Police deserve better than bicyclist’s crude behavior
by Dick Yarbrough
October 21, 2012 02:08 AM | 2238 views | 2 2 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dick Yarbrough
Dick Yarbrough
As bad as I hate to do this, I am going to give Amy Barnes her 15 minutes of fame — or however long it takes you to read this — before I consign her to the sump basin of history. In my opinion, she doesn’t rate 15 seconds but I am trying to make a point here.

You may have heard that last Easter Sunday, she was on her bike on Austell Road near her Marietta home when she says she decided to flip off and cuss at a couple of police officers that had teenagers stopped outside a convenience store.

Police followed her and she was arrested a couple of blocks away.

“They told me I shouldn’t be presenting a lewd gesture in front of children,” said Barnes. What is this world coming to when we can’t encourage young people to be as crude and bad-mannered as we are and to learn to disrespect the law?

Had I been a police officer, I might have done the same thing these two did. However, I might also have remembered my wise father’s advice. He used to say: Consider the source. If the source isn’t worth a cup of bad buttermilk, then don’t waste your time with them.

Arresting Amy Barnes was a waste of time. It gave her a much-needed spotlight to indulge in self-pity. Now, she is filing suit in federal court saying her First Amendment rights have been violated.

Exercising the same First Amendment rights afforded to her — but without the lewd gesture — I hereby proclaim that I am glad there are men and women willing to risk their lives to keep me safe and secure and that they deserve better treatment than some bird-flipper with a bad attitude on a bicycle.

Unlike Amy Barnes, when police officers go to work their loved ones have no guarantee they are coming home when their shift is over. Some mad-at-the-world grump may simply shoot them the bird or some nutcase may shoot them seriously dead. I suspect the police would be Amy Barnes’ first call if she or someone she loved were in danger of losing their life. That will likely never happen to her because we live in a place where most of us respect the law and appreciate those who enforce it on our behalf.

In addition to the risk our law enforcement people face daily, they have to put up with those who seem to think for some reason that this would be a better world if the police weren’t in it.

Therefore, we could have ourselves a good old-fashioned anarchy (assuming, of course, that the anarchists could still avail themselves of our court system when it suited their purposes.)

I am not quite sure what her point was (assuming there was a point beyond the one on the end of her finger.) Maybe she needs a frame of reference about how good she really has it in this country. She could always go somewhere else and try out her bad behavior like, say, the Middle East.

You flip off a member of the local constabulary there and they will be happy to remove the source of your discontent with a meat cleaver. If you are lucky, they won’t bury you up to your neck and throw stones at you. And don’t even think about taking them to court for violating your First Amendment rights.

In Goat World, you have no First Amendment rights.

Forget the obscene gestures and the bad language for a moment. Just try to speak your piece in a lawless society as 14-year-old Malala Yousufzai did in promoting education for women in Pakistan.

Unlike Amy Barnes, Malala was trying to do something constructive and for her efforts she got a bullet in the throat.

Ms. Barnes needs to take the hand that she used to show a lack of respect for law enforcement and give these two Cobb County officers a thumbs-up for working on a Sunday morning that they might have preferred spending with their family and friends and for putting up with people who can’t make their point without rude gestures and profanity.

As for Big Bird Flipper, I almost feel sorry for her. She seems like a very sad and angry person with nothing better to do than act like a jerk on Easter Sunday morning.

Maybe she just needs a hug or a glass of warm milk and a cookie. You may take more than 15 minutes to worry about that if you wish.

As for me, I have given her more time and space than she deserves.

You can reach Dick Yarbrough at yarb2400@bellsouth.net or P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139.
Comments-icon Post a Comment
October 26, 2012
I have one question. Why did the police officers bother to get in their car and chase Ms. Barnes down to arrest her? What she did might have been rude, but she was long gone. You yourself point out that police officers are supposed to keep us "safe and secure." What threat was Ms. Barnes posing?

October 21, 2012
"Goat World"? Wow, you were only coming across as an angry person yelling at the clouds, but you really kicked things into high gear with that one. Way to out yourself as a bigot!

"Consider the source". Yep, doing that as I read this very article...
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