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The Bird wins on appeal

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Guest Anonymous

Oct. 15, 2003, 4:59PM

`Shooting the bird' rude, crude but legal

Appeals court overturns conviction

By THOM MARSHALL

Copyright 2003 Houston Chronicle

Using the hand signal rooted in ancient times and popularly known today

as "shooting the bird" may be rude, but it's not necessarily disorderly

conduct, a Texas appeals court has ruled.

At issue for the 3rd Court of Appeals in Austin was whether Robert Lee

Coggin incited "an immediate breach of the peace" when he allegedly

gestured at a motorist with his raised middle finger two years ago as

the former Lockhart resident tailgated a slow-moving vehicle in the left

lane of U.S. 183.

Coggin was charged under an obscure state law that says "a person

commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly makes an offensive

gesture or display in a public place, and the gesture or display tends

to incite an immediate breach of the peace

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