On December 7, 2012, a journalist filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland (Greenbelt) under Section 1983 against Montgomery County, Maryland. The plaintiff, represented by private counsel, asked the court for injunctive relief as well as punitive and compensatory ...
read more >
On December 7, 2012, a journalist filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland (Greenbelt) under Section 1983 against Montgomery County, Maryland. The plaintiff, represented by private counsel, asked the court for injunctive relief as well as punitive and compensatory damages, claiming that he had been falsely arrested, subject to unreasonable search and seizure, malicious prosecution, and battery.
Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that while he had been peacefully observing and recording an arrest in which he thought the officers might be using excessive force from a over 100 feet away, officers of the county police department had flashed him with a spotlight and instructed him to stop recording. When the officers realized that the plaintiff was recording the arrest, one of them approached him. Plaintiff identified himself as a journalist, the officer stated that he was under arrest, placed him in a choke-hold, and dragged him across the street to the police cruiser. The officers placed the plaintiff in the squad car and threatened to arrest his wife as well if she came any closer. Once they reached the police station, the plaintiff watched an officer take the battery and memory card from his camera and place it in his pocket. The plaintiff was charged with disorderly conduct. The report filed by the arresting officers showed no evidence of disorderly conduct by the plaintiff. When he was released some hours later, the memory card for his camera was not returned to him.
On August 23, 2013, Judge J. Frederick Motz granted in part the defendants motion to dismiss some of the charges. Charges against the individual officers were dismissed, but the charges against Montgomery County itself were affirmed.
Discovery has been contentious and has continued over the course of 2014. As of November 26, 2014, there have been no substantial updates.Andrew Steiger - 10/24/2013
Richard Jolly - 11/26/2014