On November 14, 2019, civil rights supporters attended a demonstration in Graham, North Carolina, organized by Never Again Action, to protest agreements made between Immigration and Customs Enforcement and local law enforcement to make it easier to deport immigrant residents. At the event, people were arrested illegally. Together, Emancipate NC’s Jaelyn Miller and Ian Mance, alongside Scott Holmes, represent plaintiffs suing the Alamance County Sheriff, the Graham Police Department, and the Haw River Police Department.

Officers enforced a local ordinance that unconstitutionally restricted citizens’ First Amendment right to protest. The five plaintiffs were arrested at the event for unlawful assembly under Graham’s protest ordinance at the time. Graham later repealed and replaced that ordinance after a federal judge found it to be “likely unconstitutional.” The plaintiffs in this new lawsuit are seeking compensatory and punitive damages for their arrests. The Haw River Police Officer filed a motion to dismiss all of the claims against him for various reasons. Last week, we heard that the magistrate is recommending that the federal district court judge deny the motion and let the lawsuit proceed.

Stay tuned for more updates on this case as we fight for justice and free speech!