ACLU Weighs In on Knox Detective's Anti-LGBT Sermon, First Amendment Rights

The ACLU this week weighed in on the matter of a Knox County detective and pastor who maligned members of the LGBTQ community, the Knoxville News Sentinel reports. Detective Grayson Fritts gave a sermon to the All Scripture Baptist Church in Knoxville saying the government should arrest and execute members of the LGBTQ community. Sheriff Tom Spangler said he would not fire Fritts to protect taxpayers from a lawsuit that could cost the county millions. "You can look for the ACLU to look for a lawsuit," Spangler said. In response, Executive Director of the ACLU of Tennessee Hedy Weinberg said the government can regulate its employees’ speech if there is a reason that outweighs the employee’s interest in exercising constitutional rights. Fritts is currently on sick leave until a buyout goes into effect on July 19.
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ACLU of Tennessee Sues Mt. Juliet Over Civil Forfeiture

The ACLU of Tennessee on Tuesday filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Mt. Juliet, claiming that police there violated the U.S. Constitution when they seized a man's car during a criminal investigation of his son, The Tennessean reports. Officers took Lewis Cain's BMW after coming to his home with a warrant for his son. The ACLU-TN said the seizure was made without a search warrant or notice of a hearing, violating Cain’s Fourth Amendment rights. Police have defended seizing the car, saying they had spotted Cain's son selling drugs out of the BMW. You can read the complaint here.

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Citizens File Federal Suit Over Memphis ‘Blacklist’

Four of the 81 people on a list of individuals who require a police escort in Memphis City Hall filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against the city of Memphis, the Commercial Appeal reports. The suit seeks answers from the city about why people were included on the list, reasoning which the city has not yet revealed. Most of the names on the so-called “blacklist” are those of known political activists, which could put the city in violation of a federal decree.
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