Settlement and Apology as to Restriction on Holding “God Bless the Homeless Vets” Sign by City Hall
A Georgia city apologized and paid up to settle a lawsuit about its officer’s arrest of a veteran for holding a sign that said “God Bless the Homeless Vets” outside of its city hall.
Following a First Amendment lawsuit from the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression and the University of Georgia Law School’s First Amendment Clinic, the City of Port Wentworth, Georgia, agreed to a settlement with Jeff Gray. As part of the settlement, the city agreed to donate a symbolic $1,791 to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans — a nod to the First Amendment’s ratification in 1791 — and will give $1,791 each to Gray and FIRE. Port Wentworth will also maintain the public space in front of city hall as an open public forum and train its officers on citizens’ First Amendment rights….
On Jan. 31, FIRE filed two lawsuits on Gray’s behalf to protect Americans’ right to speak outside government buildings: the first, against Alpharetta, Georgia, and two of its police officers; and the second, against the police chief of Blackshear, Georgia. On July 17, FIRE filed a third lawsuit against Port Wentworth.
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