Chicago police investigation into sergeant who supported TPUSA chapter has a 'chilling effect,' lawyer says – Fox News

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The Chicago Police Department’s investigation into a sergeant who supported a proposed local high school Turning Point USA chapter “creates a chilling effect,” one free speech lawyer says.
Chicago Police Department Sergeant Ammie Kessem, who’s also the 41st Ward Republican committeeman in Chicago, voiced her support on Facebook for a proposed Turning Point USA chapter at William Howard Taft High School in Chicago on Dec. 9, stating that several “brave students” are creating the high school chapter of the conservative group.
A Chicago Police Department spokesperson confirmed to Fox News that the department has opened an internal investigation into Kessem’s support for the proposed high school Turning Point USA chapter and declined to provide additional information, citing the ongoing investigation.
CHICAGO POLICE SERGEANT UNDER INVESTIGATION FOR ALLEGEDLY SUPPORTING A PROPOSED CONSERVATIVE GROUP
People walk past a police car on June 26, 2013, in Chicago. (iStock)
“Some brave students will be creating this Chapter of Turning Point USA tomorrow at William Howard Taft High School which is located on the Northwest side of Chicago in the 41st Ward. I could not be more proud of them,” Kessem said. 
Kessem said that her daughter is a student at the high school, which is how she found out about the proposed Turning Point USA chapter.
Ethan Blevins, an attorney at the conservative Pacific Legal Foundation who specializes in free speech, told Fox News that even if the investigation into Kessem turns up nothing, it still can be damaging and has a chilling effect on future speech.
“I think even the investigation itself is, even if nothing happens, creates a chilling effect. Of course, it’s burdensome to be investigated. I think it hurts her reputation, even if nothing may come of the investigation, but the investigation itself can be damaging,” Blevins said.
Blevins said he’s “curious” to see if the Chicago Police Department makes any further statement or response relating to the internal investigation into Kessem.
CALIFORNIA ‘EQUITY’ SUPERINTENDENT WORKS ON EAST COAST AS LIFE COACH, COLLECTS AT LEAST $160,000 FROM STATE
William Howard Taft High School (Google Maps)
Kessem told Fox News earlier that the post was made in her personal capacity and was posted while she was off duty. Kessem said she was unaware of the internal investigation when Fox News first contacted her.
Blevins said the police department can regulate speech while employees are on the job, but not in their personal capacity.
He also said the internal investigation may make other police officers less inclined to share their beliefs while off duty.
“Nobody wants to be investigated. Again, even if she’s exonerated and nothing comes of it. Nobody wants to face that in their employment,” Blevins said.
Chicago police patch on the arm of an officer
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Blevins argued that while the department may see the investigation as harmless, he views it differently, especially when people have had their lives ruined over incidents like this.
“I’m sure the department’s excuse is going to be well, it’s just investigation, right? That’s harmless, but it’s not harmless. We’ve seen people’s lives ruined over less, right? Because they stepped out of line from the orthodoxy and therefore their heresy had to be purged. And so I’m interested to see if they respond, but I think they can’t just say, well, an investigation is innocent. It does cause harm,” Blevins said.
Adam Sabes is a writer at Fox News. You can reach him at [email protected].
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This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ©2021 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. Quotes displayed in real-time or delayed by at least 15 minutes. Market data provided by Factset. Powered and implemented by FactSet Digital Solutions. Legal Statement. Mutual Fund and ETF data provided by Refinitiv Lipper.

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