Media Contact

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - September 21, 2023
CONTACT: ACLU of Florida Media Office,, (786) 363-2737

September 21, 2023

WHAT: On Friday, September 22, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit will hear an appeal in McGriff v. City of Miami Beach, a case brought on behalf of four individuals, Octavia Yearwood, Jared McGriff, and Naiomy Guerrero, art curators, and Rodney Jackson, an artist whose artwork was censored in Miami Beach.

The lawsuit grew out of a City-funded art exhibit during Memorial Day weekend in 2020 that was intended to tell stories from “different points of view” about “Blackness” and “inclusion.” The lawsuit alleges that the City of Miami Beach violated the First Amendment right to free speech when the City Manager, after a complaint from city police officers, ordered the removal of Jackson’s painting depicting Raymond Herisse, a Haitian-American man fatally shot by Miami Beach Police in 2011. The civil rights groups filed the lawsuit in 2020, and the district court ruled in favor of the City of Miami Beach. In addition to seeking damages for the plaintiffs, the lawsuit requests that the “Memorial to Raymond Herisse” be displayed in a public place comparable to the space and the amount of time it would have been displayed before City officials removed the installation in 2019.  

WHEN: Friday, September 22, 2023, beginning at 9:00 a.m. ET  

WHERE: Arguments will take place in person at the US Court of Appeals, 99 N.E. 4th Street, Miami, Florida 33132. Live broadcast details can be found here.  

WHO: The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida, cooperating counsel Alan Levine, and the law firm Valiente, Carollo & McElligott, PLLC represent plaintiffs Octavia Yearwood, Jared McGriff, Naiomy Guerrero, and Rodney Jackson.

A copy of the complaint can be found here.

A copy of the appellate brief can be found here.