4 people on City Hall escort list file lawsuit against Memphis

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Four of the people who appear on the Memphis City Hall escort list have filed a federal lawsuit against the city.

The plaintiffs, Elaine Blanchard, Keedran Franklin, Paul Garner and Bradley Watkins, claim the list, dubbed the “black list,” 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.

Memphis Police have a list of around 80 people who must be escorted by a police officer whenever they show up at City Hall.

Many of them are well-known protesters, and some are former city workers.

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland claimed he didn’t know about the list until the media reported it, and he said he asked his Police Director Michael Rallings to review the list.

Rallings has said there may be some names on the list in error.

Read the lawsuit