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UNLAWFUL ARREST: MAN SUES AFTER BEING CHARGED FOR FLIPPING OFF COP

Updated: Dec 28, 2023

police arrests man for flipping him off

Video from February 2018 shows Gregory Bombard, a Vermont resident, being arrested by state trooper, Jay Riggen, for allegedly using profanity and gesturing offensively at Riggen following a traffic stop. The charges against Bombard were eventually dismissed, and Bombard filed a lawsuit against Riggen alleging an unlawful arrest and claiming the state violated Bombard's First Amendment and Vermont constitutional rights. Bombard argues that First Amendment protects Americans’ right to criticize law enforcement, even in ways that individual officers find profane or insulting.

 

The incident, captured on police cruiser dashcam footage, shows that Bombard was initially stopped by Riggen under the belief that Bombard had gestured at him. The situation intensified when Bombard, after being released from the initial stop, did gesture and use offensive language towards Riggen. In response, Riggen pulled him over a second time, leading to Bombard's arrest for disorderly conduct.

 

He was handcuffed, searched, and detained, with his fingerprints and mugshot taken and distributed to media outlets. Riggen claimed that Bombard's remarks were heard by many, although the dashcam footage suggests otherwise. Riggen also told Bombard that his car would be towed because he had parked in a no parking zone even though he had only done so because Riggen pulled him over.

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