City of Boston pays $170,000 to man arrested for filming police
Wednesday, March 28, 2012 | by Eamon Hickey
The American Civil Liberties Union reports that the City of Boston has agreed to pay $170,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by a man who was arrested for shooting video of Boston police with his cell phone. The settlement comes in the wake of a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, which declared that the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects the right of citizens to record police performing their duties in a public place.
In January, we noted comments by the U.S. National Press Photographers Association general counsel Mickey Osterreicher describing a closely related phenomenon, what Osterreicher calls widespread "catch and release" tactics employed by police to prevent citizens and also, very commonly, photojournalists from photographing or recording video of police actions.
The settlement in Boston represents at least one case now where a jurisdiction has paid a substantial penalty for arresting someone for documenting police activity.