In the wake of the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, demonstrators took to the streets of Detroit in the summer of 2020 to protest police violence and systemic racism. Although the protesters were largely peaceful, police officers responded with mass arrests and violence, deploying tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets; in some instances they physically beat protesters or battered them with their police vehicles. Detroit Will Breathe, an organization central to the protests, filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the police, alleging an excessive use of force and unlawful arrests. The City of Detroit then filed a counterclaim, seeking to hold Detroit Will Breathe and its organizers personally liable for property damage and injuries to police officers that were allegedly perpetrated by different protesters. The ACLU filed a friend-of-the-court brief arguing that the counterclaim should be dismissed, as it was barred by well-established First Amendment principles holding that protesters cannot be held liable for the actions of others unless they have directly and immediately instigated those actions. Our brief explained that the city’s litigation tactics were reminiscent of those used by cities in the Deep South that resisted desegregation and abused protesters during the Civil Rights Movement. In March 2021 the court granted Detroit Will Breathe’s motion and dismissed the city’s counterclaim. Following the dismissal of the counterclaim, Detroit settled the case in October 2022, paying over $1,000,000 to the victims of the police brutality. (Detroit Will Breathe v. City of Detroit; ACLU of Michigan Attorneys Phil Mayor and Dan Korobkin; National ACLU Attorneys Vera Edelman and Brian Hauss.)