The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones on Wednesday, saying Jones violated the First Amendment rights of two Black Lives Matter activists by blocking them on Facebook, according to The Sacramento Bee.
Activists Tanya Faison and Sonia Lewis say they were blocked after comments they left on the sheriff's official Facebook page back in late October and early November.
"Sheriff Jones has attempted to stifle the voices of the leaders of Black Lives Matter Sacramento," Sean Riordan, an ACLU attorney, said. "This is impermissible censorship that violates both the state and federal constitutions."
What's this about?
Faison and Lewis claim Jones deleted comments they posted on the page and then blocked them. The post they commented on included screenshots from the BLM Facebook page that had anti-police sentiments such as "abolish the police" and "all cops are bastards."
Specifically, one of the screenshots Jones shared was a post written by Faison herself.
"When I say 'all cops are bastards' I don't mean any of the following
-all of them except the 'good ones'
-all of them except your dad/uncle/aunt/mom/brother/sister
-I'm angry at a few cops but I'm generalizing for rhetorical purposes
What I mean when I say 'all cops are bastards' is
-literally every single cop is complicit and participating in a system designed to uphold the capitalist oligarchy we live under and thus all cops are guilty of that system's sins.
F*** your brother.
F*** your cousin.
F*** your dad.
F*** all cops.
Jones shared the screenshots to be critical of Phil Serna of the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors, who was holding a #BlackLivesMatter Sacramento shirt in another photo in the post.
Faison believes her freedom of speech has been restricted because Jones, an elected official, is censoring her and Lewis.
"Facebook is one of the only places where we can engage with the sheriff and his supporters," Faison said. "Expressing our views is part of our role as residents of Sacramento."
The lawsuit calls for unspecified damages and for Faison and Lewis to be unblocked.
Last year, a federal judge ruled that President Donald Trump could not block users on Twitter because of their political views.
(H/T The Hill)