After ticket, Indiana man sues for the right to flip off police officers

After ticket, Indiana man sues for the right to flip off police officers
An Indiana man is suing the Indiana State Police after receiving a ticket for flipping off an officer he claims cut him off in traffic. The officer wrote the man a ticket for provocation. (2015 file photo/Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)

An Indiana man is taking the Indiana State Police to court, suing the department after receiving a ticket for flipping off an officer he claims cut him off in traffic, reports the Tribune-Star.

What happened?

In August, Mark May was driving when he claims Indiana State Police Master Trooper Matt Ames cut him off while pursuing another driver.

In his anger, May gave the finger to Ames as he passed by. Ames pursued May, pulled him over and wrote him a ticket for provocation.

Indiana law defines provocation as “recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally engaging in conduct that is likely to provoke a reasonable person to commit battery.”

What does the lawsuit say?

May is suing Ames and the department, with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana.

May alleges that his freedom of speech was violated, and that his middle finger gesture is a protected expression under the First Amendment.

May also believes the state trooper violated the Fourth Amendment by committing an “unconstitutional seizure” by pulling him over for the gesture.

“While it was perhaps ill advised, Mr. May’s gesture, which in no way interfered with the Master Trooper’s lawful activities, was fully protected by the First Amendment,” wrote Kenneth Falk, legal director of the Indiana ACLU.

What does May want out of this?

May said he missed two days of work due to his court appearance. He’s suing for unspecified damages and attorney fees.

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