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Statement from Bruce McMullen
Statement from Bruce McMullen
Posted on 08/10/2018
City Chief Legal Officer Bruce McMullen's statement on today's court order in the case of ACLU of Tennessee, Inc., vs. the City of Memphis:

"The Court’s ruling was an interpretation of the definition of 'political intelligence' under the consent decree. While several issues remain to be considered at trial, the City maintains the 40-year-old consent decree, which was drafted before the existence of the Internet, security cameras, body cameras, sky cameras, traffic light cameras and smart phones, is woefully outdated and impractical to apply in modern law enforcement.

"Reading the consent decree literally, and applying it in today’s technological world, would require the Police Department to turn off all security cameras and body-worn cameras during a protest. It would prevent police from looking at publicly posted content, and severely hamper their ability to provide public safety. We firmly believe the consent decree was drafted without any conscious thought of the technological advances that exist today, and that we have substantially complied with the consent decree in these modern times.

"The Memphis Police Department’s monitoring of social media for protests and counter protests is non-partisan. The City has an obligation to provide public safety and to anticipate threats to public safety. Monitoring social media has allowed the Police Department to dispatch the appropriate amount of resources to protect protestors, counter protestors and the public at large. Memphis has had several protests, including the bridge protest, Confederate 901, Valero, Antifa, and the Greensward. We are proud that MPD’s efforts have prevented disruptions and violence from happening while allowing citizens to engage in their First Amendment rights. And we’re confident that the Court will find that no one’s constitutional rights were violated."

Read the court order here.
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