Man Arrested for Flipping Off Cop, Big Mistake

Photo by Michael Förtsch on Unsplash

( – On Wednesday, the American Civil Liberties Union revealed that a man in Vermont who was charged in 2018 for giving the middle finger to a state trooper will receive a $175,000 settlement payout. 

In 2021, the ACLU of Vermont sued the state on behalf of Gregory Bombard arguing that the man’s First Amendment rights had been violated in 2018 following an unnecessary traffic stop and subsequent arrest. 

On Feb. 9, 2018, Trooper Jay Riggen ended up stopping Bombard’s vehicle as he had claimed that he thought the man had shown him the middle finger. However, Bombard denied these accusations arguing that he had only done so after the end of the original stop. The trooper then ended up arresting Bombard on a charge of disorderly conduct, which resulted in his car also getting towed. Bombard has been arrested and jailed for over an hour according to the reports. The charge was later dismissed. 

This month the parties entered a settlement with the state agreeing to pay $75,000 to the ACLU and the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, covering legal fees, and an additional $100,000 which will be directly paid off to Bombard. 

ACLU of Vermont staff attorney Hillary Rich noted in a statement that their client is happy with the results of the case, but that this is an incident that should have never occurred. She added that the police needed to show respect for the First Amendment rights of everyone, even when it comes to things that they believe are insulting or even offensive. 

As part of the deal, the state has not admitted any wrongdoing. 

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