Police: Middle finger ticket to be training tool
NEW ORLEANS - Louisiana State Police say a trooper's decision to ticket a driver who gave him the middle finger was "an unfortunate incident which will be used as a training opportunity."
The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana says the ticket was illegal retaliation for protected free speech. Executive Director Marjorie Esman says the ticket alleged public intimidation, a felony.
In a letter faxed to the Louisiana State Police on Monday, she also noted that a prosecutor refused to charge the driver.
Esman says the issue arose Dec. 28, when a driver on Interstate 20 raised his middle finger while passing a parked trooper. The trooper pulled the driver over and issued a citation.
State Police spokesman Doug Cain says the agency "has tremendous respect for the First Amendment even when the citizens we serve choose to be vulgar and disrespectful."