Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Minister-grandmother makes mayor's political black list: 'It's the Paranoia that Worries Me the Most'

"A-Listers" and supporters challenge City Hall political list and spoof the mayor at rally Feb. 21, 2017
Persons on the police and mayor’s “black list” of political activists showed up in front of Memphis City Hall on Tuesday Feb. 21 to challenge and “watch the watchers” who have conducted political surveillance, defying a 1978 DOJ consent decree against the Memphis police department.

As a grandmother and minister, Elaine Blanchard is an unlikely security threat.  
“At first I was amused,” said Blanchard, who works to help victims of sex trafficking pull their lives back together.  Yeah, that’s some criminal behavior.

“As days went by, it became increasingly less funny and more concerning and frightening,” said Blanchard, who is wanting answers about how and why police and the Memphis mayor came up with an activists political list, which some are calling the A-List. 

“It’s the paranoia that worries me the most,” Blanchard said.  “I fear for the freedom of our city.”

Memphis police have massively over-responded to protests in the last year, including at Elvis Presley’s Graceland Aug. 15, 2016, and the Valero Oil Refinery on MLK Day Jan. 16, 2017.  At an environmental protest at Valero, arrests included an independent journalist and an observer who was live-streaming.

Link to Political Surveillance Lawsuit against City of Memphis:

Link to 1978 DOJ Consent Decree:

Link to MPD Policy and Procedures Manual DR 138:…

Link to story in The Commercial Appeal:…

Link to story on WMC-TV:…

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