RALEIGH, N.C. — Earlier this month, a North Carolina appeals court ruled that a state trooper acted appropriately by chasing and stopping a vehicle after the passenger gave him the middle finger and they could revisit the case soon, the Associated Press reports.
The ruling divided a Court of Appeals panel.
An order by Chief Judge Linda McGee withdrew the ruling from the court’s website but didn’t give the reason why.
It is illegal to make gestures for the sake of provoking violent retaliation and causing a breach of peace, Judge Chris Dillon said.
Shawn Partick Ellis’s middle-finger wave to the trooper was free speech and protected as such, but the trooper did have a reason to believe a disorderly conduct crime was being committed, Judge Dillon wrote for the court.