I have a friend who mouthed off to a cop, and was booked for, he says, "Failure to Obey". I'm no lawyer, but have googled about and found the following statute, Alabama Code - Section 32-5A-4:
Obedience to police officers and firemen.
No person shall willfully fail or refuse to comply with any lawful order or direction of any police officer or fireman invested by law with authority to direct, control or regulate traffic.
Upon reading, it sounds as though it authorizes the police to literally issue arbitrary orders which must be obeyed, which seems wild.
The specific story that I've been given is that my friend hassled a cop about being "illegally parked" (the cop's parking job, not the friend). The cop says 'Get out of my face'. My friend "backs up" and repeats his remarks about the officer's parking job. At this point he was arrested on "Failure to obey".
Taken at face value, it seems as though by not walking away the first time, my friend is in violation of the above cited statute. Is there any fighting this?
Per @bdb484's sage advice, I went looking for municipal codes, and found Sec. 39-54 in Mobile, AL's repertoire, not conveniently located in the `traffic' sections:
Failing to obey direction of order of police officer.
It shall be unlawful and an offense against the city for any person to fail to obey the direction or order of a member of the police department of the city while such member is acting in an official capacity in carrying out his duties.
Seems I'd best start taking dancing lessons in case I'm ever asked to do so by a police officer. :)