City Attorney Isabelle Lopez and City Manager John P Regan have been placed “on notice” of a claim filed against the City of St. Augustine, St. Augustine Police Department, City Manager John Regan, Code Enforcement Manager Barry Fox, Sergeant Jerry Whitehead, Commander of Administration of the St. Augustine Police Department Richard Warner, Sergeant Brian Frasca, Officer Alexander Barrera, and Officer Matt Mitchell, by a local resident injured in connection with his opposition to the removal of the 1879 Confederate Veterans Memorial from the Plaza de la Constitucion.
The issue of the Civil War Memorial was extensively covered in the local, regional, and national press and James Parham, a former President of the St. Johns County Young Republicans, was a prominent feature in those stories, some of which appeared in Historic City News during May 2020. Like a substantial majority of St Augustine residents polled, Parham favored leaving the 140-year-old memorial in place.
“Plaintiff [Parham] was assaulted, battered, falsely imprisoned, discriminated against, and defamed at or in connection with multiple assemblies, gatherings in which opposition groups gathered to support or oppose the removal of Civil War memorials in St. Augustine, and in other forums and circumstances as well,” wrote Parham’s attorney, John M Pierce who is Managing Partner of John Pierce Law.
Pierce contends that, at that time, it appeared quite evident that leaders in St. Augustine government were “closely allied with the progressive democrat platform” who clearly supported the removal of the monument. Those local officials were later identified as sympathetic to insurgent revolutionary groups like the New Black Panthers, ANTIFA, and organizations that propagated a “white guilt” rhetoric.
“Plaintiff [Parham] sustained physical injuries, emotional distress, pain and suffering, and mental anguish along with special damages including but not limited to loss of earnings, medical bills, and associated medical expenses; he was also the victim of a civil theft perpetrated by one or more Defendants,” Pierce concluded.
The Defendants, according to Pierce’s Notice of Claim and Demand for Insurance Disclosure, were also engaged in a civil conspiracy to harm Parham, his wife, and his children. The events and occurrences that began on or about May 2020 are continuing and ongoing according to Pierce.
-Historic City News is following this breaking story and additional information will be forthcoming.