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.