Documents reveal possible surveillance of protesters by local la - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Documents reveal possible surveillance of protesters by local law enforcement

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

New documents obtained by WMC Action News 5 investigators show local law enforcement may have been keeping an eye on local activists.

The documents show how several state and local law enforcement agencies kept tabs on protesters from the Black Lives Matter movement, including collecting social media posts to keeping track of when and where local protests were planned.

Much of the correspondence took place in July 2016 following the I-40 bridge protest and Dallas police officer ambush.

Through a Freedom of Information Act request from the Tennessee Department of Homeland Security, investigators received 30 pages that show indications of possible surveillance of BLM supporters and protesters.

"It raised some real free speech chilling effect concerns," Constitutional Law professor Steve Mulroy said.

An email from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office describes where potential Memphis protests were set to happen.

The Tennessee Fusion Center update to law enforcement personnel expressed being “concerned” after some Memphis protest leaders urged supporters to stop posting updates on social media, because it “limits public safety officials’ ability to anticipate, allocate, and deploy necessary resources.”

There are also details in the update of local protest fliers being taken down after the organizer had contact with Memphis police.

"People are afraid to speak their minds because they think the government is watching them,” Mulroy said.

Mulroy said the type of activity described in the documents deters the average citizen from exercising their first amendment rights.

"Keeping people from speaking their minds about what is otherwise something legal to say is exactly the opposite of what we want under the first amendment,” Mulroy said.

The documents also mention that the protests have been non-violent to date.

A City of Memphis spokesperson sent a statement in response that said in part, “This is an issue before the court and the city has no comment on pending litigation at this time.”

Copyright 2017 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • 4 dead, 4 injured in Waffle House shooting

    4 dead, 4 injured in Waffle House shooting

    Sunday, April 22 2018 5:55 AM EDT2018-04-22 09:55:32 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 10:31 AM EDT2018-04-22 14:31:08 GMT
    Travis Reinking (Courtesy: Metro Police)Travis Reinking (Courtesy: Metro Police)

    Four people were killed and four others were injured in a shooting at a Waffle House in Antioch. A white man wearing nothing a green jacket went into the restaurant and started firing a gun resembling an AR-15. Police are still searching for him. 

    More >>

    Four people were killed and four others were injured in a shooting at a Waffle House in Antioch. A white man wearing nothing a green jacket went into the restaurant and started firing a gun resembling an AR-15. Police are still searching for him. 

    More >>
  • Woman loses home at auction to former attorney

    Woman loses home at auction to former attorney

    Saturday, April 21 2018 11:11 PM EDT2018-04-22 03:11:04 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 5:23 AM EDT2018-04-22 09:23:15 GMT
    Sawyers watched her Florissant, MO, home go to auction Thursday. The highest bidder was her former attorney. (Source: KPLR/CNN)Sawyers watched her Florissant, MO, home go to auction Thursday. The highest bidder was her former attorney. (Source: KPLR/CNN)

    Sawyers watched her Florissant, MO, home go to auction Thursday. The highest bidder was her former attorney.

    More >>

    Sawyers watched her Florissant, MO, home go to auction Thursday. The highest bidder was her former attorney.

    More >>
  • 4 dead in Nashville Waffle House shooting; suspect sought

    4 dead in Nashville Waffle House shooting; suspect sought

    Sunday, April 22 2018 8:34 AM EDT2018-04-22 12:34:45 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 10:35 AM EDT2018-04-22 14:35:19 GMT
    A customer at the restaurant took the gun from the suspect, who then took off his coat and fled the area. (Source: CNN)A customer at the restaurant took the gun from the suspect, who then took off his coat and fled the area. (Source: CNN)
    Police in Tennessee say three people were killed and four were injured in a shooting at a Waffle House restaurant early Sunday. (Source: CNN)Police in Tennessee say three people were killed and four were injured in a shooting at a Waffle House restaurant early Sunday. (Source: CNN)

    A customer at the restaurant took the gun from the suspect, who then took off his coat and fled the area. 

    More >>

    A customer at the restaurant took the gun from the suspect, who then took off his coat and fled the area. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly