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Posted: 2/5/2002 3:42:13 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/16/2002 3:44:29 AM EDT by drfcolt]
I was watching a "Cops" type show a couple of nights ago and they said that giving the finger IS NOT against the law. Is this true? A cop had just given a guy a ticket and he was really PO'ed. This was recorded on the police car on-board camera. As the guy drove away, he flashed the bird and a caption came up that this was not against the law. I always thought that the finger was a method of cursing. Thanks in advance for any enlightenment.
Link Posted: 2/5/2002 8:34:02 AM EDT
It's not illegal to "flip off" an officer...just stupid. When making nighttime traffic stops, I would flash the high beams once to get the violator's attention before turning on the reds. Occasionally, the doofus would flip me the bird, which usually wilted rapidly when the reds came on. I never let it bother me or make me lean any harder. It was too much fun continuing the contact without bringing it up until the end, when I would tell them, "Next time you wave at an officer, you might want to use all your fingers." As for flipping the officer off as you pull away, it only makes you more memorable should you decide to fight it later.
Link Posted: 2/6/2002 7:30:18 PM EDT
People can curse at you, call your mother names, blah, blah blah. Only when cursing turns to threats or anything like that is it against the law. If you curse me out in front of a non-LEO, and they are offended, then its disorderly. But I cannot arrest you for disorderly if I am offended. Gray area. Besides, its fun to have someone get that pissed at you. They are only words. And usually someone that pissed is in the back with bracelets on already....
Link Posted: 2/9/2002 1:16:02 PM EDT
The gesture by itself isn't against the law. The act and any other factors such as location, who is present, vocabulary, volume etc may constitute disorderly conduct. In Phoenix, an officer can be a victim in extreme circumstances. Like others have said, don't take it personal. It's just a gesture - and like words it might be "emotionally" powerful in it's effect, but it won't really hurt you. Sure it's rude and in poor taste and justice should be swift and brutal, but I really do believe that in the long run behavior like that eventually gets rewarded :)
Link Posted: 2/9/2002 9:41:44 PM EDT
If I am not mistaken, their is a Supreme Court decision that says we can not be provoked into action by verbal provocation alone. I think it had to do with a an officer at a Klan rally or some kind of demonstration. The officer was flipped off and he arrested the guy. Supreme Court ruled that the officer due to his position and daily public encounters could not be provoked into action by words or gestures alone. Now, if the same words or gestures offended a third party, then it became an offense. If it became an officer safety issue or the officer became afraid of his life, then he could take action. Anyone remember this Case? We talked about it in the academy in '94. I don't remember much about it now. Hope this helps!
Link Posted: 2/9/2002 10:45:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/9/2002 10:46:46 PM EDT by OLY-M4gery]
The way I understand it is this, gestures or speech that if directed at a "normal person" could be enough to charge disorderly conduct or a similar charge. However an officer is expected to be less influenced by such things. However there are limits if someone says something to an officer that NO reasonable person would not be upset by, that may be the basis of a charge. Such as stuff like "I know where you live and that cute wife of yours..................." you get the idea. Generally stuff that would be classified as fighting words, for "normal people". Drfcolt, I think being flipped off would probably be the basis for a very weak charge, with a non-LEO victim too. Having said the Karma is much more difficult system to beat. Of course in WI Disorderly Conduct is behavior that causes or provokes a breach of the peace. So there isn't a need for a victim, just bad behavior..............
Link Posted: 2/13/2002 7:56:11 PM EDT
I would have to look it up tomorrow, but I beleive here in Alabama "the finger" falls under the Harassment statute. It all depends on your individual state criminal code.
Link Posted: 2/15/2002 6:42:21 AM EDT
If they are driving their car and flip you the bird, you can always cite them for improper use of hand signal. Never tried it, but I have jokingly told people I could cite them for it.
Link Posted: 2/16/2002 5:35:28 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/16/2002 8:49:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/17/2002 9:15:07 PM EDT by XM15E2]
Where I live in Oregon we have a city ordinance that allows us to cite a $100.00 for using the finger in an officers presence but one day someone will beat that. I mean it is cool to have the option but what about rights???
