The Las Vegas man who was beaten and arrested for video recording from his front yard last year filed a federal lawsuit against the officer last week.
And in a separate case, a Wisconsin man filed a lawsuit against the two officers who arrested him for video recording a congressional debate last year.
In the Las Vegas incident, Michael Crooks was brutally assaulted by Las Vegas Police Officer Derek Colling in March.
Colling has been on paid administrative leave since April. In July, the police department determined he used excessive force.
However, they still haven’t disciplined him as he sits at home collecting his paycheck.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
Colling’s punishment, if any, was expected to be decided later this month, sources said.
The harshest punishment short of firing is a 40-hour unpaid suspension.
Crooks is seeking $75,000 in damages.
Colling has killed two citizens in just over five years as an officer.
In the Wisconsin case, Ron Clark was attending a debate on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with his camera when he noticed a friend getting harassed for shooting video.
According to Wisconsin Public Radio:
Ron Clark attended a Congressional debate on the UWL campus last year. His friend was videotaping the event, which being sponsored by the League of Women Voters. Signs posted said videotaping was not permitted, but cameras were allowed in the debate. After police tried removing his friend, Clark pulled out his camera to videotape the police. The officers then handcuffed Clark and removed him from the event.
Charges of resisting a police officer and disorderly conduct for not voluntarily leaving the event were later dismissed.
Now, Clark is suing University Police Officers Dustin Barton and Nikki Miller for false arrest and a wrist injury he says resulted from the arrest. Clark’s attorney Bernardo Cueto says his client’s rights were violated.
“If people don’t step up and file these suits when something like this happens, then it just kind of allows, kind of emboldens police and anyone else really that’s in a position of power to abuse that power,” he says.
We should also be expecting a lawsuit for the ongoing arrests taking place in the Wisconsin State Capitol for using cameras and holding signs.
Today, the Wisconsin State Journal published an article questioning the legality of the arrests.
The Assembly rules on conduct in the chamber prohibit reading the newspaper, smoking, eating, talking on a cellphone and using long-range listening devices, but there’s no mention of signs or cameras. There are “rules of the gallery” signs posted at entries to the chamber that explicitly prohibit things like movie, video and TV cameras, and photography — as well as signs or placards.
Fitzgerald said photography has been banned from the Assembly gallery for several years to protect members from being the subject of unflattering photos or videos that may show up in negative campaign ads. Most recently, the body set limits on how and when lawmakers can be videotaped by WisconsinEye, the nonprofit organization that broadcasts legislative sessions, hearings and other events.
Lawmakers have been camera shy since at least 1994 when then-state Rep. Rick Skindrud, R-Mount Horeb, was videotaped with his eyes closed for 14 seconds, a clip used against him by his Democratic opponent. Skindrud won re-election.