More Butt Hurt Reactions From Cops Over Totally Legal One Finger Salute

It seems that officers across the United States still have not read the memo that someone giving you the middle finger is not illegal.  We have yet another story of police officers violating civil rights over the exercise of free speech.  This time it takes place in North Carolina.

This story was shared with NVCopBlock.0rg by Nate, who had the unfortunate experience of being arrested for a simple hand gesture, via the Nevada Cop Block Submissions Page.

Date of Incident: June 24, 2015
Department Involved: North Carolina State Highway Patrol
Individuals Involved: NCSHP Troopers Hundley, Clayton, and several others

I was pulled over in my truck by Trooper Hundley. He demanded my license. Knowing I had committed no infraction, I demanded to know why I had been stopped. (I already knew it was for not having a license plate, but this is not a pull-able offense in NC since our temporary driving certificates are on paper kept within the vehicle.

The trooper tells me it was for not wearing my seatbelt, yet I was wearing it. I argued with him and he went back to his car to write the bogus ticket. Several other troopers showed up, including a sergeant, who refused to verify the dash cam footage showing me wearing a seatbelt. Angry, I took my ticket and went home.

bruisesShortly thereafter, I was out on my motorcycle and stopped to get gas. Coincidentally, all of the troopers from the earlier incident were at the same gas station I was now stopping at. They recognized me and were staring me down as if to intimidate me. I got my gas and left.

As I rode by, one of them waved. I flipped them all off and went about my way. Minutes later, they were flying up behind me and I pulled over. They made me put my hands up and they cuffed me while on my bike, then pulled me off of it. I twisted my ankle in the process and I have bruises on my arm from their fingertips digging in.

They arrested me and took me to jail for “disorderly conduct” for “displaying the middle finger as an utterance of FUCK YOU.” I told them that what they were doing is illegal, since the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly held that the giving police the finger is protected under the First Amendment. I was taken to the jail and released on an unsecured bond by the magistrate.

I’ll be following up with a lawsuit for false arrest and deprivation of constitutional rights.

The Supreme Court of Appeals, Second Circuit has ruled that giving an officer the middle finger is not against the law in their decision in Swarz v Insogna.  Even though it is perfectly legal to do so, I don’t recommend that people just go out there and flip off the cops.  You have to remember that every action has its consequences whether warranted or not.

I am not condoning or condemning the actions of Nate as he is a free man and is responsible for his own actions, but what I will say is that it is wise to pick your battles and when anger has the better of you, it is best to remember that cooler heads prevail. Always stand up for your rights, but keep cool and don’t argue with the officer. It’s best to remain silent (and always film) when dealing with these armed goons in uniform.

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Kelly is a lifelong resident of Las Vegas, who’s been very active in local grassroots activism, as well as on a national level during his extensive travels. He’s also the founder/main contributor of Nevada Cop Block, served as editor/contributor at CopBlock.org and designed the Official Cop Block Press Passes.
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185 Comments

  1. What part does Copblock not understanding? The Supreme Court of Appeals, Second Circuit has ruled that giving an officer the middle finger is not against the law for a “passenger” of a vehicle, NOT the driver/operator of the vehicle. Learn to read, morons.

    1. Can you cite that? Didn’t think so…

      1. I sure can.

        “John was in the ‘passenger seat’. At an intersection, John saw a local police officer, Defendant Insogna, in a police car using a radar device, of which John became aware because he had a radar detector. John expressed his displeasure at what the officer was doing by reaching his right arm outside the passenger side window and extending his middle finger over the car’s roof.”
        http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-2nd-circuit/1619484.html

        Yeah, John was in the passenger seat of the vehicle when he flipped-off a police officer, not the driver’s seat operating the vehicle. Go ahead, you were saying?

        Oh, by the way IMO, good job by the respectful and professional police officer on arresting that pos, who obviously can not interpret case law, because the little moron does NOT have a constitutional right to flick-off a police while operating a motor vehicle.
        Awe, too bad. LMAO

        1. Hackbart is actually the more pertinent case law here as it involves a driver and the courts specifically addressed the obscenity and “fighting words” exceptions.

          So as you can see you can not assume your passenger only rule applies.

          Find another bone to pick because this one has already been cleaned bt the courts.

          1. I don’t assume, you are the one assuming. It is clearly stated. Was the “fighting words” case involve operating a motor vehicle? No? Awe, too bad. Next!

          2. What?
            Hackbart was driving a vehicle at the time he flipped the bird. You clearly can’t read basic English so you should give up understanding court rulings.

          3. From the case YOU YOURSELF cite:

            This ancient gesture of insult is not the basis for a reasonable suspicion of a traffic violation or impending criminal activity. ”

            “On the Plaintiffs’ version of the facts, the stop was not lawful…”

          4. All you have to do is read the case to see it says the exact opposite of what chicago is claiming it says. He either can’t read or is delusional or else being dishonest hoping you won’t read the citation where it says the opposite of what he claims.

          5. Yeah, he hopes his lie at the top of the thread will be all anyone reads.
            He is shit out of luck if he thinks there is a court in the nation that onky allows protected speech for “passengers”. It is laughable.

