MADISON, Wis. – A man who was arrested after he posted Facebook comments calling a southern Wisconsin police department racist has filed a federal lawsuit alleging the agency violated his constitutional rights.
Police arrested Thomas Smith in 2012 after he posted profanity-laced comments on Facebook calling police officers in Arena racists and likening them to male genitalia.
He was convicted of disorderly conduct and illegal use of computer communications. A state appeals court tossed out his convictions this past July, ruling Smith's remarks were protected speech under the U.S. Constitution.
Smith filed a federal lawsuit Monday seeking unspecified damages against the Village of Arena and Officer Nicholas Stroik, who, according to the lawsuit, deleted Smith's remarks and requested prosecutors charge him.
Stroik declined comment Tuesday. The village's attorney didn't immediately return a message.