Brad Williams has filed a lawsuit against the Chicago police department after he said he was beaten by police in response to his filming an officer holding and dragging a man outside of his squad car.
As we have seen in other cases, one of the officers falsely told Williams that citizens were not allowed to film police officers in public, according to the complaint.
He said that he was handcuffed and grabbed by the throat in the encounter. His mother was injured after she says that an officer caused her to stumble to the ground.
The eight-count suit claims excessive force, false arrest and imprisonment.
The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit became the latest court in a recent decision to rule that police efforts to bar such videotaping is a violation of the First Amendment. That case involved Boston attorney Simon Glik, who was arrested for recording another arrest in public. We discussed the case earlier.
These cases continue to occur because officers are not disciplined for such abuses. Most such threats probably succeed and other cases are simply dropped with no action taken against officers. In the meantime, city council members and state legislators have done little to protect the public from such violations.