Sunday, February 13, 2011

Freedom Win: Atlanta Police Will No Longer Accost Citizens Who Film Them

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Atlanta police have agreed to stop accosting citizens and seizing their cameras when citizens film them on a public street. And they are paying a $40,000 settlement.
(ajc)- Faced with complaints from a citizen watchdog group, Atlanta police will stop interfering with people who videotape officers performing their duties in public, an agreement reached with the city Thursday says.

The settlement, which also calls for the city to pay $40,000 in damages, requires city council approval.
The agreement resolves a complaint filed by Marlon Kautz and Copwatch of East Atlanta, a group that films police activity with cell phones and hand-held cameras. The group has volunteers who go out on patrols and begin videotaping police activity when they come across it.

Last April, Kautz said, he pulled out his camera phone and began recording Atlanta police who were arresting a suspect in Little Five Points. Two officers approached him and said he had no right to be filming them, Kautz said. When Kautz refused to stop, one officer wrenched Kautz's arm behind his back and yanked the camera out of his hands, he said. Read more here.

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