TC Palm by Keona Gardner
July 30, 2019
FORT PIERCE — City critic Rick Reed has sued City Commissioner Jeremiah Johnson in federal court for blocking him on Twitter.
The 14-page lawsuit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court, claims Johnson violated Reed’s First Amendment rights when the commissioner blocked him.
Johnson on Tuesday said he had yet to be served with the lawsuit, but issued a statement criticizing Reed’s behavior at City Commission meetings.
“I am inversely as critical of Mr. Reed because it is a well-known fact that he consistently creates a skewed narrative of misinformation to put Fort Pierce in a negative light in hopes of ‘holding government accountable,’” Johnson said in an email.
According to the lawsuit, Reed was blocked by Johnson on July 15, two days after the City Commission voted 3-2 against naming a kayak-launch park after Sylvie Kramer, who helped lower the county’s infant mortality rate. Reed, who paid for and donated the park to the city, had nominated Kramer for the recognition.