July 29, 2011

LITTLE ROCK, July 29, 2011 - The Arkansas Civil Liberties Union condemns violence committed last night in the City of Gould. Yesterday the ACLU of AR sent a letter to Gould city council members concerning the unconstitutionality of three laws recently enacted by the city council that were aimed at shutting down the free speech and political activity of the Gould Citizens Advisory Committee and its members, including the Gould Mayor, Ernest Nash and warning of the unlawfulness of any retaliation undertaken as a result of the public's exercise of constitutional rights. Residents of Gould and GCAC also filed a lawsuit this week to remove two city council members from office, on the grounds that the council members violated election laws in running for office.

Last night, three members of the city council and two other individuals allegedly assaulted Mayor Nash - including pistol whipping him. The Chief of Police for Gould and the Arkansas State Police have acted swiftly to address these criminal acts, and the ACLU of Arkansas applauds their swift and certain pursuit of those responsible for these crimes, and their protection of the citizens of Gould. As was noted in yesterday's letter by the ACLU, "the city [and its officials] have a legal duty to respect the rights of all individuals and groups who are lawfully exercising their Constitutional rights," and retaliation against persons for exercising their legal rights would be unlawful and lead to liability for those involved in the retaliation.

The ACLU of Arkansas continues its support of the residents, citizens, and officials of Gould who are working within the laws to effect change for their City.

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