The city has agreed to pay Simon Glik $170,000 in damages and legal fees over the way he was arrested in 2007 while using a cell phone to record police making an arrest on Boston Common, the ACLU of Massachusetts reports.
News of the settlement of Glik's federal lawsuit comes several months after a federal appeals court ruled the officers involved could not claim immunity for doing their job because the public has the right to record police officers in public settings.
The Globe reports Boston Police now acknowledge the pair were wrong to arrest Simon Glik on the Common in 2011 after they spotted him using his cellphone to video an arrest. Charges against Glik were dropped in Boston Municipal Court; Glik still has a federal lawsuit pending against Boston Police and the officers, in a case in which a federal appeals court said people have a right to video police in public place. Police had initially told Glik the officers had done nothing wrong.
A Boston lawyer suing the city and police officers who arrested him for using his cell phone to record a drug arrest on the Common won a victory today when a federal appeals court said the officers could not claim "qualified immunity" because they were performing their job when they arrested him under a state law that bars audio recordings without the consent of both parties.
In its ruling, which lets Simon Glik continue his lawsuit, the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston said the way Glik was arrested and his phone seized under a state wiretapping law violated his First and Fourth Amendment rights:
Ars Technica reports a federal appeals court this week heard arguments in a lawsuit involving the arrest of a Boston lawyer who used his cellphone to record what he said were police punching a suspect on Boston Common in 2007.
Many states have "one-party notification" wiretapping laws that allow any party to a conversation to secretly record it. But under the strict "two-party notification" laws in Massachusetts, it's a crime to "secretly record" audio communications unless "all parties to such communication" have given their consent. The police arrested [Simon] Glik for breaking this law. For good measure, they also charged Glik—who did no more than stand a few feet away with his cell phone—with "aiding the escape of a prisoner" and "disturbing the peace."
After the charges were dismissed, Glik, with help from the ACLU, sued the city and the officers. The appeals court will decide whether the officers have "qualified immunity" from the suit because they were performing their duties at the time.
Simon Glik, who wound up arrested when he used his cell phone to video a drug bust on Tremont Street along the Common in 2007, yesterday filed suit in US District Court, alleging his First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights were violated by police.
Glik was also charged with "aiding escape" of a prisoner and disturbing the peace. All the charges against Glik were dismissed in court - including the charge of violating the wiretapping law, which he says was meant to cover secret taping of private conversations, not public recording of events out in the open, such as an arrest on the Common near Tremont Street.