Naples, FL -- An unnamed Naples cop is on administrative leave this week after he was caught on camera flipping off a citizen.
The video, posted to Facebook on Wednesday by David Tripp, shows the officer callously walking up to the innocent man and flipping him off -- something that cops have a tendency to arrest people for.
Flipping the bird has been ruled to be free speech many times over. In fact, in a 14-page opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit addressed the specific action of flipping off cops when it ruled that the “ancient gesture of insult is not the basis for a reasonable suspicion of a traffic violation or impending criminal activity.”
However, we've seen citizens pepper-sprayed, assaulted, and arrested for this act of free speech.
Despite flipping the bird being an act of free speech, one would think that in an attempt to maintain professionalism, that agents of the state, specifically cops, would refrain from resorting to such gestures. One would be wrong.
As David Tripp was working to remove dirt from a home which had a pool installed, multiple members of city hall showed up to harass him for the way his team had parked their trucks. Tripp is apparently known in his town for speaking out against government corruption, so when the local bureaucrats saw their opportunity to use state force against him, they jumped on it.
The members of city hall then called the police.
"The parking lot is actually an easement for the properties to access their garages in the back yards," said Tripp.
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Tripp refused to move his trucks as he was nearly finished removing the dirt, at which time the police showed up.
"They started filming us and taking pictures of our vehicles, so I took out my camera and started videotaping them," explains Tripp.
After arguing back and forth, Tripp begins to walk back to his truck. At this point is when the unnamed officer approached him.
"I saw his hand come at me, and I actually flinched because I didn't think he was gonna give me the finger. I thought he was gonna punch me," said Tripp, which was a rational fear to have seeing as it happens on a near daily basis.
However, instead of a fist, he got the bird, along with the comment, "Get this on your video asshole."
After the video went viral, the local bureaucrats hurriedly released a statement to demonize Tripp as a "sovereign citizen." An anonymous source within the government leaked the following statement to the media.
"I have personally been a victim of his verbal abuse due to not getting his way. I would describe David Tripp as a sovereign citizen. Simply someone who believes that the law/rules and regulations do not apply to them. Every encounter is a hassle, there is no compromise, and it's his way or the highway."
Below is the entire video from start to finish.