September 16 2005, 12:53 PM
A federal appeals court on Thursday reversed a lower- court decision saying an abortion protester's free-speech rights were violated when police told her to stop displaying a banner. Police tried at least four times to stop Wendy Faustin of Lakewood from holding a banner saying "Abortion Kills Children" over the Sixth Avenue freeway, a busy east-west thoroughfare. Faustin filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Denver in 1998, saying police were infringing on her First Amendment rights. In 2003, U.S. District Judge Edward Nottingham ruled that the Denver Police Department's policy of not allowing protests of any kind on overpasses was unconstitutional. The 10th U.S. Court of Appeals reversed that ruling, saying the policy is a valid restriction and that Faustin failed to show "any realistic chilling effect" on free speech.