave people who give them the finger alone. There are many times when the finger is the least thry deserve.
Based on a similar scenario that happened 35 years ago in NYC. A motorist was arrested for "insulting an officer while in the perfomance of his duty" by giving the cop the middle finger while he was directing traffic. Later....the motorist and the cop both appeared in court over that incidence -- the judge ruled in favor of the motorist as a segment of "free speech." The judge then asked the cop if he had any questions - the cop gave him a disgusted look and give HIM the finger as he walked from the court room....
There's a difference between doing what you are free to do and doing what is wise to do.
On that note... We need a new gesture. The middle finger is passe. No one takes offense to it like they used to. Maybe it's because of our exposure to it in movies... I seem to remember a scene with a young Kristy McNichol where she does the full one arm crossed over the other which is pointing straight up and tipped with a spectacular middle finger...
I tried to find a picture but this description of the "Iberian slap" is the best I could find.
"In countries where Spanish, Portuguese, or French are spoken, and especially on the Iberian peninsula and in some parts of Latin America, a gesture called the Bras d'honneur involving raising a fist and slapping the biceps on the same arm as the fist used, sometimes called the Iberian slap or Iberian finger, is equivalent to the finger."
On further thought, I guess I shouldn;t say that no one takes offense at the middle finger anymore... When it's in an unexpected situation and especially when it's "on the sly"...
I am all for the 1st Amendment, and understand what it means to have freedom of speech. Based on daily interaction with a lot of people, it appears we, as a nation, are doing things "because we can" as opposed to whether or not we should..
Hope the judges who sat on the court of appeals that ruled on this, never need the police...might take sometime getting there, or loose the report and have to refile. Boloing for suspects sure can take a while not to mention if their call isn't "life threatening" it could "pend" for the on coming shift....12 hours later.
@justapirate not at all. You can freely express yourself in any manner you like, just don't bear false witness to the manner in which the enforce the law. Good for goose is good for gander. Or does turn about is fair play work better for you?
It's not very respectful but it's not criminal. Surely our police are made of sterner stuff and can shake off a middle finger. I usually blow kisses to those that give me the finger. That seems to really piss them off.
It's not wrong to flip off cops I cuss at them all time unless their nice cops then ill be cool but unfortunately most cops are power hungry thugs so they think They can treat you how they want I'm a cops worst night mare I know the law I know how to get around the law iv chewed up more than a few cops in my day iv had 1 cop buy me a brand new truck another cop had to fix my truck i break check every cop i can its a good hobbie cops act like traffic laws dont apply to them
Just more proof of the lack of personal responsibility , decency & morals. I truly hate to say this , but , just simply punch them in the forehead with your best shot , perhaps they will understand it's nothing personal - just a another freedom of expression. The 'disorderly conduct' fine would be well worth it. You have an opinion - I have an opinion , so what's the issue .