A Georgia metropolis has apologized and paid to settle a lawsuit over an officer’s arrest of a veteran for holding an indication studying “God Bless Homeless Veterans” exterior his Georgia resort. metropolis.
On account of a First Modification lawsuit filed by the Basis for Particular person Rights and Expression and the First Modification Clinic on the College of Georgia Faculty of Regulation, the City of Port Wentworth, Georgia , agreed to a settlement with Jeff Grey. As a part of the settlement, town agreed to make a symbolic donation of $1,791 to the Nationwide Coalition for Homeless Veterans — a nod to the ratification of the First Modification in 1791 — and can give $1,791 every to Grey and FIRE. Port Wentworth can even keep the general public house in entrance of Metropolis Corridor as an open public discussion board and prepare its officers on residents’ First Modification rights….
On January 31, FIRE filed two lawsuits on Grey’s behalf to guard Individuals’ proper to precise themselves exterior authorities buildings: the To begin with, in opposition to Alpharetta, Georgia, and two of its law enforcement officials; and the second, in opposition to the police chief of Blackshear, Georgia. On July 17, FIRE filed a 3rd lawsuit in opposition to Port Wentworth.
On July 19, 2021, Grey was arrested at Port Wentworth by then Sergeant Robert Hemminger. In conversations captured by officer’s physique digital camera, Hemminger admitted to metropolis staff – and to Grey, on a number of events – that Grey was not doing something unlawful. However the staff are categorical insisted they did not need Grey there, saying“He cannot stand in entrance of our metropolis corridor and discuss ‘supporting homeless veterans.’ We won’t have that. »
When Grey selected to remain, he was arrested. Hemminger claimed the Metropolis Corridor sidewalks had been non-public property, charged Grey with a misdemeanor, and barred him from ever going to Metropolis Corridor once more. Hemminger’s physique digital camera then captured the sergeant explaining that he arrested Grey as a result of Grey was taking part in a “sport“by defending your rights….
In 2011, Grey launched a Youtube channel to share movies of what he calls “civil rights investigations.” He peacefully advocates in cities throughout the southeastern United States and screens whether or not authorities officers perceive and respect residents’ rights. He posts each optimistic and unfavourable interactions with police to make sure regulation enforcement honors its oath to “assist and defend” the Structure.
FIRE filed the lawsuits in opposition to Port Wentworth and Blackshear at the side of UGA First Modification Clinic, which supplies regulation college students with real-world, hands-on expertise immediately representing shoppers in First Modification claims and serves as an academic useful resource on free speech and press rights points. July 6, 2023, Blackshear agreed to eradicate an unconstitutional ordinance this required authorization from the mayor to prepare an illustration. at Grey lawsuit in opposition to Alpharetta – the place police instructed Grey the “controversy” was “disorderly conduct” and stopped him from filming them – stays unresolved.