ACLU questions Lee County Sheriff

Warren Wright

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ACLU questions Lee County Sheriff

CREATED Sep. 3, 2013

FORT MYERS, Fla.- Scott has openly asked FGCU's president to "reconsider" bringing in acts like "Ludacris", who use the "N" word in their performances.

But the Sheriff says his opinion on the performers has nothing to do with his decision.
Sheriff Mike Scott says he's not skipping a beat,  he maintains he has the right to refuse to participate in providing security for Eaglepalooza on November 24-th at jet blue park... if he can't do the job up to the high standards the community expects from him.
The Sheriff points out that different types of music will attract different kinds of crowds,  impacting his decision on how best to prepare for the event.
"The hip-hop genre tends to convey and some cases incite a different type of hysteria:  were talking about putting a cap in somebody and bitches and ho's, and the n-word and that stuff.  Its a little bit different then Carrie Underwood telling somebody to "Take the Wheel" or something... you know."
But the American Civil Liberties Union says that difference isn't an excuse to not do your job.
Maria Kayanan is the associate legal director for the ACLU: "yes of course its different.. and that's why the students picked Ludacris over some country music star.
and its not the Sheriff's values that can control his duty to provide public protection to a public university based on his own personal viewpoint.  that's content based discrimination."
The sheriff makes clear that its not content that's the issue but rather the ability to do the job correctly.  
By its own admission, the university is requesting up to 100 people for security, the Sheriff points out that's the entire Fort Myers Police Department - indicating how difficult it will be to run security.
The Sheriff says "if we can't come to common ground on that -then we don't have to work the event... because ultimately warren were responsible for it."
The ACLU says that tune just doesn't sound right.
Kayanan says "well that makes a lots of sense doesn't it?  If he doesn't feel like he can make it safe then its better to have no publicly placed paid for security at all?!  That doesn't make any sense."
The university's director of student relations says the acts listed for the concert have all been vetted and performed at other schools with no incidents.