Shane Boor, a Colorado man with no criminal record, could face up to six months in jail for giving a cop the Digitus Infamis.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado has offered free legal aid to a man facing a criminal harassment charge for flipping off a state trooper, the organization announced today.
Shane Boor, 35, was driving to his work site in April when he saw a trooper pull over another car. When Boor drove past, he flipped the trooper the bird.
A second trooper tracked down Boor at his work site and questioned him about the incident, according to the ACLU.
The ACLU claims that The Finger "quietly expressed Mr. Boor's disapproval of what he regarded as unjustified harassment by members of the trooper's profession." To be honest, I wouldn't want to live in a world where everyone was flipping off the police -- nor do I think that would happen – but I certainly don’t want to live in a world where a man can face jail time for extending that finger.
Apparently this isn't a new or unique question. From a 2003 paper titled, Digitus Impudicus:
The Middle Finger and the Law by Ira P. Robbins:
The middle finger is one of the most common insulting gestures in the United States. The finger, which is used to convey a wide range of emotions, is visible on streets and highways, in schools, shopping malls, and sporting events, in courts and execution chambers, in advertisements and on magazine covers, and even on the hallowed floors of legislatures. Despite its ubiquity, however, a number of recent cases demonstrate that those who use the middle finger in public run the risk of being stopped, arrested, prosecuted, fined, and even incarcerated under disorderly conduct or breach-of-peace statutes and ordinances.
Remember, a man can advocate for "Death to the Juice" at protests, burn the Koran, or do about whatever he pleases to Jesus in artwork (and I support the right of these dimwits), but if he dares extend a middle finger towards law enforcement, he’s really in big trouble.