          6. Is it laughable to have to separate cases for legally ordering someone out of the vehicle?
            Mimms v Pennsylvania: Police could order a “driver/operator” of a vehicle to exit the vehicle.
            Maryland v Wilson: Police could legally order a “passenger” of a vehicle to the vehicle.
            The case law that Copblock is misinterpreting refers to the “passenger” having the right, NOT the “driver” having the right.
            Oh well to bad.

          7. Oh geez, shit head. That is because when you stop vehicle for a driving infraction the onky person driving was the DRIVER. So the courts had to address what the 4th ad ramifications were for the passengers.

            Simple for anyone with more brain cells than you. This didn’t strip rights away because one was driver and one was passenger. It reaffirmed rights in a particular situation.

            Stay on topic if your limited comprehension skills will permit.

            Protected speech is protected speech.no matter who.

          8. Really? So where is the case law that says a driver/operator of a vehicle has constitutional right to flip-off a police officer? It seems no one could cite that case, because it does not exist.

          9. You refuse to see the case that has been cited numerous times.

            Enjoy being an even bigger fool than JC.

          10. Yes, I do see the case, and it says passenger of vehicle having the 1st Amendment protected right to flick-off a police officer. It does NOT say the driver of the vehicle having the protected constitutional right under the 1st Amendment to flick-off a police officer. Are you “assuming” passenger means driver too? LMAO

          11. LMAO
            I assumed you were intelligent enough to learn from your mistake and read the Hackbart case.
            I assumed wrong. I now “know” you are an idiot as you have proven it over and over again on this thread.

          12. Old thread, I know, but… CS, the Constitution gives a driver the constitutional right, you shittard. No special exception (or exclusion) applies when you get into the driver’s seat. You are a troll, CS. Shoo, troll. Shoo!

        2. You seem to have some serious reading comprehension issues. From the very case you cite(perhaps you were referring to the lower court judgment which was later reversed on appeal?):

          “This ancient gesture of insult is not the basis for a reasonable suspicion of a traffic violation or impending criminal activity. ”

          “On the Plaintiffs’ version of the facts, the stop was not lawful, and it was error to grant the Defendants summary judgment on the Plaintiffs’ claim concerning the stop. Cf. Sandul v. Larion, 119 F.3d 1250, 1254–57 (6th Cir.1997) (vacating grant of summary judgment to police officers in suit by automobile passenger arrested for disorderly conduct for shouting obscenity and giving the finger to police officer); Cook v. Board of County Commissioners, 966 F.Supp. 1049, 1052 (D.Kan.1997) (denying motion to dismiss suit by automobile passenger arrested for disorderly conduct for giving the finger to a group of protesters, which included to police officer). Nor were the Defendants entitled to qualified immunity on this claim because a reasonable police officer would not have believed he was entitled to initiate the law enforcement process in response to giving the finger. Cf. Sandul, 119 F.3d at 1256–57; Cook, 966 F.Supp. at 1052.”

          1. The other poster either has comprehension problems or is now just realizing his world view imploded and it’s being purposely obtuse.
            Not only did his own case prove your initial point but he claims my Hackbart case DIDN’T involve a driver f a vehicle when it clearly states that is the entire reason for the cop giving him a ticket.

            Obtuse!

          2. Does that case have anything to do with operating a motor vehicle? Uh, “NO” is the answer I wanted to hear. Nice try. Next!

          3. The case never says what you claim. You are full of shit. It says flipping the bird by the passenger was not reasonable suspicion and that stopping them for the middle finger is against the law.

          4. Big an adult and admit you were mistaken.
            I gave you a more pertinent case than the one you sited.
            Hackbart involves a driver and flipping the bird and the courts addressed the “disorderly conduct” charge in additiin to the commonly sited fighting words and obscenity charges attatched to flipping the bird.

            So you can’t claim no protection of “drivers” when I gave you a case with a driver.

            Doing so just makes you look even more foolish.

          5. I just cited Robert Ekas’ case, he is willfully ignorant.

          6. Lol, enjoy those arrests.

          7. I have never been arrested for flipping the bird, sweetheart.
            And f I were I would enjoy the money from my lawsuit as I have buckets of case law to support my case.

          8. Lol, it takes more than one case sweetheart. Actually it takes the average of 10 cases in support and 10 cases that do not support your case. Little experience you must have.

          9. Shit brain. It only takes ONE CASE. THAT IS HOW CASE FREAKING LAW WORKS.

            You just keep getting more and more stupid.

          10. There is no case law that allows a driver to flick off a police officer. None. Only passenger is allowed, not driver.

          11. it takes one you fucking moron, its called setting precedent. you are fucking idiot, and I usually reserve that for JC. it’s rare to see somebody as stupid as he is

          12. It must have really hurt for Chicago Style to pull that shit about “10 cases in support and 10 cases that do not support” from so far up his ass.

            I am beginning to think he is seriously delusional as well as an idiot.

            I busted out at reading that shit. The little experience I have and all..

            Judge to defendant: Sorry you are only case number 7 in support of your constitutional right and my vast experience requires an average of 10. GUILTY!

          13. Yes, all those cases refer to the “passenger” of the vehicle, not the driver/operator of the vehicle. Are you having a hard-time reading English?

          14. Okay, well perhaps you aren’t aware of the many cases involving people, such as Robert Ekas( he was alone in the truck driving it) who have successfully sued the cops for pulling them over after flipping them off. You have cited literally NOTHING that supports any of your ignorant spew.

