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#1 User is offline   MTP Reggie 

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 07:22 AM

Flipping off cop is free speech, court says
Originally published March 13, 2019 at 4:54 pm Updated March 13, 2019 at 5:35 pm
By Fred Barbash
The Washington Post

<More Here>

Woman gets stopped for speeding. Cop shows mercy and gives her a ticket for a nonmoving violation. As police officer pulls away, however, woman gives him the finger Ė or, as a U.S. District Court puts it, "flips him the bird." Cop takes offense, switches on lights and siren and stops her again, ploughing into her car in the process and then, on top of that, changing the original ticket to a moving violation. She sues the officer for violating her constitutional rights.

Did he?

That question, plucked from everyday life in the town of Taylor, Michigan, confronted the U.S.Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit in the case of Debra Lee Cruise-Gulyas v. Matthew Wayne Minard, in which Cruise-Gulyas was the motorist and Minard the cop. Normally, cases like this one don't get quite this far. For one thing, most drivers don't ordinarily give cops the finger as they pull away, especially when the officer has just let them off with a nonmoving violation. But Cruise-Gulyas told The Washington Post that she was unhappy because, according to her, the area where she was pulled over in June 2017 about 18 miles southwest of Detroit is a notorious "speed trap" for the Taylor Police Department.

"I know this is a bunch of B.S.," she said, so "when I pulled off I gave him the middle finger."

And Minard went to the appeals court claiming immunity from the suit, arguing that even if he did violate her rights, which he did not admit to doing, those rights were not clearly established. Judge Jeffrey Sutton, writing for a unanimous three-judge panel Wednesday, disagreed. While suggesting the woman was a bit "ungrateful," the second stop was not reasonable and the officer should have known it, Sutton said.

To justify the second stop, he wrote, Minard needed "probable cause that she had committed" a violation. He didn't have it, the judge said. Giving the finger is not a crime. That "all too familiar gesture," as he put it, is "protected by the First Amendment." Since there was no reason to believe she broke the law, he also violated her Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable seizure when he pulled her over again. "Fits of rudeness or lack of gratitude may violate the Golden Rule," he wrote. "But that doesn't make them illegal or for that matter punishable or for that matter grounds for a seizure" of a motorist in violation of the Fourth Amendment.

(snip)

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#2 User is offline   Severian 

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 07:53 AM

Ah, the digiticus impudicus!
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#3 User is offline   Taggart Transcontinental 

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 08:06 AM

Uhh yeah, this was settled DECADES ago. You can do just about anything verbal to a cop, we are supposed to take it. Now does it hurt you in the charge or bail? Sure, but can I arrest and charge based on this nonsense? Nope, that officer should be fired. We all learn this in the academy. This officer acted like an idiot. I have been cursed at, and flipped off. I thank them for their opinion and get them back on track.

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And Minard went to the appeals court claiming immunity from the suit, arguing that even if he did violate her rights, which he did not admit to doing, those rights were not clearly established.

This is an amazingly idiotic argument. As a LEO you only get immunity IF you do NOT violate the rights of the individual. Not "even though you may have" violated the person's rights. IF you are operating within the color of the law you are fine, step out into your own particular shade of grey and you no longer have those protections. Again LEO 101.

As the Japanese would say, bacca! (idiot)

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#4 User is online   zurg 

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 08:58 AM

Yup, rude lady, dumb officer in the wrong.

As an aside, hereís my tiny rant. I hate the way speeding motorists are caught. Itís disruptive and a safety hazard to others to chase someone and pull them over. And it is the ONE singular thing that can pit regular folk against cops. So I drove too fast - big friggin deal, a small CIVIL infraction. No need to have this lights flashing show. And then have to worry about getting into an altercation with someone with a gun potentially.

Do the SPEEDING part of driving infractions by cameras, and like in Europe, warn drivers about cameras. That way stupid people get caught. And have police focus on reckless driving and other real traffic dangers.
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#5 User is offline   oki 

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 09:01 AM

View PostTaggart Transcontinental, on 14 March 2019 - 08:06 AM, said:

Uhh yeah, this was settled DECADES ago. You can do just about anything verbal to a cop, we are supposed to take it. Now does it hurt you in the charge or bail? Sure, but can I arrest and charge based on this nonsense? Nope, that officer should be fired. We all learn this in the academy. This officer acted like an idiot. I have been cursed at, and flipped off. I thank them for their opinion and get them back on track.


