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Middle Finger Legal: Flip Cops The Bird All You Like

Show cops the bird

Remember the days when you had to rein in your impulses and not react to that rude cop who just pulled you over? Those days are now behind us because it’s finally legal to flip the bird to “Officer Friendly.”

The US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit ruled Thursday that a police officer can no longer arrest you for showing him or her your middle digit, reports MSN. The 14-page opinion finds that the “ancient gesture of insult is not the basis for a reasonable suspicion of a traffic violation or impending criminal activity.”

The Huffington Post reports that this all started when John Swartz and his wife Judy Mayton-Swartz sued two police officers who arrested Swartz in May 2006 after he flipped the bird to an officer who was using a radar device at an intersection in St. Johnsonville, NY. Swartz was charged with a violation of New York’s disorderly conduct statute, but the charges were later dismissed on speedy trial grounds.

Then, a federal judge in New York’s Northern District granted summary judgment to the officers in July 2011, but the Court of Appeals erased the decision on Thursday, ordering the lower court to review the case once more.

The officer who stopped Swartz and his wife when they arrived at their destination claimed that he pulled the two over because he though Swartz was “trying to get my attention for some reason.” Well, appeals didn’t go for that explanation and said that the “nearly universal recognition that this gesture is an insult deprives such an interpretation of reasonableness.”

Basically, flipping the bird to cops (archaically known as “giving the finger”) is no longer threatening to police, nor is it reasonable cause for arrest. Of course, if police pull you over for something else and you show them the middle finger, they might be able to make a case for resisting arrest, so make sure you’re not doing anything wrong when you flip them off.

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8 Responses to “Middle Finger Legal: Flip Cops The Bird All You Like”

  1. Vanessa Dill

    the ones that pull me over and try to tell me my car is stolen because it is primered when they can clearly see the inside of the doors are the color on the registration and matching vin… ..those are the ones that deserve a┌∩┐(◣_◢)┌∩┐

  2. Paula Qualls Gurley

    Just remember that when your home is being broken into or your child is missing. You don't want the help from tha kind of scum……..right? Yeah, some are jerks….so that makes it excusable?

  3. Vanessa Dill

    To paula. It was a simple comment. (My right as an american) It wasnt directed towards all of them. It clearly says that in my post. And I was assaulted on my door step and it took the cops 2 days to even show up after i was rushed to the hospital for not enough oxygen to my brain. So I know what kind of cops are around here. But telling me to remember that when my house is broken into or my kid is kidnapped? Real nice. Classy… you know its going to happen?

  4. Kendall Emerson

    Well this article was about 3 minutes of my life I just waisted reading about. Usless info.

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