MANHATTAN — Shouting obscenities at police is not disorderly conduct, the New York Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.
The panel overturned the conviction of Richard Gonzalez who was arrested after cussing out officers in a Manhattan subway station in 2011.
Police arrested Gonzalez after they stopped him for yelling at them and they found a knife on him. He was charged with disorderly conduct and possession of a weapon.
He was convicted in 2012 and sentenced to three and a half to seven years in prison.
Gonzalez’s rant at police did not amount to disorderly conduct, though, because it had not become a “potential or immediate public problem,” the judges ruled.
They agreed that police never had probable cause to search him since he had not committed a crime.