Court of Appeals Rules Raising Middle Finger at Police is Protected First Amendment Free Speech

Last week the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals found that the “ancient gesture of insult” does not give police a reasonable suspicion of a traffic violation or impending criminal activity to justify a traffic stop.  While Nichols Kaster, PLLP does not condone disrespect toward law enforcement, the ruling is intended to protect citizens from unjustified traffic stops. The article can be found here. This isn’t the first time controversy over this gesture has made the news. A 50-year-old mother of two was fired by her employer when a photo went viral of her giving the middle-fingered salute from her bicycle as President Trump’s motorcade left a golf course.  That article is here. It should be noted that private employers do not have to tolerate rude or offensive behavior in the workplace on the auspices of freedom of speech.