September 8, 2011

WAR ON PHOTOGRAPHY UPDATE: ACLU settles case of man cited for taping friend’s arrest.

The American Civil Liberties Union has won a $48,500 settlement of a lawsuit stemming from a Hill District man’s arrest for videotaping police, it announced today.

Elijah Matheny was arrested in April 2009 when he used his cell phone to record the arrest of a friend by University of Pittsburgh police. The police said they got Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office approval to accuse him of wiretapping. All charges against Mr. Matheny later were dropped.

The settlement ends a case that the ACLU lost in U.S. District Court and then pursued to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The 3rd Circuit ruled in an unrelated case that it is legal to record officers’ work.

Of course it is.

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