(Photo: University of Pennsylvania)

(Photo: University of Pennsylvania)

Police officers in Westminster, Colorado, a bedroom community northwest of Denver, have been detaining or arresting, repeatedly, a man who carries around a sign with his dramatically low opinion of their department.

But they may want to learn to live with the “F— Cops” message on Eric Brandt’s sign.

Because he’s already gotten a settlement in one lawsuit against the city over the officers’ actions, and now two more are pending.

The newest complaint was filed this week against the city and officers Charles Rush and Ray Esslinger.

“For Plaintiff Eric Brandt, at this moment, it is difficult to differentiate the city of Westminster from a police state,” the complaint starts. “Mr. Brandt walks the sidewalks and streets of Westminster carrying a sign that reads ‘F— Cops.’ He carries this sign to raise awareness of the lawlessness and brutality regularly engaged in by Westminster police officers and officials.

“Because Mr. Brandt’s speech is critical of the city of Westminster and its officials, Westminster and its officials have waged war on Eric Brandt, attempting to drive him from the city by harassing and arresting him continuously.”

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, explains it is seeking damages for one 2014 incident, when Brandt was ticketed for disorderly conduct as he was carrying his sign at the corner of West 76th Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard.

“Police State USA: How Orwell’s Nightmare Is Becoming Our Reality” chronicles how America has arrived at the point of being a de facto police state, and what led to an out-of-control government that increasingly ignores the Constitution. Order today!

WND contacted the city to request a comment, but did not get a response.

“Brandt was detained for forty-five minutes during which he was not free to leave by defendants and, during his detention, was patted down by Sgt. Esslinger. Mr. Brandt subsequently left the area, for fear of being arrested or being issued further citations and summonses.”

However, the charge later was dismissed.

“This is a civil rights action for damages, declaratory, and injunctive relief, as well as fees and costs,” the complaint states, which are due to Brandt “due to defendants’ violations of plaintiffs’ rights guaranteed by the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States.”

The claim alleges “many officers have arrested Mr. Brandt because they personally dislike him, which is due to the [fact] that wherever Mr. Brandt goes in Westminster, he carries a very large, handmade sign…”

Another pending case brought by Brandt is against the city over his arrest during a city council meeting. In yet another case, he’s already gotten a settlement. The Denver Post reported there the city agreed to pay Brandt $50,000 and the Denver law firm representing him about $30,000.

David Lane, a lawyer representing Brandt, told the Post, “This is not like a normal settlement where there is no admission of wrongdoing. This is the equivalent of a guilty plea to all charges in a criminal case and Westminster is admitting they violated the Constitution.”

In the latest complaint, Brandt alleges, “The only bases for issuing Mr. Brandt a citation for disorderly conduct were: (1) the display of his ‘F— Cops’ sign at a public place in the city of Westminster and (2) the officers’ dislike of Mr. Brandt and his message.”

It alleges, “The city of Westminster has a custom, policy, or practice of arresting Eric Brandt for engaging in a speech activity that is critical of the police at public places in the city of Westminster.”

And they “continue to target … Brandt.”

The complaint explains Brandt did not violate any law, and the city’s attacks are “a content-based or viewpoint-based restriction on speech, or both.”

That, the complaint alleges, “was a denial of his right to free speech guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.”

The claims also include retaliation for his free speech and malicious prosecution.

It seeks compensatory and consequential damages, including for emotional distress, loss of reputation, humiliation, loss of enjoyment of life, and other pain and suffering.

“Police State USA: How Orwell’s Nightmare Is Becoming Our Reality” chronicles how America has arrived at the point of being a de facto police state, and what led to an out-of-control government that increasingly ignores the Constitution. Order today!

 

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