Question: Can you get arrested for giving a cop the finger? — James, Kent
Answer: It’s hard to imagine why anybody would be dumb enough to do that, but according to a federal appeals court, it’s not grounds for arrest.
Swartz v. Insogna was heard by a panel of judges in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit earlier this year. It stemmed from a situation in which a New York man gave the finger to a policeman who was tracking cars with a radar gun.
The officer followed him, pulled him over and arrested him for disorderly conduct.
At the appellate court, the driver won, hands down.
The judges’ unanimous decision said, in part:
“This ancient gesture of insult is not the basis for a reasonable suspicion of a traffic violation or impending criminal activity.”Rob Carson: 253-597-8693