          15. No, he sued for misconduct, not for flipping them off, moron.

          16. OMG just admit you were wrong. You were given a case with everything you claim you needed and you still can’t see you were wrong.

            Case closed. IT IS PROTECTED SPEECH TO FLIP A COP THE BIRD.

          17. If you can’t impress them with facts or baffle them with bullshit, then just exasperate them through willful ignorance.

          18. I guess that is his plan.

          19. OMG, you assume I’m wrong only to capitalize with more ignorance and BS. For a passenger of a vehicle or can you not read English?

          20. Hey shit brain. Hackbart WAS DRIVING WHEN HE FLIPPED A COP THE BIRD.
            I don’t care how many other cases you THINK allows you to claim THIS PROTECTED SPEECH only applies TO PASSENGERS.

            I gave you a case with a driver.

            It is done. You were wrong.

          21. He is suing for misconduct, mace in the face, not for flipping off police, dipshit.

          22. Okay you can’t read.

            Just make shit up and hope your cadre of limited IQ police friends believe the shit you just said because no judge is going to.

          23. Show me case law that says an operator of a vehicle can flick off a police officer, because there isn’t one.

          24. In Duran v. City of Douglas, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the plaintiff’s display of his middle finger to a police officer with whom he had just had a run-in represented his expression of disapproval toward that officer and, as such,“fell squarely within the protective umbrella of the First Amendment and any action to punish or deter such speech — such as stopping or hassling the speaker — is categorically prohibited by the Constitution.”

          25. Was Duran driving a vehicle when this took place? No? Then it does not apply. Let me know when you find the case law that allows a driver to flick off a police officer. The only one I see is for a passenger of vehicle, not the driver.

          26. The only one you see? So you have some sort of vision problem and are not capable of reading Hackbart? A driver of a vehicle? Nor capabme of understanding the courts don’t distiguish 1st amendment rights according to where you sit in a vehicle?

            How interesting. So your brain damage not only affects your comprehension skills but also your eyesight.

            Well I have a life this Saturday night so I will leave you to your brain damage illusions.

          27. So are you suggesting that your butt hurts because you can’t find one case law that supports a driver having a constitutional right to flick-off a police officer?
            Awe too bad.

          28. Show us case law, or cite a ‘law’ that says they can’t.

          29. He knows we are right and is now hoping his ignorance will be forgotton if just keeps typing the same lie.

          30. Lol, did I say that can’t?

          31. Chicago Style is a troll.

          32. I just read the Hackbart case on Time magazine and he wasn’t maced.
            I think you should sit back, relax, read this case and you will find it applies to drivers being permitted to flip off the police. This case is exactly what you keep asking for. He sued for infringement of his 1st and 4th amendment rights not for misconduct.

          33. Well Copblock cited case law of passenger of vehicle having a constitutional right, not the driver. He will lose, because there is no US Constitutional case law that protects the right of a driver under the 1st Amendment to flick off a police officer.

          34. Chicago Style,
            Read This >>>>>>>Hackbart, a driver of the car who flipped off a policeman in his car took it to court and the courts ruled it was protected speech. The case is outlined above.

            That IS case law which particularly protected a driver. Pennsylvania retrained all their police after this case. I don’t understand what more you require to understand there is case law for a driver specifically; it doesn’t matter what other case someone cited because the Hackbart case provides you with what you asked for i.e. a driver.

          35. And he continued to ignore it. This is exactly what slappy 123 Adam Free JC did over “show me a law that says you don’t have to show ID when asked to by a cop”. There are only laws saying when you do have to, the default being that you don’t if the circumstance doesn’t meet the law when you do.. But slappy went on with “show me a law that says…”

            Chicago Style is just living up to his handle.

          36. Why would he sue the police for HIM flipping THEM off? Are you just being willfully STUPID? The misconduct was the macing he got for flipping them off. You know this to be the facts of that case, but you keep trying to flip it around. Yes, he is suing them for misconduct, and yes, the misconduct was a result of flipping them off.

          37. Look guys chicago is a blue pill.

          38. The misconduct was that they stopped him for flipping them off. You are CACB right? You do administrate their facebook, don’t you?

          39. Nope, only pdf forms, not Facebook

          40. Well then what was the misconduct?

          41. Am I lost ….or are all occupants in a vehicle not entitled to the same civil liberties afforded to us by the constitution?

      2. RAD, He is just a troll! The rulings weren’t specific to passengers! It had to do with the gesture.

        1. Swartz and Hackbart, both were drivers flipping off cops. Yet the Feds said Okay.

          It’s political speech, however abbreviated. It is the gesture, not how you classify the citizen.

    2. “Passenger” is not a separate class of individual in the US. What you are failng to understand is the Supreme Court in this case ruled on a specific individual who happened to be a passenger. He was also male, of a certain age, sexual persuasion, marital status, hair color, etc….

      That does not mean this ruling only applies to those people who match his situation. That isn’t how any of this works.

      Stop trying to play armchair justice and listen to your betters who know how to read a court ruling and apply accordingly – that isn’t you and it certainly isn’t any cop.

