[The principal in this tale from a post early in Ethics Alarms’ existence just dicsovered it, and sent some additional detail in a comment. I am fairly certain that almost nobody read the original post, and I had completely forgotten about it myself. Its central point is still valid, however, and since it involves an ethics conflict that has frequently re-appeared here—the duty to respect law enforcement officials versus the right not to, and the proper handling of a citizen who is rude, abusive, or worse—I thought I’d revive it.
Much thanks is due to David Hackbart for his considerate comment.]
Three springs ago on the streets of Pittsburgh, David Hackbart was starting to parallel park when a car pulled up behind him. Don’t you hate that? Hackbart did too, and presented his flip-off finger to the anonymous driver in silent protest. “Don’t flip him off!” came a shouted edict from someone outside his car, and Hackbart, not in the mood for officious intermeddling, gave the anonymous civility referee The Finger as well. Continue reading