Saturday, November 3, 2018

Memphis Improperly Gained Information about Activists

A federal judge in Memphis ruled Friday that the city’s failure to properly train members of its police department caused it to violate a 1978 agreement not to collect political intelligence on activists exercising their First Amendment rights.

“The failure was one of training and inadequate direction over a sustained period of time,” Senior U.S. District Judge Jon McCalla wrote in a 39-page opinion.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee, which brought the lawsuit against the city, hailed the decision as a “tremendous victory for free speech” because residents of Memphis enjoy greater protections that what is guaranteed by the First Amendment due to a 1978 consent decree.  

In his opinion, Judge McCalla said the city violated its consent agreement when it used its real-time crime center to search several social media sites for posts relating to the Black Lives Matter movement “because the information gathered related to First Amendment rights.”

You can read more here at Courthouse News.


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