Charlottesville Man Seeks Injunction in Federal Case Against City

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A man who says he was unfairly cut off during public comment at a Charlottesville City Council meeting now wants an injunction in his federal case.

Joseph Draego says councilors denied his right to free speech when they stopped him from making further comments about Muslims and gun control.

Draego voiced his concerns over the influx of Muslim refugees during a public Charlottesville City Council meeting on July 20. He said many Muslims are "real good people," but later stated, "the Muslims, monstrous maniacs that they are, read their holy book and then they go out and perpetrate these horrible crimes."

Mayor Mike Signer cut Draego's remarks short, citing council rules prohibiting defamatory attacks on groups or individuals during the public comment period.

Draego’s lawyer filed a motion on Thursday, September 1, asking a federal judge to temporarily suspend City Council's ban on defamatory attacks on groups.

The plaintiff’s legal team is also opposing Charlottesville’s motion to dismiss the case. The city believes Draego is suing the wrong entity, and is arguing City Council and its members are not interchangeable with Charlottesville.

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