May 8, 2009 1:38pm
• Register • Help
• Show Search Options • Search Tips
Home | U.S. | World | Politics | SciTech | Health | Entertainment | Business | Travel | Opinion | Strange News | Sports | Blogs | Interactives | Mobile | Video
CBS Evening News [ Watch Now ] | The Early Show | 48 Hours Mystery | 60 Minutes | CBS News Sunday Morning | Face The Nation | Up To The Minute
War On Terror
Iraq After Saddam
Week In Photos
Check out the w eek's
Eye on the
Explore the U.S.
economy through our
in-depth features on
U.S. markets, taxes,
employment and the
Images Of Wilma
Wilma packed a
punch for Florida
after cutting a sw ath
of destruction through
Mexican resort cities.
False Accusations Against Police
SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 4, 2005
(AP) A federal appeals court on Thursday nullified a California criminal law
adopted after the Rodney King beating that made it unlawful for citizens to
knowingly lodge false accusations against police officers.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the law was an unconstitutional
infringement of speech because false statements in support of officers were
not also criminalized.
The decision, hailed by civil liberties groups and opposed by state prosecutors
and law enforcement groups, overturns the California Supreme Court, which in
2002 ruled that free speech concerns took a back seat when it came to speech
targeting police officers.
Lawmakers enacted the law after a flood of hostile complaints against officers
statewide following King's 1991 taped beating. The 1995 law is punishable by
up to six months in jail.
The imbalance generated by the law "turns the First Amendment on its head,"
Judge Harry Pregerson wrote for the unanimous three-judge panel.
Darren Chaker, 33, of Beverly Hills, challenged the law after he was convicted in
San Diego County in 1999 of making a false complaint against an El Cajon
Chaker appealed to California's courts, to no avail. A federal judge had r