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Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:33 PM

I'm loving this: Federal Court Rules Flipping Off Police Is Constitutional (FUCK YEAH!)




WASHINGTON -- A police officer can't pull you over and arrest you just because you gave him the finger, a federal appeals court declared Thursday.

In a 14-page opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit ruled that the "ancient gesture of insult is not the basis for a reasonable suspicion of a traffic violation or impending criminal activity."

John Swartz and his wife Judy Mayton-Swartz had sued two police officers who arrested Swartz in May 2006 after he flipped off an officer who was using a radar device at an intersection in St. Johnsville, N.Y. Swartz was later charged with a violation of New York's disorderly conduct statute, but the charges were dismissed on speedy trial grounds.

A federal judge in the Northern District of New York granted summary judgement to the officers in July 2011, but the Court of Appeals on Thursday erased that decision and ordered the lower court to take up the case again.

Richard Insogna, the officer who stopped Swartz and his wife when they arrived at their destination, claimed he pulled the couple over because he believed Swartz was "trying to get my attention for some reason." The appeals court didn't buy that explanation, ruling that the "nearly universal recognition that this gesture is an insult deprives such an interpretation of reasonableness."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/03/flip-off-police_n_2403563.html?

42 replies, 3059 views

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Reply I'm loving this: Federal Court Rules Flipping Off Police Is Constitutional (FUCK YEAH!) (Original post)
MrScorpio Jan 2013 OP
Fumesucker Jan 2013 #1
Jenoch Jan 2013 #2
MrScorpio Jan 2013 #3
Jenoch Jan 2013 #4
MrScorpio Jan 2013 #6
Jenoch Jan 2013 #8
MrScorpio Jan 2013 #10
Jenoch Jan 2013 #13
MrScorpio Jan 2013 #17
Jenoch Jan 2013 #18
MrScorpio Jan 2013 #21
Jenoch Jan 2013 #22
white_wolf Jan 2013 #23
djg21 Jan 2013 #40
MrScorpio Jan 2013 #24
Jenoch Jan 2013 #25
MrScorpio Jan 2013 #27
Jenoch Jan 2013 #29
MrScorpio Jan 2013 #30
Jenoch Jan 2013 #31
kestrel91316 Jan 2013 #12
Jenoch Jan 2013 #15
djg21 Jan 2013 #37
TheMadMonk Jan 2013 #16
MrScorpio Jan 2013 #20
TheMadMonk Jan 2013 #41
Cirque du So-What Jan 2013 #5
MrScorpio Jan 2013 #7
ProudToBeBlueInRhody Jan 2013 #9
MrScorpio Jan 2013 #11
kestrel91316 Jan 2013 #14
ProudToBeBlueInRhody Jan 2013 #36
RedCappedBandit Jan 2013 #19
Renew Deal Jan 2013 #26
MrScorpio Jan 2013 #28
Skittles Jan 2013 #32
MrScorpio Jan 2013 #33
Kalidurga Jan 2013 #34
Amonester Jan 2013 #35
-..__... Jan 2013 #38
MrScorpio Jan 2013 #39
librechik Jan 2013 #42

Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:37 PM

1. Right on, I'm going to flip off the next cop I see

I'm sure they won't do anything.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 08:25 PM

2. I believe it is a good ruling.

But why on earth would anyone flip off a cop? Nothing good can come of it. I understand doing it if you personally know the cop and think he's a jerk, but otherwise, what's the point?

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Response to Jenoch (Reply #2)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 08:31 PM

3. Probably because any cop that warrants a bird is, more likely than not, an asshole

Letting off that steam, buddy.

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #3)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 08:38 PM

4. I think you missed my point.

How does one know which cops warrants a bird? (Don't say they all do because that is obviously not true).

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Response to Jenoch (Reply #4)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 08:43 PM

6. I would defer that reasoning to the bird-flipper in question…

Who now has a confirmed right of self-expression, thanks to the court ruling.

It's freedom, baby, and what makes America great!

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #6)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 08:47 PM

8. I still don't think anything good can come of it.

The cop can always find a reason for probable cause to pull someone over.

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Response to Jenoch (Reply #8)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 08:59 PM

10. It's my SOP avoid cops in all cases, as possible

However, I know that any asshole cop can dream up any reason to harass people for absolutely no reason at all. On the street, something like "probable cause" goes out of the window, because most of them believe that no person is entitled to any right that they're bound to respect.

Don't be under the mistaken belief that you have to have done something wrong in order for the police to stop you, question you and fish for a reason to arrest you. A lot of cops certainly don't believe it in this country.

Obviously, one of those lame ass reasons that cops would use is from people flipping them the bird. Well, they can't use that excuse anymore to harass people.

The cops now need to dream up other excuses.



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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #10)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:36 PM

13. You should work on your reading comprehension if you believe this applies to me.

"Don't be under the mistaken belief that you have to have done something wrong in order for the police to stop you..."

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Response to Jenoch (Reply #13)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:42 PM

17. It applies to everyone, including both you and me.

Trust the police at your own peril.