      Simply put – flipping the bird is Protected Speech under the 1st Amendment and applies to even drivers of a vehicle. I don’t give up my rights when I start a car. Interesting you would think I do…

      1. No, what you are failing to understand is that a passenger of a vehicle, is not the same as an driver/operator of a vehicle. Your political correctness and assumptions will do no good in court. Enjoy the criminal charge, and next time, read the case law.

          1. Not only is he an idiot but he doesn’t understand basic Constitutional tenets nor. Case law.

          2. Lol, looks-like a collection of copblockers’ butts are starting to hurt. I bet a case of Preparation H would not work on you, nether? LMAO

          3. Noone here who knew the law is butt hurt. It’s the idiots like you who thought it only applied to passengers that is getting all butt hurt.

            Nce try at deflecting your initial ignorant comment onto another ignorant comment by you.

          4. Please cite the U.S. Constitutional Case Law that allows a driver of a vehicle to flick-off a police officer. LOL, yeah that what I thought. Hey enjoy those arrests.

          5. Hackbart 3rd Circuit. Swartz 2nd Circuit. Hey, enjoy contempt of cop. The arrest is just that. And only that.

        1. So, i cant flip off a cop if i am walking down the street? What if i am sitting on my front porch, am i allowed to then?

        2. Yes, they are the same under the Constitution. How the hell do you think anyone gives up their 1st amendment rights when driving?

          1. No they are not.

          2. And Shove it up your ass.

        3. What case law? You haven’t cited any to support your bullshit!

    3. I also don’t know who you think the passenger was in any of the court cases dealing with this where it was listed as protected speech.

      I think you have heard one too many cops tell you some made up crap interpretation of a rulng and you believed it.

      Save yourself some headaches and never believe a cop when he claims he knows what a ruling meant.

      1. He just makes this crap up out of his own imagination.

    4. Ill tell ya what. Tell me where your at. I as an Operator will flip you off. You arrest me and charge me. Ill use legal and lawful manuvers as I defend myself and we ll see how this ends for You and Me.

  2. It’s not illegal to give police officers the finger as you drive by them, and they have no right to arrest you for it, according to a recent appeals court ruling.

    The case stems from the 2006 arrest of John Swartz, who says he was put in handcuffs after he gave the middle finger to an officer using a radar gun an intersection in St. Johnsville, N.Y., The Huffington Post reported Friday.

    But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit ruled Thursday that the “ancient gesture of insult is not the basis for a reasonable suspicion of a traffic violation or impending criminal activity.”

    While the disorderly conduct charge filed against Swartz was ultimately dropped, he still sued the officers for his arrest.

    A federal judge ruled in favor of the officers in 2011 but the appeals court erased that decision Thursday and remanded the case back to the lower court.

    The officer who stopped Swartz in 2006 said he thought the man was using his middle to finger to get his attention. But the appeals court didn’t buy it, saying the “nearly universal recognition that this gesture is an insult deprives such an interpretation of reasonableness.”

    1. It didn’t say it was illegal, I said it is NOT a protected right under the 1st Amendment of any case law as a driver of a vehicle.

      1. Chicago Style, that is where you were wrong from the very beginning; it IS a protected right under the 1st Amendment for a driver of a vehicle.

        Only a troll would continue to post after being given so many opportunities to understand and admit he was mistaken.

        1. So cite the case, if I am mistaken. You can’t, because there isn’t one.

          1. No, you are correct, everything posted here was completely made up by other trolls sympathetic to those who want to flip off the cops while driving a vehicle and use nonexistent case law to support their crazy deluded rights to so.

            I am so glad you as king troll of copblock were here to point that out.
            You should pop on over to Time Mag and Police Mag and inform them too.

          2. Isn’t CopBlock about police accountability? So is Copblock an objective or a subjective website?

          3. do you understand what freedom of expression is? maybe fire would teach you.

          4. DAVID HACKBART 
            V
            THE CITY OF PITTSBURGH and SGT. BRIAN ELLEDGE

            dumbass

          5. Thanks for posting this. I had totally forgotten about this case. I believe Hackbart got a nice chunk of change from this case.

          6. Lol, he didn’t have a constitutional protected right as an operator of a vehicle to flick off a police officer, before he conducted his act. Learn to read case law, dumbass.

          7. what the hell is “flick”

          8. Chico prove your point go flip off a cop. Use every thing you can as a defense and when you lose you will have proved your point. Then come here and show us.

      2. DAVID HACKBART 
        V
        THE CITY OF PITTSBURGH and SGT. BRIAN ELLEDGE

      3. You claim that there is no such case law? Um, case law is generated by court decisions…like the one cited in the post you just replied to. Fail.

  3. IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
    FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA)
    DAVID HACKBART
    V
    THE CITY OF PITTSBURGH and SGT. BRIAN ELLEDGE

    ARGUMENT
    DEFENDANT ELLEDGE VIOLATED PLAINTIFF’S FIRST AMENDMENT FREE-SPEECH RIGHTS BY ISSUING HIM A CITATION FOR DISORDERLY CONDUCTIN RETALIATION FOR HIS CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTED EXPRESSION.

