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Author Topic: Flipping the bird
WHATEVER
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Is it illegal to flip someone off? I mean, I konw it's rude, but is it against the law? I live near Fresno, CA. I can't imagine that it would be illegal here, but you never know.
Maybe it's illegal for an adult to flip off a child. I suppose it could be considered a lewd act....hmmm
Anyone know?

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KimScoop
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Well, it's illegal in Pennsylvania and is considered "Disorderly Conduct". And I know this because I, uh, flipped off a state trooper. But I didn't know he was a trooper, honest! He was tailgating me in an unmarked Mustang, so when he passed me, I shot him the bird. 'Course, then he pulled me over and cited me for something else that was totally bogus.
So I went before the justice and got the other part dismissed, but had to pay the DC fine for the "bird".

Kim"Yes, it was extremely embarrassing at the time"Scoop

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STF
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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That is awesome*, KimScoop!

I wouldn't feel too bad though. I've been told by a police officer that you'd be surprised how many people will get their attention just to flip them off. That takes a lack of brains in my opinion.



*'Awesome' is used here in the ironic sense.

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jaimilyn
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Anybody know about the laws in Massachusetts? Hubby is always flipping people off while driving, and it totally embarasses me. If it was illegal, maybe he'd refrain....

--jaimi "post is short due to my kitty helping me type" lyn

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STF
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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I had a similar problem, jaimilyn.

My ex-wife would honk and flip people off. I told her that she was going to get her self killed or beat, but she never did stop doing it. She was this petite thing and it just wasn't a good idea for her to be carrying on that way.

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pob14
Jingle Bell Hock


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KimScoop,

You'd have been acquitted in Illinois. By case law, [oversimplification alert] a police officer cannot normally be "alarmed and disturbed", which is the requirement for disorderly conduct. In other words, the cops are expected to put up with stupid s**t because it's part of the job.

POB

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Patrick

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Malruhn
The "Was on Sale" Song


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KimScoop, if the charge you were ticketed with was speeding, you did have a case that the only reason you were "speeding" was to get out of the immediate way of a tailgating jerk. It turned out that the jerk was a cop, so it was entrapment... the only reason you broke the law was because of the actions of a police officer.

There was a local cop in Northern Wisconsin that used to do that all the time. The state troopers finally set up a sting with a rear-facing camera. All of the butt-head's tickets written for speeding were thrown out, and there was a class-action lawsuit against him to recoup the costs of higher insurance premiums.

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Opinions aren't excuses to remain ignorant about subjects, nor are they excuses to never examine one's beliefs & prejudices...

Babies are like tattoos. You see other peoples' & they're cool, but yours is never as good & you can't get rid of it.

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meowruti
The Red and the Green Stamps


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There was that case a few months ago where an American pilot was fined something like $8k for flipping off an immigration official. Apparently the pilot didn't like the new immigration rules that Brazil instituted to respond to the US's immigration rules.
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WHATEVER
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Well, I guess I should explain the reason for my question.
Not sure how many of you read the posts about the neighbor kids going in our backyard...
Anyway, those same kids have been tormenting my daughter at school. I finally went to the principal about it when the boys started getting physically violent with her. The principal called my daughter and the "ring leader" of the boys into his office. He basically told them that the BS would stop and stop NOW. He said that they don't have to be friends but that they have to stay away from each other. He also said that if any other incident occurs, someone would get suspended.
A couple days later, the same boy flipped my daughter off. I ignored it cuz boys will be boys and the kid's parents don't care, so there really wasn't anything that could be done.
Not long after that, I was driving my daughter home and we saw the 3 boys riding their bikes home. They rode past us and I made a gagging noise like I was going to puke and said, "Oh my God what is that smell? Oh, it's Joey."
The boys didn't hear me and my daughter was giggling. I was just trying to relate to her and maybe cheer her up a bit cuz the teasing from them had really gotten her down.
Anyway, I didn't know it, but at the next stop, my daugher had her head resting in her hand with her middle finger up on the side of her face. Kind of flipping them off without being really obvious about it. Well, the boys went home and told their parents that Kelsey flipped them off. The parents called the principal, and the principal called the police.
He explained to me, the next day in a phone call, that it was now a civil matter and that he couldn't control what the students were doing outside of school, especially when the parents were condoning the behavior.
I told him that first of all, I didn't even realize she was doing it, and second, when she told me, I did not condone it.
Well, the police never contacted me. I guess they have better things to do. Imagine that.
But, I was just wondering what, if anything, they could've done if they had responded.
It's ridiculous, really, especially considering that Joey flips me off every day... Maybe the FBI would do something [Roll Eyes]

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Whatever, I've gotta say you making jokes about one of the kids within earshot of your daughter was probably out of line.

