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Man arrested for fake Parma police Facebook page files civil rights complaint

PARMA  —  A Parma resident filed a federal civil rights complaint alleging that Parma, two of its police officers, and an as-yet-unidentified law-enforcement agent at the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force violated his First Amendment right to criticize police.  

Attorney Subodh Chandra, filed the suit on behalf of Anthony Novak.

The complaint alleges that in March 2016 Novak was arrested ” for criticizing the Department’s insensitivity to racial injustice, officer qualifications, and other issues of public concern.”

Novak had created a fake Parma police Facebook page.

Police said the Facebook page popped up on March 2.

Lt. Kevin Riley said the police department worked with officials at Facebook to determine who was involved in creating the page.

The real Parma police Facebook page is called “City of Parma Police Department” and is listed as a police station and government organization.

The fake account was also using “City of Parma Police Department,” but the URL includes “The” before it.

Atty. John Travis, who represents the Parma police officers, says the lawsuit was filed previously and dismissed by Novak.

“This suit, like the prior one Mr. Novak dropped, lacks merit,” Travis said.  “The police officers and the City of Parma will be filing motions to dismiss this lawsuit. ”

Continuing coverage here.