Court Rules; Flipping the Bird Is Protected by the Constitution
I actually used this as a Strange But True story when it happened two years ago.
In Taylor Michigan, Officer Matthew Minard pulled over a woman for speeding in 2017. When Minard stopped Debra Cruise-Gulyas, he actually cut her a break and wrote her a ticket for a lesser violation.
As Cruise-Gulyas was pulling away, she raised her middle finger at the police officer. Minard then jumped back in his cruiser, pulled her over again, and changed the ticket to a more serious speeding offense. I can't say I blame him. I would have been a little ticked off as well.
However, according to the Daily Herald, a federal appeals court in Michigan said the woman's constitutional rights were violated. And that the constitution gave her the right to give the middle finger to the Suburban Detroit police officer. And, with that decision, it gives her clearance to continue with the lawsuit that she filed.
The Daily Herald reported that Cruise-Gulyas is suing because she feels her free-speech rights were violated as well as her rights against unreasonable seizure.
I feel like I have to side with the cop on this one. The man was just doing his job, trying to keep people safe and enforce the law. He even tried to save her money by writing a ticket for a lesser offense, and she paid him back by giving him the "Hawaiian Salute".
Freedom of speech? Yes! I totally agree that the middle finger should be considered freedom of speech. However, I think people should show some respect to authorities, and in this case, if this woman did, she wouldn't have had to go through any of this.
I hope the lawsuit gets thrown out of court because I think she brought all this on herself.
While I was working on this blog, my co-worker Bob Joseph, sent me this 89 Page report on the Middle Finger and the Law. You can check that out here.
[via Daily Herald]