The freedom of speech and to lawfully assemble to express and debate differing opinions are fundamental rights of all U.S. citizens guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. These rights are fairly broad and far reaching. However, there are parameters set by the courts that define when these rights can be restricted. As a law enforcement officer, you need to understand and respect citizens’ rights to exercise their right to free speech, while at the same time assuring that it is done in a manner that is safe and lawful. This course, provides a high-level overview of how free speech is defined by the U.S. Constitution and how the courts have interpreted rights related to free speech. You will be introduced to standards which the courts use to determine if rights to free speech are violated. Finally, you will be introduced to some key issues to consider before terminating an unlawful demonstration. This course material is presented from a broad, general perspective. Consider (and always defer to) what you learn in context with your state’s laws and local ordinances, as well as your department’s policies and procedures.
This activity is approved for 1.0000 contact hours.
This course has been approved by the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy for 1.00 hours. CJA Lesson Plan #6085
This class has been accredited by the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training for 1.00 hours of mandatory continuing education credit. Regarding any law enforcement concepts, practices, methods, techniques, products, or devices as might be taught, promoted, or otherwise espoused in outside schools or seminars, there is no intent, expressed or implied, that ‘accreditation’ indicates or in any way conveys ‘CLEET approval’ of such concepts, practices, methods, techniques, products, or devices, unless such approval is explicitly stated by CLEET.
Relias Learning is a continuing education sponsor as approved by the Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training. This course An Overview of Freedom of Speech for Law Enforcement Officers, 10397-0219 has been approved by the POST Board for continuing education credit. Peace officers who successfully complete this course will receive 1.00 hours of continuing education.
The sponsor of this course has a written policy for the investigation and resolution of allegations of classroom discrimination. This policy applies to all faculty, instructors, administrative staff, and students. A copy of the policy may be obtained from the sponsor by contacting Relias Support by phone at 1-800-381-2321.
This activity is approved for 1.00 contact hours.
This course has been approved by the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy for 1.00 hours. CJA Lesson Plan #5707
Section 1: Introduction A. About This Course B. Learning Objectives Section 2: The Underpinnings of Free Speech A. The Dilemma B. The U.S. Constitution C. Types of Speech Covered by the 1st Amendment D. Common Rights E. 4th Amendment F. Ways Free Speech Issues Are Decided G. Imminent Lawless Action Standard H. High Profile Speech Case: Snyder v. Phelps I. Forms of Speech Not Protected J. TPM Restrictions K. Review L. Section Summary Section 3: The Right to Assemble A. The Right to Assemble B. Public Way C. Buffer Zones D. Unobstructed Roadway E. Free Speech from Peaceful to Hostile F. Terminating an Event G. Critical Pre-Planning H. Spontaneous Anti-Police Demonstration I. Review J. Section Summary Section 4: Conclusion A. Summary B. Course Contributor C. Resources D. References E. Congratulations!
Alex Gazaway is a retired sergeant with 28 years of law enforcement service. He has been a certified instructor since 1990 and continues teaching in state training academies, in-service training classes, and management development courses. Disclosure: Alex Gazaway has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.Staff Writer: Tracy Mullins, M.Ed.
Tracy G. Mullins is the Curriculum Designer for Public Safety at Relias. Tracy has a B.S. in the Administration of Criminal Justice and a Masters of Education in Instructional Technology. Prior to joining Relias Learning in 2017, Tracy worked in various capacities for the American Probation and Parole Association for 22 years. As a Research Associate and Sr. Research Associate, she worked on a variety of federally funded projects focusing on leadership, juvenile justice, victim services, tribal justice, and offender issues. Her responsibilities on these projects include researching justice issues, writing curricula and other publications, and delivering training and technical assistance. From 2010-2016, as Deputy Director of APPA, Tracy managed its grant division, as well oversaw its e-learning initiatives, which included writing and developing online training courses. Disclosure: Tracy Mullins, M.Ed. has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
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