Man sues over middle finger arrest

July 12, 2012 at 1:32 PM

NEW YORK, July 12 (UPI) -- A New York man who wants to become a lawyer is suing the city after he was arrested for giving the middle finger to three police officers.

Robert Bell said in his federal court lawsuit he was using an "obviously protected form of speech" under the First Amendment when he flipped the bird at three police officers who had their backs turned to him, the New York Post reported Thursday.

Bell said his subsequent arrest was a violation of his civil rights and could prevent him from receiving admission to "the law school(s) of his choice."

The lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages from the city.

"We have not yet received the lawsuit, and at this point, these are simply allegations," a city Law Department spokeswoman said.

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