Topic: Flipping off a police officer is protected by the First Amendment and is not obstructing justice.
While assisting a stranded motorist, the officer turned his attention to another car traveling on the roadway, a white SUV. Defendant had his arm outside the passenger window and gestured with his middle finger, making an up-and-down motion. Believing that the Defendant was committing the crime of disorderly conduct, the officer pursued and then stopped the SUV. The North Carolina Supreme Court reversed the decision of the trial court’s denial of Defendant’s motion to suppress evidence, holding that there was no reasonable suspicion to justify the law enforcement officer’s stop when Defendant signaled with his middle finger from the passenger side window of a moving vehicle, holding that the specific, articulable facts did not establish reasonable suspicion of the crime of disorderly conduct.
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