Do You Have the Right to Flip Off a Cop? (Yes You Do!)

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posted on Sep, 17 2009 @ 06:06 PM
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This is an article from Time Magazine, very informative on where your right to free speech starts, and ends.

Here's a tidbit:

[size-5]warning - profanity[size]


Hackbart, 34, was looking for a parking space on busy Murray Avenue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood on April 10, 2006. Spotting one, he attempted to back into it, but the driver of the car behind him refused to back up and give him sufficient room. Hackbart responded in the classic way. "I stuck my hand out the window and gave him the finger to say 'Hey, jerk, thanks,' " says Hackbart. "That's all I was trying to say — 'Thanks, thanks a lot.' "

At that moment, a voice rang out telling Hackbart not to make the rude gesture in public. "So I was like, How dare that person tell me? They obviously didn't see what happened. Who are they to tell me what to say?" he says. "So I flipped that person off. And then I looked, and it was a city of Pittsburgh cop in his car right next to me."

That turned out to be police sergeant Brian Elledge, who happened to be passing in the other direction in his cruiser. Elledge whipped around and pulled Hackbart over, citing him under the state's disorderly-conduct law, which bans obscene language and gestures. And here's where the problem lies, says state American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) legal director Witold (Vic) Walczak: the middle finger and equivalent swear words are not legally obscene. In fact, courts have consistently ruled that foul language is a constitutionally protected form of expression. A famous 1971 Supreme Court case upheld the right of a young man to enter the Los Angeles County Court House wearing a jacket emblazoned with the words [snip]."


Source

The rest of the article details various organizations talking about how police officers use their judgment, sometimes very poorly when issuing citations and tickets for misconduct.

However, profanity is not illegal, it is actually legal as per the case listed above.

What do you all think?

~Keeper

 


Censor circumvention removed fron external content

[edit on 17/9/09 by masqua]




posted on Sep, 17 2009 @ 06:13 PM
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reply to post by tothetenthpower
 


What do i think?
What do i think!?
Ill tell you what i [snip] think!


Interesting article all the same


Am i in troubles now?


 


censor circumvention removed

[edit on 17/9/09 by masqua]



posted on Sep, 17 2009 @ 06:16 PM
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reply to post by LiveForever8
 


Nah I'm CIA not police, so I can't arrest you for that.

Oops..I must be in trouble now
.

~Keeper



posted on Sep, 17 2009 @ 06:19 PM
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I say right [snip] on. To the information you have provided ats members.
thank you sir. you get a star a flag and a cookie.

 


Censor circumvention removed

[edit on 17/9/09 by masqua]



posted on Sep, 17 2009 @ 06:20 PM
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reply to post by randyvs
 


Well the cookie I certainly appreciate however, the flag and star are a little much don't you think? lol.

Thanks my friend, and yes this information is very important to us who would challenge the establishment.

~Keeper



posted on Sep, 17 2009 @ 06:24 PM
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1b.) Profanity: You will not use profanity in our forums, and will neither post with language or content that is obscene, sexually oriented, or sexually suggestive nor link to sites that contain such content. You will also not use common alternative spellings or net-speak alternative for profane words.

The same goes for censor circumvention.



posted on Sep, 17 2009 @ 06:28 PM
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It was a mistake on the drivers fault,one that I am sure as soon as he looked over grabbed his head with that wth did I just do look on his face.
Its ok to hate the establishment...you just can't hate the people doing their jobs because they are people too like you and me.
Theres no reason for it really.


[edit on 17-9-2009 by DrumsRfun]



posted on Sep, 17 2009 @ 06:30 PM
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[snip]

anyhoo, somehting to note.

in virginia beach virginia, it is illegal to curse... they even have signs...





 


Off topic comment removed

[edit on 17/9/09 by masqua]



posted on Sep, 17 2009 @ 06:30 PM
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reply to post by DrumsRfun
 


I agree, but still, that police officer was overstepping his authority in this case.

It's freedom of speech. The guy could say whatever he wanted, so long as he wasn't making a thread.

And I dunno about you, but I've never interpreted the bird as a sign of violence really. More a sign of ignorance.