    Defendant Elledge issued a citation charging Hackbart with disorderly conduct in retaliation for Hackbart’s exercise of his constitutionally protected right to free expression. Under the three-parttest adopted by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit for analyzing First Amendment retaliation claims, Elledge is liable for violating Hackbart’s First Amendment free-expression rights Because (1) Hackbart’s conduct — gesturing with his middle finger to another driver and Elledge— is protected by the First Amendment; (2) Elledge retaliated against Hackbart by taking adverse Raction against him; and (3) the basis for the retaliation was Hackbart’s display of his middle finger to Elledge and another driver.

    Hackbart’s Display of His Middle Finger Was Expression Protected by the First Amendment.Courts, including federal and state courts in Pennsylvania, have recognized that the expressive use of the middle finger is constitutionally protected speech. Hackbart displayed his middle finger first to express his frustration at the driver of a car who prevented him from parallel parking by pulling up too closely behind him and then to convey his annoyance at being told not to“flip” the other motorist off. Both gestures constituted First Amendment-protected non-verbal conduct because they were sufficiently imbued with elements of communication and they did not fall into any of the well-defined and narrowly limited categories of unprotected speech.

    In Duran v. City of Douglas, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the plaintiff’s display of his middle finger to a police officer with whom he had just had a run-in represented his expression of disapproval toward that officer and, as such,“fell squarely within the protective umbrella of the First Amendment and any action to punish ordeter such speech — such as stopping or hassling the speaker — is categorically prohibited by the Constitution.”

    Although Elledge charged Hackbart with making an “obscene gesture” — and obscenity isnot entitled to First Amendment protection — Hackbart’s display of his middle finger was not“obscene” under the definition put forth by the U.S. Supreme Court in Miller v. California, which11has been adopted by Pennsylvania. In Brockway, the court held that the display of the middle12finger cannot be considered “obscene” under Miller because the gesture is not sexual in nature:That a base term for sex is represented or used does not alter the meaning and intentof the gestures or language. In other words, using a base term for sex does notchange the disrespectful, offensive communication into one that appeals to theprurient interest. It would be a rare person who would be “turned on” by the displayof a middle finger or the language it represents, although certainly some people mayapprove of or even enjoy such conduct by others”

    Nor does Hackbart’s display of his middle finger “fall within that small class of ‘fightingwords’ that are ‘likely to provoke the average person to retaliation, and thereby cause a breach of thepeace.’” The Third Circuit has held that “[t]he unprotected category of speech called ‘fighting18words’ is an extremely narrow one. The First Amendment on the whole offers broad protection forspeech, be it unpleasant, disputatious, or downright offensive.

    Elledge Responded to Hackbart’s Display of His Middle Finger withRetaliation.Elledge’s vehicle stop of Hackbart and issuance of a citation to him for disorderly conductwere adverse retaliatory actions. The Third Circuit has held that the government’s denial of a benefit simply because the plaintiff exercised his First Amendment rights is a retaliatory action. In this case, Hackbart was denied his Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable seizures and his First Amendment right to express himself without fear of criminal prosecution. “A traffic stop is a ‘seizure’ within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment, ‘even though the purpose of the stop is limited and the resulting detention quite brief.’” Accordingly, Elledge’s traffic stop of Hackbart — simply because Hackbart had displayed his middle finger to Elledge and another driver — was an adverse action that deprived Hackbart of his Fourth Amendment rights.

  4. FROM POLICE MAGAZINE
    http://www.policemag.com/channel/patrol/news/2013/01/04/court-flipping-off-cops-is-constitutional.aspx

    Court: Flipping Off Cops Is Constitutional
    41
    January 04, 2013 |

    A civilian flipping off a police officer can’t be cause for a vehicle stop or arrest, a federal appellate court has ruled.

    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.”

    The ruling conforms to existing legal precedent, said Devallis Rutledge, POLICE’s legal expert.

    “You can contact the person,” Rutledge said. “You cannot detain the person. It doesn’t provide grounds for arrest. It’s just not criminal.”

    In the most recent case, John Swartz and his wife Judy Mayton-Swartz had sued two St. Johnsville (N.Y.) Police officers who arrested Swartz in May 2006 after he flipped off an officer who was using a radar device at an intersection. Swartz was later charged with a violation of New York’s disorderly conduct statute, but the charges were dismissed, reports the Huffington Post.

    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.”

    Prior courts have ruled that contempt of cop is protected First Amendment speech. The U.S. Supreme Court in City of Houston v. Hill (1987) ruled that the First Amendment “protects a significant amount of verbal criticism and challenge directed at police officers.”

    The 9th Circuit court confirmed this ruling in 1990’s Duran v. the City of Douglas, Arizona.Court: Flipping Off Cops Is Constitutional
    41
    January 04, 2013 |

    A civilian flipping off a police officer can’t be cause for a vehicle stop or arrest, a federal appellate court has ruled.

    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.”

    The ruling conforms to existing legal precedent, said Devallis Rutledge, POLICE’s legal expert.

    “You can contact the person,” Rutledge said. “You cannot detain the person. It doesn’t provide grounds for arrest. It’s just not criminal.”

    In the most recent case, John Swartz and his wife Judy Mayton-Swartz had sued two St. Johnsville (N.Y.) Police officers who arrested Swartz in May 2006 after he flipped off an officer who was using a radar device at an intersection. Swartz was later charged with a violation of New York’s disorderly conduct statute, but the charges were dismissed, reports the Huffington Post.

