Flipping Off Cops Is Legal, Not Advised

From Wired:

Flipping the bird, or sticking out the middle finger, is perhaps the oldest insulting gesture on earth. The move dates back to ancient Greece and was adopted by the Romans as digitus impudicus — the impudent finger.A zillion middle fingers later, an Oregon man is suing suburban Portland cops (.pdf) over his use of the gesture, claiming civil rights violations. Twice he flipped them off for no apparent reason while driving and was pulled over each time — resulting in what he said was a “bogus” traffic citation that was later dismissed, and a tongue lashing he still remembers.

“The guy flew into a road rage,” Robert Ekas, a retired Silicon Valley systems analyst, said in a telephone interview Tuesday.

Lawrence Wolf, a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, said there was no law against flipping off cops. And in most instances when it leads to an arrest or conviction, the charges are dismissed. But the gesture invites police confrontation, he said.

“It’s certainly not the smartest thing one can do,” Wolf said.

[Read more at Wired]

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  • radiac

    This guy unfortunately seems to have a chip on his shoulder, but he does make a good point: The issue really does needs addressing. Cops are hired to “protect & serve”, and they should be above such a commonplace insult. Oh and yeah, the whole freedom of speech thing.

  • Word Eater

    “In November, a Pittsburgh man was awarded $50,000 after he was wrongly cited for disorderly conduct after flipping off an officer.”

    That's good to know. If you fight it, you win.

    protect and serve my brothers, protect and serve

  • tonyviner

    To serve and protect to serve.

  • pb

    This would be more drama than I care for or need. Fuck the police and a 502. Pass on by, pig. Ain't got no business with you.

  • Joseph

    Disliking the police and being disrespectful are two different things. If you act like an ass, be prepared to be treated like one.

    • S Monarch

      Agreed

  • UNSANE

    Do these pigs take the time to wonder WHY people dont like them? lol, i highly doubt it.

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