A Michigan federal appeals court ruled it is safe to tell the police to go f**k themselves.
In a 3-0 decision, the 6th District Court ruled last week that a Taylor, Michigan, officer violated a motorist's right to free speech for being ticketed for giving him the finger.
The Detroit Free Press reports motorist Debra Cruise-Gulyas was pulled over in 2017 for a minor speeding violation.
Out of frustration at officer Matthew Minard, she raised her middle finger. She was reportedly stopped in a notorious "speed trap" some 18 miles southwest from Detroit.
“I know this is a bunch of B.S.,” she told The Washington Post. “When I pulled off, I gave him the middle finger.”
The officer noticed the rude gesture and pulled Cruise-Gulyas over again to ticket her for a more serious speeding violation.
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She felt her free speech rights and her Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable seizure were violated.
So, she filed a lawsuit against the officer where the matter appeared in front of a federal appeals court. It turned out she was right. Federal appeals judges ruled in her favor determining she broke no law.
“Fits of rudeness or lack of gratitude may violate the Golden Rule,” Judge Jeffrey Sutton wrote on behalf of his colleagues. “But that doesn’t make them illegal or for that matter punishable or for that matter grounds for a seizure” of a motorist in violation of the Fourth Amendment.
According to The Washington Post, the fight has only begun. Cruise-Gulyas is seeking an undisclosed amount for damages.
In the meantime, the case, Debra Lee Cruise-Gulyas v. Matthew Wayne Minard, will head back to the U.S. District Court for further proceedings.
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