Is It Legal Or Not To Flip Off A Cop Here In Massachusetts?
Listen, we all get road rage and sometimes have no choice but to raise up that finger to other drivers who get on our own nerves. It just makes us feel satisfied right? Hey that's why we're called Mass****.
A Federal court ruling took place in New York recently that it was indeed constitutional to flip off a cop and this has us wondering, is it illegal in Massachusetts?
According to americaninno.com, giving the fact that flipping the bird to a police officer is protected under the first amendment freedom of speech. The short answer would be NO it is not illegal. However, if can be considered illegal if it is expressed a threatening manner.
We recognize that the raising of the middle finger as a form of insult has a long, if not illustrious, history dating back to ancient Greece. Like its verbal counterpart, when it is used to express contempt, anger, or protest, it is a form of expression protected by the First Amendment. - Judge Ralph Gants wrote at the time of the case.
The first incident took place in October of 2010 out of Northampton when a man named O'Brien followed a police officer named Borowski out of a bar giving the officer a double-bird and allegedly yelled "f*** you." To make a long story short, O'Brien ended up being a repeated offender where he ended flipping off Officer Borowski several times and honking his car horn outside the officer's house!
Officer Borowski ended up filing a "harassment prevention order" which was dropped soon after. So, overall while it's a not illegal to give the bird to a cop since it's protected by freedom of speech, it is certainly disrespectful and can lead to ether harassment or even disorderly conduct depending on the circumstances.