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Thread: Motorist cannot be stopped for giving police the middle finger

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    Motorist cannot be stopped for giving police the middle finger

    I cannot believe that something like this had to be decided by a court. Police that think arresting folks for such actions seem to have gone off the charts with ego driving their decisions over actually serving the people. And it's such police that actually deserve the bird.

    Appeals court: Motorist cannot be stopped for giving police the middle finger

    A motorist cannot be stopped for “giving the finger” to a police officer, the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.

    In a lawsuit against two police officers, the court held the insulting gesture did not constitute “reasonable suspicion that criminal activity or a traffic violation was afoot.”
    Last edited by poweRob; 01-04-13 at 04:36 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Moderate Right View Post
    The sad fact is that having a pedophile win is better than having a Democrat in office. I'm all for a solution where a Republican gets in that isn't Moore.

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    Re: Motorist cannot be stopped for giving police the middle finger

    The decision was stupid in the face of reality:

    “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.”
    Illustrates the judge knows nothing about human behavior and the stupity of criminals.

    What's the local law say about flipping the bird in public? In some jurisdictions it's the same as cursing in public and there are laws prohibitting such speech, especially around children. I can see this being disorderly conduct under the law. At the very least it falls under the community standards ruling like pornography.

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    Re: Motorist cannot be stopped for giving police the middle finger

    i would advise against giving anyone the finger if that individual has a steering wheel between his or her hands. people lose their damned minds when you put them in a car.

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    Re: Motorist cannot be stopped for giving police the middle finger

    Quote Originally Posted by clownboy View Post
    The decision was stupid in the face of reality:



    Illustrates the judge knows nothing about human behavior and the stupity of criminals.

    What's the local law say about flipping the bird in public? In some jurisdictions it's the same as cursing in public and there are laws prohibitting such speech, especially around children. I can see this being disorderly conduct under the law. At the very least it falls under the community standards ruling like pornography.
    It's just too much authority to give police to be able to arrest someone simply because that person showed a single fleeting sign that didn't like them very much.
    Quote Originally Posted by Moderate Right View Post
    The sad fact is that having a pedophile win is better than having a Democrat in office. I'm all for a solution where a Republican gets in that isn't Moore.

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    Re: Motorist cannot be stopped for giving police the middle finger

    Agree with the court's decision. But that guy was stupid as hell to flick off a cop.
    "A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons." --Hillary Rodham Clinton
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    Re: Motorist cannot be stopped for giving police the middle finger

    Quote Originally Posted by Phys251 View Post
    Agree with the court's decision. But that guy was stupid as hell to flick off a cop.
    Agreed. You shouldn't pull on a lion's tail but the bigger picture IMHO is that the police shouldn't be a lion in our society.
    Quote Originally Posted by Moderate Right View Post
    The sad fact is that having a pedophile win is better than having a Democrat in office. I'm all for a solution where a Republican gets in that isn't Moore.

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    Re: Motorist cannot be stopped for giving police the middle finger

    Quote Originally Posted by poweRob View Post
    It's just too much authority to give police to be able to arrest someone simply because that person showed a single fleeting sign that didn't like them very much.
    Yeah I can see that. What if they were flipping someone else off? How is that different? How about flipping off children, or cursing at them? Should a officer intercede then?

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    Re: Motorist cannot be stopped for giving police the middle finger

    Quote Originally Posted by clownboy View Post
    Yeah I can see that. What if they were flipping someone else off? How is that different? How about flipping off children, or cursing at them? Should a officer intercede then?
    For flipping them off? nah... but I also don't think the police should arrest the parent who punches the guy in the face for doing it.

    If it were just flipping a bird in passing. No. However, I think if they were showing agressive behavior towards someone else that is threatening, the bird would be of minor consequence I think anyways.
    Quote Originally Posted by Moderate Right View Post
    The sad fact is that having a pedophile win is better than having a Democrat in office. I'm all for a solution where a Republican gets in that isn't Moore.

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    Re: Motorist cannot be stopped for giving police the middle finger

    Quote Originally Posted by clownboy View Post
    Yeah I can see that. What if they were flipping someone else off? How is that different? How about flipping off children, or cursing at them? Should a officer intercede then?
    No, I should not be arrested for flipping off children. Or cursing at them. They can leave.
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    We’ll say what? Something like “nothing happened” ... Yeah, we might say something like that.

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    Re: Motorist cannot be stopped for giving police the middle finger

    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
    No, I should not be arrested for flipping off children. Or cursing at them. They can leave.
    The law generally disagrees with you. Though some courts have found flipping police off to be protected FA speech, in those same jurisdictions flipping off a judge in court or a teacher in school is not protected and can be limited by law. In addition, some jurisdictions may find it obscene speech or "fighting words".

    The Obscenity Exception

    The government does have greater latitude to suppress “obscene” speech, but what’s “obscene.” Personally, I can’t define it, but I know it when I see it. Under current Supreme Court precedent, the word “obscene” refers to material that appeals to the prurient interest, depicts or describes sexual conduct in a way that is patently offensive, and lacks serious literary, artistic, or scientific value.[1]

    Political speech is usually not considered obscene. In Cohen v. California, another Vietnam era case, a young man named Paul Cohen was arrested for wearing inside a courthouse a jacket on which he had written “F- the draft” (except that he spelled out the entire F-word). In overturning Cohen’s conviction, the Supreme Court stated that “It cannot plausibly be maintained” that the words on his jacket convey any erotic message that would meet the definition of “obscenity.”

    Them’s Fightin’ Words

    Under the doctrine of “fighting words” a person may be arrested for a “breach of the peace” if his or her words are spoken directly to a person and are likely to provoke violent retaliation. Whether the one-fingered salute can constitute “fighting words” has been the subject of various court cases. Unfortunately, the results haven’t been consistent. In 2000, a federal court in Arkansas held that flipping the bird to a police officer was protected speech and did not constitute “fighting words.”[2] However, on January 13, 2009, a federal court in Maine held that the First Amendment did not protect a man who was arrested for “disorderly conduct” for making the same gesture toward two game wardens.[3]

    Neither of these cases, however, involved a mere picture of an extended middle finger. Whether Tim’s T-shirts are sufficiently inflammatory to drive men to violence would depend upon the situation on the mean streets of Exampletown.

    School for Scandal

    The State may be able to impose limitations on expression in certain other limited contexts. Under the Tinker v. Des Moines case I mentioned a minute ago, school officials could prohibit, say, the wearing of a provocative T-shirt if they have reasonable grounds to believe that the shirt would “substantially and materially disrupt the educational process

    Source
    Notice in Maine the charge was upheld against a fellow who flipped off two game wardens.

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