ST. LOUIS – On Wednesday, the City of Ferguson was ordered to stop enforcing a policy that was used to prevent protesters from standing still on public sidewalks. The injunction is similar to one entered early last month, which affected St. Louis County Police Department and the Missouri Highway Patrol. The City agreed to entry of today’s order.
After the focus of protests changed to the Ferguson Police Department, officers began enforcing a rule that prohibited protesters from standing still, even for a moment, on public sidewalks.
“When people are angry and frustrated with their government, they need the space to express themselves and should not be harassed with vague rules and threats of arrest,” explains Tony Rothert, legal director of the ACLU of Missouri. “The police should protect the right to protest, not make up excuses to arrest peaceful protesters who are simply exercising their free speech rights.”
“Our police departments need to be responsive to the communities they serve,” said Jeffrey Mittman, executive director of the ACLU of Missouri. “By agreeing to this court order, Ferguson is making the right choice to help ensure that the right to protest is not infringed.”
The law firm Munger, Tolles, & Olson, LLP, is serving as cooperating counsel with the ACLU of Missouri. The original complaint for Abdullah v. Saint Louis County et al. can be found on the ACLU of Missouri website.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America’s original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.