Masks that read "Stop killing Black people" and "Defund police" were purchased by the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) and were intercepted mid-shipment to D.C., St. Louis, New York City, and Minneapolis by the USPS. The screen printer in Oakland, California who sold and produced the masks is suing as this supremely biased and inappropriate action not only kept masks intended to prevent the spread of disease out of protestors' hands, and off their faces, during a global pandemic but it also damaged his business.
A California screen printer is suing the U.S. Postal Service for seizing shipments of Black Lives Matter masks intended to protect demonstrators from Covid-19 during protests following the May 2020 murder of George Floyd.
The cloth masks, with slogans like "Stop killing Black people" and "Defund police," were purchased by the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) and were meant to be shipped to D.C., St. Louis, New York City and Minneapolis, where Floyd was killed by a police officer. But four boxes containing about 500 masks each were marked as "Seized by law enforcement" and their shipment was delayed more than 24 hours.
The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday and shared first with NBC News, accuses U.S. Postal Service and U.S. Postal Inspection Service officials of violating constitutional rights under the Fourth Amendment by improperly seizing the boxes without probable cause, a warrant, or even reasonable suspicion. The lawsuit also raises the possibility that officials violated the First Amendment by seizing the masks because of their political messaging.