Police End Up Paying $4k To Guy They Gave Bogus Traffic Tickets To After He Flipped Them Off

from the still-not-recommended dept

It's probably not a good idea, in general, to give the middle finger to police officers you encounter in your everyday life. However, it's also not illegal. So a guy who did it twice, and each time was then pulled over and given questionable citations then sued them for violating his civil rights. The Clackamas County police department in Oregon has now agreed to pay him $4,000 to settle the lawsuit, claiming that it was just cheaper to settle than to fight. Perhaps they also realized that they were likely going to lose as well.


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  1.  
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    Jaws4theRevenge (profile), Nov 9th, 2010 @ 8:07am

    I'm pretty sure it's illegal to flip off or otherwise disrespect the police in the UK. What a fantastic country.

     

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    ds, Nov 9th, 2010 @ 8:09am

     

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    ds, Nov 9th, 2010 @ 8:09am

     

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    ds, Nov 9th, 2010 @ 8:09am

     

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  5.  
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    interval (profile), Nov 9th, 2010 @ 8:35am

    Re:

    "I'm pretty sure it's illegal to flip off or otherwise disrespect the police in the UK."

    And what exactly what would be the reasoning behind such a law? Respect for the color of authority or some other nebulous nonsense? I'm frequently amazed by the number of comments I see online from Europeans who openly mock the US tradition & constitutionality of our 1st amendment, as if its some anachronistic bit of uselessness. Its clear to me that such people don't "get it", and how blind acceptance of whatever authorities dictate is such a mistake. Yet this seems to be the norm over there.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2010 @ 8:57am

    "I'm pretty sure it's illegal to flip off or otherwise disrespect the police in the UK. What a fantastic country."
    Not that I discourage flipping off or disrespecting police in the UK or any nation, but even if that is the case it doesn't excuse officers from writing tickets for things the victim did not commit.

     

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  7.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Nov 9th, 2010 @ 9:01am

    Comes out of county funds, NOT cop's pocket.

    Police not only commit crimes while we pay them, after having taken an oath to defend us their employers, but when caught *we* pay for their defense and any damages. But so-called "conservatives" think that the "thin blue line" must be supported regardless of even crimes committed, and can never see the perverse incentives they make.

     

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  8.  
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    KB, Nov 9th, 2010 @ 9:02am

    Re: Re:

    That's absolute bollocks. People laugh at your 1st amendment because it's only applied in cases which suit your government of the time. There's only the perception of freedom of speech in the US (or anywhere else. Just because it's written down in a fancy document that you hold as some sort of beacon of your superiority doesn't mean that in actual, practical terms it really means anything.

    Do you believe that, if a police officer were to come and speak to you for some reason, you should be able to say "Go f*** yourself you pug-eyed sack of sh*t"? I mean it's freedom of speech, so why wouldn't you?

     

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  9.  
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    letherial (profile), Nov 9th, 2010 @ 9:03am

    sorry, i got turrets in the hand.

     

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  10.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 9th, 2010 @ 9:04am

    Re: Comes out of county funds, NOT cop's pocket.

    I believe one can also file lawsuits against individual LEOs as well, actually. That this guy chose not to do that reflects poorly on HIS motives, not the government's.

    Did I just stick up for the govt.?

    *shudder*

     

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  11.  
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    Irving, Nov 9th, 2010 @ 9:09am

    Not quite right

    $4000 sounds like a pretty low penalty for unlawful confinement and filing false police reports.

    Especially when the perpetrator isn't the one who has to pay.

     

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  12.  
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    Overcast (profile), Nov 9th, 2010 @ 9:21am

    "And what exactly what would be the reasoning behind such a law? Respect for the color of authority or some other nebulous nonsense? I'm frequently amazed by the number of comments I see online from Europeans who openly mock the US tradition & constitutionality of our 1st amendment, as if its some anachronistic bit of uselessness. Its clear to me that such people don't "get it", and how blind acceptance of whatever authorities dictate is such a mistake. Yet this seems to be the norm over there."

    But said mocking will only continue - until the point it's no longer legal - and just give that time, soon enough it will be illegal to not only flip off a cop, but to flip-off a CEO or a Banker - that'll get you time too.

    Just mark my words.

    I think Orwell would be amazed at how bad it's getting now.

