The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California is suing sheriff Scott Jones over alleged first amendment violations. The suit claims Jones engaged in illegal censorship on his public Facebook page.
The trouble started during a period of intense public debate after Jones barred the county's inspector general from the department. IG Rick Braziel published a report in August 2018 criticizing the department over the fatal 2017 shooting of Mikel McIntyre by sheriff's deputies. Black Lives Matter Sacramento leaders were among many who posted on the sheriff's public Facebook page about the controversy. Tanya Faison and Sonia Lewis' comments were deleted and then they were blocked.
Faison recalls the posts which got her blocked."I want to say something to the effect of 'Are you going to block me...are you going to start following me?'" said Faison at a press conference announcing the lawsuit. "They weren't anything abusive. They were basically questions."
Faison says she posted from one of her two accounts. Those comments were deleted and when she posted again from an alternate account "He deleted them in real time. They were deleted immediately and then I was banned from that page as well," Faison tells KFBK.
The suit seeks to have the accounts unblocked, punitive damages and legal fees. Sheriff Jones is still recovering from surgery and was not available to comment.
Audio of the press conference announcing the suit is posted below.