The “f**k the Police” case out of Cobb County, Georgia, that started in April 2012 is now over, and the plaintiff is $100,000 richer.
MyFoxAtlanta reports that Amy Barnes left her home to buy butter when she saw two police officers questioning a suspect. As she pedaled her bike by the two officers, she dropped the curse and threw a middle finger in for good measure.
The incident was caught on police dash cam video. One of the officers can be heard responding to the insult.
“That ain’t happening,” he said.
In October 2012, Barnes freely admitted to taking the action.
“And I said f**k the police and raised the middle finger and passed by,” she said.
Rather than the Cobb County officers issuing a citation, they gave chase, arrested Barnes and then placed her in solitary confinement. Attorney Cynthia Counts represented Barnes in the case.
“She could have been given a citation, but was arrested, put in solitary confinement, for part of it, she was in jail more than 24 hours… It’s important to understand that people have a right to express their ideas and no matter how offensive it’s not a basis for penalizing someone. And that’s just wrong — it violates the first amendment. The line is you cannot threaten someone to make them fearful. The limit in terms of this case it was really no basis at all — she caused no threat.”
While the case is a settlement, thus the county isn’t actually admitting wrongdoing, $100,000 can’t be seen in any other way but a victory for Amy Barnes, who has been taking part in Atlanta-based protests against police actions in Ferguson, Missouri.
Barnes has deferred speaking to the press since that interview in October when she confessed to the “f**k the police” statement. Officers justified the arrest by stating that Barnes’ actions offended others.
“You see the little kids standing on the corner — you think they care to hear your language?” one of the officers testified.
One question that commenters from Reddit raised about the case was, who pays? Are the officers liable in any way? In a word, yes, though there are a lot of unknown factors in the detail of the settlement.
But according to 42 U.S. Code Section 1983, authorities can be subject to civil action whenever they deprive someone of rights.
What do you think about the outcome of this case, readers? Should the woman have received a $100,000 settlement for saying “f**k the police”?