Four-Letter Law

Recently, a Judge Threw Out a Case in Which the Defendant Cursed at a Police Officer. Ever Felt the Urge?

imageESTHER
Age 22
Resides Brooklyn
Occupation Stage designer

Should it be against the law to curse a police officer?It's a delicate question, because you have to define security and community.

Did you ever want to? Every time I'm stopped I smile and behave as though I'm stupid. The German and French police have stopped me dozens of times. The Monte Carlo police stopped and searched us as soon as we were on the streets, just for the way we were dressed.

What person living or dead would you most like to curse out? Voltaire. He's supposed to be the avatar of peace and equality, but if you read his dictionary, you find that he's one of the most anti-Semitic philosophers going.


imageSTEPHEN DACKSON
Age25
Resides Queens
Occupation Assistant editor

Should it be against the law to curse a police officer? It's a tough issue, because every time you're pulled over and you're not doing anything wrong, you get frustrated. On top of that, cops have an attitude.

Did you ever want to? Yes, but I caught myself and realized I was only going to make things worse. The problem is that if you're innocent and refuse, for instance, to let them search your car, you run the risk of looking like you're hiding something. You say yes even though by law you're not obliged to.

What person living or dead would you most like to curse out? You're talking to an angry man here, so I have to think. I'd say Al Gore. It wasn't that he was a sore loser, but that he was just throwing darts to see if anything would stick legally.


imageKETURAH
Age27
Resides Bronx
Occupation Artist

Should it be against the law to curse a police officer? I don't think black men should curse cops. Anybody besides black men should say whatever they want to the police.

Did you ever want to? Yes. I live uptown by the precinct and I have called cops "pigs"—they've never responded to that.

What person living or dead would you most like to curse out? Giuliani.


imageLUIZ GUERRIERI
Age40
Resides Manhattan
Occupation Clothing salesman

Should it be against the law to curse a police officer? Of course it's not a wise thing to do. I don't think we should be scared of the police, but we should be respectful.

Did you ever want to? No. In fact I was once stopped while driving my car, and when I told the officer I was just looking for a place to park, he helped me find a parking spot. Of course this was the Boston police, not the NYPD.

What person living or dead would you most like to curse out? Linda Tripp. I can't believe she's on the cover of Georgemagazine.


imageTOMOKO MUNETO
Age23
Resides Queens
Occupation Student

Should it be against the law to curse a police officer? My feeling about the police is that I'm willing to be ticketed if they can explain why it's happening in a way that I can understand.

Did you ever want to? No.

What person living or dead would you most like to curse out? The man responsible for closing the Martha Graham School. I'm an international student, and I was just about to finish the program that would have given me my practical training visa.


imageDAVID GORDON
Age21
Resides Queens
Occupation Web designer

Should it be against the law to curse a police officer? I'm pro-cop. I think the cops are doing a good job and I favor most of Giuliani's policies. When Amadou Diallo was shot, people said the mayor was racist and unfeeling, but I've heard that the police told Diallo to stop and he didn't.

Did you ever want to? No. I've been stopped before because the police said I fit the description of the perp. They said, "Freeze, police," and I did what they said. I saw no race issues involved.

What person living or dead would you most like to curse out? The pope and Martin Luther King. I'm for civil rights, but I think King put too many innocent people at risk.


imageBRIAN BERMAN
Age29
Resides Manhattan
Occupation Photographer

Should it be against the law to curse a police officer? It should be your First Amendment right to curse a cop, but if at any time he feels threatened, he should be able to arrest or ticket you.

Did you ever want to? No, even though I've been harassed by cops for being young and in the wrong car at the wrong time.

What person living or dead would you most like to curse out? Just recently I cursed out George W. Bush for his plans to drill in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge.

 
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