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Constitution protects giving the finger to police officers, court rules

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Old March 16th 19, 01:22 AM posted to alt.politics.usa.constitution,alt.law-enforcement,mi.news,rec.autos.driving,sac.politics
Rob Woodward
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Default Constitution protects giving the finger to police officers, court rules

Turns out, the right to give a police officer the finger is protected
by the Constitution, a federal appeals court ruled this week.

Judge Jeffrey Sutton of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit
wrote in his opinion Wednesday that “Fits of rudeness or lack of
gratitude may violate the Golden Rule. But that doesn't make them
illegal or for that matter punishable."

“Any reasonable officer would know that a citizen who raises her
middle finger engages in speech protected by the First Amendment,” he
wrote later.

According to the court documents, plaintiff Debra Cruise-Gulyas was
pulled over for speeding in Taylor, Mich. in 2017, but Officer Matthew
Wayne Minard wrote her a ticket for a non-moving violation, a lesser

Cruise-Gulyas still chose to give him the finger as she drove away, so
he pulled her over again, this time changing the ticket to a moving

However, the court determined Cruise-Gulyas did not break the law in
order for the second stop to be legitimate. She was “at most
exercising her free speech rights,” the court said.

By stopping her the second time, Minard also violated her Fourth
Amendment rights as well. The court determined the second stop was an
“unreasonable seizure.”

Though Minard compared his case to a prosecutor taking back a plea
deal if a defendant behaved badly, the court did not agree, “because
these facts differ materially.”

“As alleged, the first stop had ended, a constitutionally significant
event, before the officer initiated the second, unjustified stop,” the
court added.


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