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Associated Press, Published September 28 2010

Court strikes down MN law on free speech grounds

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Court of Appeals has struck down a state law against making false statements that allege police misconduct.

In a ruling Tuesday, an appeals panel says the law is unconstitutional on free speech grounds. It says that's because the statute "criminalizes knowingly making false statements that allege police misconduct, but not knowingly making false statements to absolve police."

The 2-1 decision by Appeals Judge David Minge says that's a kind of discrimination that's not allowed under a U.S. Supreme Court decision in an earlier case.

The case involves a woman convicted of falsely claiming a Winona police officer forged her signature to obtain her medical records while investigating her claim she had been assaulted by another person.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.