    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.”

    Prior courts have ruled that contempt of cop is protected First Amendment speech. The U.S. Supreme Court in City of Houston v. Hill (1987) ruled that the First Amendment “protects a significant amount of verbal criticism and challenge directed at police officers.”

    The 9th Circuit court confirmed this ruling in 1990’s Duran v. the City of Douglas, Arizona.

    1. “A Civilian…..”

      Disgusting how cops think they aren’t civilians as well. Oh I didn’t know the police were a member of the Military.

      1. MRC…Militarized Revenue Collectors

    2. Again, none of those cases state that a driver of a vehicle has a constitutional protected right under the 1st Amendment to flick off a police officer. The case in the CopBlock article is about suing for punitive damages.

      1. You are now appealing to an entire host of fallacious arguments to support your initial incorrect statement.

        You have been given enough evidence to know that anyone flipping off the police is protected speech yet, you continue to request more evidence after claiming you didn’t say this or that all while using other people’s statements as your initial confusion on the matter.

        I and many others have tried to reason with you to no avail.

        You are a troll.

        1. Lol, are you moral ethically challenged? The only evidence you produced is assumptions and calling someone a troll only proves to me that you have nothing to present other than excuses. Let me know when find that case, Mr. Police Accountability. LMAO

          1. Pal, I have a right to do anything that isn’t specifically prohibited by law. It’s as simple as that.

          2. I have no moral or ethical problem killing people like you, it’s only a legal issue to me.

        2. The interesting part is Chicago Style posts on several police forums and always claims that cop haters are just too stupid to read laws properly and that is why we run afoul of the law. And now he has gone, and in just a few minutes, shown the entire copblocking community that he truly is an ignorant fool who can’t read nor understand basic legal rulings when handed up to him on a silver platter.

          And you are correct that he became one definition of a troll the moment he disregarded all evidence.

          Also notice below he became rather upset at being labeled one even though we all gave him the opportunity to not fall over the bridge.

          Too late now. He is a troll. Any respect he had in this.community is lost.

          1. That’s a lie. Police forums? Really? Don’t you mean tax payers funded community organizing police accountability forums, such as CopBlock? So are you suggesting that I don’t have a right to free speech because it doesn’t support your personal agenda?

      2. the correct thing to do is kill the pig and hide the body.

      3. By the standard represented by your ‘logic’, if winning a lawsuit and being awarded punitive damages because a gesture is expression does not mean it’s protected by the first amendment, then we must conclude that being convicted of breaking the law does not prove that the act the person was accused of must therefore be illegal.

        Or we can apply common sense instead of tying ourselves in mental knots to claim that water is dry, the sky is down and protected expression isn’t actually protected.

      4. Its very simple is a driver a civilian, yes! Civilians can frip officers off. However the case you state doesn’t differentiate the difference of a driver vs. passenger. I wonder why they didnt do that? But yet you do. The very detail you think makes you smart show us your not. You should remain silent.

      5. Do you think a person should be pulled over, detained, or arrested for flipping off a cop?

      6. The fact that you even said “flick off” tells me you have no place in the conversation.

      7. Prior courts have ruled that contempt of cop is protected First Amendment speech. The U.S. Supreme Court in City of Houston v. Hill (1987) ruled that the First Amendment “protects a significant amount of verbal criticism and challenge directed at police officers.”
        READ THE WHOLE POST!!!!

      8. City of Houston v.Hill Although the preservation of liberty depends in part upon the maintenance of social order, the First Amendment requires that officers and municipalities respond with restraint in the face of verbal challenges to police action, since a certain amount of expressive disorder is inevitable in a society committed to individual freedom, and must be protected if that freedom would survive. Pp

  5. Amusing how the bootlickers come in here and assert that water is not wet, and send the readers flying into an uproar. I can not tell who is more retarded. The cops for sending in their troll, the readers for taking the obvious bait, or the cop block admins for allowing a shitslinger to sling shit without consequence.

    1. The consequences are everyone who reads what this troll “Chicago Style” said on this page will realize nothing he ever says can be trusted because even in the face of overwhelming facts to the contrary he still lies.

  6. Speech and gestures are protected under the First Amendment. Anything not specifically protected in the Constitution falls under the Ninth Amendment, meaning just because the Constitution or Case Law doesn’t specifically enumerated a right it doesn’t mean that an individual doesn’t have that right.

    Drivers, passengers, donkey riders, pilots, jet skiers all have this right automatically without it being enumerated by law.

    1. The 14th Amendment would also apply equal rights to drivers. I am not sure what Constitution this other clown thinks he is reading but 1st Amendment rights do not just apply to passengers.

      1. Not if we are equal. One is implying passengers have more Rights than others??

        1. Some idiot troll kept saying that the courts only specified it was protected speech for passengers but not drivers so all drivers were going to lose any case they brought.

  7. if everyone started doing this, it would send a message to the sociopaths and the gang protectors. cops would have to change or maybe be forced to stop thinking that they can do to anyone, whatever the hell they want. ftp, it’s my american right to say it and show it, they are the government’s agents ..l..

    1. just one person in 20 walked outside and killed one cop, we wouldn’t have an issue at all.

