CENTRALIA, IL. (ECWd) –
Jerry and Sons Repair-Towing, Inc., a towing company, has filed a federal complaint appointing the members of the City Council of Centralia and the Chief of Police, in their individual capacity, as accused.
The named defendants are: Greg Dodson (Chief of Police), Herb Williams (Mayor) and Councilors Howard Jones, Robert Smith, Andre Marshall and David Sauer.
The complaint alleges constitutional violations of freedom of speech and freedom of expression, when some board members and the police chief met and agreed to remove the towing company from the rotation list. tows from the city, based on the fact that the owner of the towing business displayed a Confederate flag at his home (not at his business) in early 2020.
A “towing rotation” list is a list compiled by local and state entities (normally the police and sheriff’s departments), to provide a standard procedure to be followed when vehicles need to be towed. This allows equal access, on a rotating basis, to local towing companies to do business with government entities. Without this list, a local government would most likely be forced to offer services to the lowest responsible bidder, creating confusion and stifling competitive local businesses.
As a reminder, the United States Supreme Court has recognized that the First Amendment is not there just to protect the speech we love – because that type of speech doesn’t need protection, rather it is there to protect the speech. speech that we hate. Regardless of any person’s or public body’s opinion on the speech and expressions related to the trial, the First Amendment rights of all individuals must be protected. Read this ACLU article titled “Defend the speech we hate“(HERE)
Complaint against Centralia