This is an amazingly idiotic argument. As a LEO you only get immunity IF you do NOT violate the rights of the individual. Not "even though you may have" violated the person's rights. IF you are operating within the color of the law you are fine, step out into your own particular shade of grey and you no longer have those protections. Again LEO 101.

As the Japanese would say, bacca! (idiot)


That's about the kindest thing they would say. More than likely a ho, and yeah that is essentially the same thing as an a certain English word just minus a few letters. Oh yeah.... no biggie but it's baka. Easy thing to mis understand. It's stunning that in this information age people are ever increasingly so stupid that they can't even understand that no matter what the situation, no matter what you may or may not have done, no matter if the cop is a total di$$head or not.. Showing decency, respect and even kindness will never hurt your outcome, only help it.

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#6 User is offline   gravelrash 

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 09:33 AM

View Postzurg, on 14 March 2019 - 08:58 AM, said:

Yup, rude lady, dumb officer in the wrong.

As an aside, hereís my tiny rant. I hate the way speeding motorists are caught. Itís disruptive and a safety hazard to others to chase someone and pull them over. And it is the ONE singular thing that can pit regular folk against cops. So I drove too fast - big friggin deal, a small CIVIL infraction. No need to have this lights flashing show. And then have to worry about getting into an altercation with someone with a gun potentially.

Do the SPEEDING part of driving infractions by cameras, and like in Europe, warn drivers about cameras. That way stupid people get caught. And have police focus on reckless driving and other real traffic dangers.


Civil rights groups fight traffic cameras. Drivers and their lawyers argue all the time that cameras can't prove who was actually driving. And so on.

I find both the driver and the officer in the wrong. I also think that the court got it wrong to a certain degree. The cop overstepped his authority, true. However, while flipping someone off is free speech, if the cop was not on duty, this would have been considered road rage.

Historically, the finger dates back to The Hundred Years war when English long bowmen would dare French soldiers to come cut off their arrow fingers. In that context, you're not expressing an opinion. You're picking a fight.
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#7 User is offline   MTP Reggie 

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 09:48 AM

View Postgravelrash, on 14 March 2019 - 09:33 AM, said:

Historically, the finger dates back to The Hundred Years war when English long bowmen would dare French soldiers to come cut off their arrow fingers. In that context, you're not expressing an opinion. You're picking a fight.



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#8 User is offline   Natural Selection 

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 09:50 AM

View PostTaggart Transcontinental, on 14 March 2019 - 08:06 AM, said:

Now does it hurt you in the charge or bail? Sure...


Which is why it's stupid to treat any police officer with a lack of respect. If an officer has any discretionary flexibility in a situation they will likely adjust it to the behavior of their "customer".

Even if I get pulled over in an obvious revenue-generating speed trap I will keep my thoughts to myself. It may feel good to vent, but it's not worth it in the long run.
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#9 User is offline   Taggart Transcontinental 

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 10:27 AM

View Postzurg, on 14 March 2019 - 08:58 AM, said:

Yup, rude lady, dumb officer in the wrong.

As an aside, here's my tiny rant. I hate the way speeding motorists are caught. It's disruptive and a safety hazard to others to chase someone and pull them over. And it is the ONE singular thing that can pit regular folk against cops. So I drove too fast - big friggin deal, a small CIVIL infraction. No need to have this lights flashing show. And then have to worry about getting into an altercation with someone with a gun potentially.

Do the SPEEDING part of driving infractions by cameras, and like in Europe, warn drivers about cameras. That way stupid people get caught. And have police focus on reckless driving and other real traffic dangers.


No, first and foremost camera's are BS. PERIOD. Secondly, why do we do traffic stops for speeding? Safety on the road. I never pull anyone over simply for speeding. There are other issues with speed, 1st reckless behavior, most speeders will tailgate, and attempt to intimidate others out of the way, they will zigzag through traffic cut others off and act the general ass. Those are the guys I pull over. Want to speed do 7 over and feel like you are getting over. There is little time savings for a person driving 20 miles at 10 miles per hour over. There is very little in the means of 2-3 minutes. Is that worth killing someone? If it's so important to get somewhere in a timeline wake up 5 minutes earlier.

Secondly, people that have other issues with the law speed. So you have no idea how many people we roll up on warrants for a simple traffic stop. Why would we give that up simply because someone does not like the "light show"? There are risks with them but getting dangerous people and others off the road that have warrants does in fact validate the use of traffic stops.