    2. Imagine if everyone flipped off cops waiting to hit the jackpot with some dubmbass cop who pulls them over and then sued how fast the system would go bankrupt.

      1. Insurance companies would stop covering them too because police have shown willful disregard. I could be a beautiful thing.

  8. Why flip off officers? It just shows how immature copblockers are. Why don’t you roll up on someone and flip them off for no reason? Copblockers always say children write with chalk why can’t I. Again, why don’t you roll up on someone and flip them off. Let’s see how long it will take until you are beaten to a pulp. Cowards.

    1. Shut the hell up Paul. Speech is protected, assault is not. I flip someone off and they try to assault me I will use my right to defend myself, possibly with my second amendment right.

      1. Another lying piece of shit copblocker. You would piss yourself and then whine about it in an article on copblock.

        1. Paul,, you need mental help. I am not the one who just admited he would behave like a whiney cop if flipped off.

          That was you.

        2. I wouldnt whine. Im not a police officer, but I did pull my gun, put two in handcuffs and had police take em away. When they found out I wasnt a cop they wanted out of the cuffs to kick my ass. Officer told em straight up they had the chance to kick my ass but the ended up in handcuffs. It didnt help police were already looking for these two.

    2. You don’t have to be a cop blocker, dick head, to flip off police. I’ll roll up on you and flip you off…whatcha gonna do you piece of shit ?

      1. More than likely what the officer would do.

        1. So you would cry like a little baby who had their pacifier taken away?
          Good to know Paul.

    3. I flip off whoever the fuck I want, if they don’t like it they end up with broken joints. body disappear fast in the woods. why don’t you come and visit me, I will show you to the woods one piece at a time.

      1. Another lying piece of shit copblocker.

        1. What a dumbass piece of shit you are

        2. why don’t you come on over to my house and see if you disappear. you say you know where I live, come on over pussy. I would have so much fun cutting you into 1 inch chunks, I don’t think words could describe it.

          1. That made me giggle.
            I guess I am on a list now….

          2. You are obviously another Craig’s list killer. More threats, more paperwork, more emails.

      2. Really? You would actually go to the trouble of killing this dude AND dismembering his body simply because he came to visit you? Is your first name Hannibal?

    4. For pretty much the same reasons you post here — they have the right to freedom of expression, dislike certain people and they can.

    5. But then you could sue that person too.

    6. Are you trying to suggest that the proper response for being given the finger is assault? Can you not hear yourself?

    7. If someone goes off the deep end over being flipped off they should not be in law enforcement. If someone gives the finger give them two with a nice fuck you.

        1. But it’s legal and deserved, so fuck your mother you brainless asshole

        2. It is also inappropriate and childish for an cop to abuse his citizen granted authority to ruin a person’s life because he got his ego bruised over a common and protected gesture.

        3. I agree with you and nine times out of ten I would ignore it and go about my day.

          1. And the tenth time? What was your attention?

      1. I think it would be funny to see a video of someone giving a cop the finger and the cop simply returning the gesture

    8. Not everyone that flips off a cop or disagrees with your horseshit is a copblocker, pull your head out of your ass and get some fresh air

    9. So….you make an assumption saying there isn’t a reason…then advocate violence….What a winner you are…

  9. And cops wonder why they are being targeted, shot and killed and then whine and complain because no one really cares….

    Their own actions have desensitized everyday people and actually make them (cops) look more like a civilians terrorist than someone that is supposed to Protect and Serve. Protect and Serve—now that is a joke. The only ones they Protect and Serve is themselves. Judges, Da’s , Grand Jurys and any and everyone involved should be held accountable as well for their actions related to allowing a cop to get away with proven illegal activities.

    1. People who’ve been sqhot and killed are wondering why they’ve been shot and killed? Oh, yeh, youre inteligent …

      1. so wait a sec are u saying , people deserve to b shot an killed , for giving the finger to a “public servant ” ? Yous do realize that supreme court ruled in fav of that !

        1. Im not the arbiter of why people deserve to be shot and killed. But she said that cops wionder why they arre being shot and killed, and I’m here to point out that a shot and killed person is no longer available to report to her what they are wondering

          1. got ya .. sry misunderstand stood !

          2. WeThePolice If you can’t figure out she meant the remaining police that weren’t shot and killed you’re dumber than the error in her grammar.

      2. go back to kindergarten you ILLITERATE inbred idiot and learn how to spell

  10. The MRC…Militarized Revenue Collectors…break the law all the time arresting people. Then those same people have to spend money to make things right…..FUCK THE POLICE !!

    Never trust police

  11. There are differences in a pedestrian, passenger, driver flipping someone off. I would have to see the statute or ordinance for the motorcycle incident. Something tells me there’s a bit more to the story.

    Also NC is not in the 2nd Circuit’s jurisdiction. Not there isn’t other cases law that might cover this, Swartz doesn’t apply.

    1. No, there are no differences other than to you and some police who twist different laws to justify their unlawful and unconstitutional actions. The Constitution holds no distinctions when granting rights.

      You have not even the most basic understanding of how case law or court jurisdictions operate under the US Constitution if you believe this court ruling doesn’t apply in every court, state, and city in the US.

      Sad, just sad to see the results of the US education system alive and well in you.

