Lafayette Consolidated Government is arguing that a pair of fake “antifa” events on Facebook aren’t protected forms of speech and that the events’ creator should be liable for the costs incurred from police response to the events.
Mayor-President Josh Guillory’s administration filed the lawsuit in September, arguing John Merrifield, who describes himself as a comedian and satirist who was born in Lafayette and now lives in Brooklyn, created the Facebook events and should pay up.
City-parish attorneys are seeking to recoup “considerable sums of money” spent on the police response to the events, though they’ve limited the damages they’re seeking to less than $75,000. That limit keeps the case out of federal court and instead puts it in the hands of 15th Judicial District Judge Edward Broussard.
Despite the phony nature of the events, government lawyers have argued they prompted confusion, anxiety and concerns from the public, which in turn led local authorities to respond to the sites.
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