LINCOLN, Neb – Yesterday a Federal District Court judge upheld the City of Lincoln's controversial free speech policy. As a result, Larry Ball, a now 78-year-old Navy Veteran, and other citizens will face continued risk of criminal prosecution if they engage in free speech activities on public spaces surrounding the Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Statement from Danielle Conrad, Executive Director
“We are disappointed that the court failed to uphold our client’s highly protected and deeply valued free speech and religious expression rights. This decision has implications for all Lincoln residents and visitors to the Pinnacle Bank Arena. We are appealing to the 8th circuit with our co-counsel and our client Mr. Ball. We also renew our call to Mayor Chris Beutler and to the Lincoln City Council to seize this opportunity to establish an appropriate policy that protects all Nebraskan’s free speech and religious expression rights in the public space surrounding the Pinnacle Bank Arena. It is very sad that our city leadership continues to expend taxpayer resources fighting and suppressing the First Amendment rights of our client Larry Ball who peacefully passed out religious pamphlets to his fellow Nebraskans in the public square and as a consequence was criminally cited and jailed by the City of Lincoln for these actions.”