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Edison Man Arrested for Flipping a NYC Cop the Bird Now Suing the City – Do You Have the Right [POLL]

Flikr user therealbridgetpalmer
Flikr user therealbridgetpalmer

A rather dumb thing to do…for no apparent reason.
Flipping a cop the bird.


But that’s exactly what one dude from Edison did while in the city when, as he was leaving a bar, decided to flip 3 of NY’s finest the bird…not garnering their attention, but getting the attention of a police officer standing behind them.

Subsequently, he was arrested, pleaded not guilty, the case was dropped but because of all the mental anguish of having been arrested, he now feels his First Amendment rights were being violated, and is now SUING THE CITY!

So the question for you to ponder is thus:

Does the aforementioned “dildo” have the right to flip cops the bird?

According to the report:

Robert Bell, a financial services recruiter who lives in Edison, N.J., and was arrested last summer for giving the middle finger to police outside a Greenwich Village bar filed a lawsuit against the city Wednesday, arguing his First Amendment were violated, according to court documents.

He was leaving the Slaughtered Lamb Pub on West 4th Street about 10 p.m. Aug. 6, 2011, when three officers walked past him, legal documents showed. With the officers’ backs to him, Bell raised his middle finger for “one to two seconds,” the documents said.

But little did he know that a fourth officer who lagged behind his colleagues spotted the offending gesture and swooped in to arrest Bell, his lawyers said.

“Do you think that’s funny?” the officer said as he handcuffed Bell, according to the lawsuit.
The officers searched Bell’s pockets and asked him why he had made the gesture.

“Because I don’t like cops,” he said, according to the lawsuit.

Bell was held at the Sixth Precinct stationhouse, released after about two hours and charged with disorderly conduct for making an “obscene gesture” and causing “public alarm and annoyance,” the suit said.

Represented by the New York Civil Liberties Union, he pleaded not guilty to the charge in October 2011 and the case was dismissed, after the officer who filed the police report did not appear in court to testify against Bell, the suit said.

He decided to file the suit — which charges police with violating the Constitution, assault, false arrest and imprisonment, and inflicting emotional distress — because he thought he had been wronged, his attorney Robert Quackenbush said.

“He was upset that police would retaliate against him for speech he thought was protected,” Quackenbush said.

Bell is seeking an undisclosed amount in compensation for the “pain, suffering, mental anguish and humiliation” he has experienced, the suit said.

Morale of the story is being a “dildo” for no apparent reason is, as I see it, protected by the First Amendment.

Funny how that works, isn’t it?

And as much as I hate to see this guy get any money out of this, last I check, flipping the bird, even to cops is “protected speech!”

Bloomy’s gonna have to pay!

What’s your opinion?

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