The world flips out

Written by Reg Henry on .

Under the category of "If the law supposes that, said Mr. Bumble, ... "the law is a ass, a idiot," I file the following, with apologies to Charles Dickens, who gave us the aforementioned quote:

This story, however, comes from the Post-Gazette today:

 City to Pay Man Who Flipped Off Police Officer

"The city has tentatively agreed to pay $50,000 to settle a federal suit brought by a man who was cited in 2006 for giving the middle finger to a motorist and a police officer.

"As part of the settlement, the city will train all of its officers in recognizing when they are violating someone's civil rights, including taking action against anyone who flips them off.

"David Hackbart, 35, and the American Civil Liberties Union sued the city after an incident in which he flipped off another driver in Squirrel Hill and then gave the middle finger to Sgt. Brian Elledge, who cited him for disorderly conduct."

Call me old school, but when did giving the finger to a police officer become one of our cherished civil liberties? Is this what our brave veterans have fought for generation unto generation - the right to vote, freedom of worship and giving the finger to police officers?

This seems to me an argument for having a general charge covering offenses to the law of common sense.

And even if flipping off officers is considered a type of free speech, is it really worth $50,000 to repair the feelings of one who is cited for disorderly conduct? $50,000 is a lot of hot dinners where I come from.

Clearly, this is a world gone mad. So many rights, so few responsibilities - including being courteous to police officers.



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