Is giving 'the finger' illegal?

Sgt. Chris Yagelski

Q: My wife is handicapped. We are elderly. We were at Walmart trying to turn into a handicapped spot in the front when some jerk turned right in front of us, almost causing us to hit him. I had a few choice things to say as I “flipped him off!” My wife was scared and said if the police saw me doing this they could pull me over and I could get in trouble for giving the “finger.” Is this true?

A: Sorry this happened to you and, no, you can’t get in trouble. While giving anyone the “finger” is arguably crude and has caused many a fight, it is protected freedom of expression under the First Amendment of the Constitution. Just be careful not to provoke a fight with your reactions.

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