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A progressive citizen journalist in Texas who's known for criticizing and trying to embarrass local authorities in Laredo is suing over a 2017 arrest where she says her civil rights were violated, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's reports.
Local authorities who were subjects of Priscilla Villarreal's criticism used an obscure Texas statute to claim that she had obtained “nonpublic information” from the government with “intent to benefit” herself.
Villarreal was looking to verify the identities of a Border Patrol agent who died by suicide and the members of a family involved in a deadly vehicle accident. The alleged "benefit" was her gaining more Facebook followers.
The Star-Telegram's report alleges that Villarreal was not jailed for her actions, but for her opinions -- and her case attracted support from unlikely right-wing allies who filed briefs on her behalf, including the Alliance Defending Freedom, Americans for Prosperity, Young America’s Foundation and Project Veritas.
Her charges were eventually dropped and the law used to prosecute her was determined to be "unconstitutionally vague," according to the Star-Telegram.
A federal district court threw out her lawsuit, saying that the officers who jailed Villarreal had “qualified immunity," but a three-judge panel for the 5th Circuit found differently.
“If the First Amendment means anything, it surely means that a citizen journalist has the right to ask a public official a question, without fear of being imprisoned," wrote Judge James C. Ho.
Read the full story over at the Forth Worth Star-Telegram.
Record-breaking NFL quarterback Tom Brady announced on Wednesday that he was "retiring for good" at the age of 45, one year after reversing his decision to quit the sport.
Brady, whose Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost in the wildcard round of the NFL playoffs last month, made his announcement calling time on his 23-year career in a social media video.
"Good morning, I'll get to the point right away: I’m retiring for good,” Brady said, sitting by a beach.
Widely viewed as the greatest quarterback of all time, Brady won a record seven Super Bowls, six of them with the New England Patriots before adding his final triumph with Tampa at the end of the 2020 season.
The quarterback had announced he was retiring on February 1, 2022, but 40 days later changed his mind and said he was returning for the 2022 season with the Bucs.
“I know the process was a pretty big deal last time, so when I woke up this morning I figured I’d just press record and let you guys know first. So I won’t be long-winded," he added.
"I think you only get one super emotional retirement essay, and I used mine up last year. So, really, thank you guys, so much, to every single one of you, for supporting me.
"My family, my friends, teammates, my competitors, I could go on forever, there’s too many. Thank you, guys, for letting me live my absolute dream. I wouldn’t change a thing. Love you all," he said.
Brady was due to enter free agency and already the rumour mill had begun with several teams being linked with the veteran who threw for 4,694 yards and 25 touchdowns in the 2022 regular season.
The Californian leaves the game owning a host of records in the NFL.
He is the league's all-time regular-season leader in pass attempts (12,050), completions (7,753), passing yards (89,214) and touchdown passes (649). He also owns all those records for the post-season.
Brady won 251 regular season games and 35 playoff games, which are more than any player in the league's history.
Under coach Bill Belichick at New England, Brady became a specialist in orchestrating comeback victories with his trademark game-winning drives.
Unflappable under pressure, he had the most game-winning drives (58) and fourth-quarter comeback wins (46) of any NFL quarterback.
His celebrity surpassed the NFL -- in November, Brady and Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen announced they were divorcing after 13 years of marriage.
The divorce came after months of tabloid speculation concerning the couple's marriage, which reportedly came under strain when Brady reversed his retirement decision.
Brady is expected to move into a career in broadcasting having already agreed a ten-year deal with television network Fox, reported to be worth $375 million, to work as a commentator once his football career ended.
In a recent interview in July with Variety magazine he said he was looking forward to taking on the new role.
"I have a very unique perspective on football and how it should be played, and what good plays look like and what bad plays look like. I feel like I can still have a great impact on the game. I could stay in the game, doing what I love to do, talking about this incredible sport," he said.
© 2023 AFP
The former Herschel Walker campaign staffer who sued American Conservative Union (ACU) Chairman Matt Schlapp earlier this month for alleged sexual assault has filed another lawsuit against a GOP fundraiser for defamation, NBC reports.
The lawsuit names top Trump campaign fundraiser and "Stop the Steal" supporter Caroline Wren as the defendant for tweeting “false and defamatory” statements about "Mr. Doe."
Last month, in an interview with The Daily Beast, the former Walker staffer alleged that Schlapp “groped” him “in a sustained fashion.” After the report, Wren, a close friend of Schlapp’s and his wife, took her thoughts about the incident to Twitter.
According to Politico, Wren is accused in the suit of including the staffer’s name in tweets that claimed he was “fired from multiple jobs ‘for lying and unethical behavior’ and ‘for being a habitual liar.’”
And when the plaintiff’s legal team requested that she retract her tweets, the rally organizer “continued to maliciously post statements about 'Mr. Doe'.”
This week, Wren tweeted directly at the plaintiff, saying "it's pretty absurd" that he "would sue for defamation" because she "said he has been fired from multiple jobs considering he was just fired AGAIN from yet another job (this time for being a white supremacist)."
The suit claims Wren’s words “have placed Mr. Doe into contempt, ridicule, and disgrace within the community." As a result, the staffer is seeking $500,000 in damages.