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Man who flipped off Colorado State Trooper faces harassment charge...

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  • Man who flipped off Colorado State Trooper faces harassment charge...

    35 year old male was driving to his work site in April when he saw a trooper pull over another car. When he drove past, he flipped the trooper the bird.

    A second trooper tracked down the male at his work site and questioned him about the incident, according to the ACLU.

    He was issued a summons April 27 by the state police ordering him to appear in Jefferson County Court.

    ACLU Legal Director Mark Silverstein said he did nothing illegal.

    "Our client engaged in peaceful, silent symbolic expression that is protected by First Amendment," he said. "The protection of the Constitution is not limited to speech that is acceptable in polite society. The First Amendment also protects expression that may be disrespectful, coarse or even vulgar. It's rude to flip off a cop, but it's not a crime."

    The organization said it will urge prosecutors in Jefferson County Court to dismiss the charges.

    A spokeswoman for the 1st Judicial District Attorney's Office said prosecutors won't see the file or any evidence involving the case until his arraignment June 13.

    He could face up to six months in jail if convicted of the misdemeanor. He has no criminal record, court documents show.

    He was pulled over for speeding this time last year, but the court dismissed the charges.
    HONOR ~ DUTY ~ RESPECT

  • #2
    As I am currently in the final stages of being accepted into the CSP Academy, this July, I find this article interesting.

    The bottom line, for me, is that I wasn't there and I know that the media doesn't always tell the whole story and that the Troopers, who were there, made the decision based upon what they felt to be right....

    I'll be interested to see how this case ends...
    HONOR ~ DUTY ~ RESPECT

    Comment


    • #3
      The case will be dropped. A LEO cannot be "Harassed" in the State of Colorado. You are expected to be called every name in the book, and be given the "Finger" on a daily basis.

      If a civilain saw this happen to you, and they were "Alarmed or annoyed" by seeing this happen, then the subject can be charged with "Harassment."

      We don't know the full story, but if it was described as above... Case dismissed.
      Be safe pulling back into the thread...
      http://infidelswithhonor.com/

      Comment


      • #4
        In our town we have a mentally ill man who makes a routine practice of flipping off the cops, all the way from here to the Springs. One of my employees was incensed and confronted the guy. He also takes pictures and videos of the cops.

        I made contact with him, after he'd sent a letter requesting copies of any and all PD files regarding him. We had nothing, but I told him in the return letter that I doubted it would satisfy his curiosity. I was right. He's absolutely convinced that there is a massive police conspiracy stretching from the Front Range of Colorado to where his family resides in Texas. No amount of CIT, CNT, or any other skills will convince him, otherwise.

        Bottom line. He's mentally ill. Myself, the next-door chief, and a CSPD detective will be awaiting the outcome of this case with much anticipation. Although, my 30 years of big-city, west-coast experience tells me that like Dep D says...it's going nowhere.
        "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

        Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

        Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.

        Comment


        • #5
          I've had the chance to do a couple of ride-a-longs with the CSP and have witnessed, first hand, the names and condescending tones that are used when people realize that their actions have consequences.

          Each time, the Trooper was extremely professional and didn't engage or even acknowledge the words or the tone that was being used. It's that type of thick skin that you have to develop in order to do your job with a high level of professionalism. It's not an attack against you, but it's there way of feeling like they got the last word in... As far as I'm concerned, they can have it and I'll be 10-8...
          HONOR ~ DUTY ~ RESPECT

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Dep D View Post
            The case will be dropped. A LEO cannot be "Harassed" in the State of Colorado. You are expected to be called every name in the book, and be given the "Finger" on a daily basis.

            If a civilain saw this happen to you, and they were "Alarmed or annoyed" by seeing this happen, then the subject can be charged with "Harassment."

            We don't know the full story, but if it was described as above... Case dismissed.
            Technically under CRS he can give him a summons for it, but as you stated it should be a daily occurrence for a LEO.
            It's not reasonable to slap a M3 on the idiot for simply getting the finger.
            "In the fury of this darkest hour, we will be your light"

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Dep D View Post

              If a civilain saw this happen to you, and they were "Alarmed or annoyed" by seeing this happen, then the subject can be charged with "Harassment."
              We should let civilians ride with us more often so that when this happens we can let them sign the citizens compliant box on the disorderly conduct or harassment ticket.

              Comment


              • #8
                The admin at the State Patrol has already asked the DA to drop the charges. Like it or not, there has been plenty of case law that says this is protected speech. The only thing left to find out is how many zeros the guy's check from the CSP will have on it (probably not too many since the case didn't go very far).

                http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_18156964
                "There are two sides to every story.... mine and wrong." ~Stephen Colbert

                "Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you walk into an open sewer and die." ~ Mel Brooks

                "Hope for the Best. Expect the worst. Life is a play. We're unrehearsed."~ Mel Brooks

                Comment


                • #9
                  I guess we should tack on a charge to every turd that cusses us, flips us off, or whatever.

                  If someone flips me off and I'm not busy, I contact them and do a welfare check, because it appeared they were trying to flag me down. Attitude is adjusted accordingly. Haven't ever had any issues from that. Even if they did file a complaint, I can't see my brass beefing me over it. But to take it up a notch and charge them for it........hell no. Surely there was something else to this.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 913 View Post
                    I guess we should tack on a charge to every turd that cusses us, flips us off, or whatever.

                    If someone flips me off and I'm not busy, I contact them and do a welfare check, because it appeared they were trying to flag me down. Attitude is adjusted accordingly. Haven't ever had any issues from that. Even if they did file a complaint, I can't see my brass beefing me over it. But to take it up a notch and charge them for it........hell no. Surely there was something else to this.
                    I've heard a few cases where "welfare checks" like yours ended up leading to an arrest. In one case a buddy of mine was coming out of a convenience store with a drink and a car load of youths thought it would be wise to pull a "f**k you pig!". My buddy walked over to the car and asked if they were feeling ok. While talking to the youth, he detected the smell of marijuana. The 4 youths got a free ride downtown.

                    In another case my buddy was working a sting busting jaywalkers. He issues a citation to a man in his 40s', and as he's finishing up with the man, some genius walking by makes a remark "F**k'n cops are at it again". He gets about 10 yards away and decides to flip the bird. While pulling his hand out of his jacket to flip the bird, a tiny zip top bag falls to the ground. Another officer (in plain clothes) nearby observed the bag fall and picked it up for the man, and thought it looked a lot like crystal meth. Needless to say, the genius got hooked and got a ride downtown.

                    I've been called all kinds of names, seen all kinds of gestures, and have gotten insulted by some very vulgar individuals. Being a firm believer in the 1st amendment, so long as it's protected speech, I don't let it bother me. I know that karma can sometimes be a b1tch, so I let nature take its course. The offender usually gets his/hers soon enough. :-)
                    Getting shot hurts! Don't under estimate the power of live ammo. A .22LR can kill you! I personally feel that it's best to avoid being shot by any caliber. Your vest may stop the bullet, but you'll still get a nice bruise or other injury to remember the experience.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Susan99
                      Even if he's not convicted or anything, other people (his family, his employer, for example) will be embarrassed that he did that to some officer who was just doing his job.
                      That's assuming that his family and his employer are not already on board with his views and feelings about the cops. As Jeff Foxworthy once joked, "If your momma does not remove the Marlboro from between her lips when she tells a state trooper to 'kiss her @55', you just might be a redneck!"

                      If I ever thought that people would always, automatically, and without question "love or like the police", about a few hours after my academy graduation I learned the truth.
                      "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

                      Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

                      Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        What bothers me about this story is that CSP wasted their time investigating this, only to result in public embarrassment to the agency. The troopers should have known that flipping them off was not illegal.
                        Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
                        Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If he stuck his hand out the window when he flipped him the bird, and the troop wanted to be petty, he could be cited for an improper hand signal.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Dep D View Post
                            The case will be dropped. A LEO cannot be "Harassed" in the State of Colorado. You are expected to be called every name in the book, and be given the "Finger" on a daily basis.

                            If a civilain saw this happen to you, and they were "Alarmed or annoyed" by seeing this happen, then the subject can be charged with "Harassment."

                            We don't know the full story, but if it was described as above... Case dismissed.
                            A Leo can most certianly be Harassed. I have know officers that have charged it.
                            18-9-111. Harassment.
                            (1) A person commits harassment if, with intent to harass, annoy, or alarm another person, he or she:
                            (a) Strikes, shoves, kicks, or otherwise touches a person or subjects him to physical contact

                            Checking the statute I did not see where LEOs are exempted from the protection on this statute. It gets a little dicy when you are talking about someone being vulgar towards an officer.

                            That being said, I would have made contact but, not cited in this case. Hope our CSP brothers weather this storm.
                            Stupid has no color or race, everyone can participate.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Ok folks I need to point out a few things. Giving someone the bird is covered by statute in Colorado. I personally believe it is covered as free speech but its still on the books and I have seen people charged and convicted in court as well as having it tossed.

                              There is long standing case law that law enforcement cannot be harrassed.

                              So he could write it based on statute but it is a waste of time. It would be tossed unless there is more or he wrote him for disorderly conduct as well.

                              Its a moot point since they dropped it already.
                              The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

                              Comment

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