Dallas women sue city, county over Texas’ anti-rioting law

FILE - In this June 2, 2020, file photo, Dallas police officer stops and gets out of his car to talk and take photos with a group of demonstrators gathered at Lake Cliff Park as protests continue after the death of George Floyd, in Dallas. Floyd, a black man, died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on May 25 and his death sparked protests. Black officers find themselves torn between two worlds when it comes to the protests against police brutality happening around the U.S. (Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News via AP, File) (Smiley N. Pool, The Dallas Morning News)

DALLAS – Three women arrested amid protests against racism and police violence sued the city of Dallas and Dallas County on Tuesday in a challenge to the Texas anti-rioting law.

Yolanda Dobbins, 55, Lily Godinez, 20, and Megan Nordyke, 35, filed suit in federal court, contending their constitutional rights were violated when they were arrested during protests over the police killing of George Floyd. He died after a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into Floyd's neck even after he said he couldn't breathe and stopped moving. His death sparked global demonstrations.

The women were highlighted in a Dallas Morning News story among hundreds of people who police arrested during protests last month but later declined to charge.

Their class action suit claims police selectively enforced Texas' anti-rioting law in a way that targeted activities protected by the First Amendment. It seeks to have the law ruled unconstitutional, as well as discipline for some officers and further training on the use of force and de-escalation for the whole department. The women also request unspecified other “relief.”

The Dallas city attorney and the Dallas County judge’s offices did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday.