Ohio Man Arrested Over Facebook Page Sues City, Says Free Speech Violated

A man arrested and acquitted of a felony for creating a fake Facebook page that parodied a suburban Cleveland, Ohio, police department is suing the city, saying it violated his right to free speech.

Anthony Novak filed suit against the city of Parma and three officers on Oct. 10. Authorities said he created a Facebook page in March 2016 that displayed a name similar to Parma’s police department and posted items suggesting police were conducting teenage abortions. The page also suggested it would be illegal to help the homeless for three months.

Novak was charged with a felony count of disrupting public services and acquitted after trial in August 2016.

The lawsuit seeks financial compensation, legal fees, and an injunction against Parma police.

Police didn’t immediately respond to calls and emails seeking comment.

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