But, now that the cops are involved, hopefully, there will be some resolution.

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"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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tanta07
Deck the Malls


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What's with the principal calling the police over the finger, especially when he knew the sequence of events leading up to it?

Sounds like a real douche bag to me.

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Malruhn
The "Was on Sale" Song


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Not to be too much of a jerk here, but you did condone it.

You made it very clear that at leaast some level of antagonism was acceptable... and your comment that "the boys didn't hear me" left me believing that the windows were open, which was like an "invite" for them to hear it, and that you wouldn't be overly upset if they DID hear you.

Your comment, and your daughter's giggle and your non-confrontation of her giggle led her to believe that it was okay... so she let the birdie fly.

Mr. Principal did the best thing he could in that situation. Obviously there is bad blood between your daughter and these jerks. He hears ONE side of it and makes a general threat. Then, when he hears what is SUPPOSEDLY additional info saying that perhaps your daughter is the instigator behind this whole thing - AND THAT YOU ARE SUPPORTING HER, he did the only thing he could do... act and act forcibly.

The way he saw it, she was bullying them with your tacit approval. After Columbine, there are no more chances... call Mr. Police Officer.

This all being said... I don't see anything that you did that I would have done differently... so I guess I would be just as guilty. I am not flaming you - I am just presenting another side of a two sided argument.

Just a quick side question... do you recall what you were doing at the exact moment your daughter flipped the jerks off? If you were responding to a joke or looking like you were enjoying yourself in any way, the boys could report that your daughter flipped them off and you "just laughed".

--------------------
Opinions aren't excuses to remain ignorant about subjects, nor are they excuses to never examine one's beliefs & prejudices...

Babies are like tattoos. You see other peoples' & they're cool, but yours is never as good & you can't get rid of it.

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Pogue Ma-humbug
Happy Christmas (Malls are Open)


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Any good lawyer could get a law that prohibited giving one the finger thrown out on Constitutional grounds. It's a clear violation of the First Amendment.

Pogue

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Let's drink to the causes in your life:
Your family, your friends, the union, your wife.

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resELution
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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I'd say if the boys parents are so concerned about laws they should educate their sons about trespassing.
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Warlok
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by Pogue, the long-haired Ma(nx)hone:
Any good lawyer could get a law that prohibited giving one the finger thrown out on Constitutional grounds. It's a clear violation of the First Amendment.

Pogue

Is it? I'm not sure that I knew that inciteful behavior was protected? Or is that the exact reason that you can't have a blanket law - sometimes it's a personal expression and other times based on circumstances it is inciteful. So you jsut have the laws agaist that and address it on a [ugh] case by case basis...?

Warlok

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Inconceivable

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Silas Sparkhammer
I Saw V-Chips Come Sailing In


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quote:
Originally posted by Pogue, the long-haired Ma(nx)hone:
Any good lawyer could get a law that prohibited giving one the finger thrown out on Constitutional grounds. It's a clear violation of the First Amendment.

Alas, not always... As Warlokat notes, it could be "inciteful" speech, aka "fighting words."

Example: If I flip off a politician in the middle of his motorcade through town, or if I flip off a movie star at a big gala opening, that's a kind of public criticism, and legal.

If I go into a bar and flip off the big biker dude at the pool table...and he happens to be an off-duty cop...

It's like the infamous "N-word." I can legally say it in some situations...and not in others...

