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POLICE STOP TEEN'S MEMORIAL

Police have stopped a teenager from chalking the names of Iraq war casualties on downtown sidewalks.

Willie Filkowski, 15, and two companions were told to stop after a city worker called authorities, saying an antiwar protest was going on downtown.

Filkowski started writing the names beneath a flagpole in a park July 1 and had written almost 300 names before being stopped Monday evening. Recent rains and power washings have since swept away much of the writing.

"I thought it would be thought-provoking, and it appeals to people on both sides of the issue," Filkowski said.

Authorities told him the chalk was graffiti, he said.

An officer told the teen he should apply for a permit with the City Council, Fort Myers Police Department spokeswoman Maureen Buice said.

The acting city manager said he wouldn't grant a permit because Filkowski does not have any signs or plaques recognizing his work as a memorial.

The legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, Randall Marshall, said the city may be overstepping its boundaries, judging the chalking on its content.

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