General Question

EchozEn107's avatar

Could I get in trouble for having "F**k tha Police" on a T-Shirt?

Asked by EchozEn107 (34points) July 16th, 2011

If a cop notices me wearing a shirt(in public where ever) that says “F**k tha Police” on it. Would he stop to talk to me?
If so why? Is it illegal?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

48 Answers

crisw's avatar

It’s not illegal. It is silly and immature.

LizzieBee's avatar

It’s not illegal. Freedom of speech. Ammendment No. 1 :) FUCK THE POLICE!!!!!!

poisonedantidote's avatar

Where I live it would be illegal if it said “fuck the police”, however “f**k the police” would be totally fine.

Personally I like A.C.A.B more my self, “all coppers are bastards”.

chyna's avatar

Why would you want to draw police attention to yourself?

cletrans2col's avatar

@LizzieBee you’d think that, but I have heard of people being arrested for things like giving cops the finger and taping an arrest from his own property.

LizzieBee's avatar

@cletrans2col Wow, really? That’s a shame. You can’t even give an authoritative figure the finger from your own property. Ridiculous.

rooeytoo's avatar

I am with @chyna & @crisw – I can’t imagine why you would wear such a shirt. It is asking for trouble. Place yourself in a catagory, then think about walking down the street and seeing someone wearing a shirt that says “fuck your catagory” whatever it might be. How would that make you feel? Would you get a bit of an attitude towards the person wearing it???

Get a shirt with some great graphics on it. Then it says you personally have good taste and class not that you are a punk looking for trouble.

cletrans2col's avatar

@rooeytoo Good point, but cops are supposed to be level-headed, not bully those they say something naughty

Mariah's avatar

I am hoping you are just getting this image on a shirt.

I agree with others that it would probably be legal, but a bad idea.

Aethelflaed's avatar

Illegal? Not as far as I know, at this point in time. Not the best way to stay under the radar, but that may not be what you’re looking to do.

@cletrans2col Those examples you mentioned are true, but there’s more to it. With flipping a cop the finger, it’s important that in that case, not only was it challenged as against the 1st Amendment, but he was arrested for violating a local disorderly conduct ordinance. With the taping of police officers, the argument is that it violates their 4th Amendment rights, and again, is highly controversial in terms of constitutionality.

abysmalbeauty's avatar

Is that really how you feel about the police?

EchozEn107's avatar

Thanks everyone, guess I’m getting the shirt if they cant do anything about it

Bellatrix's avatar

In Victoria, Australia they are trying to bring in legislation that would mean you could be fined for swearing in public. I am not sure if this would apply to written language too. I would think so though. If it was deemed offensive behaviour, you could be charged I would say. link

It depends where you are though because in Queensland a judge ruled it was okay for a man to tell a police officer to fuck off. Link

cletrans2col's avatar

That, @Bellatrix, is bullshit.

Bellatrix's avatar

Well, tell it to the police :D That’s what is happening. Didn’t say I agree with it! My husband swears like a trooper. Already warned him he had better be careful when in Victoria!

gorillapaws's avatar

@rooeytoo I think a shirt that simply read “fuck [your category]” would be pretty funny actually. Immature, sophomoric, and stupid, but at least it would be perfectly equal in its misanthropy—far better than a “fuck the police” shirt.

FluffyChicken's avatar

@Bellatrix They couldn’t do that in Australia. The whole country would go to Jail! I’ve never known an Aussie who’s favorite word wasn’t “C*nt”.

@EchozEn107 Don’t decide not to get the shirt because you might get in trouble. Decide not to get the shirt because it completely lacks taste.

josie's avatar

No. But it would be pretty interesting if you needed them and they said “F**k You.

Bellatrix's avatar

lol I know @FluffyChicken. I agree. I think it’s ridiculous. Revenue raising gone fucking madddddddddddd.

Ivan's avatar

It’s not illegal to insult cops, but it may be illegal to use profanity in public, depending on where you live.

TexasDude's avatar

It’s asking for trouble.

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

Berserker's avatar

It’s not illegal unless your state or province has some strict regulations on swearing. I don’t know about other countries, but if you’re in the United States or Canada, you’re probbaly safe pretty much everywhere in those two.

Don’t complain if the police often stop you on the street and check your record though. :p

Zaku's avatar

Are you a cute girl? If so, a cop might stop to see in what sense you meant it.

QueenOfNowhere's avatar

I don’t think you’d get into trouble, but, if you see a cop, you will just get scary looks. So if I were you I wouldn’t wear a shirt sayig “f**k…” any human being. objects are good. f**k the couch for example.

