Sullivan Brief - New York Times Co v Sullivan 376 U.S 254(1964 Facts Sullivan was Commissioner of the Police Department Fire Department Department

Sullivan Brief - New York Times Co v Sullivan 376 U.S...

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New York Times Co. v. Sullivan376 U.S. 254 (1964)Facts:Sullivan was Commissioner of the Police Department, Fire Department, Department of the Cemetery, and Department of Scales for Montgomery, Alabama. He brought a civil libel action against New York Times after it printed allegedly false and defamatory statements about Sullivan’s actions to control African American protesters and his treatment of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The newspaper ad in question accused Sullivan’s police force of conducting a wave of terror against African American studentsand brutally harassing Dr. King. The ad contained several minor factual inaccuracies. The city Public Safety Commissioner, L.B. Sullivan, felt that the criticism of his subordinates reflected on him, even though he was not mentioned in the ad. It is undisputed that several of the allegations were either false or exaggerated. Sullivan filed a libel suit.Procedural History: At trial, the judge charged the jury that the statements in the article were “libel per se” and that damages were appropriate if the statements were “of and concerning” Sullivan. The jury

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