A ticked-off Vermont motorist is suing cops, saying he was exercising his right to free speech when he flipped off a state trooper, according to reports.
Gregory Bombard claims police busted him and towed his car during a 2018 traffic stop only because the trooper claimed he gave him the middle finger and called him an a-hole, the St. Albans Messenger said in a report.
“Vermonters who want to protest the actions of police through words or gestures have a constitutionally protected right to do so,” Bombard’s lawyer, ACLU attorney James Diaz, said in a press release, the Messenger said.
“This abuse of power by a Vermont state trooper is a clear example of just how overpoliced our communities are,” Diaz said. “Cased like these are part of why so many are calling on lawmakers to take bold action to limit the broad powers of police.”
Bombard’s beef dates to his arrest on Feb. 9, 2018, when he was driving down North Main Street in St. Albans and cruised past Trooper Jay Riggen — who said he saw Bombard flip him off.
Riggen turned his squad car around and pulled Bombard over.
According to the complaint, Bombard denied he gave the trooper the middle finger before he was pulled over — but did do so after the traffic stop.
He also mouthed off at the trooper, “saying something to the effect of ‘a–hole’ and ‘f–k you,’” the complaint said.
Riggen cited Bombard for disorderly conduct and obstructing traffic, towed his vehicle, and held him at the local stationhouse for about an hour, the complaint said.
Both charges were later dismissed, according to the Eagle Times newspaper.
But Bombard didn’t let it go, and last week filed the civil lawsuit, claiming false arrest, illegal seizure, and violations of his right to free speech.
View original post