ACLU of Ohio Settles First Amendment Lawsuit Against City of Cleveland

Affiliate: ACLU of Ohio
January 15, 2004 12:00 am

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ACLU of Ohio
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CLEVELAND– The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio today announced a settlement in its First Amendment lawsuit against the City of Cleveland filed on behalf of three African American police officers and the African American Supervisors Association.

As a result of the settlement, the city rescinded disciplinary letters given to the officers for saying publicly that deployment decisions within the police department bypassed African American officers. The City also agreed that the officers were free to speak to the media without prior permission from the department.

According to the lawsuit, Cleveland officials violated the free speech rights of the officers by disciplining them for speaking to the media about the way deployment decisions are made within the police department. The officers maintained that the department worked outside the civil service system to bypass supervisor-level African-American officers. The result, they claimed, was very few black officers being appointed to prestigious or important positions.

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