Digitus Impudicus-Flipping the Bird

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guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Original Post - Jan 6, 2013 - 11:18am PT
I have always wondered at the ramifications of flipping a cop the bird?

The Middle Finger and the Law.

Man Arrested for Flipping Off Cop Wins Day in Court

A federal appeals court is reinstating a civil rights lawsuit brought by a New York man arrested for disorderly conduct after flipping off a police officer in traffic.

There’s no law against directing to police what might be the world’s oldest insulting gesture. Flipping the bird, or sticking out the middle finger, dates to ancient Greece and was adopted by the Romans as digitus impudicus – the impudent finger.

But it’s not advised, as it may lead to a confrontation. And that’s exactly what happened in upstate New York.

After the police stop in 2006, words were exchanged between the local police officer and middle-finger-saluter John Swartz, a 62-year-old Vietnam veteran. He flipped the bird at officer Richard Insogna who was employing a radar device to ticket speeders — and Insogna stopped the vehicle.

In reinstating the lawsuit, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals didn’t buy Insogna’s explanation for the traffic stop. Insogna testified in a deposition that he stopped the vehicle Swartz was traveling in because the raised middle finger suggested Swartz “was trying to get my attention for some reason” and that he “was concerned for the female driver.”

A federal judge sided with police and tossed the lawsuit. But the New York-based appeals court on Thursday reinstated the case, which was also brought by the driver, Swartz’s wife, Judy Mayton-Swartz.

According to the three-judge panel: (.pdf)

Perhaps there is a police officer somewhere who would interpret an automobile passenger’s giving him the finger as a signal of distress, creating a suspicion that something occurring in the automobile warranted investigation. And perhaps that interpretation is what prompted Insogna to act, as he claims. But the nearly universal recognition that this gesture is an insult deprives such an interpretation of reasonableness. This ancient gesture of insult is not the basis for a reasonable suspicion of a traffic violation or impending criminal activity. Surely no passenger planning some wrongful conduct toward another occupant of an automobile would call attention to himself by giving the finger to a police officer.

No trial date has been set in the unlawful-arrest case. The disorderly conduct charges were later dropped after Swartz’s arrest.

In its Thursday opinion, the appeals court cited American University legal scholar Ira Robbins, who has written a definitive paper on flipping the bird: “Digitus Impudicus: The Middle Finger and the Law.” http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/threatlevel/2010/03/middlefinger.pdf
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
Jan 6, 2013 - 11:24am PT
I almost got the crap beat out of me as a twelve year old kid for flipping off a rude Italian skier on a glacier in France.

The guy was a dick and deserved it. Luckily my awesome Grandpa (RIP) intervened and told the fag bag loser to take his bitching and shove it, all in passable Italian. Good times.
RyanD

climber
Squamish
Jan 6, 2013 - 11:35am PT
Yeah u gotta watch where u point that thing. Pretty awesome story lol.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 6, 2013 - 11:37am PT
Dick Long has turned the Fickle Finger of Fate into his own personal credo! LOL
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Jan 6, 2013 - 11:40am PT
HEY GUIDO!!!

Credit: survival
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Jan 6, 2013 - 11:43am PT
Pluck yew dude...! RJ
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jan 6, 2013 - 11:53am PT
Put the change in my pocket.
MisterE

Social climber
Jan 6, 2013 - 11:54am PT
Sometimes it costs you a quarter of a million dollars:

mechrist

Gym climber
South of Heaven
Jan 6, 2013 - 11:55am PT
I flipped a cop off on 395. He pulled me over, I explained I thought he was another one of those as#@&%es from LA riding my ass. He laughed, told me to keep my finger to myself and my loved ones, and sent me on my way.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 6, 2013 - 12:07pm PT
There's flipping a cop off and then there's ...

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photo not found
Missing photo ID#282530

My money is on her walking.
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
Jan 6, 2013 - 12:10pm PT
Really depends on the face.
Walleye

climber
The Hot Kiss on the end of a Wet Fist
Jan 6, 2013 - 01:29pm PT
Illinois climbers are the worst!
Credit: Walleye
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jan 6, 2013 - 01:34pm PT
A Very Dry Fist, too.
mechrist

Gym climber
South of Heaven
Jan 6, 2013 - 01:39pm PT




http://www.pinporn.com/peepysroadrunner/flipping-the-bird/
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jan 6, 2013 - 05:48pm PT
in 1971 or 1972 (?) (I think it was the year that Robbins' attempted a solo FA on El Capitan from which he retreated) I was driving our merry band to Yosemite, driving west on "The 10" coming out of Claremont CA. Somewhere in Covina my friend Mike, riding shot gun, flips off a Covina cop, who promptly pulls up behind us punks, trails us a bit and then lights us up...

"what the ?"

"Oh, Mike flipped off the cop" says friend 2 in the back seat... so we pull over onto the right shoulder. The cop calls in backup, and then takes us to task.

"why did you pull me over?" I ask, again and again... fully knowing my rights (what a wiseazz at such a tender year)... eventually he comes up with a catchall: "you were weaving" bullsh#t...

the other cop arrives, asks sotto voce "what's going on" and the first cop says "I want to scare them" but, of course, this was overheard by us all...

eventually he lets us go with a warning...
...we were seniors in high school, on spring break, and of course we knew everything and thought ourselves fully adult.

Cost us a good hour or so of travel time... but we had so much time back then we didn't understand its value...
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jan 6, 2013 - 08:00pm PT
Turkey tales.
Turkey tales.
Credit: GI
weezy

climber
Jan 6, 2013 - 08:57pm PT
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Jan 6, 2013 - 11:24pm PT
HEY GUIDO!!!



Credit: survival
mechrist

Gym climber
South of Heaven
Jan 6, 2013 - 11:58pm PT
I love Mr Rogers!

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