Friday, August 26, 2005

Boing Boing: Cops have to pay $41k for stopping man from videoing them

Last month a federal judge awarded $35,000 in compensatory and $6000 in punitive damages to a man state troopers arrested for video taping them.
Given the Utah rave case and the Oakland police stop reported today, this seems like an important decision because it makes it clear that citizens are free to video law enforcement in action.

The ruling finds violations of the plaintiff's first and fourth amendment rights. It states "The activities of the police, like those of other public officials, are subject to public scrutiny...Videotaping is a legitimate means of gathering information for public dissemination and can often provide cogent evidence, as it did in this case. In sum, there can be no doubt that the free speech clause of the Constitution protected Robinson as he videotaped the defendants on October 23, 2002....Moreover, to the extent that the troopers were restraining Robinson from making any future videotapes and from publicizing or publishing what he had filmed, the defendants' conduct clearly amounted to an unlawful prior restraint upon his protected speech....We find that defendants are liable under ยง 1983 for violating Robinson's Fourth Amendment right to be protected from an unlawful seizure..."

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home