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #17)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:46 PM

18. I posted the same thing BEFORE your reply to me.

I do not distrust police officers just because they are police officers. That would be the same as distrusting some because of they were say, truckdrivers because you think all truckdrivers are dishonest. (Or lawyers for that matter).

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Response to Jenoch (Reply #18)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:05 PM

21. I just love it when people use that false equivalency argument between cops and other occupations

Because it's so freakin' ridiculous.

Truck drivers and lawyers won't stop and detain you in an effort to find something to arrest you for. Truck drivers and lawyers won't intimidate and lie to you in a effort to search your person, your car or your home without any probable cause. Truck drivers and lawyers won't attack you for no reason and then charge you with assaulting them.

Truck drivers and lawyers are not cops.

You do understand that the two are different, right?

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #21)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:11 PM

22. Sure I understand that.

Do you believe that ALL cops are crooked?

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Response to Jenoch (Reply #22)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:16 PM

23. The ones that aren't are often compliant.

Cops take care of their own. They have an "us vs the world" mentality and most cops would rather keep quiet about abuses than go against their fellow officers.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #23)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 06:06 PM

40. You watch too much TV.

Most cops are absolute professionals. Sure you get some bad ones; there are jerks in every profession.

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Response to Jenoch (Reply #22)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:24 PM

24. I believe that they're all POTENTIALLY crooked

But "crooked" itself is such a loaded term, because of what they do, the harassment that they can inflict on ordinary citizens, innocent and otherwise, is codified both in law and in police policy and procedures.

Much of the police in this country is immunized from ever facing any consequences for their unneeded and unwarranted harassment of citizens.

Most of them operate under a vast and complex rubric of impunity against their own actions against anyone. More so, if their actions aren't recorded.

I'm going to quote myself, because I wore an essay about this before and I think that it still stands up today. Please take some time to read the whole thing. It really explains where I'm coming from:

Cops are given badges, guns, TAZERs, dogs, arrest power and bright, shiny vehicles as equipment to play the game. That's what they have. What you must have is a knowledge of the game's rules and the willingness to apply them for you own self preservation. You need your wits throughout an interaction with the police. Because, if you're not playing within the bounds of the cop's game, it could most definitely end badly for you.

OK, here we go... The order of priorities that cops are protecting goes like this:

1. Themselves.

2. Their fellow cops

3. The laws of the jurisdiction that pays their paychecks

4. Ordinary, law abiding citizens and the victims of crimes

5. The criminal element.

6. The Truth: To protect cops, applying the laws of the jurisdiction to separate and arrest the criminal element from ordinary "law abiding citizens" and their victims and put the motherfuckers in jail.

Now some may think that I'm being unfair by portraying cops as being self-serving. It's not unfair if you think about it. Of course, they have to look out for their own asses first. It's self preservation and no cop will last long without it. It's necessary for the business in which they are in.

http://journals.democraticunderground.com/MrScorpio/72


Avoiding any interaction with ANY police officer is always the best way to go.

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #24)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:48 PM

25. I agree with your

numbered points, assuming number 5 means protection once the perp is in custody. Despite the words 'protect and serve' cops are not out there to 'protect' the citizenry. They are there to enforce laws and do the other things in their job descriptions (traffic, medical calls, etc.) For instance, a cop will shoot a perp with a gun but he won't take a bullet to protect a citizen, that's not his job.

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Response to Jenoch (Reply #25)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:58 PM

27. Most people, especially the racial majority, have no idea about what the police are up to

I'm not under any such illusions.

Cops are to be avoided.

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #27)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 12:08 AM

29. My experiences with law enforcement

have not made me come to the same conclusion as you. I have two brothers who are cops, a cousin who is a chief deputy, another cousin who was a sheriff and then a police chief. I have known a lot of cops. I would trust most of them. I know of one cop who tried to commit insurance fraud and was fired from he force. I know of another who was basically fired for being lazy and not doing his job. Those kinds of people walk around us in many occupations, these guys happened to be cops. I see no reason to automatically distrust every cop I encounter (not that I run into them much while they are on duty).

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Response to Jenoch (Reply #29)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 12:21 AM

30. As someone with cop associations, you have distinct advantage over people who do not

I'm sure that you've seen cops do good as well as bad.

But the much of the country understands a different reality. To give yourself an opportunity to see outside you of box, take a look a look at these. They're very informative: http://www.policemisconduct.net https://twitter.com/NPMRP

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #30)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 12:45 AM

31. Oh hell, I've seen a lot of police misconduct,

well, not personally. I no longer will automatically defend any Minneapolis cop when I read about misconduct in the newspaper. A lot of the problems depends on the size of the department and the 'culture' within the depadtment.

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Response to Jenoch (Reply #8)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:33 PM

12. Find. Then don't do it. No one is forcing you to.

I'd close with a hearty STFU, but that would be a bit excessive.

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Response to kestrel91316 (Reply #12)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:37 PM

15. "Find"?

