City of Memphis responds to first City Hall 'blacklist' lawsuit

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The City of Memphis responded to the first lawsuit filed in connection with the Memphis City Hall 'blacklist'.

That list required the people on it to have a Memphis police escort inside the public building.

Four people on that list filed the lawsuit on February 22.

Their names have since been removed with the release of a new list Wednesday. The new list has 26 people on it and no longer lists the names of local activists and protesters.

"Moving forward MPD will establish protocol for adding and removing individual from the security book," Memphis Police Department Director Mike Rallings said.

Rallings said the names listed on the Authorization of Agency related to the Die-In protest outside Mayor Jim Strickland's home were added to the escort list in error. Though those names are now off the City Hall list, Rallings said they are still on the Authorization of Agency for the mayor's home.

In response to that lawsuit, the City of Memphis filed a motion to dismiss that said "because the plaintiffs lack standing to enforce the 1978 Kendrick Consent Order, plantiffs' complaint should be dismissed, in its entirety, against the city."

"What's the problem? What's the issue? Why are you guys following us?" activist Ashley Cathey said.

Cathey is the sister of Antonio Cathey and also an activist with the Fight for $15 initiative in Memphis.

She said she and her brother have been videotaped, followed, and politically surveilled by Memphis police officers during protests.

"I want them to apologize to not just my brother, not just to Keedran, to me as well as other workers," Cathey said.

City attorney Bruce McMullen said he does not believe the lawsuit carries a lot of merit.

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