Registered Sex Offenders Sue Police For 'No Trick-or-Treat' Signs Outside Homes
Three of the convicted sex offenders are taking the Butts County Sheriff's office to court, accusing them of 'violating' their rights.
When Sheriff Gary Long decided to get his staff to put the signs in front gardens of more than 200 registered paedophiles last year, they decided to take action against the authorities in Georgia.
The signs read: "Warning! No Trick-or-Treat at this address!!"
The lawsuit has been filed to fight against the public warning, with the three offenders saying it infringes on their right to free speech and privacy.
As reported by Fox News, the sheriff plans to use the signs again to keep trick or treaters safe this Halloween.
Sheriff Long said that the force was following Georgia law and trying to protect children, detailing his thoughts in a Facebook post.
It read: "Public notice: Last Halloween, the Chamber of Commerce cancelled 'Halloween on the Square'. In doing so, our neighborhoods had a large increase in children going door-to-door. My office took precautions and placed signs indicating 'No Trick or Treat' at each registered sex offender's residence in the county. This was done to ensure the safety of our children.
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"Attorneys representing several sex offenders have filed a lawsuit against my staff and I. The sex offenders have asked a Federal Judge to stop my office from placing these signs this year.
"This Thursday, we will argue to the Federal court that we are protecting our children and following Georgia Law by placing these signs. Regardless of the Judge's ruling this Thursday, I WILL do everything within the letter of the law to protect the children of this community.
"As always, it is an honor and privilege to serve as your sheriff. I ask for you prayers this Thursday in to this matter."
Mark Yurachek, one of the lawyers filing a lawsuit, told Fox 5 Atlanta: "The law allows the sheriff to put a list of registered sex offenders at his office, at the courthouse [and] on the internet.
"It does not allow him to go door-to-door telling people you have a sex offender living next door to you.
"I'm just not sure that this kind of action makes your kids any safer. It just makes your constitutional rights less safe."
A judge will rule on the Butts County initiative tomorrow (October 24).
Featured Image Credit: Butts County Sheriff's Office