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#10 User is offline   Taggart Transcontinental 

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 10:30 AM

View PostNatural Selection, on 14 March 2019 - 09:50 AM, said:

Which is why it's stupid to treat any police officer with a lack of respect. If an officer has any discretionary flexibility in a situation they will likely adjust it to the behavior of their "customer".

Even if I get pulled over in an obvious revenue-generating speed trap I will keep my thoughts to myself. It may feel good to vent, but it's not worth it in the long run.


Our motto is "I treat you as nice as you let me", that's why a lot of people that have run ins with police regularly act like grown adults and those that never have had a problem act like petulant children.
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#11 User is online   zurg 

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 10:47 AM

View PostTaggart Transcontinental, on 14 March 2019 - 10:27 AM, said:

No, first and foremost camera's are BS. PERIOD. Secondly, why do we do traffic stops for speeding? Safety on the road. I never pull anyone over simply for speeding. There are other issues with speed, 1st reckless behavior, most speeders will tailgate, and attempt to intimidate others out of the way, they will zigzag through traffic cut others off and act the general ass. Those are the guys I pull over. Want to speed do 7 over and feel like you are getting over. There is little time savings for a person driving 20 miles at 10 miles per hour over. There is very little in the means of 2-3 minutes. Is that worth killing someone? If it's so important to get somewhere in a timeline wake up 5 minutes earlier.

Secondly, people that have other issues with the law speed. So you have no idea how many people we roll up on warrants for a simple traffic stop. Why would we give that up simply because someone does not like the "light show"? There are risks with them but getting dangerous people and others off the road that have warrants does in fact validate the use of traffic stops.

In my opinion this is inaccurate. Many if not most highways have speed limits that are way lower than they have to be from safety viewpoint. Most cars, their tires and roads can easily handle 80-90mph while speed limits are set at 60-65-70mph. Germany has the right idea.

Regarding only giving speeding tickets to those who endanger others with weaving and tailgating. You may have that personal rule which is great but itís not shared by other cops and sheriffs.

The truth actually is that cops pulling people over on a highway is probably a higher danger to safety than the speeding the preceded it.

This post has been edited by zurg: 14 March 2019 - 10:48 AM

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#12 User is online   RedSoloCup 

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 11:11 AM

Antifa and BLM members flip off the police all the time. :whistling:
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#13 User is offline   Junto 

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 11:20 AM

I was told by LEOs in Louisiana that since they are the only state operating under Napoleonic law, they can arrest people for cussing them out, although it was unlikely. They would charge you with disturbing the peace.

https://legis.la.gov...aw.aspx?d=78253

"Addressing any offensive, derisive, or annoying words to any other person who is lawfully in any street, or other public place; or call him by any offensive or derisive name, or make any noise or exclamation in his presence and hearing with the intent to deride, offend, or annoy him, or to prevent him from pursuing his lawful business, occupation, or duty;"

This post has been edited by Junto: 14 March 2019 - 11:20 AM

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#14 User is offline   oki 

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 11:28 AM

View Postzurg, on 14 March 2019 - 10:47 AM, said:

In my opinion this is inaccurate. Many if not most highways have speed limits that are way lower than they have to be from safety viewpoint. Most cars, their tires and roads can easily handle 80-90mph while speed limits are set at 60-65-70mph. Germany has the right idea.

Regarding only giving speeding tickets to those who endanger others with weaving and tailgating. You may have that personal rule which is great but itís not shared by other cops and sheriffs.

The truth actually is that cops pulling people over on a highway is probably a higher danger to safety than the speeding the preceded it.



Throw in not allowing tractor trailers to at least drive the posted limit because somehow creating an according of people slowing down, then having to move over and back in is some how safer, AND, people drive 10-15-20 or more UNDER THE POSTED LIMIT somehow makes them safer. Truth is if they think that they need to do this they probably should be on the road in the first place.

Oki
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#15 User is offline   Severian 

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 11:41 AM

View PostTaggart Transcontinental, on 14 March 2019 - 10:30 AM, said:

Our motto is "I treat you as nice as you let me", that's why a lot of people that have run ins with police regularly act like grown adults and those that never have had a problem act like petulant children.