Roby's avatar

You would get in trouble with me..If I saw it. I would rip it off you.

linguaphile's avatar

It’s not illegal, no, but try getting out of a ticket if you get pulled over or stopped for something you did do wrong.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@Roby And then I think the OP could have you charged with assault…

whitenoise's avatar

Don’t wear it in Holland. Insulting a police offer is a punishable offense, there.

In January some football fans were sentenced to a 330 euro fine each, for wearing a shirt that said 1312.
(1313 Is the numerical equivalent for ACAB – all cops are bastards.)

Aethelflaed's avatar

@whitenoise So then what’s the problem with 1312?

Bellatrix's avatar

I suspect 1313 was a typo… that’s what I assumed.

whitenoise's avatar

1313 was a typo. IPhone keypad offers a challenge to me every now and then.

MrItty's avatar

Am I the only one who sincerely hopes the OP finds himself in some sort of situation requiring police intervention (robbery, mugging, car accident, etc) while wearing this shirt?

downtide's avatar

It’s illegal in the UK to insult a police officer or the queen. However it’s okay to insult the police force in general.

Also if your t-shirt also includes this picture, it’s certainly okay.

gurnblansten's avatar

If you have to ask “will I get in twubble” before wearing a “fuck the police” T-shirt, then perhaps that shirt does not adequately represent who you are as a person.

FluffyChicken's avatar

@MrItty No, I also kind of hope this. Stupidity should beget pain. That’s how we learn to stop being stupid.

Zaku's avatar

@whitenoise Ok, so 1312 is ACAB. What’s ACAB? Oh, “All Cops Are Bastards”, I see. So they weren’t able to appeal that decision? 1312? Even in Dutch? Wow… You guys should have a constitutional amendment, or a revolution, or an appeal or something. ;-)

Kardamom's avatar

Instead of worrying about whether or not you can get in trouble for wearing a shirt with that statement, why not think about how that statement might impact other people reading it.

My cousin is a police officer. He’s also in the reserves with the Marine’s and recently finished his 4th tour of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has a wife and two kids (my neice and nephew). I guess you even imagine how hurtful and insulting your shirt would be to my family?

My best friend’s father and several of her relatives are police officers. Her Dad is actually a harbor police officer and was one of the first persons on the scene when that US Airways plane went down in the Hudson river. He helped rescue some of the passengers. He and my friend and her family would absolutely agree with your right to wear such a shirt, but they would be insulted and hurt by your message.

There are always a few bad apples in any type of job, the police not withstanding, but the majority of police officers are hard working, decent people dedicating to protecting the public and bringing bad people to justice. Why would you want to wear a shirt that literally insults and entire group of people (most of whom you’ve never met) and not even give a thought to how such a statement would effect them or their families or anyone else that has a deep respect for the law enforcement community.

Also, why on earth would you want to put profanity (or the euphemism for a profane word that everybody understands) out in public where children would see it? I think it’s perfectly fine for people to use profane words and do other questionable, but legal things, in the privacy of their own homes, but mature people think about their actions and I can only hope that you might think twice before wearing this shirt in public.

Maybe you can give us some reasons for why you think it is necessary to wear this shirt in public?

One of our favorite Jellies is a police officer. His name is @john65pennington. It actually sickens me and makes me want to cry when I think of you wearing this shirt in front of him or his family and not even thinking about how it might make someone else feel.

seekingwolf's avatar

It’s not illegal but if you were to get into trouble (speeding, etc) then you’re going to have a lot of trouble. Cops can use their own discretion when it comes to giving tickets versus giving warnings. It can mean the difference between leaving scot-free or leaving with a $200+ ticket. Ouch.

Why would you want to risk it?

I honestly think it’s more trouble than it’s worth. Like @Kardamom said, kids could see it. Even if you think “oh well they will learn the F-bomb sometime!” well, you’ll have to deal with angry parents and maybe even those who just don’t want to be around profanity when they have to go to to the store or something. You’re welcome to be profane all you want in the privacy of your home/property but doing so outside makes others uncomfortable. And that’s just rude.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well…if you were a cop and you stopped someone for speeding and they have that shirt on, how inclined would you be to let them off with just a warning?

