DOJ SUPPORTS PHOTOJOURNALIST IN CIVIL RIGHTS SUIT

Award winning photojournalist, Mannie Garcia, was arrested in Wheaton, Maryland in 2011 and charged with disorderly conduct after he photographed police officers who appeared to be using excessive force in the arrest of two Hispanic men. Not only was he arrested but his camera was seized in violation of the Fourth Amendment which prevented him from publishing possible malpractice by the police officers. He was found innocent and he is now suing the city for violating his civil rights. He […] Read more »

COURT FINDS BAN ON SEX OFFENDERS USING SOCIAL MEDIA UNCONSTITUTIONAL

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeal found that a law limiting computer use by sex offenders violates the First Amendment. The Indiana law prohibited those required to register as sex offenders from “‘knowingly or intentionally us[ing]: a social networking web site’ or ‘an instant messaging or chat room program’ that ‘the offender knows allows a person who is less than eighteen (18) years of age to access or use the web site or program.’” Government may not prescribe the form […] Read more »

GRAND JURY RESISTERS INCARCERATED IN SEATTLE

Leah-Lynn Plante, Matt Duran and Kteeo Olejnik were jailed for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating anarchist activities in the Pacific Northwest. A grand jury is a constitutionally mandated investigative tool used by the United State Attorney to bring charges against an individual for capital crimes or other major crimes. If a person refuses to testify before the grand jury he/she is brought before a District Court judge who grants the individual immunity from being convicted for any […] Read more »

WOMAN ARRESTED FOR PUTTING PHOTOGRAPH OF UNDERCOVER OFFICER ON FACEBOOK

Melissa Walthal and her friend George Pickens were arrested in Texas for putting a picture of an undercover police officer on her Facebook page. The undercover officer testified at Pickens narcotics trial. Pickens and his brother, upset with the cop’s testimony found the officer’s Facebook page. They spread around posters with the officer’s picture on it. Walthal put the officer’s picture on her Facebook page with the caption, “Anyone know this [expletive]?” For this she is now facing felony charges […] Read more »

Philadelphia Man Charged With Criminal Solicitation For Murder For Facebook Comments

Joshua Scott Albert is facing serious charges after allegedly threatening police officers on his blog and on Facebook. Albert who writes the blog, “Staphmeal,” is charged with three counts each of criminal solicitation to commit murder, terroristic threats and harassment. He allegedly created two Facebook pages calling for the murder of two top law enforcement officers and another page supporting two men accused with killing a police officer. The first controversial page was called “I Support Chancier McFarland & Rafael […] Read more »

SUPREME COURT GRANTS QUALIFIED IMMUNITY TO SECRET SERVICE AGENTS IN CHENEY CASE

Then Vice President Richard Cheney was at a Colorado mall shaking hands. He was accompanied by a Secret Service detail. Among the Secret Service agents present were Gus Reichle and Dan Doyle. Also present at the mall was Steven Howards, an opponent of the war in Iraq. Doyle heard Howards say, “I’m going to ask [the Vice President] how many kids he’s killed today.” At this point several agents paid increased attention to Howards. Howards approached Cheney and told him […] Read more »

COURT FINDS ILLINOIS’ EAVESDROPPING ACT UNCONSTITUTIONAL

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeal held that Illinois Eavesdropping Act which makes it a felony to record a police officer in public unless all parties to the conversation consent to the audiotaping “likely violates” he First Amendment and granted a preliminary injunction against Cook County State’s Attorney preventing them from enforcing the act. The Illinois eavesdropping statute makes it a felony to record any voice without the permission of everyone being recorded, If the person being recorded is a […] Read more »

SEVENTH CIRCUIT REJECTS “BUT FOR” TEST FOR VIOLATION OF PRISONER’S FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS

Jeremy T. Greene a Wisconsin state inmate was fired from his job working in the prison library by John Doruff, the education director at the prison. The firing happened the day after Greene filed a complaint against Doruff. The alleged reason was that he stole a case from the library and that he highlighted a photocopy in the library. Furthermore he was confined to his cell for fourteen days and the photocopies were destroyed as punishment. After he showed that […] Read more »

ILLINOIS EAVESDROPPING LAW FOUND UNCONSTITUTIONAL

While most states have laws against secretly taping telephone calls or invading people’s privacy, Illinois’ law is particularly harsh. It is a felony punishable by up to fifteen years in prison to tape or listen to a conversation without the consent of all parties to the conversation. Well its not nice to listen in to a conversation but fifteen years? Michael Allison fixed old cars in his front yard. This violated a city ordinance. He claimed the police were harassing […] Read more »

COURT VOIDS CONVICTIONS FOR 2007 DEMONSTRATIONS OUTSIDE OF THE WHITE HOUSE

The District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the conviction of 14 anti-war demonstrators who were convicted of refusing to comply with a police order and crossing a police line, yesterday. In order to be convicted of failing to comply with a police order, the order must be legal. In this case the demonstrators had a valid permit to demonstrate in front of the White House. In the middle of the demonstration a police captain revoked the permit and […] Read more »