Cobb Sheriff’s Office statement on dismissal of KSU cheerleader’s lawsuit

Cobb Sheriff's Department vehicle at Cobb government office (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)Cobb Sheriff's Department vehicle at Cobb government office (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)

The Cobb County Sheriff’s Office issued the following statement on the dismissal by a federal judge of a lawsuit against Sheriff Neil Warren and former State Representative Earl Ehrhart by Kennesaw State University cheerleader Tommia Dean.  Dean “took a knee” in protest over the death of African-Americans at the hands of police officers.

>> Read the Courier’s coverage of the protests here

Glenn Daniel, the Sheriff’s Office spokesperson, said in an email, “We will not be conducting any interviews pertaining to this release.”

Statement from the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office

Public Information Release Date: Thursday February 7, 2019

Judge Dismisses Sheriff Neil Warren from Lawsuit

Sheriff Neil Warren is one of two defendants dismissed today from a lawsuit filed by former Kennesaw State University cheerleader Tommia Dean, according to an order filed by U.S. District Court Judge Timothy C. Batten, Sr.

In a 29-page order, Judge Batten dismissed Dean’s Section 1985 claim against Warren and former state Rep. Earl Ehrhart related to their communications about cheerleaders kneeling at KSU football games, holding Dean had not shown any invidious race-based or other animus.

The court order stated: “Defendants were exercising their own First Amendment rights when they spoke their minds to the KSU administration about their opposition to Dean’s protest. And their only discernible motive was their view that the flag and the anthem should be respected, and that what Dean and the other cheerleaders were doing was, in their mind, disrespectful.”

The court also commented that Plaintiff’s “averments suggest that Defendants’ motive was, at least in their view patriotic. The averments do not provide the court with enough to conclude that they acted against Dean and the other cheerleaders for any reason other than perceived disrespect to the flag.”

“I am very pleased with the court’s decision on my dismissal from the Kennesaw State University case. Everyone as an American citizen does have the right to protest for what they believe in but, we also have the right to disagree and stand-up for what we believe in.”, said Sheriff Warren.

Sheriff Warren also expressed his sincere appreciation for the excellent work done by the county attorney and our team.

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Larry Felton Johnson
Larry Felton Johnson is the editor and publisher of the Cobb County Courier. He holds a degree in journalism from Georgia State University and enjoys exploring the county's trail and greenway network when he isn't covering county government meetings and court proceedings.

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