    2. Unless over turned by another Federal court. One opinion applys to all 50 states. Hense gay marriage.

        1. Nice. I saved it.
          But SCOTUS has been consistent, as have Circuits, that an obscene gesture or word towards government officials is protected speech under the 1st. It’s political speech.

          And no there is no difference between someone sitting in their yard, or a pedestrian, jogger, bicycle rider, passenger, or driver, flipping off a cop (that’s not an exclusive list). Given you think there are differences, you should be able to list them for critique.

          Swartz and Hackbart, both were drivers. http://www.policemag.com/channel/patrol/news/2013/01/04/court-flipping-off-cops-is-constitutional.aspx

          This should be settled law.

      1. Patrick H.,
        Circuit opinions only apply in the Circuit. That’s CS’s point in his link. One Circuit may look at the opinion of another Circuit and not consider it persuasive. It doesn’t bind them. Who binds is SCOTUS.

  12. You erogrant sons of bitches that hate on the police can go fucking “suck start a shotgun”. What your doing is wrong to stand up against them. Your blaming all for just a fews mistakes. Without them your life as you know it most likely wouldn’t be. You would be living in constant fear of those very people the police stop everyday. Think twice before you start hating upon them. I follow Mr. Burk and his point to stop all of you assholes from doing wrong to these service men

    1. Hahahahahaha! Shoo, troll. Shoo! Ryan, if you meant a word of that post, North Korea’s ready for you. You’re perfectly programmed for police state government, but that’s not going to fly in the ‘States (no matter how hard they try). If you exercised even an iota of situational awareness, you would know the days of trust in law enforcement are over. Whether it’s because of “the times”, or because every citizen out there has a video camera, the police forces out there are proving more and more, on a daily basis (no hyperbole used here, either; EVERY DAY) that there aren’t many “good cops” on the beat these days. I hope your faith in the fuzz doesn’t get you or a family member dead, man. Wake up and smell the pig shit that we’re waist-deep in.

    2. Oh cry me a freaking river. No one needs egotistical, easily offended, low IQ, overgrown children to save them from the bad guys. They are the bad guys. For every cop who violates just one person’s rights there are twenty cops who knew he did it and did nothing to stop it. And for every cop who didn’t stop it there are a hundred idiots like you buying the “hero” propaganda they have fed you.

    3. Someone order a wahmburger and French cries?

    4. Bootlicker…table for one….

      Police don’t prevent crime Einstein…..they document it…

    5. The “good” cops are part of the support system for the bad cops. “I was just following orders” didn’t work during the nuremberg trials and neither should in america.

    6. Typical intelligence level of a copsucker. When did you drop out? Third grade? Fourth?

    7. Shut the fuck up pussy go cry to mommy …. Gives finger to pigs …. (#WINGSONPIGS#)

  13. I knew Chicago Style was one stupid copsucking piece of shit, but he’s really topped himself in these comments. Congrats, you’ve now been promoted to the dumbest copsucking piece of shit alive, possibly ever.

    1. He isn’t man enough to admit he was mistaken and would rather expose himself as blatantly, purposefully and willfully ignorant than just man up.

      He has been exposed and people will not soon forget this level of his foolishness that was required to justify the unconstitutional actions of police.

      I would hope even the police on this forum have realized the disservice his stupidity has caused when next he claims some knowledge to support their actions.

      We witnessed a real winner here. I am sure the other forums he is on will learn of this soon as well.

  14. Washington Supreme Court just handed down a ruling on June 25, 2015 stating that it is not “Obstructing a law enforcement officer during an investigation” if you hurl obscenities at him because it is “PROTECTED SPEECH”.

    Washington Supreme Court threw out the conviction of a juvenile, known in court records as simply “E.J.J.”, who screamed obscenities at officers and refused to obey their orders while they arrested an intoxicated woman from his house. The officers arrested E.J.J. on charges of obstruction, but the court has ruled that the arrest violated E.J.J.’s First Amendment rights.
    “While E.J.J’s words may have been disrespectful, discourteous and annoying, they are nonetheless constitutionally protected,” wrote Associate Chief Justice Charles Johnson wrote in the 42 page opinion. He continued, explaining that citizens have the right to “criticize how the police are handling a situation, [and] they cannot be concerned about risking a criminal conviction for obstruction.”

    Ha! more case law for everyone to fall back on.

    Life sure isn’t so comfy for cops now.

    1. The same ruling also said it isn’t obstruction not to follow a police order (in this case to go inside and shut the door) if you are not actually standing in the officer’s way.

      Looks like we have more precedent for not having to obey everything a cop says just because he thinks it is a “lawful order”. Like “moving along” or “crossing a street” or “going inside”.

      Very interesting.

  15. Pigs are over sensitive authoritarians….thus, their insecurity is easily displayed.

  16. No, I would recommend flipping them off all the time. If they falsely arrest you, it’s a payday when you go to court for civil rights violations. Civil rights violation = payday.

  17. Enjoy the Civil settlement…

  18. But cops still insist EVERYONE likes them. If they have that many cops (legalized thugs) on duty that so many can respond to a middle finger, methinks it is time to cut the law enforcement budget in that town and lay some of those fatass, lazy people off. Maybe they can get a job flipping burgers, since most other careers require ACTUAL skills besides killing people and hurting people and being a bully.




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