Cobb police deserve better than bicyclist’s crude behavior
by Dick Yarbrough
October 20, 2012 02:36 AM | 1945 views | 5 5 comments | 11 11 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 or P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139.
Comments-icon Post a Comment
goose and gander
October 20, 2012
I'm intrigued by the outrage expressed by the many right wingers on this editorial board and readership...perhaps rightly they point out that our public servants deserve better treatment than to receive unsolicited middle fingers from passersby.

On the other hand, these same right wingers may want to take a peek in the mirror as they tolerate EVERY SINGLE DAY such a wide array of figurative middle fingers delivered from them and those sharing their political leanings when deriding the intentions and actions of many other of our public servants -- for example environmental regulators when they dare question the business practices of commercial polluters, bank and financial regulators when they dare question the soundness and legality of the business practices of our large financial institutions, labor law enforcement when they dare inquire whether companies have been dealing with their employees within the law.

So, yes while I too am taken aback at the unsolicited gesture these street cops were dished while simply doing their jobs, let's face it...tolerance of this type of behavior towards our public servants has become widely accepted, in fact embraced, by many in our conservative political quarters in recent decades....why would we not therefore expect that this behavior would also bleed into all areas of public service?
October 21, 2012
Say, Goose--

Well written if generalized puff of smoke. If such figurative middle finger gestures occur "EVERY SINGLE DAY" would it kill you to name at one or two? Please cite chapter and verse.

Inquiring minds (even right wing ones) want to know. Come across now.
Samuel Adams
October 22, 2012
If we were keeping a tally of inappropriate, violent, intolerant, profane and misogynistic behavior by place on the political spectrum, there is no doubt the leftists would win hands down for the most egregious events. After all, no boundaries for them or their thuggish SEIU leaders, their New Black Panthers (give a pass by Eric Holder), their Occupy retards (given passes by dem mayors all over the country before they realized what it meant...defacation on police cars, murder, rape, public health hazards, etc). They constantly excuse radical Islam, and discount the beheadings, stonings and general evil behavior in its real "war on women" while manufacturing one in the U.S. Their logic is a joke.

If you compare the peaceful Tea Party with leftist gatherings, you're comparing zero crime and a pristine aftermath with profane behavior and a sea of garbage left behind. Even Obama supporters on the national mall during the inauguration dumped their garbage with disregard for common decency and environmental courtesy. And the obscenities spewed by leftist mainstream broadcast media and even the president when talking about the Tea Party was beneath any adult. They're the teenage trash talkers of America, given the spotlight. With nothing intelligent to say other than obscenities and excuses.

Nice column Yarbrough. I know the woman of whom you write, have seen her and smelled her at protests. Your point, that Cobb police would probably take a bullet for her, makes me so very sad. Maybe one day she might realize it.
October 22, 2012
Excellent column, Mr. Yarbrough. You stated the story eloquently and shed an even brighter light on a wretched young woman. Her lawyer is cut from the same cloth and I'll be following her career path like a hawk to see the ilk she continues to represent.

Goose and Gander is a fool and doesn't deserve a second of anyone's time. I'll just say that the encore comments by Edmund Burke and Samuel Adams, hit the nail on the head. I sure hope our police officers understand how much the majority of citizens appreciate their daily sacrifices to keep us safe.
October 20, 2012
The cops definitely deserve better than having to waste their time and our money on this loser! Who is going to pick up her bills? Besides us, of course! I am fed up with people like her misusing the system! She wants and apparently feeds, off of publicity. She is too stupid to understand that while the police have the respect and support of the community, she gets neither!
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