4th Circuit: Baltimore police settlement ‘gag orders’ violated 1st Amendment

The Baltimore Police Department cannot impose broad “gag orders” limiting what plaintiffs can say about settlement agreements, a federal appeals court panel ruled Thursday. A three-judge panel for the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled by a 2-1 vote that the nondisparagement clause in a woman’s settlement “amounts to a waiver of her First Amendment rights and that strong public interests rooted in the First Amendment make it unenforceable and void.” The clause, included in nearly every agreement settling a police misconduct lawsuit until 2017, required Ashley Overbey Underwood to limit her public comments to the fact that a settlement had been reached and prohibited discussing opinions, facts or allegations connected to her case with the news media. (Daily Record)

Read Full Article