Flipping Off a Police Officer is Constitutional

A federal appeals court recently ruled on the constitutionality of giving a cop the finger.


While it's probably not a wise thing to do, "flipping off" a cop with your middle finger is not reason enough to get you pulled over and arrested.

The Huffington Post reports that a 14-page opinion released by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit ruled Jan. 3, that the "ancient gesture of insult is not the basis for a reasonable suspicion of a traffic violation or impending criminal activity."

The "ancient gesture", however, is what got John Swartz in trouble in May 2006. The Huffington Post reports that Swartz and his wife "Judy Mayton-Swartz sued two police officers who arrested Swartz in May 2006 after he flipped off an officer who was using a radar device at an intersection in St. Johnsville, N.Y. Swartz was later charged with a violation of New York's disorderly conduct statute, but the charges were dismissed on speedy trial grounds."

In July 2011, a federal judge in the Northern District of New York granted summary judgement to the police officers but the Jan. 3 decision erased that and ordered the lower court to take up the case again.

So, tell us - would you give a cop the middle finger?

William J Rowe Sr January 06, 2013 at 04:43 PM
can you really give a police officer the finger? . then what
chris blocke January 06, 2013 at 05:33 PM
would never do that
D. Wag January 07, 2013 at 12:16 AM
Folks who throw the finger at ANYONE have ZERO class.
Rich January 07, 2013 at 12:58 AM
So lets abide by our rights and start to flip off people as an exmaple to our children to teachers, cops, firemen, soldiers, ministers, clerks, other drivers, doctors just to be sure they know we have some Constitutional right to be rude, disrespectful and basically jerk. Thanks to this reporter for such a great use of time and space to help mankind - this wonderful insight into our guaranteed rights. Maybe the reporter and Patch could publish how to make heroin, a dirty bomb, and best methods of terrorist as this is covered by free speech of the reporter in the Constitution.


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