And I agree with everything everyone else says. It’s rude, it’s stupid, it’s ignorant and it’s insulting to all of the police officers out there that put their lives on the line for people like you.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@Kardamom Perhaps we should all be responsible for our own feelings. “Because someone in the world might be hurt” is not a good reason to not express an opinion. Some police officers might have their feelings hurt, yes. But I’d imagine that the OP wouldn’t be so interested in wearing it if they hadn’t had their feelings hurt by police. Let’s not pretend that all police are squeeky clean model citizens and no one has ever had a reason to dislike them.

rooeytoo's avatar

@Aethelflaed – but I wouldn’t want to live in a country without them! Would you?

Dutchess_III's avatar

You didn’t ask me @rooeytoo, but no, I sure as hell wouldn’t want to live in a country without them. You know, they’re no different than any other group of human being. Some good. Some bad. Take parents. Some parents really, REALLY suck. Should I walk around in a T-shirt that says, “F…. Parents?” or “F…. Teachers.”

Would you feel “hurt” if someone sported a T-shirt saying that about the particular group of people you’re in @Aethelflaed? I wouldn’t. I’d find some small way to get even. The wearer of the T-shirt loses in the end.

Kardamom's avatar

@Aethelflaed If the OP has a specific problem with the police, such as if he thinks they treated him unfairly, then he should file a complaint and work that out with the specific officer that wronged him. It’s just plain offensive and rude and mean to walk around with a profane word on your shirt that is insulting to an entire group of people. There are reasons why some movies are rated R, and are off limits to children. Parents shouldn’t have to worry that some angry young man (or a whole bunch of people if everyone thinks this behavior is just fine) will be wearing profanities on their clothing in a public place. It’s just common sense and common decency not to do that (even though we all know it’s legal).

Would the OP think that it’s just fine to wear such a shirt into a church? What if his shirt said a similar thing, but it referred to Baptists and he wore that particular shirt to a Baptist church, or even just down the street. There’s no good reason for it. Everyone has already pointed out that it is legal but just because something is legal does not make that action appropriate in all settings.

I also never said that every single person on the police force is squeaky clean. That is why I am reiterating that if the OP has a problem with a specific officer, then he should try to solve that problem through the court system or by mounting a recall petition for the chief of police, if that is the person who caused him harm or by writing letters to the editor of the local newspaper in the town in which he was wronged.

I think the OP would be horribly offended if someone found out the names of his relatives and purposely wore shirts with that same profane word aimed at his loved ones. He is purposely setting out to insult and hurt people that he does not know for no apparent reason. If he has a real problem with the police then he should take legal action against them and not act like a childhood bully.

If he had that same shirt, only it targeted blacks or homosexuals or Mormons, or women, he would be likely end up getting screamed at or assualted, depending upon where he wore that shirt. The police are not likely to do that to him, but if he breaks a law, they are also not likely to be very polite to him or to give him the benefit of the doubt about anything.

I’m curious to know, and I hope the OP can share this info with us, why he wants to wear this shirt, and what problem he has with the police.

linguaphile's avatar

@Kardamom I agree the shirt’s unnecessary, but I disagree that he can make a complaint about a specific officer. In some communities, that might work, but in other communities, for example Sioux Falls where they are notorious for having unbelievably (unnecessarily!) cruel cops, it will just make him a target. The taxi driver who picked my mom up at the airport even said, “Don’t mess with the cops here, they’re bad.” Yikes!! I never had problems with cops, I even dated one, until Sioux Falls. I really think they’re so bored with the lack of work there that they create work for themselves.

Again, I agree that the shirt is unnecessary, and really, it’s truly a reflection on the wearer. I would look at the t-shirt wearer and roll my eyes.

However, I’d happily set the OP out and about in that t-shirt in Sioux Falls if he was brave enough! New reality TV show!

Aethelflaed's avatar

@Kardamom Ok, well, I’m sure some people don’t agree with your opinions, and even might find them hurtful and against common decency. The difference is, no one here (as far as I’ve seen) appears to be telling you to STFU (which is basically what you are telling the OP to do, although much more politely and eloquently). So my point is, why can’t we agree to disagree?

Response moderated (Personal Attack)
Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Zaku's avatar

@Kardamom You asked, “Instead of worrying about whether or not you can get in trouble for wearing a shirt with that statement, why not think about how that statement might impact other people reading it.”

I know it was rhetorical and not directed at me, but my answer is that some countries (even Holland, which allows prostitution and drug abuse) even illegalize having “ACAB” or “1312” on a T-shirt, which to me is patently insane, since those are just letter and number combinations. There were many things I never thought would ever be permitted to be done by the government in the USA before recent years, that are outrageous and create a need to express outrage, lest more abuses be piled on top of those.

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