Policeman fired for opinions has lawsuit reinstated in federal appeals court

A federal appeals court said a Pennsylvania police officer could pursue his claim that his town council had fired him in retaliation for critical online comments. After a fellow police officer was killed by a man with superior fire power, the policeman went online to attack the opinions of council members against supplying the police with better weapons.

The appeals court ruled that the case could not be dismissed under the Supreme Court’s decision Garcetti v. Ceballos, dismissing the free-speech rights of public employees pertaining to their on-the-job speech. The court said that the police officers comments “were posted pseudonymously on an internet site and not pursuant to his duties as a police officer.”-db

From the First Amendment Center, April 19, 2011, by David L. Hudson Jr.

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