Man Arrested for Video Recording Inside Government Building Wins $5,000 Settlement


After hanging up a makeshift sign banning videography of a public auction inside a Massachusetts town hall last year, then arresting a man who dared go against their wishes, Palmer town officials were forced to dish out a $5,000 settlement to the man last week.

Ian Bernard, better known as Ian Freeman of the Free State Project, said he received over $3,000 of that settlement with the rest going to the ACLU of Massachusetts, who helped secure it.

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The settlement once again proves that government officials don’t have the right to make up laws as they go, especially when it comes to public meetings or events.

In this case, Palmer town officials organized an auction and advertised it as being open to the public.

But on the day of the auction, they restricted anybody but qualified buyers from entering.  They even banned the local media from entering, who did its diligence by remaining outside, even though this was a government-sponsored event.

But Freeman wasn’t about to bow down to makeshift signs or laws as you can see in the above video, which is what got him arrested.

Freeman provides more details of the settlement here.

Ian Freeman
Ian Freeman during an unrelated activism project

About Carlos Miller

Carlos Miller is founder and publisher of Photography is Not a Crime, which began as a one-man blog in 2007 to document his trial after he was arrested for photographing police during a journalistic assignment. He is also the author of The Citizen Journalist's Photography Handbook, which can be purchased through Amazon.

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