    The thought police are out in full force. Only problem is - who watches those that are doing the watching?

     

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  13.  
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    stderr (profile), Nov 9th, 2010 @ 9:52am

    birds

    In a startling follow-up development, birds began appearing everywhere in Oregon.

     

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  14.  
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    Jason, Nov 9th, 2010 @ 9:52am

    Pulling your own pet peave?

    "Perhaps they also realized that they were likely going to lose as well." "Google could be next?"

    Just keeping it real.

     

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  15.  
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    Jason, Nov 9th, 2010 @ 9:55am

    Re: Pulling your own pet peave?

    okay in the preview, the "" was an approximation symbol, you know the squiggly equals - cuz I would say that the arguments use similar logic, but to be fair Mike's is way less heavy handed

    Oh, well. I fail.

     

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  16.  
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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 9th, 2010 @ 10:00am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Do you believe that, if a police officer were to come and speak to you for some reason, you should be able to say "Go f*** yourself you pug-eyed sack of sh*t"?"

    Yes, and we do. Why shouldn't we be able to?

    Of course, we also don't arrest and/or beat our photographers for taking photos of our police officers, and we don't keep the parents behind a fence while their children play on our playgrounds.

     

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  17.  
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    harbingerofdoom (profile), Nov 9th, 2010 @ 10:07am

    Re: Re: Re:

    wow. way to be 100% wrong.

    to say that its only applied in cases that suite the government at the time is very wrong as more often than not its actually used against the government to limit the governments ability to stifle speech.

    and because its written down in a fancy document, to us that means that its a legal principal that is pretty much a cornerstone of US politics. so yeah, it actually does mean something... quite a lot really...

    Do i believe i should be able to say go F yourself to a cop? personally, yes. while i do not think that its very smart, i also do not think that it should be any more illegal than telling ANYONE to F-off...

    so F off.

     

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  18.  
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    harbingerofdoom (profile), Nov 9th, 2010 @ 10:08am

    Re: Re: Comes out of county funds, NOT cop's pocket.

    it happens to everyone from time to time...

    the important thing is just dont let it make you feel dirty when you have to...

     

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  19.  
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    MrWilson, Nov 9th, 2010 @ 10:14am

    Re: Re: Comes out of county funds, NOT cop's pocket.

    Don't worry, you don't have to stick up for the gubberment, just RTFCD (RTF Court Documents). He sued the sheriff's office and the deputies who gave him citations. The suit alleges that the issue is systemic in the sheriff's office since he got citations on different occasions from different sheriff's deputies for flipping them off and then his complaints of this conduct were determined to be unfounded by the higher-ups in the sheriff's office.

     

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  20.  
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    Palmyra (profile), Nov 9th, 2010 @ 10:15am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yes! So what is your point?

     

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  21.  
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    MrWilson, Nov 9th, 2010 @ 10:18am

    Re: Pulling your own pet peave?

    I'll fix that equation for you:

    Trolling != "keeping it real"

     

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  22.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Nov 9th, 2010 @ 10:22am

    Re: Re: Re:

    There's really nothing illegal about telling a cop in Canada to "go forth and reproduce thyself" (to quote Pierre Trudeau).

    It's certainly not the brightest thing you can do. From the sounds of it the reaction of the police wasn't all that bright either. I'm sure there was enough mechanically and otherwise wrong with this man's vehicle to give him a ticket or three. ONCE.

    The U.S. First Amendment isn't entirely at issue here.

    What is questionable is that a nation like Great Britain which claims to be at the forefront of democracy and liberty would ever make insulting a police officer illegal.

    Now THAT's absolute bullocks!

     

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  23.  
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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 9th, 2010 @ 10:36am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "People laugh at your 1st amendment because it's only applied in cases which suit your government of the time."

    Yes, because the government 'of the time' hated the Pledge of Allegiance (WV v. Barnett) and our very own Congress (Reno v. ACLU), and loved Vietnam protesters, (Tinker v. Des Moines), the KKK (Brandenburg v. Ohio), and flag-burners (Texas v. Johnson). Also, the government 'of the time' openly loved the pornographer Larry Flynt and detested poor Baptist Jerry Falwell (Hustler Magazine v. Falwell).

