City Attorney Isabelle Lopez and City Manager John P Regan have been “warned” of a lawsuit filed against the City of St. Augustine, St. Augustine Police Department, City Manager John Regan, Code Enforcement Officer Barry Fox, Sergeant Jerry Whitehead, Commandant of St. Augustine Police Department Administration Richard Warner, Sergeant Brian Frasca, Officer Alexander Barrera and Officer Matt Mitchell, by a local resident injured in connection with his opposition to the removal of the 1879 Confederate Veterans Memorial from Constitution Plaza.
The Civil War Memorial issue has been widely covered in the local, regional and national press and James Parham, former chairman of the St. Johns County Young Republicans, played a significant role in these stories, some of which have appeared in Historic City. News in May 2020. Like a large majority of St Augustine residents surveyed, Parham preferred to leave the 140-year-old memorial in place.
“Applicant [Parham] was assaulted, beaten, falsely imprisoned, discriminated against and defamed at or in connection with several assemblies, rallies at which opposition groups gathered to support or oppose the removal of Civil War memorials in St. Augustine, as well as in other forums and circumstances,” wrote Parham’s attorney, John M Pierce, managing partner of John Pierce Law.
Pierce argues that at that time it seemed quite obvious that government leaders in St. Augustine were “closely allied with the progressive Democratic platform” which clearly supported the removal of the monument. These local officials were later identified as sympathizers with insurgent revolutionary groups like the New Black Panthers, ANTIFA, and organizations that propagated “white guilt” rhetoric.
“Applicant [Parham] suffered physical injury, emotional distress, pain and suffering, and mental anguish as well as special damages, including but not limited to loss of income, medical bills and associated medical expenses; he was also the victim of civil robbery perpetrated by one or more defendants,” Pierce concluded.
The defendants, according to Pierce’s Notice of Claim and Insurance Disclosure Request, were also engaged in a civil conspiracy to harm Parham, his wife and children. Events and happenings that began on or around May 2020 are continuing and continuing according to Pierce.
-Historic City News is following this breaking story and more information will be forthcoming.