A Denver area cop took exception to being given the middle finger by an angry suspect, and responded by snapping the offending digit in half while arresting the man. At least, that’s what the perp claims in a lawsuit filed this week.
As The Denver Post reported, Jeffrey Woodfork is suing Adams County Sheriff’s Deputy Travis Wilson for injuries he allegedly suffered on Dec. 12, 2015. Woodfork claims that he was crossing the street when Wilson pulled up in an unmarked car, jumped out of it, and pointed a gun at him.
As of this writing, it’s not clear why Wilson confronted Woodfork. Nevertheless, a woman who was with Woodfork took off running. Wilson demanded the woman’s name; Woodfork admits that he responded by giving Wilson the middle finger and calling him an obscenity. Wilson arrested Woodfork and, Woodfork claims, once he was cuffed, Wilson twisted the offending finger and snapped it in half.
Woodfork then went on to spend the next eight weeks in jail. There, he claims, the medical contractor contracted by the jail, Corizon Health Inc. of Tennessee, completely ignored his repeated claims that his finger – which was red, swollen, and disformed – was broken. The health-care contractor is also named in Woodfork’s lawsuit.
According to KUSA-TV, Woodfork’s finger eventually healed, although permanently deformed in a broken position.
In his lawsuit, Woodfork seeks damages to pay for the medical costs he incurred, as well as compensation for the pain and suffering he endured.
The Adams County Sheriff’s Office has not responded to requests for comment from the media.
So is it illegal to give a police officer the middle finger? Not since 2013, according to The Atlantic. That’s when federal judge Jon O. Newman ruled in favor of a New York man named John Schwartz. As The New York Times reported at the time, Schwartz was driving through upstate New York when he noticed a cop up ahead of him, using radar to catch speeders. Schwartz let the cop know how he felt about the matter by proudly flipping the bird – an act of civil disobedience that resulted in three squad cars showing up at the scene, along with a trip downtown on charges of disorderly conduct. Schwartz appealed, and the case wound through the courts for years, before eventually being decided in his favor.
So legally, you can flip off a cop – although your lawyer will almost certainly advise against it. And so does The Inquisitr.