NewsCovering Colorado

Actions

Lawsuit accuses CSPD of violating First Amendment rights

Court gavel
Posted at 4:55 PM, Jul 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-30 21:22:58-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — A man has filed a lawsuit against the Colorado Springs Police Department accusing seven officers of violating his First Amendment rights.

The lawsuit claims that on January 30, 2019, Michael Sexton was arrested for saying "F*** the police" to officers.

Sexton said he was recording CSPD officers who were operating a "speed trap" near the intersection of North Nevada and Bijou Street.

According to the lawsuit filing, Sexton crossed the street and stood a short distance from officers, and criticized them while they wrote speeding tickets.

Sexton was eventually arrested for disorderly conduct. That charge was dropped about a year later.

During the incident with Sexton, one of the officers named in the lawsuit said "A person commits disorderly conduct when a person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly makes a coarse or obvious gesture or display in a public place."

A statement from Sexton's attorneys said in part, "There is little separating authoritarian regimes and Colorado Springs when it comes to censoring individuals for criticizing the government."

News5 reached out to the City of Colorado Springs for comment and a spokesperson said "The City does not comment on pending or active litigation."

Read the entire lawsuit here.