Sanford – The ACLU of Maine today sent a letter to Sanford City Manager Steven Buck, advising him that a planned curfew in the town would violate the First Amendment and exceed his authority.

The ACLU sent the letter following news reports that the town of Sanford had issued an Emergency Curfew Declaration beginning Friday night at 10 p.m. and lasting through the weekend.

The following can be attributed to Zachary Heiden, legal director at the ACLU of Maine:

“Making it illegal to be on public streets gives police far too much discretion over whom to interrogate or arrest. Often, curfews lead to selective enforcement against Black people and other people of color, or against people expressing views the government doesn’t like. Curfews also lead to harassment of people who don’t have homes.

“We are in the midst of one of the most significant mass movements in a generation, and people all across this state are peacefully assembling to demand freedom from racism and harassment on behalf of themselves, their neighbors, and their families. Nothing that has happened at any protest anywhere in Maine justifies the imposition of a curfew.”

The full text of the letter is here: