PITTSBURGH, PA – A federal judge says a man who flipped his middle finger at a Pittsburgh police officer shouldn’t have been cited for disorderly conduct.
David Hackbart, of Pittsburgh, made the gesture at another driver in April 2006, then made the gesture again when he heard someone yelling at him – realizing only later the second person was a police officer.
The American Civil Liberties Union sued on Hackbart’s behalf saying the gesture is protected speech and U.S. District Judge David Cercone agreed in a 19-page decision filed Monday.
Still to be determined at an upcoming trial is whether city police were improperly trained.
The ACLU claims city police have filed 188 citations for similar offenses in 2005, 2006 and 2007. A trial date is pending.
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