    Yeah, uh-huh. Right.

     

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  24.  
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    JonValJon (profile), Nov 9th, 2010 @ 10:47am

    I live in said county.. cops here are dicks. not nearly as bad as Portland next door, but close. until they spend more time dealing with actual problems, like domestic disturbances, robberies, gang activity, and general people actually causing a conflict with someone else, let em get the finger.

    we pay their salaries. im not paying you to pull me over, I am not causing any conflicts. mission creep seems to have gone from protect and serve, to police and suppress. hell. they wont even look you in the eye and talk to you like a real person.

    I know they are not all like that, I have a good friend who is a cop, and he is a good one. fixes problem when he is on duty, doesnt go out and create them. would look you in the eye and try to understand why you are him are talking if something did even come up when he was on duty. sadly he is a rare form.

    so until cops start protecting and serving again.. I see nothing wrong with giving them a little reminder that they are not doing their actual job anymore..

    ,|,,>_

     

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  25.  
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    Revelati, Nov 9th, 2010 @ 11:16am

    Forget all your laws, ethics, morality, amendments or stupid crap like that.

    A cop is just a guy with a gun, and that's why we do what they say.

    Compare these two scenarios.

    A cop pulls over your car, flips off the strap to his sidearm, stands outside of your car in a shooters stance and asks you to step out of the vehicle. 99% of people will step out of the vehicle without question weather they feel they deserve that sort of treatment or not.

    A guy with a gun walks into a bank and asks everyone to give him their money. 99% of people will give up the money without hesitation.

    See cops and robbers work on the same principle, compliance through brute force and superior firepower.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2010 @ 11:17am

    Yeah, giving out a dubious ticket to that guy? Not the best idea.
    If it were me, I'd just have him pull over, check his license, insurance, test for intoxication, that sort of thing. I'd be sure to jot down everything relevant about the guy; name, address, license plate number...
    The real fun would come later. Revenge is a dish best served cold...

     

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  27.  
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    kentucky redneck, Nov 9th, 2010 @ 11:39am

    Really!

    In other totally unrelated news.... Bernanke just printed another billion dollars...

     

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  28.  
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    DS, Nov 9th, 2010 @ 12:46pm

    Re:

    I so did not mean to post that three times.

     

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  29.  
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    DS, Nov 9th, 2010 @ 12:46pm

    Re:

    I so did not mean to post that three times.

     

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  30.  
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    TheStupidOne, Nov 9th, 2010 @ 12:55pm

    Re:

    Yes because you must respect the authority and never express yourself if you feel wronged. The worst thing you could ever do is openly question or confront police that are clearly abusing their power or are in fact committing crimes themselves.

    Heil Politzi!

     

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  31.  
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    BearGriz72 (profile), Nov 9th, 2010 @ 5:50pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Do you believe that, if a police officer were to come and speak to you for some reason, you should be able to say "Go f*** yourself you pug-eyed sack of sh*t"? I mean it's freedom of speech, so why wouldn't you?"

    Yea, and I have (not those exact words, but close) , what's your point?

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2010 @ 6:55pm

    Re:

    yea but there's a slim chance the cop has a dashboard cam and the video can be used on realtv or something

     

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  33.  
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    hmm, Nov 10th, 2010 @ 6:50am

    Actually it's NOT illegal to make fun of the police, the only thing that could potentially be illegal would be if this was done in a threatening manner...

     

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  34.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Nov 10th, 2010 @ 7:50am

    Re: Re: Re:

    > Do you believe that, if a police officer were to
    > come and speak to you for some reason, you should
    > be able to say "Go f*** yourself you pug-eyed sack
    > of sh*t"?

    I'm a cop in America and that sort of thing happens all the time. If you can't take being called names, you have no business in law enforcement.

    And no, just because someone says something like you wrote above, that doesn't mean I can arrest him/her absent any other evidence of actual criminal violation.

    If I did, that person would have a helluva lawsuit against me for deprivation of civil rights under color of authority.

     

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  35.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Nov 10th, 2010 @ 7:53am

    Re: Comes out of county funds, NOT cop's pocket.

    > Police not only commit crimes while we pay them,
    > after having taken an oath to defend us their
    > employers

    Actually, most police take an oath to defend the Constitution, not the people.

     

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