A Florida man who was arrested last year for video recording Orlando police making an arrest received a $15,000 settlement this month.
His lawyers, however, might end up making three times that much for working his case.
And the cop who arrested him, seizing his phone as “evidence” as well as seizing another bystanders’s phone remains on the job as if nothing had happened.
The only difference is that Orlando police officer Peter Delio is now expected to follow a new departmental policy requiring officers to respect the rights of citizens to record them in public.
In other words, he is now mandated by the department to follow the law.
But Delio has a long history of complaints against him for being rude and abusive, so we shouldn’t expect him to change his ways.
At least Alberto Troche is $15,000 richer after having spent 15 hours in jail and having to wait three weeks for them to return his phone last December.
According to the Orlando Sentinel:
Troche and the city agreed to a $15,000 settlement several weeks ago, according to federal court records.
Now, his lawyers have asked a U.S. magistrate to make the city pay another $44,000 for the hours they worked on the case.
The Orlando Police Department has also changed its policies on how to handle people who video-record them in action, said Troche’s attorney, J Marc Jones.
Officers may not order members of the public to stop video-recording them or arrest or try to stop them, so long as they are in a public place, have not crossed a police line and are not interfering, according to a policy directive signed by Police Chief John Mina two months after Troche filed suit.
Officers also may not demand that a person recording them identify themselves, may not demand to know why they are making the recording and may not intentionally block or obstruct their camera, according to the directive.
“A bystander has the right under the First Amendment to observe and record … (police officers) in public discharge their duties,” the directive says.
Read the lawsuit here. Check out the video below to see the incident.
UPDATE: Here is a copy of the department’s new policy.