It is not uncommon for police to arrest people for video recording, but the unlawful arrest of Derrick Revies prompted him to file a lawsuit against the City of Minneapolis and arresting officers, Matthew Lindquist, K. Moua, and one only listed by his surname, McDonough.
Although the incident occurred in August 2014, the lawsuit was filed within the last few months.
Revies was video recording the police in public while on a public sidewalk outside of a crime taped off area in Minneapolis. The police were investigating a crime scene.
It was then that Officer Moua sees Revies recording and says “Hey, guy? Go down the sidewalk. Get off the sidewalk. I’m shutting the sidewalk off.”
Officer Moua then snatches Revies’s camera, saying, “We’re not going to sit here and film, you walk down the sidewalk and I will give you your camera back.”
After that, Officer Lindquist thought it was a good idea to tackle Revies on the very public sidewalk; as Revies was being hurled to the cement, Officer Lindquist said, “You’ve been told to leave.”
Officers McDonough, Lindquist, and Moua all pinned Revies down during the arrest.
Perhaps the officers didn’t know that it is perfectly legal to film police while on duty in a public area. Perhaps the officers didn’t know it was unlawful to order Revies off of a public sidewalk.
Obviously, the officer didn’t like the idea that Revies was video recording the police, and the fact that Moua took it upon himself to illegally seize Revies’ camera was a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment.
Revies was charged with interfering with a police officer.
The lawsuit claims the police violated Revies’ First and Fourth Amendment rights; specifically his rights to freedom of speech and to be free from unreasonable seizures of his person.
The encounter left Revies in immense physical pain.
As a result of the Defendant Officers’ actions, Mr. Revies suffered emotional distress, shame, humiliation, and embarrassment; the suit reads.
The lawsuit details:
“The Plaintiff exercised his right to free speech protected by the First Amendment when he used his camera to record police activities and when he informed the Defendant Officers that he had a right to record police activities. The Defendant Officers took action against Plaintiff that was sufficiently serious to chill a person of ordinary firmness from engaging in protected speech/conduct when they attacked and arrested Plaintiff without legal justification.”
A jury trial has been requested. Revies is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, in addition to attorney fees and court costs.
The Minneapolis Police Department has had a host of problems within the last year alone. An officer was fired for threatening to break an innocent teenagers legs.
In another excessive force episode, a woman was awarded $82,000 for being ruffed up by a problematic Minneapolis officer.