City to pay man who flipped off police officer

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The city has tentatively agreed to pay $50,000 to settle a federal suit brought by a man who was cited in 2006 for giving the middle finger to a motorist and a police officer.

As part of the settlement, the city will train all of its officers in recognizing when they are violating someone's civil rights, including taking action against anyone who flips them off.

David Hackbart, 35, and the American Civil Liberties Union sued the city after an incident in which he flipped off another driver in Squirrel Hill and then gave the middle finger to Sgt. Brian Elledge, who cited him for disorderly conduct.

U.S. District Judge David Cercone ruled in March that Sgt. Elledge violated Mr. Hackbart's First Amendment right to free speech. But the case proceeded on the underlying claim that the city doesn't train its officers properly. That part of the case has now been settled, pending a final vote by City Council.


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