Posted at 4:16 AM on September 3, 2008
by Ward Jacobson
The Associated Press reports this morning that the American Civil Liberties Union says Pittsburgh police have issued nearly 200 disorderly conduct citations for "cussing" over a 32-month period. That number includes charges for obscene gestures and other acts deemed disrespectful.
According to a state ACLU official, the cursing charges came to light in connection with a federal lawsuit involving a man who was cited after allegedly making an obscene gesture at another driver, and then at a police sergeant. The city of Pittsburgh says the man was ticketed for blocking traffic, not for what he might have done with his fingers.
A little food for thought, given the supercharged political atmosphere in downtown St. Paul with the RNC in town this week. Last night it took me a little over 30-minutes to get from the I-94 7th Street exit to the parking garage at Minnesota Public Radio - normally about a two-minute trek. Thankfully, Bill Morelock was on the radio playing Mozart about that time and I was completely at ease - no fingers needed.
Breathe in....breathe out.