Why isn't it "If they can come for Anthony Novak, they can come for you"?
WASHINGTON The Supreme Court on Tuesday turned away an Ohio man's claim that his constitutional rights were violated when he was arrested and prosecuted for making satirical posts about his local police department on Facebook.
The justices' rejection of Anthony Novak's appeal means his civil rights lawsuit against the Parma, Ohio, police department cannot move forward. With its decision, the court again declined to consider revisiting "qualified immunity," the contentious legal defense that allows police officers and other government officials off the hook in civil rights cases if a constitutional violation has not been "clearly established" at the time it occurs.
At issue in the case was whether the police officers were correctly granted qualified immunity by a lower court under the rationale that previous court precedent had not clearly established that Novak's actions constituted protected speech under the Constitution's First Amendment.
In March 2016, Novak set up a Facebook page that purported to be the Parma Police Department. He published six satirical posts during a 12-hour period, one of which claimed there was a job opening to which minorities were encouraged not to apply and another warning people not to give food, money or shelter to homeless people.
A mans life was changed after he spent 17 days in a New Mexico jail because American Airlines wrongfully accused and identified him to police as a shoplifter at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, according to a lawsuit filed Monday.
Michael Lowe boarded a flight at DFW Airport in May 2020. More than a year later, he said, he was on vacation in New Mexico when he was arrested on warrants he had never heard of for a crime he did not commit.
For more than two weeks, Lowe was held in Quay County Jail at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in grossly unsanitary conditions, according to the lawsuit. Lowe said he didnt even find out what he was charged with until after his release.
Ive never heard of this fact pattern in my life or my career, said Lowes attorney, Scott Palmer. If it can happen to him, it can happen to anyone.