IN man ticketed for flipping off officer sues state trooper

Angelo Anderson
February 7, 2018

Paulus Rusyanto/Dreamstime.comThe Indiana branch of the American Civil Liberties Union is fighting for your constitutional right to flip off the cops.

Mark May of Terre Haute, Ind., admits making the gesture at Indiana State Police Master Trooper Matt Ames, the Tribune Star reports.

According to May, Ames had "aggressively" cut him off in the attempt to pull over another vehicle.

That is when May says the state trooper stopped what he was doing with the original traffic stop to pull him over.

The lawsuit alleged May waved his middle finger at the trooper on August 21, 2017, because he was cut off while Ames pulled over another motorist.

That is when Ames wrote May a ticket for "provocation", also adding May did not use his turn signal when he turned into a parking lot while stopping for Ames.

But the law enforcement official was not having it that day and soon enough chose to follow and ultimately ticket May for "provocation", a citation that includes the hefty price tag of $500, the Tribune Star of Terre Haute reported.

Though May's ticket was ultimately overturned after filing an appeal to the Terre Haute City Court, the frustrated resident opted to file the lawsuit against Ames to point out that his conduct was protected by his right to free speech. He asked for it to be reviewed in Vigo County Superior Court, which deemed the judgment to be void.

Documents say the Vigo County Prosecutor's Office decided not to proceed further with the case and dismissed the claim against May.

In addition to unspecified damages, May is seeking attorney's fees. Thus, while May's gesture was "perhaps inadvisable", he was nevertheless "engaged in expressive activity fully protected" by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Falk argues that Ames had no reason to pull May over and issue the ticket, which amounts to unconstitutional seizure in violation of the Fourth Amendment.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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