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Response to Jenoch (Reply #8)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 05:41 PM

37. Yep.

The stop clearly was for "contempt of cop," but the passenger was lucky that the cop was a moron and his story was ludicrous (at least as represented in the Second Circuit's decision). Any halfway competent officer would have found (or created) probable cause in a matter of seconds. All he had to say was that the passenger of the car gave him the finger, he followed and saw an unsafe lane change or erratic driving, or a rolling stop, etc. If you drive a car, you should almost presume probable cause.

Sounds like the passenger here was an absolute asshole and deserved a ticket. The officer was doing his job. He might have acted like a jerk, but I don't know about making a federal case of it.

There may be something else going on here. This judge is usually considered pretty liberal and not especially pro-law enforcement. He generally is pretty fair. I was really surprised to see him grant summary judgment to the officer in the first place.

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #3)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:40 PM

16. And if he's an arsehole, what's he going to do?

 

He's going to give you the hardest time possible.

As a driver: Sobriety tests, vehicle search, and a roadworthy.

On the streets: you're going to get an ID check, outstandings are going to be run, turn out your pockets, and oh dear sir, is that cocaine on your money?


You crow over this as a GREAT victory, and Goldman Sachs just siphoned another few billion from your collective pockets.

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Response to TheMadMonk (Reply #16)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:54 PM

20. Any time the rights of the people are raised over the authority of the police, it is a victory

As I've said many times, one doesn't have to have done anything at all to cause the police to harass them.

But America is a now a little less of a police state than it was the day before the ruling. I'm very happy about that, so sue me.

And besides Goldman Sachs, do you have any other travesties of humanity that we need to cry into our collective beers over?

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #20)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 08:27 PM

41. My point is it's an empty victory, which will result...

 

...in police misusing other laws to harrass the flipper.

And no, with the rubberstamp re-authorisation of rendition and extra-territorial executions America is more of a police state than ever before.

Extra-territorial killings; extraordinary rendition; massive racial imballances in incarceration; two illegal wars; decades of constant interferrence in sovereign territories; the systematic destruction of public education; entrenched rape cultures in sports and the armed forces; more millions for sporting "heros" and CEO's and cuts for the needful; unaffordable health care; gouging prices on essential services and cheap distracting frivolities; constantly increasing public debt; deliberate disenfranchisment; unbridled corporate, ecconomic and financial malfeasance on an unprecedented scale; AND A NATION BEING HELD TO RANSOM.

Oh and of course that perenial favourite, guns, guns and more guns.

I reckon those beers might just about be homeopathic by now.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 08:41 PM

5. 'A police officer can't pull you over and arrest you *just* because you gave him the finger...'

so I expect that newly-emboldened bird-flippers will get pulled over for various & sundry reasons, including the tail light that magically begins working again.

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Response to Cirque du So-What (Reply #5)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 08:44 PM

7. Like I said before, a LOT of cops are assholes. nt

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #7)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 08:49 PM

9. If someone flips me off for no reason, they are going in a ditch

That's more asshole than any cop.

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Response to ProudToBeBlueInRhody (Reply #9)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 09:00 PM

11. Keep reaching for the rainbow, baby! nt

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Response to ProudToBeBlueInRhody (Reply #9)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:36 PM

14. And then you will be facing criminal charges, and

deservedly so.

"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me." That's what my parents taught me WHEN I WAS A CHILD, and I learned that violence was not an appropriate response to words or other expressions of speech that one did not like.

What are you? 4 years old??

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Response to kestrel91316 (Reply #14)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 05:15 PM

36. Actually, people who flip others off for no real good reason....

....are like, 4 years old.

But hey, freedom of expression, herp deeeeerp.

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Response to ProudToBeBlueInRhody (Reply #9)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:47 PM

19. Uh-huh

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:55 PM

26. I don't know why any cop would worry about getting flipped off

If that's the worst thing that happens on any given day, things are pretty good.

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Response to Renew Deal (Reply #26)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:59 PM

28. They call it "Contempt of Cop"

Apparently, cops take this VERY seriously.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contempt_of_cop

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 02:24 AM

32. you'd have to be an idiot to flip off a cop

I mean, seriously

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Response to Skittles (Reply #32)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 02:31 AM

33. I wouldn't do it

But it's not about me

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 04:19 AM

34. I will probably never flip off a cop...

Not even when I am out at Occupy events. I tend to smile at them and ask them how they are doing. Until it's time to yell at them for being the strong arm of the 1%, but that's just business.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 04:34 AM

35. Also good news to anyone born this way (if any).

I never saw anyone living with such unfortunate malformation, but who knows?

I can't imagine the level of harassment. Poor soul(s).

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 05:48 PM

38. What could possibly go wrong?

 

(Ok... most likely fake, but if it weren't, this is the kind of smug, smirking, frat boy that deserves an ass tuning)...



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Response to -..__... (Reply #38)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 06:02 PM

39. Well, I guess police brutality entertains you.

How are you on videos of people punting puppies and kittens?

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 08:37 PM

42. right. It'll still get you tased or worse. Cops not lawyers

and not always kind and professional.

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