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Frank LoMonte Co-Authors Article on How Workplace Gag Rules Frustrate Police Accountability

Frank LoMonte, former University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Brechner Center for Freedom of Information director, and UF law student Jessica Terkovich are the authors of “You Have the Duty to Remain Silent: How Workplace Gag Rules Frustrate Police Accountability” published in the Akron Law Review, Vol. 55, Issue 1.

Frank LoMonte

The research article focuses on the questionably legal ways that police and sheriff’s departments muzzle officers from speaking to the press. A nationwide Brechner survey concluded that well over half of the nation’s biggest law enforcement agencies have rules on the books that resemble—or are identical to—those struck down as unconstitutional when challenged, at times in defiance of binding circuit-level precedent.

According the authors, “The article examines why these legally dubious policies persist in spite of overwhelming precedent and identifies a handful of narrowly tailored agency policies taking a balanced approach toward employee speech that can serve as models.”

They add, “Ultimately, it will take legislative action to unshackle the voices of America’s law enforcement officers, since litigation alone has done little to deter persistent enforcement of ‘gag rules’ that deprive the public of the benefit of candid information about how the ultimate governmental power—police power—is being used.”

Posted: April 28, 2022
Category: Brechner Center, College News
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