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4th Circuit rejects appeal by ‘Blue Lives Matter’ organizer alleging retaliation

A Frederick police officer whose federal lawsuit was dismissed alleging he was defamed for organizing a “Blue Lives Matter” rally has lost his appeal.

Daniel Sullivan filed suit in 2017 and claimed the Frederick Police Department strongly encouraged him to cancel the 2016 event, which was intended to provide an opportunity for people to speak out about the safety of police and dialogue with anti-police groups. Sullivan claimed the department discouraged attendance, reprimanded him after the fact and then conducted an internal investigation of alleged unprofessional remarks he posted on Facebook.

But the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in an unpublished opinion Wednesday, affirmed the lower court’s ruling, finding no reversible error and calling Sullivan’s arguments on appeal “without merit.”

The complaint was dismissed in January after a U.S. District Court judge found Sullivan failed to state a claim.

The appellate case is Daniel Sullivan v. City of Frederick, Maryland et al., 18-1061.

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