And to prove that, let’s look at just one example as to how. There are legal and other policy changes nationwide I’ve been following and will report on very soon. As for this post, I have to repost and go but this is important…I will expand on it from national and other aspects left out later when able.—
In the Trump era, are politicians and police becoming emboldened at cracking down on the First Amendment and those who criticize their policies?
In Memphis, it seems so.
Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and the Memphis police have published a black list of political opponents who are not free to move about public spaces in the city.
The list of more than 80 persons includes political activists and persons who have spoken out about public policy or issues involving city government. Many of them do good works with young people in the community. Others appear for unclear reasons.
We are calling it the “A-List.”
The list even includes Mary Stewart, whose unarmed 19-year-old son was killed by police in 2015. Also on the list: a preacher who married a gay couple; leaders of a peace and justice non-profit; Black Lives Matter proponents; persons who have been arrested for filming and observing the police; an independent journalist, and environmental activists.
This, while the city and the Memphis Police Department are operating under a 1978 Department of Justice consent decree against political spying. MPD also has a policy against gathering “political intelligence,” and it has a policy against stopping people from filming the police and “express(ing) criticism” of police.
In a statement, the mayor’s spokesperson said the list includes persons who pose a “potential security risk” and who must be escorted by police when they are in City Hall. However, there is no indication that any of the politically targeted persons has ever committed, been arrested for or proposed any violent acts, nor does the city make any such assertion of a threat of violence.
Those named on the list are weighing their legal options.
Link to the “A-List:” www.documentcloud.org/…
Link to 1978 DOJ Consent Decree: cdn.fbsbx.com/…
Link to MPD Policy and Procedures Manual DR 138: fnolan.com/…
Memphian Fergus Nolan, who was arrested for filming a police vehicle May 30, 2016, while he and others were supporting a greenspace action, discovered the A-List when police pulled him out of a City Council meeting on Feb. 7. MPD Lt. Albert Bonner looked in a binder and told Nolan he must be escorted by police whenever he set foot in City Hall.
On his way into the Jan. 17, 2017, City Council meeting, police…