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Jan 4 - Court upholds right to give police the finger

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 Jan 4 - Court upholds right to give police the finger
Unread 01-04-2013, 04:53 PMJoined Apr 2006 - away - #1
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DNa BRoWN 20 heat pts20 space
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You cannot be arrested for giving the finger to police, according to a Thursday ruling in a federal appeals court.

A New York man, John Swartz, was followed by police, arrested and charged with disorderly conduct in 2006 when, according to court filings, he saw police officers with a radar detector at an intersection and “expressed his displeasure … by reaching his right arm outside the passenger side window and extending his middle finger over the car’s roof.”

The charges against Swartz were dismissed on speedy trial grounds, but he then brought a damages claim against the police — a claim that was tossed out in a lower Albany court when the judge sided with the police’s account that they had followed the man believing his hand gesture to be some sort of distress signal. On Thursday, however, the appeals court ruled against this conclusion, noting “the nearly universal recognition that this gesture is an insult.” (The ruling highlights the ancient history of the insult in its footnotes, pointing out that Aristophanes wrote of Strepsiades flipping off Aristotle).

“Such a gesture alone cannot establish probable cause to believe a disorderly conduct violation has occurred,” the ruling stated. Swartz can now take his damages claim against the police back to a lower court and the rest of us can rest a.ssured that flipping the bird at authority is protected.

Swartz’s lawyer went so far as to call Thursday’s ruling an “important victory for civil rights.” He told local reporters, “It reaffirms that just because you insult a police officer doesn’t give that police officer the right to detain you or arrest you and take away your liberty.”

Court upholds right to give police the finger - Salon.com
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8 comments for "Jan 4 - Court upholds right to give police the finger"

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Unread 01-04-2013, 06:26 PMJoined Jan 2004 - away - #2
cashrules93  space
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Fred P 10.27.78 - 6.27.11
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as long as you dont threaten a cop you can say what you want...you can say "i think youre a fu*kin as*hole" and that falls under our right to criticize the government. i wouldnt recommend it, may not get arrested but you might get your head bounced off the hood of the cruiser.
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Unread 01-04-2013, 07:02 PMJoined Jan 2013 - away - #3
Quest7 147 heat pts147 space
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Originally Posted by cashrules93
as long as you dont threaten a cop you can say what you want...you can say "i think youre a fu*kin as*hole" and that falls under our right to criticize the government. i wouldnt recommend it, may not get arrested but you might get your head bounced off the hood of the cruiser.

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Unread 01-04-2013, 08:52 PMJoined Jan 2004 - away - #4
DIGI 101 heat pts101 space
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Originally Posted by cashrules93
as long as you aren't blackk you can say what you want...you can say "i think youre a fu*kin as*hole" if you're not black and that falls under our right to criticize the government. i wouldnt recommend it, may not get arrested but you might get you beaten or shot if you're black.
fixed
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Unread 01-04-2013, 09:01 PMJoined Jan 2004 - away - #5
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Fred P 10.27.78 - 6.27.11
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That's better thanks
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Unread 01-04-2013, 09:19 PMJoined May 2010 - away - #6
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Originally Posted by <<InphDigi>>
fixed
never fails
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Unread 01-05-2013, 11:56 AMJoined Jan 2005 - away - #7
choong 9 heat pts space
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Court upholds right to give police the finger
ewwww
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Unread 01-05-2013, 05:03 PMJoined Oct 2005 - away - #8
foshomoney 73 heat pts73 space
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that fact this had to go to court proves the retardation of babylon system
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Unread 01-05-2013, 05:08 PMJoined May 2012 - away - #9
ThaLockerRoom 27 heat pts27 space
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Originally Posted by <<InphDigi>>
fixed
True.
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