Anti-illegal-immigration activist Roy Warden has sued the city and the Tucson Police Department for $10 million in damages, contending they violated his right to free speech.
The 21-page lawsuit lists Mayor Bob Walkup, Police Chief Richard Miranda and more than 100 other named and unnamed public officials who Warden contends are conspiring to hire and protect illegal border crossers. The suit outlines a number of instances over the last year and a half when Warden has been arrested, cited or warned because of various protests and demonstrations.
He also contends that immigrant-rights groups such as Coalición de Derechos Humanos are working toward the "violent overthrow of the United States government."
Several times, Warden says, police have asked him to stop protesting because he was making too much noise by yelling through a loudspeaker, so he is asking for an injunction blocking the Tucson police from the "selective and unconstitutional" enforcement of the city's noise ordinance. He also is seeking damages for the distress he says he has suffered, the loss of his civil rights and the damage to his reputation.
Warden was arrested at the end of March after police said he threatened passers-by during a demonstration at the Joel D. Valdez Main Library, 101 N. Stone Ave.
In January, Warden was sentenced to three years of unsupervised probation for assaulting one person and threatening two others outside the Mexican Consulate last summer. He also is forbidden to possess a gun and must stay at least 500 feet from any public demonstration.
In April 2006, Warden was arrested for burning a Mexican flag at Armory Park while surrounded by hundreds of people who marched to protest pending immigration legislation.