Mom Calls Son’s Anti-Cop|Posting Free Speech

     BROOKLYN (CN) – The mother of a Staten Island teenager arrested for posting “Let’s Kill the Cops” on his Facebook page sued New York City, claiming a violation of free speech.
     Tunisia Shearin says her son, Yasin Shearin, was a 10th grader at Concord High School merely exercising his First Amendment rights when he posted the message, along with an emoji of an officer with a gun.
     The post was made after officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were assassinated in their police car in Brooklyn last December. They were killed by a man seeking revenge for the police-related deaths of Eric Garner on Staten Island and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.
     The boy, who was 16 years old at the time, ultimately turned himself in to police and he was held at Rikers Island jail. He was released after a grand jury declined to indict him.
     His conduct “is not a criminal act and is permitted under his First Amendment rights,” his mother’s lawsuit claims.
     Police officers acted actual malice toward the Shearins and a deliberate disregard for their constitutional rights, the lawsuit states.
     Shearin’s arrest caught the attention of the international media, which caused him to suffer emotional distress, humiliation, embarrassment and mental anguish, according to the 10-page complaint.
     The teenager’s mother also claims she suffered emotional distress after being told that a dozen officers were at her home, her babysitter and four minor children were held at gunpoint, and her home was being searched by officers.
     The New York City Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit.
     The Shearins seek punitive damages for constitutional violations. They are represented by Andrew Plasse in Flushing, N.Y.

%d bloggers like this: