Human Rights Watch Covers Viewpoint Discrimination Case

Leesa Fazal of Las Vegas worked briefly for the Las Vegas Metro Police Department. She alleged in part Darren Chaker had made a false statement alleging she was “forced out” of the Department. “Specifically, Mr. Chaker wrote that Ms. Leesa Fazal, an investigator with the Nevada Office of the Attorney General, had previously been “forced out” of the Las Vegas Police Department.” says First Amendment law professor Clay Calvert at the University of Florida’s Marion B. Brechner First Amendment Project. It is argued that by selectively targeting speech critical of government this is viewpoint discrimination.
The court record shows Leesa Fazal made multiple complaints to various law enforcement agencies, but no one arrested Darren Chaker. She then turned to Darren Chaker’s probation officer who asked the court to arrest him. At the probation revocation hearing, although Leesa Fazal was flown to San Diego to testify, the record shows the government did not call her as a witness to establish if what Darren Chaker said was in fact false. The court found Darren Chaker, who is appealing a white collar conviction, had violated probation. An appeal was promptly filed and this case has gained national attention where the Cato InstituteACLU of San DiegoElectronic Frontier FoundationFirst Amendment Coalition, and Brechner First Amendment Projectfiled a joint brief in support of Darren Chaker.
The final brief was filed January 22, 2016, and is now pending before the Ninth Circuit for an opinion or notice of oral argument. The case was recently featured by Human Rights Watch in its February 2016 newspaper. The above is the crux of the case. For more details about the case, see the opening brief of Darren Chaker
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