No kidding. Listen up all you people (not us of course here, with some exceptions). You're dealing with another human being, not Gort the robot. And yes, some cops are aggressive control freaks, but most are just humans doing a job that is at times unpleasant, frustrating, and upsetting. Work I wouldn't want to do, my personality is not suited for it.

Why in the world do you think having a chip on your shoulder and freaking to the cop will make things better? If he/she has a bit of latitude or discretion, pissing them off will make sure you get the harder end of the window rather than the softer end.

I've never, ever gotten involved with law enforcement for anything other than traffic offenses. So far only in Florida. I've found that being polite got me politeness in return they've always been calm and professional. Never really talked my way out of a ticket, but never got a wood shampoo and a ride in the back of a nice squad car either. :coolshades:
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#16 User is offline   Natural Selection 

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 11:54 AM

My only beef with the police is their habit of setting up speed traps that have nothing to do with deterrence or safety. They are strictly for collecting revenue. I'm talking about a long stretch of lonely road with very little traffic, an unreasonably low speed limit, and a cop hiding with a radar gun. It's like being robbed.
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#17 User is offline   gravelrash 

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 12:17 PM

View PostNatural Selection, on 14 March 2019 - 11:54 AM, said:

My only beef with the police is their habit of setting up speed traps that have nothing to do with deterrence or safety. They are strictly for collecting revenue. I'm talking about a long stretch of lonely road with very little traffic, an unreasonably low speed limit, and a cop hiding with a radar gun. It's like being robbed.


If you're driving on the interstate through Omaha, NE, check whether the cruiser is city or state. If city, it's a speed trap for cash. If state, they're on a stake-out, usually for drug runners and fugitives.
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#18 User is offline   Ladybird 

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 12:27 PM

My apartment was on a steep hill that had a sudden drop. The cops would set their radar on cars going down the street that had a 30mph speed limit. They would pull over multiple cars at a time.
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#19 User is offline   Natural Selection 

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 12:50 PM

View Postgravelrash, on 14 March 2019 - 12:17 PM, said:

If you're driving on the interstate through Omaha, NE, check whether the cruiser is city or state. If city, it's a speed trap for cash. If state, they're on a stake-out, usually for drug runners and fugitives.


Here in Chicago there's not too many speed traps with the exception of Lake Shore Drive. The cops have their hands full dealing with the huge number of thugs and don't really sit around with radar guns. The surrounding low-crime suburbs are a different story. They've got way too much time on their hands and spend their days robbing drivers enforcing traffic laws. They know every spot where drivers can safely exceed the ridiculously low speed limit and they set up shop there on a regular basis. I have NEVER seen evidence of an accident near these speed traps so it's not like they're trying to reduce accidents at these locations.
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#20 User is offline   oki 

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 04:27 PM

View PostNatural Selection, on 14 March 2019 - 12:50 PM, said:

Here in Chicago there's not too many speed traps with the exception of Lake Shore Drive. The cops have their hands full dealing with the huge number of thugs and don't really sit around with radar guns. The surrounding low-crime suburbs are a different story. They've got way too much time on their hands and spend their days robbing drivers enforcing traffic laws. They know every spot where drivers can safely exceed the ridiculously low speed limit and they set up shop there on a regular basis. I have NEVER seen evidence of an accident near these speed traps so it's not like they're trying to reduce accidents at these locations.



For what it's worth....

Years ago(many many) one of the guys in my unit was just prior to joining the Army an intern with a certain southern California P.D. that became very famous for not so good reasons and actually new a few of the officers involved.
Any way he told of how they where in the Garage/Parking lot futzing with a brand new radar gun and the damn thing was acting crazy, showing cars that where parked as moving fast. Slow moving vehicles as standing still and just fubarred.
Couldn't figure it out and couldn't figure it out. Next day they check it and it seems to be acting perfectly fine.

What the hell? Then someone remembered one of the officers nearby had his fish finder and was showing it off to some of his friends. Sooo... the next day or soon after the officer again turned his fish finder on and the same thing repeated. The fish finder was essentially messing with the radar gun.

Normal cheap basic ones operate in the 15 - 200 Kilohertz range...
https://www.furuno.c...der/topic5.html


There very well could be some truth to this as it does look like this is in the spectrum that many Police Radar guns operate.
https://www.radars.c...olice-radar-t-7

As this was many years ago most of the more recent Radar systems wouldn't have been out yet.
Still funny as hell though.

Oki
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