Court Rules It’s Chill To Flip Off Cops

Jan. 17, 2013
Charlie majored in English, and now he looks at the internet all day. Contact him at

As the Associated Press reports, a court ruled in favor of Jon Swartz, a man in St. Johnsville, NY, who, in 2006, was pulled over after flipping off a police car running a speed trap. The police officer called for backup, and Swartz was arrested for disorderly conduct. The charges were dropped, but Swartz pursued a malicious prosecution lawsuit against the police. The court ruled that the middle finger in and of itself is not just cause for pulling over a vehicle that hasn’t committed any infractions. It further declared the near-universal recognition of the gesture as an insult, citing Strepsiades flipping off Aristotle in ancient Greece and a 1886 photograph of a Boston Beaneaters pitcher giving the finger to the New York Giants team. Swartz’s lawyer called it “an important victory for human rights.” TC mark

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