- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 5, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - A federal court has sided with an Indiana man who says police violated his free speech rights when they forced him to stop a protest on the steps of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in downtown Indianapolis.

The federal appeals court in Chicago on Tuesday overturned a district court decision derailing Eric Smith’s case against the Indiana War Memorials Commission.

The Lebanon, Ind., resident sued the commission after police threatened him with arrest in July because he didn’t have a permit to hold a protest at the monument. But the appeals court says people sit on the monument steps for lunch and other purposes almost every day, making it a public forum.

The appeals court found grounds for an order blocking the permit policy’s enforcement.

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