NewsCovering Colorado


City of Woodland Park ordered to pay $65,000 settlement to man blocked on Facebook

Posted at 3:54 PM, Aug 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-25 18:53:05-04

Delbert Sgaggio received $65,000 from the City of Woodland Park, Colorado over a First Amendment rights violation.

Sgaggio was personally blocked on Facebook by former Woodland Park Police Chief, Miles De Young because he criticized a raid by Woodland Park Police officers. When Sgaggio criticized the removal of his comment, that was also removed and he was then blocked from commenting on the Police Department and City of Woodland Park Facebook pages.

Delbert Sgaggio filed a claim that they violated his First Amendment rights by blocking him from commenting on its Facebook page.

Woodland Park Police later posted that they would not "edit or alter any posts" on social media sites, but that they reserve will remove comments that "do not promote civil discussion or do not adhere to our post/comment policy," including the use of vulgar language, personal attacks, abusive comments, and other rules.

Besides being ordered to pay $65,000 to Delbert Sgaggio, the city was also ordered to update and change its policy regarding social media regulations.

“This case sends a message to every public official in the country: respect the free speech rights of your constituents online or pay the price,” said Andy McNulty of Killmer, Lane & Newman, LLP. “Woodland Park and its officials are acting like their counterparts in Russia, China, and North Korea that censor their citizens online. Luckily, in this country, we have the First Amendment and brave citizens like Delbert Sgaggio to protect us from oppressive government officials like Chief De Young otherwise, clearly, he would act just like Vladimir Putin without any repercussions.”

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