Today, the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) filed its opening brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in its lawsuit against the City of Tulsa, Oklahoma and its Chief of Police.
In 2019, AFLC, along with local attorney Scott Wood, filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the City and its Chief of Police on behalf of Wayne Brown, a Tulsa police officer who was wrongfully fired because local anti-police activists complained to the City about conservative social media posts Brown had made on his private Facebook page several years prior to his hiring as a Tulsa police officer.
The lawsuit alleges that the City’s firing of Brown violated his rights protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Brown seeks damages and attorneys’ fees.
It is well settled that the government cannot condition public employment on a basis that infringes the employee’s constitutionally protected interest in freedom of expression.
Inexplicably, the district court sided with the City and dismissed the lawsuit. AFLC promptly appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.