Updated City Hall escort list released to public
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The City of Memphis has released an updated version of the escort list at City Hall, and it’s a lot shorter than it used to be.
Twenty-six names are still on the list, ranging from disgruntled former employees to those who have made threats.
Originally the escort list, which was released to the public in mid-February, had approximately 84 names on it including activist Devante Hill, Darrius Stewart’s mother, Mary Stewart, and Paul Garner with the Peace and Justice Center.
The city said the list was not made by Mayor Jim Strickland. It reportedly existed before he took office and was maintained by the Memphis Police Department.
In a statement released to WREG, the city said the list does not ban individuals from City Hall. Those individuals “simply need an escort,” they said.
“People who require an escort may include disgruntled employees who have been fired, people named on an authorization of agency, and individuals who are subject to orders of protection. It is the professional assessment of the Memphis Police Department’s Homeland Security Bureau that individuals on the list pose a potential security risk.”
Four people — Elaine Blanchard, Keedran Franklin, Paul Garner and Bradley Watkins–filed a federal lawsuit against the city after it was discovered their names appeared on the list, claiming it violates a 1978 court order allowing them to express themselves freely.
The lawsuit said MPD also violated the order by recording video of protesters and using a program to track what people post on social media.