Silas ("Nightingale" of course) Sparkhammer

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Dark Blue
The First USA Noel


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Is one of those laws that gets interpreted differently everywhere I think. Our local prosecutor has ruled that flipping someone the bird is their 1st ammendment right. End of story. And yes as someone pointed out he has also ruled that police officers can't be victims of disorderly conduct, and basically because of our job we just have to put up with it.

Can't help you much with your daughter's situation. It sounds to me like a typical bad blood situation that is so common in school. Just be sure to monitor the situation, because you said it was becoming pyhsically violent. Don't know how violent, but definately something to keep an eye on.

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I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf. -- On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs by LTC. Dave Grossman, USA (Ret)

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breeze_tioga
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I live in Pennsylvania and gave my ex brother-in-law the bird ( he was a real @ss ). Anyway, he called the cops on me, and the officer said it wasn't illegal but recommended against doing it to him again because he was "a couple beers short of a six pack"
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KimScoop
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
if the charge you were ticketed with was speeding, you did have a case that the only reason you were "speeding" was to get out of the immediate way of a tailgating jerk.
Oh yeah, I would have been pissedif he'd tried to get me for speeding.
Actually, I was in a work zone, behind a tractor-trailer and was watching my speed. He was so close to me that I couldn't even see his headlights. When the construction zone ended, I passed the truck, then the Mustang passed me. That's when I flipped him off. So he throws the light up on the roof and pulls me over--totally pissed off, he stomps up to the car, tells me I'm "under arrest" for Disorderly and proceeds to walk around the car, looking for "issues". I had my seatbelt on, no headlights out, etc, so the only thing he could find to cite for was a "Windshield Obstruction"--a two inch parking tag on my rearview mirror.

So when I went before the justice, this trooper tells this big tale about how I yelled obscenities (uh, nope)and that he told me how dangerous that could be (Meanwhile, he had never said a word, other that 'you're under arrest'), etc. When it was my turn, I explained that I had flipped him off and there was no denying that, but I never yelled anything and I showed him the parking tag. He just gave the trooper the eyeball and dismissed that parking tag part.

Anyway, I was much younger then and I try valiantly to restrain my temper whilst driving these days. And I have friends who are cops, so I try to be on my "best behavior", 'cause I really don't want to be tonight's dumb driver story!

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Wild.Otaku
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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Whatever, remember you are living in California, and people there will sue at the drop of a hat if they feel they've been discriminated in any way, shape or form. Just because the cops haven't gotten in on it doesn't mean that the parents aren't actively pursuing the matter legally. The boy's parents could be seeing if they can sue you for somehow causing irreverseable damage to his young psyche. [Roll Eyes]

Your daughter should be out of school or getting out of school soon (unless they've fully switched to year-round there), and I would suggest keeping her as far from the kids causing trouble as possible. I would also suggest looking into another school for her for the upcoming school year. Better to get her into a safer environment than have a few teeth knocked out because you made a favorable impression on her.

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Tom, we're flying a giant robot into space! "Safe" isn't the first word that springs to mind! - Colleen, Last Hope, Vol.2

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STF
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Silas Sparkhammer:
quote:
Originally posted by Pogue, the long-haired Ma(nx)hone:
Any good lawyer could get a law that prohibited giving one the finger thrown out on Constitutional grounds. It's a clear violation of the First Amendment.

Alas, not always... As Warlokat notes, it could be "inciteful" speech, aka "fighting words."

Example: If I flip off a politician in the middle of his motorcade through town, or if I flip off a movie star at a big gala opening, that's a kind of public criticism, and legal.

If I go into a bar and flip off the big biker dude at the pool table...and he happens to be an off-duty cop...

It's like the infamous "N-word." I can legally say it in some situations...and not in others...

Silas ("Nightingale" of course) Sparkhammer

Also if that guy in a bar isn't a cop and he knocks your lights out he may get away with it due to the "fighting words" exception.

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WHATEVER
The Red and the Green Stamps


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You know, I'll admit that what I did was immature. But, like I said, I was trying to cheer her up and relate to her situation. *sigh* I really never thought that she would translate that into thinking that flipping them off is acceptable. Making throw up noises and flipping someone off are two very different things.
But, I can totally see the other side of the coin.
It still burns me, though that they are the proverbial pot and we are the kettle.

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