Federal lawsuit filed over Memphis City Hall escort list

Memphis, TN — New information about the law suit filed against the City of Memphis over the City Hall list.

The number of plaintiffs or people suing the city could grow and a class action lawsuit is possible.

The lawsuit accuses the City of Memphis and its police department of violating a consent decree, a federal court ruling from 1978 that prohibits political surveillance by Memphis police.

The lawsuit mentions Tuesday nights protest claiming Memphis Police illegally videotaped participants.  One protester provided FOX13 with pictures of men he claimed to be uncover officers watching them.

The lawsuit filed by Memphis Attorney Bruce Krammer states that is in violation of the consent decree.

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Paul Garner one of the plaintiffs spoke to FOX13 Wednesday afternoon just before the court document had been filed.  Garner told FOX13 police often had him under surveillance.  "I have been followed. They literally followed me in a parking lot as I drove around in circles," said Garner.

The consent decree prohibits police from conducting political intelligence.  The lawsuit raises the question if the federal consent decree can include police monitoring social media, like Facebook and twitter.  On Tuesday, Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings told FOX13, "It is our responsibility to maintain public safety. I look at everything from that stand point. It is not a political list."

The lawsuit also takes aim at the list that requires known activists from entering city hall with an escort.

The people on this list were also banned from the mayor's house after an early morning protest there.

The lawsuit claims the City of Memphis and the Memphis Police Department created a "black list" from their investigations ... for the purpose of silencing, harassing and intimidating" the plaintiffs right.

"It is crazy in my opinion," said Garner.

The City of Memphis has 20 days to respond or the lawyers for plaintiffs will began deposing Police Director Mike Rallings and top aides to Mayor Strickland.

An earlier version of this story indicated the lawsuit was filed by the ACLU. That was not accurate.