Link Posted: 2/17/2002 4:42:11 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/17/2002 5:04:32 AM EDT
It's a 1st Amendment issue.
Link Posted: 2/24/2002 8:23:54 PM EDT
The way I understand it is that it's a freedom of speech issue. However, the cost of going through a case to present the finding may be a waste of time. There's bigger issues to fight. Pick your battles and make them count.
Link Posted: 2/26/2002 12:58:11 PM EDT
I just smile and wave at them like I'm thinking they were waving HI to me. Buzzy
Link Posted: 3/1/2002 3:22:05 AM EDT
There's a GREAT mpeg floating around the internet with a guy who gets videoed giving a cop the finger. Goes something like this...Young guy is in the parked car with his buddy and both are giggling. Guy gets out and buddy continues to video through the windshield. Guy approaches officer, kind of squats and shoots the officer the finger. Officer recoils as if under attack as punk turns around to face the camera and is laughing his ass off. Officer draws Billy club, strikes to the thighs of the punk and sweeps him to the ground. Video ends with punk screaming like a b**ch while getting the piss beat out him. Punk's buddy, who is videoing, starts to moan and looses control of the camera. I'm not sure if the punk got a ticket or was cited, though.
Link Posted: 3/3/2002 8:06:03 PM EDT
Back when I was in high school (young/stupid), almost ten years ago, I gave an undercover cop the finger. At the time I was living in Albuquerque, NM and on my way home from a football game near downtown with a buddy and two girls. I was in the passenger/front on the jeep cherokee. After a couple minutes on the freeway a taurus began tailgating the car. The taurus was less than a car lenght back for about 2 miles. The taurus then put on its blinker on and pulled onto the off ramp. At this point the car was dead even with the car I was in. I looked over saw a single person behind the tinted glass and gave the guy the finger. What happened next really surprised everyone in the jeep. The taurus hit the hidden lights, sped up, and went through a red light, got on the freeway on ramp and pulled us over. The officer checked my buddys licence/reg asked me to step out of the car and gave me a pretty good verbal chewing. I'm older now and slower to anger. If some gives me the finger now, I brush it off. There are more important things to worry about.
Link Posted: 3/15/2002 6:34:00 PM EDT
Why would insulting a LEO be different from insulting any other citizen?
Link Posted: 3/19/2002 3:31:52 PM EDT
PDM, i have that video. It's pretty hilarious. The mere fact that he flipped of the cop wasn't the problem. It was the way he flipped him off. Running up to an officer, getting in his face, then yelling and flipping him off at the same time is far different than "just flipping the bird". The guy got the snot knocked out of him, and in my opinion deserved it. If anyone wants a copy i'll be happy to e-mail it to ya.
Link Posted: 3/23/2002 1:31:07 PM EDT
getting flipped off just hits the 'save' button for my memory.....
Link Posted: 3/23/2002 4:54:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/23/2002 4:57:23 PM EDT by jadams951]
I had a "buddy", who is also a LEO, get flipped off by a little snotty punk. He ended up going to jail on traffic violations.
Link Posted: 3/23/2002 5:12:00 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Glock918: Think of it this way. Even if the state you are in says that, in its self, giving the bird is not illegal, they just called attention to themselves. Eventually, everyone forgets to give a turn signal, bumps the yellow line, ect. Art in KY
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Wow, I wish the donut-dunkers here in Florida would climb out of the air-conditioning long enough to bust people for neglecting to use their turn signals. I'd have the road to myself.
Link Posted: 3/23/2002 11:34:35 PM EDT
seth if a leo flipped you off and u give him what he deserved,how would u feel at your trial?
Link Posted: 3/24/2002 2:38:40 AM EDT
If a Law Enforcement Officer gave me the finger? And i gave him what he deserves? I don't get it...
Link Posted: 4/5/2002 9:26:17 AM EDT
For your No Sh!t File...in Germany its 3,000.00 DM fine to flip off another motorist AND 5,000.00 DM fine for flipping off a Cop (and probably a lot more bad stuff) Sorry, not sure what the current exchange rate is.....
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