Back in June 2011, photojournalist Mannie Garcia was arrested by Montgomery County police while filming officers on a public street. He was charged with disorderly conduct, but the charge was dropped sixth month later. The following summer, Garcia filed a lawsuit against the police department alleging civil rights violations and abuse by the officers, among other things. The photographer is now being awarded a $45,000 settlement.
In the lawsuit, Garcia claimed his arrest was unlawful, and that the Montgomery County police officers violated his 1st, 4th, 8th, and 14th amendment rights. The lawsuit had sought $500,000 in damages, and posed the question of whether the public has the right to record police activities in public places.
Speaking about the settlement, Garcia recently said to the NPPA, ‘I’m extremely relieved that it’s come to fruition after five and a half years. I think this lawsuit has given attention to the fact that police departments need to pay attention in regards to an individuals’ rights.’