Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Questions Remain About City Hall "Blacklist"

Posted By on Tue, Feb 21, 2017 at 9:28 AM

Memphis Police Department director Michael Rallings said that "peace and safety" are the motivating factors behind keeping a list if individuals who must be escorted inside Memphis City Hall, and he noted that some names on the list may be there erroneously.

Rallings took to YouTube Monday evening to address a broad range of questions that have arisen since the existence of a so-called blacklist that emerged late last week. The list includes disgruntled former employees of the city but also political activists, including members of Black Lives Matter, Greensward protestors, and more.

"There could be several reasons why one may require an escort at city hall," Rallings said in the YouTube statement. "For example, disgruntled, terminated employees, individuals who may pose a security concern, individuals who may have endorsed potential statements of unlawful behavior, and those individual who are named on an authorization of agency."

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland requested the authorization of agency list of several people who staged a "die in" at his home last year. Those people must stay off of his property and must be escorted inside city hall.

However, Rallings said some on that part of the escort list may be there in error. The list is "being constantly reviewed and evaluated" Rallings said and, pending that review, some of those names may be removed for the list.

A group of citizens have organized an action at city hall Tuesday evening called "Weigh in At City Hall" to question leaders about the list, claiming city officials won't say who gets selected for the list.

"It is outrageous that peaceful people are being targeted for their progressive political beliefs," said the Facebook invitation to the event. "You can show solidarity with the A-List by 'weighing in' in front of city hall this Tuesday between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. to get your very own scarlet letter A and draw your own mugshot."

Meetings of the Memphis City Council began Tuesday morning. The council's full meeting won't get started until 3:30 p.m. So the "Weigh In" event won't get started until the meeting is either underway or close to ending.
click to enlarge YOUTUBE
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