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The City of Memphis and Elvis Presley Enterprises are being sued over civil rights violations.

A complaint filed today in federal court stems from a vigil held at Graceland last August. Five people who are African American claim they were discriminated against and not
allowed to participate in the vigil because of their race. They say that treatment violated deprived them of rights under the United States and Tennessee Constitutions, as well as
violated a slew of other claims under federal and state law.

The lawsuit specifically alleges Memphis Police and Elvis Presley Enterprises allowed white people into the public vigil and streets surrounding Graceland but blocked African
Americans in the same line to enter.

The lawsuit also claims some of the plaintiffs who said "black lives matter" while on the grounds were approached by officers and instructed to leave.

One claim alleges Memphis Police physically carried someone out by the arms when she did not immediately move.

Memphis Police and Elvis Presley Enterprises are accused of depriving the African American plaintiffs their constitutional rights to equal access, as well as a slew of other claims
under federal and state law. The complaint does not say whether any of the five were part of a protest that happened the same evening nearby.

City spokespeople say they cannot comment on pending litigation. Elvis Presley Enterprises has not yet responded to our request for comment.


UPDATE: 19/01/2017 - The Washington Post
The owners of Elvis Presley’s Graceland say the tourist attraction has a “world-wide reputation for inclusion” in response to a lawsuit filed by five people who claim they were
discriminated against at a protest by a coalition associated with the Black Lives Matter movement during the annual vigil commemorating Presley’s death.

In a statement, Elvis Presley Enterprises says Graceland has welcomed more than 20 million visitors in the past 34 years from “nearly every country on earth, and they have all
been welcomed without incident.” The statement says Graceland is proud of its reputation for inclusion and hospitality.

Elvis Presley Enterprises and the city of Memphis are named in a complaint filed in federal court Wednesday. The statement does not directly address the lawsuit.

The lawsuit claims several people were denied entry to the vigil by Memphis police because they are black. It says others were asked to leave a public sidewalk after saying, “Black
lives matter.”

Read the full complaint HERE.
Elvis Express Radio News
CIVIL RIGHTS LAWSUIT AGAINST EPE & MEMPHIS POLICE
January 19, 2017  -  Local Memphis   /   Elvis Express Radio