Indy Settles Suit Over Recording the Police

The city of Indianapolis has agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by a man who was abused and arrested for videotaping police officers making an arrest on false charges. They agreed to pay the man $200,000 and to instruct officers that they can’t arrest someone for videotaping them.

As part of a settlement to a federal civil rights case, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department will be instituting a new policy prohibiting police officers from interfering with civilians who are recording their actions.

The policy change was included in a settlement agreement with Indianapolis resident Willie King who was arrested in February 2011 after he used his cellphone to videotape police officers arresting another man. King was charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and public intoxication…

King began videotaping the officers during the February incident when he became concerned that they were physically abusing the young man they were handcuffing. He retrieved his cellphone from his vehicle and began digitally recording the incident. He first walked to his neighbor’s property, then proceeded to the neighbor’s front porch.

A police officer walked over to King and ordered him to handover his phone. When King did not, the officer grabbed King, tackled him to the ground and, with the help of another officer, confiscated King’s cellphone and arrested him.

The only ones who broke the law here are the officers. And I’d be willing to bet they faced no punishment at all for having abused and arrested a man who did nothing illegal.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • John Pieret

    I’d be willing to bet they faced no punishment at all for having abused and arrested a man who did nothing illegal.

    At leastit’ll be harder for the individual cops to get away scott free the next time. The settlement means that the next cop who tries this can be held personally liable to the victim, as well as the City.

  • http://www.gregory-gadow.net Gregory in Seattle

    @John Pieret #1 – What do you mean, “scott free”? The ossifers will get a talking-to and have a finger shook in their general direction several times. That is not “scott free”: you can tell how severe it is by how hard the police union is fighting against even that.

  • John Pieret

    you can tell how severe it is by how hard the police union is fighting against even that

    Yeah, I forgot the dreaded finger shake. Forget what I said about holding them personally liable … there’s nothing worse than the finger shake.

  • justsomeguy

    Haaa! The officers are forbidden to arrest people for videotaping them! As if not being allowed to do something will prevent them from doing that thing. Never mind the massive power imbalance in which cops are allowed to do anything they want, and put any burden of seeking justice (with the associated time and money considerations) on the person they victimize.

  • Artor

    Ooh! They’re going to tell the officers they can’t arrest videographers! That will change everything, because I’m sure the pics haven’t heard that ever before. Well, I feel better now.

  • Artor

    Pigs, not pics, sorry.

  • Raucous Indignation
  • had3

    Well, we can all rest easier knowing that officers such as that are only employed in other jurisdictions and not our own. Phew

  • jameshanley

    used his cellphone to videotape

    That’s one weird cellphone.

  • savagemutt
    used his cellphone to videotape

    That’s one weird cellphone.

    Weirder yet…It was Beta.