Botti v. City of Newark

On February 2, 2011, the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey filed a lawsuit against the city of Newark on behalf of Nicholas Botti, an animal welfare advocate who was arrested while protesting on a public sidewalk outside of the Prudential Center in Essex County. Botti wanted to stand on a public sidewalk with a sign depicting the prodding of an elephant next to the words, "This is Ringling Baby Elephant Training." Botti wanted to protest the treatment of animals by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus while it was in town on March 7, 2010. Police arrested Botti after he refused to stand in a designated "protest zone" farther away from the arena and out of the view of circus-goers. Botti's constitutional rights to free speech and to be free from unreasonable seizure were violated by Newark Police. The City of Newark and the ACLU-NJ reached a settlement on the suit on February 24, 2011, with the city agreeing to train its police and employees who are involved in issuing special events permits about the rights of protesters every six months.

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