Saratoga Springs, NY — Adam Rupeka was driving home Saturday afternoon when he passed officer Nathan Baker with the Saratoga Springs Police Department.
As Rupeka passed Baker, he raised his middle finger and put his hand out of the window. Officer Baker proceeded to pull Rupeka over after seeing the manner in which he had arranged his fingers.
During the stop, Rupeka was assaulted by officer Baker. He was subsequently pepper-sprayed and arrested for “disorderly conduct.”
For positioning his finger in a manner that displeased this officer, Rupeka was sprayed with a chemical agent and kidnapped.
Not only is it not illegal to flip off other people, it’s also considered free speech when giving the bird to a police officer.
In a 14-page opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit ruled that the “ancient gesture of insult is not the basis for a reasonable suspicion of a traffic violation or impending criminal activity.”
Baker has been given a paid vacation for his misconduct.
“I take very seriously any allegation of improper use of force made against any officer of the Saratoga Springs Police Department, and I have been in contact with Mr. Rupeka regarding this incident,” Chief Gregory Veitch said in a statement. “An internal investigation of the entire incident has already commenced.”