January 4, 2013

Maybe you are a scion of DGAF-ness, and maybe you’ve responded to an authority figure with more attitude than meekly bowing your head and responding, “Please, sir, may I have another?” If that’s the case, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised by a New York ruling which declares that flipping the bird at a police officer is a protected right, not something that said-officer can use as pretext for throwing you in the clink. John Swartz, a Vietnam veteran, was riding in a car in upstate New York when he saw a cop using a radar gun on the side of the road; displeased because of what he saw as departmental inefficiency, he rolled down the window to throw up the universally recognized sign of “fuck youuuuuuu.”

Because cops are quick to rise, the officer took pursuit and, after pulling him over, eventually arrested Swartz on a charge of disorderly conduct. The officer claimed that he thought Swartz was merely trying to pull him over and ask for help, but the judge declared that to be a giant load given that everyone, from the young to the infirm, knows what flipping the bird signifies. Now, Swartz will be allowed to pursue a civil suit and fight for everyone’s right to get mad at a cop—which, ha, good luck to the non-whites out there, but it’s still a noble cause.

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