Shooting critic sues Riverside police

(RIVERSIDE, Calif.) -- An activist who has condemned police for Tyisha Miller's death has filed a federal lawsuit against the city and the Riverside Police Department, alleging officers deprived him of his right to free speech and assembly.

Donald Gallegos of Riverside alleges in the Nov. 15 lawsuit that officers routinely deprived him of his rights in retaliation for his activism. Gallegos has distributed many anti-police fliers, some of which have referred to officers as "racist-skinhead cops."

The lawsuit also alleges Gallegos was deprived of freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, due process and equal protection while he participated in rallies and distributed fliers.

Mark Blankenship, Gallegos' attorney, said law enforcement cannot tell people what they can hear or do as long as it is within the law.

"This isn't about whether or not we agree with Gallegos. It's about whether we should be given the choice to agree or not agree," Blankenship said.

Gregory Priamos, supervising deputy city attorney, said some of Gallegos' allegations are "questionable at best."

"I think it's just really unfortunate that the city's taxpayers are going to have to expend money to have to defend a case like this," he said.

In the lawsuit, Gallegos contends, among other things, that police confiscated fliers he was distributing, cited him on suspicion of crossing against a red light in the middle of a protest and interfered with his political speech.

The citation for jaywalking was dismissed, according to the lawsuit. A police investigation into the confiscation of the fliers sustained Gallegos' allegation of improper procedures, officials said.

(iSyndicate; The Press-Enterprise; Nov. 23, 2000) Terms and Conditions: Copyright(c) 2000 LEXIS-NEXIS, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights Reserved.

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