~Keeper



posted on Sep, 17 2009 @ 06:33 PM
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Yep, you have the right to fly it.

Yep, the person that receives it has the right to be offended.

Yep, you have a right to protect yourself from offensive material.

Yep, in the eyes of the law an officer is just another citizen.

I would hate to deeply offend a well armed and trained individual that has full right and protections to "remove" offensive material.

It is a very well know fact that a dead person cannot sue, someone has to sue on their behalf.


"He lived and died by the bird" is not an epitaph that I want on my tombstone.


[edit on 17-9-2009 by Ahabstar]



posted on Sep, 17 2009 @ 06:35 PM
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Do you have the right? Yes!

Is it the smartest thing to do? NO!!!



posted on Sep, 17 2009 @ 06:36 PM
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I'll have to remember those supreme court rulings the next time I flip off a cop. Thanks for sharing! Boo for the overzealous one



posted on Sep, 17 2009 @ 06:37 PM
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reply to post by Wildbob77
 


That's one of the big problems you see.

Smart has nothing to do with it.

We are so use to NOT doing things out of fear of higher authority such as police, military etc..

This is wrong, they should be afraid of us, not the other way around. The constitution is set up to protect the individual, not the country.

It's been overlooked for far too long and we've forgotten that we are in control. If we truly wanted it..

~Keeper



posted on Sep, 17 2009 @ 06:38 PM
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It kind of reminds me of when I was in the military. The drill sgts aren't supposed to hit or yell at you etc. But they do - and you won't do anything about it either. Why?

Because while you may be right on the particular issue, it will be going to the top of your record and everyone is going to know you did that. What is important about that is that from that point on, they will be on you for every little thing they can.

As that is how the real world works. So sure, go ahead and flip the cop off. But I'll bet he'll remember you and his buddies will remember you, and you had better not even speed a few miles over the limit and so forth.



posted on Sep, 17 2009 @ 06:39 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Sep, 17 2009 @ 06:40 PM
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reply to post by badmedia
 


What you've described however is also illegal.

My brother had a similar problem with a cop, he'd done something, and got off the hook because the cop had overstepped his bounds.

For 1 year this cop seemingly followed him around, trying to find something to pin him with.

My brother had a piece bond placed on him. Cop was not allowed within 50 feet of him at all times, even if he did commit a crime, the cop could not touch him.

Strange how that works huh?

~Keeper



posted on Sep, 17 2009 @ 06:40 PM
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Originally posted by tothetenthpower
reply to post by DrumsRfun
[mor

And I dunno about you, but I've never interpreted the bird as a sign of violence really. More a sign of ignorance.

~Keeper


Exactly,so why give the bird anyways.
Why not show some class.You never know how bad his day is going either and hes a person like you and me.
Why bother even giving the finger in the first place.
His job is his job and we all have bad days including the driver.
Yes a sign of ignorance on both parts....life is life and we are all human and make mistakes.



posted on Sep, 17 2009 @ 06:44 PM
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You know there is a very nice youtube video that shows just what will happen if you flip off a cop.

You should not do it.

As often as you hear stories about wrongful tazering and wrongful beatings what do you think would happen if you flipped off the wrong cop... Well as the kid in the youtube video learned... It was a mistake that resulted in severe bodily injury.

I would link it but that is against the ATS rules. So dont anyone else link it either. Just to say the alleged freespeech we have in the free world is not the same as the speech we enjoy here. So don't flip off cops no matter how much they deserve it...

And don't be vulgar on ATS...



posted on Sep, 17 2009 @ 06:49 PM
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Unfortunately the article isnt completely accurate. Different places have different laws, and different situations have different laws.

If you are being pulled over, and give the cop the finger, that can actually be considered assault on an officer, just as swearing at one can.

In washingotn county, oregon, you cant swear at or flip off a cop, period.



posted on Sep, 17 2009 @ 06:51 PM
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reply to post by tothetenthpower
 



The quoted article above mentions an incident in Pittsburgh then cites a case from Los Angeles, surely state laws are different and can't be used as a defence can they?

I'm thinking that some states you can flip off a cop (why anyone would want to escapes me) and others you can't.





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