In a lawsuit filed in federal court Friday, Martin and the Lawyers Guild ask the court to strike down the curfew, arguing that it violates the First Amendment right to free speech and the right to peaceably assemble. Additionally, the plaintiffs argue that because Warren implemented the order “for the purpose of targeting people in Black and brown neighborhoods, it also violates the Equal Protection clause,” reads the filing.
The mayor renewed the curfew Tuesday and has said she’ll continue to renew it every five days until the violence ceases.
“We remain confident that the mayor’s order regarding public gatherings after 11 p.m. will withstand legal scrutiny,” city spokesperson Justin Roj said Friday.
Free the People Roc, which has held weekly Black Lives Matter rallies in Rochester since May 30, held a protest against the curfew the day it was announced. It started at 11 p.m. in Martin Luther King Jr. Park and lasted until roughly 2 a.m., when police arrested 30 people and charged them with violating the curfew. According to the complaint, among those arrested were members of Free the People Roc and the Lawyers Guild, who were acting as legal observers.
The lawsuit alleges that when Katherine Adamides, a legal observer with the Lawyers Guild, tried to write down the names of 19 police officers lined up at the scene of the protest, 14 of them covered their names with tape, their hands, or their arms. Three of the officers, it claims, covered their badge numbers.
Jeremy Moule is CITY's news editor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.