Is it smart to give the finger to a police officer, NO!

Is it legal?  Apparently, it is.

A federal appeals court, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, ruled this week 3-0 that a Michigan woman’s constitutional rights were violated when she was given a speeding ticket after she gave an officer the finger back in 2017.

How did this go down, well according to court records, the officer pulled the women over for speeding and then was kind enough to issue her a ticket for a non-moving violation.  This non-moving violation is a lesser offense and would have given her no points on her record, she still would have to pay the fine but no points put on her record would have allowed her ticket not to affect her insurance.  She just could not let it go at that and as she drove away, gave the officer the middle finger.

The officer did not take kindly to that and pulled her over again and changed the ticket to a moving violation.

Was she smart to give him the finger, no, but apparently it is legal to the extent that the officer should not have changed the ticket back to speeding.

The appeals court ruled that the officer violated her rights under the First Amendment, the right to free speech, and the Fourth Amendment, freedom from unreasonable search and seizure.  Interesting because Michigan’s Attorney General Dana Nessel believes it is totally appropriate and legal to enter Michigan citizens into a Michigan based hate and bias database if she deems their speech to be hateful.  Sounds like this court would rule against her on that, at least there are some in the legal community who still believe in free speech.

The court stated:

Fits of rudeness or lack of gratitude may violate the Golden Rule…But that doesn’t make them illegal or for that matter punishable or for that matter grounds for a seizure.

Maybe the police officer should have not changed her ticket to speeding but issued her a new ticket for being stupid.  Michigan’s Attorney General Dana Nessel, I can only assume, would have thought that to be totally appropriate, see the hate database link above.

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