Is it illegal to give a cop the finger?

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Is it illegal to give a cop the finger?

Yesterday I was driving and came upon 2 cops on the opposite side of the street with someone pulled over. People trying to drive by this in both directions was nuts. I drove by the cop and beeped my horn and gave him the middle finger. Later he came to my house and gave me a warning for the horn and then told me I would be summoned for disorderly conduct for giving him the finger. Is there a law that specially says that it is illegal.

Asked on December 16, 2011 under Criminal Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Good question. The "Rockefeller Salute" as the "finger" is also referred to has been the subject of past litigation where the high courts in all the states in this country as well as the United States' Supreme Court have held that the act that you have written about is protected speech under our Constitution's First Amendment for freedom of speech.

Had what you done was illegal, the police officer would have cited you when he came to your home as opposed to just warning you.


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